An article published on the Southern Baptist Convention’s website today asserts that Michael Sam is no Jackie Robinson and that it is Satan’s fault that people are comparing the two athletes.
Writing for the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, pastor David Prince dismisses claims that Sam faces prejudice for being gay since “much of the institutional and structural authority in America is committed to aiding the cultural momentum to normalize homosexuality in all aspects of American culture.”
“Robinson endured hatred and persecution because of his skin color whereas Sam’s homosexuality is a self-identification,” Prince writes. “Satan is pleased with the narrative that Michael Sam is the new Jackie Robinson.”
Jackie Robinson and Michael Sam share the same skin color and are both athletes whose entrance in professional sports caused a stir in the media. And that is where the similarities end.
Robinson was an unquestionable talent who was named rookie of the year in his first major league baseball season. The only thing that had kept him out of the major leagues was his skin color and institutional racism. Sam’s future in the NFL will be decided by whether he is talented enough and not an off-field distraction. Robinson endured hatred and persecution because of his skin color whereas Sam’s homosexuality is a self-identification.
The Spirit of Christ met the challenge of Jim Crow with a call to faith and repentance, and we must meet the challenge of the sexual liberationist movement with that same call. Satan is pleased with the narrative that Michael Sam is the new Jackie Robinson because it is his same old temptation to look at the world without the cross of Christ (Matt. 4:1-11). But the evil one would be equally pleased for Christians to look at the world without the cross of Christ from the opposing direction by declaring war on Sam as a two-dimensional enemy in an abstract culture war as if his failure would be our victory.
That’s not all. Dwight McKissic, a Southern Baptist pastor with a history of anti-gay remarks, wants to pass a resolution at the upcoming SBC annual meeting condemning President Obama and the media for their positive treatment of Sam.
Whereas Jesus warned His disciples concerning the dangers of adversely impacting the lives of children (Matthew 18:6),
Be it resolved that we believe that it is inappropriate for children to be subjected to having to watch same-sex couples engage in public displays of affection while watching a sports-related event on allegedly family-friendly channels. We discourage any further televising of such events. While there is a missing airplane somewhere in the Far East, over 200 kidnapped girls from Nigeria, and high unemployment in America, we respectfully request the President of the United States to refrain from congratulating and extending well wishes to any future homosexual professional sports players, unless simultaneously he is going to make celebratory and well wishes calls to the likes of Tim Tebow, Prince Amukamara—the “Black Tim Tebow,” and AC Green, professional athletes committed to sexual purity.
Be it resolved that the Southern Baptist Convention views it as an unfit analogy that the St. Louis Rams—having recently drafted the first openly homosexual player and the Los Angeles Rams in 1946, having signed the first African American to an NFL contract in the modern era, is indicative of social progress or advancement. To compare the advent of a same-sex attraction player, to an African American player is to compare one man’s skin—to another man’s sin. The Southern Baptist Convention completely, absolutely, and unequivocally rejects the comparison. One’s racial identity is a by-product of biology. One’s sexual identity is a by-product of one’s preference or choice. Therefore, it is intellectually dishonest to compare skin color, with same-sex relational desires. It is also offensive and racist.