Double Standards

Double Standards are, by definition, unfair, which I suppose is why most people don’t like them.

I, too, dislike double standards, though I’ll admit that sometimes, my ire towards injustice is slow to awaken when I belong to the party that is benefitting from it. For example, when I was at Harding, I was never too concerned about violating curfew, because I knew that since I was a guy, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Had I been a girl, it would’ve been a different story; I would’ve been in trouble.

That was a double standard, but since I was a guy, it didn’t bother me too much.

Former NBA star Tim Hardaway’s statements this past week have made me think about a couple of double standards concerning homosexuality. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Hardaway’s comments, he said the following during a radio interview after being asked how he would deal with a gay teammate:

“First of all I wouldn’t want him on my team. Second of all, if he was on my team I would really distance myself from him because I don’t think that’s right and I don’t think he should be in the locker room when we’re in the locker room.”

When the interviewer was critical of Hardaway’s remarks, and referred to them as bigoted and homophobic, Hardaway responded:

“Well, you know, I hate gay people. I let it be known I don’t like gay people. I don’t like to be around gay people. I’m homophobic.”

The fallout following Hardaway’s words has been considerable: he was removed from All-Star Weekend activities, barred from future NBA appearances, and fired from his job as the Chief Basketball Operations Advisor of the CBA Indiana Alleycats. And he’s been publicly condemned by just about everyone.

First off, let me start of by saying that I don’t condone Hardaway’s words. While I can understand his concerns about undressing and showering around homosexuals in the locker room, he was way overboard in saying that he hates them. Even if his hatred stems from a belief that homosexuality is wrong, the Bible is pretty clear that we’re not supposed to hate anyone.

That being said, the degree of the outcry against Hardaway serves as evidence of the politically correct culture that we live in.

What I mean is this: if he had made basically the same statement, but about Christians instead of homosexuals, do you think he would face the same consequences? No way.

The truth is, there are some things in our society that are okay to publicly criticize without fear of serious repercussions, while other things like homosexuality (or Islam, or whatever is politically correct at the time) are completely taboo.

That’s a double standard, and I don’t like it.

The second double standard hits a little closer to home for me.

As a Christian, I absolutely believe that homosexuality is wrong, but the Tim Hardaway interview reminds me that sometimes we (Christians) tend to look at it from a skewed perspective.

From the way many Christians talk and act, you would think that homosexuality is some sort of unforgivable sin and that gay people are a group to whom we owe nothing. Some people who claim to follow Christ even seem to believe that His command to love our neighbors doesn’t apply to homosexuals, and live their lives in ways that could be summed up by Hardaway’s comments.

We’re understanding with people who lie, or are greedy, or even steal or commit adultery, but we treat gay people as if they are irreedemable, as if there is no hope for them.

That’s also a double standard, and I don’t like it either.

The truth is that all forms of sin—including homosexuality, but also including things like lying, gossiping and adultery—separate us from God, and make us deserving of death.

Thankfully, Christ was willing to experience death in our stead, and bridge the gulf that our sins had created between us and God. That death gives the hope of redemption to liars, gossips, thieves and adulterers. Homosexuals too.


Kenny Simpson 2/23/07, 7:53 AM  

Good post. I agree totally

Edward Carson 2/23/07, 11:50 AM  

This has always been one of my struggles. Although I know it is wrong, I tend to find that if socity really believes in natural rights, they will not allow one's religious view to dictate the role of the state. I hate what Tim had to say.

Luke Dockery 2/23/07, 11:10 PM  

Thanks. And congratulations on being the only person in the world to read my blog before 8 AM.

It certainly is a tricky issue in many ways. As far as Tim goes, I was a big fan of his when I was in my early teens. I was pretty disappointed about his hate comments.

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