While the country suffered through a season opening game so boring it might as well have been a soccer match, the real NFL drama unfolded off the field. Drew Brees became the latest target of the LGBT pitchfork mob for recording an allegedly "anti-gay" video.
Before we take a look at the offensive clip, here's how some of the headlines described it:
"Drew Brees Hasn’t Commented on Why He Created a Promo Video for an Anti-Gay Religious Group That Believes in Conversion Therapy & Fights Against Any Anti-Discrimination Laws; Wants Kids to Bring Bible to School to Convert Other Kids"
That last article originally described it as a "promo video for an anti-gay religious cult." Cult has been changed to group without any explanation or apology.
Now, if you didn't know any better, you'd think that this all seems pretty bad. Based on the headlines alone, it sounds like a star NFL quarterback joined some sort of backwoods religious cult and recorded a video bashing gays and calling for forced conversions. But the truth is somewhat less dramatic. In reality, Brees filmed a 20-second video for the advocacy group Focus on the Family encouraging kids to bring their bibles to school. Here's a full transcript of his remarks:
“One of my favorite verses in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 5:7, ‘For we live by faith, not by sight.’ So I want to encourage you to live out your faith on Bring Your Bible to School Day and share God’s love with friends. You are not alone.”
That's it. Nothing about homosexuality. Nothing about gay conversion or any other kind of conversion. Nothing political. Nothing ideological. Nothing remotely controversial or divisive. The word "gay" is not mentioned at all. The words "love," "share," and "friends" are mentioned. These were thoroughly inoffensive comments coming from one of the most thoroughly inoffensive figures in all of professional sports. In the same week that a different star player gets suspended from his team for being an unhinged jerk and pathological narcissist, it's the polite and mild Drew Brees who catches the flak for telling kids to read the Bible to their friends.
This should be a clarifying moment for anyone who hasn't yet figured out how things work in our culture. "Anti-gay" is now code for "Christian," providing anti-Christian trolls cover as they launch their bigoted attacks. The website Queerty was particularly open on this point, claiming in its headline that Brees and Focus on the Family have partnered "to promote hate." But what they have really partnered to promote is the Bible. To the gay radicals over at Queerty, the Bible and hatred are synonymous.
Far be it for me to offer advice to those gay radicals, but this strategy seems counterproductive. Gays have already achieved full legal equality in this country. Public opinion of homosexuality is, for the most part, pretty libertarian. Most Americans don't care about the sex lives of other people. "Do what you want," seems to be the general attitude these days. Pointless, vitriolic outbursts against guys like Drew Brees can therefore only have the effect of moving public opinion in the other direction. The gay rights movement had most people on its side. But now that the movement has become so intently focused on petty vengeance and anti-Christian propaganda, some of those allies might start to question their allegiances. Drew Brees won't be much hurt by this controversy — he'll go on to make his millions and score his touchdowns. It's the anti-Christian bigots who stand to lose, in the end.