There are Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin. This is not a surprise. There are Major League Baseball players who don't "agree" with the "homosexual lifestyle." This is not news. Daniel Murphy, the second baseman for the New York Mets, fits into both of those categories. This is not unique.
There are plenty of Daniel Murphies out there, and there are plenty more who will come after him. He is just the latest in a long list of athletes to talk about gay people as sinners.
So my concern over Murphy's comments isn't about the effects they might have on other Major League Baseball players. They know the deal. It's not really the impact it might have on fans, or even kids who might hear Murphy's beliefs and dig into the several hundred pages of the Bible to unearth a few passages about "man lying with man." Don't get me wrong. Certainly, his comments don't help. Yet he's just another voice in the noise that is the media conversation about these issues.
My concern is for Murphy's son.
Last season Murphy missed two games to be with his wife for the birth of his son. They decided to name his son Noah after the famous Biblical character whom God chose to help him rid the earth of wickedness. When Murphy and his wife were talking about all of the possible names for their son, they settled on the one name most associated with ridding the earth of its problems.
New York Met disagrees with gay lifestyle '100%'
The player, a devout Christian, says he supports gays in baseball even though he thinks homosexuality is wrong.
So what happens if his son is gay? Noah will have gone to Sunday School from a very early age. He will have attended church as soon as he was able to sit in a pew. No doubt he will have to read about Sodom and Gomorrah and be told that gays are sinners whom God will put to death.
Maybe even more powerfully, he would have heard his father talk about homosexuality being wrong.
I was there. Growing up, I did the church thing. My parents weren't overtly anti-gay. Sure, there was the very rare off-handed comment or joke about gay people. But I didn't have that pressure from my parents. Noah will. He'll have a father who will tell him that being gay is wrong. Noah will have seen that in the media, even years from now when he can read. His father will forever be the New York Met who is against homosexuality. It's hard enough growing up gay without a father who is most-known for playing baseball and being anti-gay.
I've dealt with fathers like Murphy before. About 10 years ago I went back to Harwich High School to talk to my old school about being gay. One of my high school cross-country co-captains was there. He said I shouldn't be preaching about acceptance of homosexuality because it's against God's will. He spoke out against me because he wanted his son to grow up in a moral and just world.
Yet I was speaking out in my hometown because...I wanted his son to grow up in a moral and just world. I didn't want his son to struggle with his father's acceptance because he's gay. I didn't want him to contemplate suicide because his father had told him over and over that God does not want anyone to be gay.
In case you are Noah Murphy, and this is 10 years from now, and you think you might be...different from all of the other boys, know that you have support out there. There are millions of other boys struggling with anti-gay dads and an anti-gay church as well. Don't take your own life. Life does get better. You can play the sport you love. You will meet tons of great people like you, who don't judge you the way your father does. And if you're reading this and you can track me down, I'd love to help you however I can.