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Politics: Free Chris Culliver!

Published by: Dan Calabrese on Monday February 4th, 2013

Dan Calabrese

By DAN CALABRESE – We don’t need no re-education.

I really don’t care what you think about homosexuality – whether you accept the biblical teaching that it’s abhorrent in the eyes of God; whether you think it’s perfectly natural and fine; whether you think it’s awesome in every way. For the purposes of this discussion, I really don’t care.

You should have a problem with the fact that anyone in this country is being forced into “sensitivity training” and what amounts to community service time for saying what he thinks about it. And that’s what is happening to Chris Culliver of the San Francisco 49ers, as ESPN reports:

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver will begin sensitivity training and education immediately after the Super Bowl following his anti-gay remarks this week, then likely start volunteer work with at-risk homosexual youth nationwide.

Culliver is scheduled to begin working with “The Trevor Project,” an organization that provides crisis and suicide intervention to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, according to his public relations representative, Theodore Palmer.

“He’s so passionate about youth and people being comfortable with who they are and accepted by all,” Palmer said in a phone interview Saturday. “He’s excited to learn. The plan is with The Trevor Project, and their concerns are that he is genuine about his words.”

Palmer said once the education process is done, Culliver could eventually spend time volunteering at a crisis center and in other formats.

“It’s just an opportunity for him to learn about his comments and educate himself about the LGBT community, and grow,” Palmer said. “It’s the first step in learning about his words.”

Grow? Learning about his words? Does that not give you the creeps? Look, I understand that this was not imposed by the government, and I suppose Culliver technically had the option of refusing to do any of it. But we’re living in a time in this culture – very much encouraged by our president, by the way – in which you simply cannot say anything about homosexuality that goes against the accepted cultural norm, if you are a high-profile person in any way. If you do, the best you can hope for is incessant hounding by the media. And if you want any end to the harassment, you’ll have to submit to the sort of re-programming that smacks of the old Soviet-era re-education camps, where they teach you the correct way to think (theirs) and you “learn about your words.”

I can see both sides of the question concerning gay athletes. On the one hand, if a guy is attracted to other guys, and you’re all walking around the locker room naked – um, sorry, but that’s why men and women don’t share locker rooms, you know? Is it really that hard to understand why a heterosexual male might be a little creeped out by it? By the same token, I’m somewhat of the opinion that society needs to get over nudity and stop always sexualizing it, and chances are that your gay teammate is not having lurid thoughts about you, so you probably need to learn not to be so focused on it.

But the problem is: I can see both sides, while the “gay advocacy” community and their champions in the mainstream media absolutely cannot. To them, there is one correct opinion and one acceptable way to think, and if you don’t adhere to it, you’re going to pay a steep price. Making Chris Culliver attend “sensitivity training” and perform community service is treating him like he committed a crime. I don’t care what you think of his opinion. That simply should not be. I don’t know what you do about it when the media – the supposed champions of the First Amendment – are cheering this on. But someone needs to stand up on behalf of people who are doing nothing but honestly expressing themselves, no matter how out of fashion their opinions may be.

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