Nothing remotely close to June is busting out. Temperatures are still in the Farenheity teens and nary a day goes by without some snow. But in the metaphorical sense, plenty is happening in a heart-warming sense.
First, it is far more likely than ever before that three months from now, when the NFL conducts its annual college player entry draft, a team will select a man who has already told the world that he is gay. He was named collegiate Defensive Player of the Year in what is perhaps college's toughest conference (sorry, elbiesee;), and such stars have never failed to place outside the first or, at latest, second round of the draft.
You're hearing the usual non-denial denials about why Michael Sam might not make it. It's not about Teh Gay, they say, it's about the distraction. No general manager will want to subject the other 52 guys in the locker room to the endless questions about it, or to the inevitable in-stand demonstrations about it (Westboro Baptist has already promised to descend on the Mizzou campus to protest), or yadda or yadda. While some have likened Sam's status to that of Jackie Robinson 67 years ago, that's not necessarily fair, since Number 42 was so unbelievably great compared to his detractors. No, I think the better comparison is to a guy who was making pre-draft NFL headlines about this time last year, with similar questions about "distraction." Remember Manti Te'o? He was the dude who got Catfished before the 2013 draft with allegations that his longtime Internet girlfriend (a) didn't actually exist and (b) was played on the Internet by a guy,with Te'o all too gullibly falling for the whole story. That's got to be even juicier stuff than your average gay guy, but by the time last year's draft rolled round, the chatter had died down, the guy got drafted (by San Diego, about a round later than expected), and his 2013 season was perfectly ordinary, as far as I can remember.
So it should be for Michael Sam- and anyone who tries to make it otherwise should just wear their colors of bigotry and hate out and proud, so we'll know who you are when we mock you.
That was the news from All Over I heard during the day. Closer to home came this announcement toward its end:
New Reconciling congregation in Rochester, NY
Covenant United Methodist Church
Reflecting the universal and inclusive love of Jesus Christ, Covenant United Methodist Church is called to create a spiritual home for as many people as we can. Covenant ministers with our local and global neighbors, with special sensitivity to people who have been marginalized by society or by the Church. We welcome all whom God brings into this faith community regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, nationality, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, family system, socioeconomic status, or physical or mental ability.
So that's now a fourth Methodist congregation within the portion of our Conference once known as "Western New York," and the message is continuing to move this way- Covenant is located in the City of Rochester on its east side, closer to home than the previous western outpost in the Village of Fairport. Here, my own house of God remains in "discussions" about adopting a similar welcoming statement, and if those "discussions" ever "end," we can still claim the distinction of being the first in our Niagara Frontier District, and the first anywhere west of the Genesee River, to make this quantum leap into the 21st century.
Pray for that, if you're the praying type. Otherwise, just buy plenty of milk, bread and eggs in the spirit of the cause- because this storm's a-comin', and it's eventually gonna get here:)
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