When I was younger, I used to walk around with tons of anger. In the last few years, I’ve shed a lot of that. I’ve also subscribed to the idea that artists should put their art out there and let it speak for itself without bombarding people with blogs and twitter posts about things unrelated to their art. Today, I feel as though I need to break all of my rules, because I haven’t been this upset in a long time.
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Below is a lyric I wrote, which appears in the opening track of the NK record. Below that, is the long version of that lyric.
"you can’t be born a sinner, ‘cause God don’t care who you share your bed with, and what Sundays you missed. He don’t give a damn about those petty things."
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Why Chris Broussard is scared:
After reading the news about the first NBA basketball player to admit that he is gay, I immediately said, out loud, “Well, let’s see who comes out as a bigot next.” It was only a matter of time.
Before I get into Chris Broussard’s statement, I’d like to give some extremely personal history about myself that I’m not excited or comfortable with putting out there, but I have to for the sake of highlighting the fact that Chris Broussard reminds me of my once ignorant self.
When I was a young little punk kid in middle school, I went through that confusing hormonal stage where, all of a sudden, I was magnetized and transfixed by the opposite sex. I was completely hooked. All other interests of mine seemed to take the backseat or revolve around my interest in females…to an unhealthy extent. That doesn’t mean much more than what I just said. Rarely, did I do more than talk to them and dream of them and adore them. Unlike some of my friends, I was frightened and confused by sex. It was this super weight filled serious thing that everyone around seemed able to shrink down to this purely physical animalistic thing, and I wasn’t sure where I stood just yet. I was really scared.
Let’s fast forward 2 years. The hormones have settled down (only a little) and I’m in my sophomore year at a Catholic high school. I spent my first year of high school heavily interested in religion and Catholicism while simultaneously rebelling against it and claiming that it was cultish bullshit being shoved down my throat.
In my second year, something in my head started to change, and I began to find these elements of the doctrines and the bible passages that seemed to provide me with comfort in the parts of my brain where I was confused. This covered many different departments of my thoughts, but for the sake of this thing I’m writing, we’re just gonna focus on sex. My school didn’t believe in sex before marriage. This religion didn’t condone it, and it was considered a sin. It felt so strongly about the matter, that they sent us all into the gymnasium one day and had us listen to this super-hip-super-cool couple who vowed to wait until marriage and we had to listen to them preach to us about why we would be super cool if we held out like they did. They also scared the shit out of us by basically telling us that most of us probably already have HPV and we’re gonna transfer it to girls really soon. They used a bunch of other photos and tactics, but you get the point. It was just like in the movies.
This is the part where everyone else around me said, “Fuck this shit. I’m gettin’ laid this weekend.” But guess what? I bought it. I ate it up. All my FEARS. All my QUESTIONS. All my APPREHENSIONS. All the things that didn’t quite make sense up in my head just yet were solved very quickly. I drank the kool-aid, and I felt so strongly about it that I was gonna wear it proudly around my friends and even try to convince them to do the same.
It took some time to shed that. It took a lot more time than you think. And no, this is not me hating on the Catholics or their teachings. Sure, those few hours in the gymnasium could have been spent playing dodgeball, but I don’t blame the teachings. I blame the messenger in that situation. In a lot of these scenarios, religion is not the enemy, but how people use religion for their own benefits.
And that right there is exactly what I’m driving at. As I sat here and watched Chris Broussard talk about his feelings on an NBA player coming out of the closet, I couldn’t help but feel bad for him…’cause he looks exactly like me at 17 years old. Chris Broussard is scared. He’s frightened by the idea of two men having sex. He’s scared at the thought of one man doing things with another man that he’s reserved for a man and a woman, in his mind. It’s completely jarring to him. And you know what Chris? I’m alright with that. It’s okay to be scared, and I back your right to feel the way you do. I feel bad for you being as though you’re a grown man and you’ve yet to attempt to work through that fear, but I’m okay with that fear.
What I am not okay with is you flying the Christian flag (or hiding behind it) in order to justify your fears. Two statements in particular truly jump out and made me boil. Here’s the first:
"Personally, I don’t feel you can live an openly homosexual lifestyle, or an openly, like, pre-marital sex between heterosexuals, openly living that type of lifestyle, then the bible says you know them by their fruits, and you’re openly living by their fruits. You know, it says that that’s a sin."
Chris, there’s an extremely important element of this statement that jumps out at me. You make sure to highlight that you feel that men who engage in pre-marital sex are equally at fault as an openly gay man. Let me ask you a question Chris…how many NBA players out there are rockin’ a fucking Jonas brothers chastity ring. Chris, how many of them are giving to charity on a regular basis? We are talking about one of THE most opulent, excessive, insanely lavish lifestyles a person can live…the life of an NBA basketball player. Now, listen, I’m not gonna go having a bible quotes war with you…but I’m almost positive that there is something in the bible about charity and living simply and not owning 6 fucking sports cars and wearing shirts that cost more than my monthly rent. This is not me trashing the NBA. I love the Knicks, and I really don’t care how Carmelo spends is money. But, the difference between Chris Broussard and I is that I live my life how I think I should live it, and I’m not going to pick and choose opportunities to use a book as justification for emotions I can’t explain. Because somewhere in between 17 and 26, I grew up a little bit. Chris, you wanna brandish the good book in your hand and use it to call others sinners, then you should employ some equality and take ‘em all down. Next quote…
"I would not characterize that person as a Christian, because I don’t think the bible would characterize that person as a Christian."
Well, I guess the Christians are fortunate that you’re not the authority on that scenario, unless, of course, I missed your announcement that you are in fact, God almighty. Chris, if you love the bible THAT much that you are personally offended and effected enough to call another man a sinner on national television, then you should do one of two things about it. I think your first option is to call out the rest of the NBA. If you are in fact a Christian (and I’m not one, but I read a book, once) then you would know how much worse the public display and advertisement of vanity, arrogance, selfishness, opulence, and excessiveness are compared to what goes on in a man’s bedroom far away from yours. You should get on the air and start tearin’ it all down, Chris. Go on a holy war. Seriously. Start working it all in to your programming.
On a more serious note, you could actually reconsider your career. When I was in Catholic school, I was fortunate enough to have been taught by some of the most intelligent and inspiring men I’ve ever encountered in my life…and they were monks. To this day, regardless of the fact that I no longer subscribe to a religion, I still feel the same way about how inspiring they were and how incredible they were to me. If you feel strong enough to infringe upon another man’s personal decisions, and you feel confident enough to speak on behalf of God in calling another man a sinner on national television, then you are in the wrong field. I’m not saying a monk would do that either, because I think most of the monks and priests I used to hang around would disagree with what you said today, where you decided to say it, and when you decided to say it. But you should find your TRUE calling, because if you feel strongly enough to do that, you’re in the wrong profession. Maybe you don’t belong in the monastery, but it certainly has to mean more to you than the viewers thought.
Chris, it’s alright to disagree, and it’s fine that you’re not okay with Collins coming out. But don’t use God. Don’t use religion. I’m sure it’s offensive to those who actually believe in these things…those people who are more than blind faith and a Sunday church appearance. There are so many better things you could be doing to spread your faith. There are so many more important battles to engage in that would make your maker proud, and that would truly follow a life of Christ (that’s the point, right?). Chris, I know how you feel. I was once scared of something, and I found comfort in something that gave me rules and guidelines. I found comfort in a set of rules and strict dos and don’ts, because I was a frightened little kid. I told my friends they were going to hell, and I’m not proud of that. But I’m thankful that I grew out of it, and I’m thankful for being able to recognize my own fears rather than find a scapegoat for them. You should do the same.
My name is Ryan Hunter. I’m an artist and a musician. I make music under the name Quiett Dog. I also make music with a band called NK, and I’m a proud supporter of gay rights.