Tuesday, June 21, 2011

David Tyree of of Super Bowl fame meets Marriage Equality supporter Rev. Steve Parelli

David Tyree (left) with Rev. Steve Parelli
State Capital at Albany, NY. June 20, 2011
Photo by Kelly Mapes

By Rev. Stephen Parelli
June 22, 2011
Bronx, NY

What David Tyree and my football-loving father have in common:  they've fumbled

Last week I heard CNN's phone interview with David Tyree.  I think I was doing the dishes at the time.  As I listened, I realized quickly that I was hearing the usual evangelical rhetoric when it came to Marriage Equality. 

As a former evangelical Baptist minister, I know well how the talk goes.  In fact, after coming out as an openly gay man in 1997, I began the long, hard journey of unraveling the evangelical talk that was deeply ingrained in my mind and heart.

The unraveling process, the decoding process, the making visible what was the invisible grid of the evangelical mindset, and the following of the strands of thoughts that had been personally inculcated, were the means by which I began to dismantle conclusions I had previously never questioned.

It was a spiritual journey.  A setting-free journey.  A I-can-think-for-myself journey.

David Tyree (left) with Rev. Steve Parelli
State Capital at Albany, NY. June 20, 2011
Photo by Kelly Mapes
Yesterday at the demonstration in Albany, I saw signs that said "Defend Biblical Marriage."  As a young man, I was introduced to the motto "Think Biblically."  As an openly questioning gay man, I concluded that the last thing Jesus did was to "Think Biblically."  The so-called religious-right Biblical thinking of Jesus' day was intolerable for the Master.  The last motto Jesus would have adopted (in the context of his times) was "Think Biblically."  He challenged his listeners to think otherwise.  What was Biblical for the religious leaders of Jesus' day was not "Biblical" for Jesus for a considerable part of his teachings.

Yesterday at the state capital in Albany, I had the opportunity to meet David Tyree.  He was gracious enough to acknowledge me when I approached him.  I think I caught him glancing at my poster.  Someone close by asked me if I knew who the gentleman was.  "No," I said.  "That's David Tyree,"  I was told.

Rev. Steve Parelli
Albany, NY
June 20, 2011
Photo by Kelly Mapes
I never heard of David Tyree until last week when I heard his phone interview with CNN.

By the photos, here, you can see we met and smiled.  My dad follows football big time!  Maybe he'll see this blog and think again about his last words to me: "You're dead to me," he said.  And with that he walked out of my life on every level.  I wonder if David Tyree, while keeping his faith, would forever cut his son out of his life if he were to learn his son were gay.

Most likely not, not the way David Tyree talks about father's needing to be in the lives of their sons.  So, I'm guessing that David Tyree would continue to speak and see his son if he were gay . . . just don't give his son marriage equality.  God wouldn't allow for that. That's too much acceptance.  So, then again, maybe my football-loving dad is right --- just cut the gays out altogether.

Either way, I think David Tyree and my football-loving father have both fumbled the ball in this what-do-we-do-with-gays department.  Where's the real love, the equality and the justice for all.  No touch down here!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i listened to David Tyree's telephone interview on CNN and I'm so happy he has defended marriage as between a man and a woman. There is no other way around it, you can't slice it any other way. Two women and two men cannot be married.