ESPN: It's Okay to Stare (at Nude Photos)

ESPN: It's Okay to Stare (at Nude Photos)

ESPN apologized 73 days ago for airing a commentator’s Christian views, but no apology is expected from the sports network for anyone offended by the millions of viewers who were surprised when they (or their children) were suddenly confronted with the words, “It’s okay to stare” in large print next to nude photos of Colin Kaepernick and other athletes when they went to check scores at Wednesday. 

Peter Hapak, who took photos of gay couples for Time Magazine’s edition in April proclaiming gay marriage had won, featured photos in which athletes do cover body parts, which presumably makes some distinction from categorizing ESPN the Magazine as porn.

While no one is questioning Hapak making a living taking nude or homosexual photos, the right of Christians or those of other faiths who want to avoid seeing or even being part of such activities is being challenged. A Christian couple in New Mexico was convicted for “sexual orientation discrimination” for not agreeing to take pictures of a gay union ceremony in New Mexico, even though civil unions and gay marriage were not even legal in the state at the time (see story here).

In polls a growing number of Americans now dismiss the Christian view of certain virtues as outdated, saying the aversion to homosexuality or any promiscuous lifestyle unnecessarily depresses teen-agers and young adults as they enter their sexually active years. Christians and others of faith believe virtues actually make people happier, and point to measures of happiness when modesty and other means to virtues were more prevalent in the 1950s. For example, low suicide rates among 15-24 year olds have more than doubled as they have become much more sexually active despite a much higher standard of living that receives credit for the much lower suicide rate among senior citizens (See studies here and here).

The rotating nude banner ads were finally taken down from the top of the page around midnight, meaning sports news such as Andrew Bynum signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers were once again the first items seen Thursday.

The question now is whether this latest assault on their beliefs will push Americans of faith to the new Fox Sports 1 when it debuts next month.