About a week ago, it was all over the news that Senator Larry Craig was gay, and had plead guilty to indecent conduct in a gay sex sting. Although he has denied the allegation that he was gay, an Idaho newspaper reported that he was.
I don't wish to ponder on whether he is gay or not. The better question is, should the newspaper have reported that he was gay? Should newspapers out someone that does not want to be outed?
Is knowing that someone is gay or not important? If this person is a member of the clergy, I suppose that it would be. Some church denominations have had recent scandals along those lines. The Bible forbids homosexuality and calls it an abomination. If a member of the clergy engages in homosexual acts, then they probably should not be in a position of leadership in the church, as church leaders should be role models that laypeople can look up to.
You could argue the importance of a senator's sexual orientation both ways. Is a senator's sexual orientation important? On one hand, it might affect the way that a senator votes, which is important. If a senator's sexual orientation is going to cause him to vote in favor of gay marriage, that's important to know. In Senator Craig's case, he wasn't known for being pro-gay in his voting record. You can also argue that senators should be role models, in that case you may consider it important.
If it is not important as to whether a senator is gay or not, I don't believe that the newspapers should report it. In that case, it is just gossip. It doesn't matter whether it is true gossip or not... we are not to speak ill of other people for no reason.
Which leads me to celebrities. They are often known for their chaotic lives more than just about anybody else. Should newspapers out celebrities? It is important whether an actor is gay or not? Does it really make a difference? You could argue that celebrities are role models too, but if a celebrity does not publicly make his or her homosexuality public by acting discreetly, their sexual orientation would not be a factor in how people saw them. So in my opinion, if a celebrity is gay and is not open about it, the newspapers should leave them alone. It's just gossip.
Which leads me to my final point. People were shocked when Owen Wilson tried to commit suicide. Doesn't he have everything going for him? Then again, don't most celebrities have wealth, fame, and just about anything us normal people could dream of? If that's the case, why do so many of them get into drugs and alcohol? Why does Britney Spears shave her head in a moment of apparent lunacy?
Here's my theory: who are the most gossiped about people in the world? Celebrities, right? I can't think of anybody else who people gossip about more. You might say the royal house of Windsor, but they're celebrities too. If someone has millions of people gossiping about them, by definition you could say that they are celebrities, right?
The Bible tells us not to gossip. It doesn't matter whether the juicy tidbit is true or not, it is still gossip. Gossip is hurtful. People don't like to be gossiped about. You could say that being gossiped is part of the job of being a celebrity, and some stars act like some publicity is better than no publicity, but that doesn't make it right. Perhaps even to the most publicity-seeking celebrity there is, something on the inside feels hurt by what people are saying about them. Perhaps that's why celebrities tend to live such chaotic lives, and try to escape with drugs, alcohol, and occasionally, suicide.
I have to add, sometimes it is difficult not to gossip. It can happen without even thinking. And sometimes there's a fine line between gossip and trying to make a point or teach someone a life lesson. So I realize that it's something that I and many other people need to work on.