How We’re Missing the Point on The Jameis Winston Issue

elephant1It’s not that we aren’t talking about the elephant in the room, it’s that we’ve grown so comfortable with it we’re content wading through the crap he leaves all over the floor.

In all the speculation about possible charges or suspensions, the wild guessing about the accusing woman’s identity, and the steady stream of overreactions we’re just decorating the room with pachyderm poop. No matter how we spin it, it will still stink.

Jameis Winston shouldn’t have had sex with that woman. That’s the story. Assault or not, he shouldn’t have touched her. I have a real hard time listening to people say there was really only something wrong if she said ‘No’ at some point in the evening. If she had said ‘Yes’ the whole time this would still be wrong. We wouldn’t be talking about criminal charges and tarnished careers, but the reality of wrong would still be present.

Here we are talking about  legal ramifications instead of the obvious reality of sexual sin. We’re standing over a dead body at the foot of a cliff, debating the manner in which he fell while the cliff’s edge is crowded with scantily clad fools doing the Wobble. We should be screaming, “GET BACK!” We should be pointing to the poor soul while we say, “Don’t let this happen to you.” Instead, we treat people like they’re mindless and just give them knee pads and helmets for their inevitable fall. It’s foolishness.

So I’ll say it, “GET BACK!

If you engage in sexual activity outside of your marriage you’re walking across a floor covered with shattered glass. You may survive, but nobody’s coming through without scars.

Sex is an awesome relational force that is to be respected. Handled appropriately it can repair relationships, unite two as one, and even create life. Handled carelessly it can destroy relationships and individuals, divide people at the deepest level, and crush lives. It’s designed for a specific person – a spouse of the opposite sex, and a specific time – marriage.

Florida State v PittsburghI am a BIG Jameis Winston fan. I bought into the hype when I first heard it, I love watching him play, and enjoy watching him work with his teammates. I sincerely want what’s best for this young man and will mourn if he goes out like this. As a ‘Nole I am really hoping he leads this team to a national championship!  I say that to help you understand I’m not judging him.

I am, however, judging his behavior. And we all need to do a whole lot more of it.

Is it judgmental to say rape is wrong is it? Is it judgmental to say a bully’s actions are wrong? Of course not, because we understand we have a responsibility to identify wrong actions and appropriately address them. But in this era of domesticating moral elephants we’ve demanded everyone to leave everyone else alone. And as a result we have rampant divorce, teen pregnancy, rape, epidemic levels of STD’s, fatherlessness, and women enduring the daunting work of single parenting.

Obviously, I believe there are moral absolutes in play here, but just for the sake of argument let me share something I say to the college kids I get to work with.

“What’s easier: expecting a child within the security of a loving marriage at a reasonably expected time, or being pregnant as a college sophomore deliberating between three pretty terrible options – single parting, placing your child with an adoptive family, or having an abortion?”  (Regardless of your political view of abortion, we can agree that nobody wants an abortion. Some view it as a necessary means to an end, but it;s certainly not desirable and absolutely not easy.)

Every single one of them sees the same thing you do. The first option is clearly better. Plenty still believe they can cross that Vaseline high wire without falling, but deep down they know there’s a good chance they’ll get hurt.

I wonder if we were to ask Jameis, “Would you rather lead your team to a perfect record and a national championship, win the Heisman, and go down as one of the greatest ever; or get mired in a sexual assault case and have your behavior plastered all over the Earth?” What do you think he would choose? What would you choose?

It’s time we stop ignoring denying the steaming piles of elephant digestion all over the place and kick the animal out of the house, out of the yard, out of the city.

We need to stop justifying immorality in the name of freedom and niceties and start dealing in love and truth. We need to challenge our boys to become men who yield to authority and honor women. We need to encourage our girls to be inwardly beautiful, outwardly strong and confident they are worthy of a man who would die for the opportunity to love them. No woman should ever compromise, ever!

The longer we perpetuate promiscuity by permitting perversion the longer we’ll have immature men who don’t know how to treat a woman and broken woman who don’t believe they are worthy of honor.

Jameis became famous from turning bad plays into remarkable successes. Let’s hope he can do the same with this one and then we can all celebrate something truly remarkable.

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35 comments

  1. As usual, well put! The demand you make is not an easy one but the potential for reward is much higher than the alternative. Like I have told my teenage children: You can follow the path God has set for his people and enjoy the rewards or you can follow your own path and incur potentially short term pleasure but long term heartache. Thanks for your message.

    1. Who’s really missing the point here? It wasn’t rape the many times the two had sex in the past. Now it is rape? No, no, no.

    2. Yep. People love to throw off morality in the name of avoiding religious oppression or favoring one religious thought over another, but time and again we’re reminded life simply goes better when we don’t lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, etc.

      1. Thanks for reading and commenting, but this post isn’t about the validity of the young woman’s claims. The point is if folks are keeping themselves out of these scenarios then there would be no risk of being accused.

  2. Very well-written! I was beginning to think my house was the only place where Winston’s behavior of “sex outside of marriage” was such a disappointment. Even with his consistent support of his teammates, and ever-present smile, and incredible football skills, I was very sad when I heard that he had sex with that young woman.

    1. I’ve been sad as well. I still think he’s a young man I’d enjoy working with who’s wrapped up the the “typical” college cycle. I don’t think him evil, or even all that bad, he’s just another example of a young person growing up in our morally relativistic, sexually permissive culture who thinks it no big deal. Too many believe they can play the game and remain unscathed but it won’t happen that way for Jameis. Now he’s got to figure out how to navigate his environment a new way and if he’s smart, he will set some pretty significant boundaries.

      1. I agree Ryan, but with society as it is today,the culture has gone even farther trying to bring down a person who proudly stated his faith and beliefs first and was an excellent football player second. I daresay he would agree with you. The man I am referring to is Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow who is a man of faith and morality regardless of what his critics have said about him.

  3. Yap, yap, yap. A scorned ex-girlfriend cries rape, now it’s all Winston’s fault because he didn’t treat her with the necessary respect the public feels he should have. Yap, yap, yap. Poor scorned, innocent crying ex-girlfriend doesn’t want her boyfriend to move on without her so she cries rape. Was she raped all the other times the two had consensual sex? I think not. Now he’s a star and she doesn’t like the idea that he wants to move on without her in his life. The young man wants to grow up and see other girls. Not on her watch. Yap, yap, yap. Move on young lady. Every teenager doesn’t have to marry their first lover. Now he’s a star and she doesn’t want to let him go, unless it’s to jail. Scorned, scorned, scorned! Yap, yap, yap. Let the young man move on. Find you another man to give your sex to without trapping this young man and ruining his life because you feel like he’s not treating you fairly. Yap, yap, yap, scorned teenager with evil intentions that will ruin the man’s entire life. Get over it. Winston doesn’t have to rape an ex-girlfriend to have sex. Many girls on campus would easily give him sex without him having to take it. Get a life, young lady and move on. It wasn’t rape the many times before. Now he’s a star and you want to make his decisions. Nope, not on his watch. Scorned ex-lover cries rape after several consensual sexual encounters. Smells real fishy to me and all young men I know and that know her. SCORNED, SCORNED, SCORNED!

    1. Good grief, you are the only person here who sounds “scorned”, as you like to repeat, comically. Seriously- reading your post almost brings about laughter, if it weren’t so evident for your own sad, obvious self-loathing. Look man, I don’t know what you’ve been through in life or what woman did you wrong, but consider counseling. Until things are proven in fact, you have no idea who this woman is, what the situation was, or what exactly happened. You aren’t Winston (thank God) and you aren’t God, so you clearly were not in the room when this event took place. Sorry for the woman (possibly womEN) who broke your heart, but its time to move up, put your big boy pants on, and get on with life.

  4. Amen! It may be myopic on my part but I think character should be considered when one is in the running for an award like the Heisman. It is a sad commentary on our culture when athletic prowess trumps moral character.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting. While I agree with you to a point, we need to remember a couple things: 1) Odds are the other contenders are also participating in the “typical” college behaviors of drunkenness, promiscuity, and general immaturity. Jameis is currently under the microscope for it, but we would be naive to thing the other guys aren’t putting themselves in equally precarious positions.

      2) In fairness to the award, it is an athletic award and they are annually granting it to an 18-22 year old college demi-god who, like I alluded to above, is likely not the poster child for moral purity. How’s a sports writer in Pennsylvania to know the off the field decision making ability for Joe College in California. Jameis is under legal scrutiny (potentially without justification) so we’re discussing it, but odds are “everybody’s doing it” and it’s challenging to expect sports writers to be evaluate the athlete’s morality.

      3) They will count off the field behavior against these kids sometimes. You need look no further than the same FSU back in 1999. Our wide receiver, Peter Warrick, was the best athlete in the country without rival; he was a run away favorite until he got in trouble for accepting a discount from a store clerk in a Dillard’s store. It was caught on camera, the retail value of the clothing was high, and he was charged with a crime. He didn’t win the Heisman. Frankly, I think it was a ridiculous overreaction from the voters and he was the deserving winner, but he too but himself in a precarious spot and paid a heavy price for it.

      Thanks again for commenting, I appreciate you joining the conversation!

      1. I do not disagree with anything you have written here. I understand the moral scrutiny my comments suggest are impractical and unfair, but that was not the point I so inarticulately attempted to make.

        The recent adulation of FSU fans Jameis enjoyed at their last home game of the season speaks volumes. It is we who make athletes like Jameis demi-gods. We share in him, and others like him, being misled to think their athleticism is all important. We worship the wrong things here in America. We have not just missed the point about Jameis, we have missed the point.

  5. I am a Seminole fan and a Jameis Winston fan but what he did is wrong. Maybe not in the eyes of the law, but one day he will stand before his Maker and give an account for his actions.

    But with that said, we all will give an account for the sins we commit if we don’t put them under the blood of Jesus when He died on the cross for our sins. This is a FACT we all need to consider. Debate it, doubt it, deny it, it doesn’t change the truth of it.

    1. Fact? Are you kidding? It is nothing but an allegation. Showing your ignorance of the law now. An allegation is not a fact. Are you in elementary school? Or just stupid? You mention ‘truth.’ We don’t know the truth. The truth is you are relying on an allegation as the truth. Get your FACTS straight. Geez, and they allow ignorant people to use the Internet.

      1. Fact – Only about 5% of rape reports are false.
        Fact – Only 5-10% of rapes are ever reported
        Fact – Less than 40% of rapes reported are ever prosecuted.
        Fact – Less than 20% of those prosecuted are convicted.

        FACT – That means that, in only 0.5% of rape incidences is a perpetrator convicted.

  6. Duh…I am not saying that Jameis is guilty, read what I said. The “TRUTH’ is what I said in the second paragraph…that ‘we all will give an account for [our sins]…’

    1. Your points about Jameis ring true. That said, you have to concede that the accuser made bad choices too being in that situation. She didn’t need to be there and put herself in that situation as well.

  7. While I agree Jameis has to account for his actions to God, it’s a slippery slope to start saying that because a person does X, they put themselves into position for Y. It is essentially faulting them for the misdeeds of someone else. Telling a male that if you don’t have sex, no one can accuse you of rape (Which, really, someone still could. There would be no DNA, but even without DNA people have been charged, life altered and sometimes they’ve been convicted) is on a similar slope of telling a female that if you don’t dress like that, no one can accuse you of leading someone on. Or if you don’t drink alcohol. Or if you don’t go to that club and only drink a coke. Or if you don’t stay out past 11pm. Or if you don’t go to that university at all. While our decisions may put us in circumstances we may not have been in otherwise, one should never be blamed for the actions of others – and even though some of you may not be “blaming” per se, blaming and judging are very blury lines, regardless of whether you claim to be judging behavior only.

    1. There’s no doubt a person can be accused of something with absolutely no grounds, but there’s no denying an individual reduced their chance for trouble if they stay out of bad situations. Plenty of people drive drunk and are able to make it home without killing themselves or someone else, but we wouldn’t use their success as a justification for others to drive drunk. All I’m suggesting, and will continue to suggest, is that if people will strive for purity they would decrease their chances for heartache, I appreciate your involvement.

      1. Laura is a smart woman. Stating to the world each of us needs to live a life of purity is a futile attempt at hiding unscrupulous needs and urges. Bursting, wrangling to come out. Birds of a feather flock together applies to a persons thought patterns and their ability to relate to the same type of person being good or bad. And it applies to their non-ability to relate to someone that thinks and behaves differently. Having the need to filter your life through a purity meter clearly states you are not pure in the first place. Some of the most unpure people I’ve encountered in life hide behind to guise of God.

  8. For goodness sake, the kid made a mistake. He is a college student.

    Your are preaching from the hill tops about morality. What were you doing at his age?

    1. You are right, he made a mistake. But by calling it a “mistake” you are acknowledging there is a correct way and that his wasn’t. This is the heart of this post. Too often we say things like “boys will be boys” or “He’s a college student” and people are getting hurt while we look the other way. We don’t need to dwell on the past mistake, but focus on a better future so we have to look at the film, as they say in the world of football, and help kids avoid repeating the same mistake twice.

  9. RYAN-It’s time for you to return to the Amish country- seriously? By the way- the Bible also says judge not lest ye be judged. Hope you can say you were a virgin until you got married otherwise you’d be a pretty big hypocrite right now– Comments like yours don’t really attract people to God– just my opinion.

    1. Hey,

      Thanks for commenting. I’m glad you took the time to read my post and comment. I hope you’ll stick around.

      By the way, were I Amish I wouldn’t be using a computer 😉 Anyway, using the logic you presented, no preceding generation could admonish or encourage the following generation because none of us are perfect and we would all by hypocrites if we did.

      Whether or not my college days were pure sexually is actually immaterial. In fact, my example might carry more weight were it one full of mistakes and lessons learned. Would you call a recovering alcoholic a hypocrite if they were encouraging others to avoid their past mistakes? One day I accidentally put diesel fuel in my lawn mower and nearly destroyed the machine. Would I be a good or bad neighbor if I kept the guy across they street from making the same mistake I did?

      I’ve passed no judgement on Jameis, or anyone else for that matter. I’ve simply offered some advice for us to consider and reiterated what God already clearly stated in his word. Humor me for a final illustration. If a teenager is driving 60 mph through a neighborhood full of kids and I yell, “Hey, slow down. You’re speeding and you could hurt somebody!” am I judging him? Of course not. I’m correctly his behavior and pointing out some of the probable consequences. It’s an act of love to the kids, to the families of the kids, and to the young man in the car. A firm word from me is far better than years in prison and a lifetime of guilt for running over a seven-year-old. Right?

      We’re misapplying the scripture you referenced if we’re using it to justify silence in the face of immorality or evil.

  10. This whole situation is so sad, regardless of Winston’s innocence or guilt. If he is innocent, then this accusation will hang over his head for the rest of his life. If him is guilty, then the mental anguish of this young woman will last years, if it ever heals. Regardless of the truth of the matter, everyone involves looses. I read an interesting article on the subject, not of Winston’s innocence or guilt, but just the situation in general. http://www.livethelife.org/jameis-winston-was-set-up-heres-the-proof/

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