Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sex in the NBA: Dwight Howard's Sex Dunk Nets 1 Baby

The news that Dwight Howard is having a baby with a woman he's not married to just came out. See it here. Based on some links Stopmikelupica sent me, there's much more to say about sex (and celibacy) in the NBA; it's time for a mini-series! Now, in Dwight's slight defense, apparently they were together for a few years (see the girlfriend's myspace for details), but are now broken up.

But for right now, I'm going to stick to the smallest of issues. This story allows me to finally feel comfortable about linking to one of my first blogs, on Myspace, about Dwight Howard. Deadspin.com did a story about how Dwight was hanging out with Mary, who is a famous actress in porn movies. It was played strictly for laughs, and Will was polite enough not to mention that Dwight made a lot of noise about his Christian faith when he first came into the league. However, there was much more to the story, as you'll see in the blog.

I do feel a little conflicted about linking to it, because it seems like kicking a man while he's down. I'm not saying that Dwight Howard is a hypocrite or not a Christian, but let's just say not everyone who says they are a Christian, is. And I'm definitely not saying I'm better than Dwight! What I am saying is, Dwight is losing his "benefit of the doubt" that he had with me. This is twice now that he's been involved in sexual chicanery (the myspace blog is about the first time). I don't ride the jock of every athlete who thanks God after a TD catch. I only want to support Christian athletes who are genuine Christians. The rest should get God's name out of their mouths if they don't really believe what they're saying. I certainly am not here to judge the status of Dwight Howard's relationship with God, and I'm not here to condemn him. I just want Dwight to make up his mind. Either he's on the Jesus train with the rest of us redeemed sinners, fighting to stay clean in a world gone wrong, or he's not. There's no halfway here.


  1. "Either he's on the Jesus train with the rest of us redeemed sinners, fighting to stay clean in a world gone wrong, or he's not. There's no halfway here."

    Perhaps you've read Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find"? There's a serial killer that basically says if Jesus really raised the dead, you should drop everything and follow him; if he didn't, you should do whatever you want for pleasure, even kill people.

    I don't think most people take an "all or nothing" approach to their religion--and I'm guessing you don't either, since you spend time blogging about sports, and not all your time in a monastery or on the street feeding the homeless or whatever it would mean to give "all." And I'm not judging--clearly I'm not doing all, either. All I'm saying is that for most Christians, you, me, Dwight Howard, anybody, there most certainly is a "halfway there," or at least a "partway there," and various people are at a different "partway." And if people are trying hard and slipping up? They're still most certainly on that train. Because we're all slipping up.

    Personally, I don't see old-fashioned sexual attitudes as a requirement for Christianity. If Howard unintentionally got a woman pregnant, then that's irresponsible behavior (but if he takes responsibility for it, he's quite on his way to making up for any irresponsible behavior). I don't, however, see how it makes him any less a Christian. Most people associate Christianity with puritanical rules on sex. For me, Christianity is just not about that. It's about much, much more.

  2. I agree with you, pv, that most of us on the train fail a lot! But what I'm not seeing from Dwight is true effort to change his behavior; if you're failing, you have to own it, you know? Christianity isn't about perfection, it's about repentance.

    See, for Dwight, he has relationships with two women, both not saved when he first met them, both apparently looking for answers in life. He has such potential to be a positive influence in their lives, to tell them about the God he serves. And he did to some extent; Mary started reading her Bible, and the dancer joined a church. Good so far...

    But then, apparently he had sex/tried to have sex with both of them! It's not just "Was there sex or not", you're right. (And quite honestly, for all we know, Dwight only had sex with the girl once). But that Mary story (read my blog on the issue) just makes me feel terrible. He could have helped that poor girl, and if her story is true, he just tried to have sex with her instead. It's very disappointing.

  3. I do see what you're saying. I'm just not as bothered by Christians trying to have sex as a lot of other things I see Christians doing that I see as antithetical to Christ's message: treating poor people badly, supporting/waging war, etc.

    But I see from your comment that it's a bigger issue than sex that you're writing about, too.

  4. PV dropping wisdom. I agree with PV on this topic - it doesn't make Dwight Howard "a phony Christian" or "less of a Christian" if he does unChristian things like have a love child.

    I'm no authority on these matters, of course. But to me, being a Christian means you actively worship God, and Jesus. That means, to me, going to church regularly. Reading the bible. Trying to be a good Christian, in terms of beliefs.

    I guess determining whether Dwight Howard is "really a Christian" to me is more about determining whether or not he really goes to Church regularly. That's what differiates an active Christian from a lapsed Christian (like this Catholic right here)....

  5. SML, you bring up a good point. I only read the news, so for all I know, Dwight Howard is being an exemplary Christian in every other area of his life.

    But, my problem is, as I told pv, that this isn't just "sex" by itself. Actually, the Bible doesn't really talk a lot about sex before marriage as a problem; it's much more concerned with adultery. Among other things, the Bible's problem with sex outside of marriage is that our bodies are supposed to be holy (so we're not supposed to let just anybody inside them) and we are supposed to be in control of our desires and wants instead of letting them control us. So, I would actually look at this story a lot different if it was "some girl seduced Dwight"; in that case, I would more feel sorry for him then be irate at him.

    Then, the other big problem is, both those women seemed to have everyday life needs, and it almost feels like Dwight pulled a "bait-and-switch" on them. We've all met fake Christians who sounded like they really cared about God but just used it to get in someone's pants. The problem is, Dwight sounds like "that guy" in the story I mentioned on my blog! I hate saying that, but that's how he comes across in both stories. And now, as a Christian sports blogger, I have a dilemma; how can I praise Dwight Howard as a great Christian when he could be a complete hypocrite? Of course, the answer is that using people as Christian role models is a terrible mistake, because people are flawed. It's still a dilemma, though.

  6. I believe Dwigt Howard is still a devout Christian, but still very immature and a bit undisciplined. He entered a very high profile and tempting lifestyle at age 18 with what appeared to be a very self-righteous and limited view of Jesus. He was likely still very innocent in a lot of ways. Innocent does not infer purity. It's easy for any of us to proclaim victory over areas and condemn others in areas where we are not or have not been tempted. The Bible says that if a brother (another true believer in Jesus) is overtaken in a fault; we that are spiritual should restore them in a spirit of humble strength considering our own weakness to avoid being tempted ourselves. Dwight's associations are likely not strengthening his limited Christian morals. Plus, how many of us have fallen in a moment of weakness or have wanted to without opportunity. We should pray for him. Pray that he will acknowledge and repent from fornication (to keeep a vibrant fellowship with the Lord, and to avoid further scrutiny, diseases, and children out of wedlock). Pray that God will send him a suitable wife, and pray that his influence on children that worship athletes will not distort their view of Christians through his faults.

  7. Being a true Christian is a lifelong journey, and we learn from our experiences the lessons God presents to us to grow and mature. Jesus was also more concerned with the seeds of the heart than with outside perception. It is not our role to judge or even assess other people's relationships with God Almighty, as we can never know as it is not our relationship. David was a sinner and a man who committed adultery plus murdering innocent people yet he was called a man after Gods heart. Peter denied Jesus three times and cut off a man's ear yet he was a great disciple. Paul persecuted and killed countless Christians yet he was probably the hardest working apostle that ever lived. Moses killed a man and disrespected God yet he was chosen to lead the Israelites and called one of Gods friends. The list goes on and on, and says one thing: God is not a respecter of persons (Romans 2:11), and can use anyone for His purposes. Our job as Christians is to stay in the Spirit, spread the good news but never by force (don't force it down anyone's throat, wait for the Spirit to lead you/present it then let them make their choice), praise and thank God, follow the Word, be obedient, and call on God for strength and wisdom.
    Everyone knows what they are supposed to do, and right from wrong. Even demons know right from wrong, even pagans and atheists. Christians are no exception. If a person understands Christian principles yet chooses to live a life that does not honor God whether in public or private, they will have to answer to God sooner or later and nothing they have or do in this life can change that fact. So let us not worry about how more or less of a Christian other people are and focus on what God wants us to do. God will handle the rest.

  8. A couple questions:
    (1) What does God say in the Bible about sex before marriage?
    (2) How does a Christian’s life affect the way people look at the gospel message?

  9. W are all sinners. We all make mistakes. we all have a problem that we struggle with. so it's wrong to think that he is fake or calling the lord's name in vain just because he makes mistakes. we arent him so we dont know his current position with God.
    Romans 3:23. Read it.

  10. you guys that are Hating on Dwight.. you gotta be kidding me right??

    have you ever lied?? well then your eternally doomed.. have you ever thought of a girl in the wrong frame of mind.. well you have commited adultery.. therefore doomed to eternal damnation.

    BUT God has saved us from those things. He knew that i would sin and that Dwight would sin BUT died for US anyway!!

    so get off his back and stop picking on the guy. Hes a Christian that honestly desrves a break!!!

    ONE MORE THING! If it was a none Christian that this happened to then hell.. would this article even be here??

    ask yourself that.

  11. With all the respect for everyone but that's why this country is all messed up cause the ones that supose to be true Christians just don't really think that things like these ( sex before marriage or fornication)are really a big deal yeah it's true that by grace and mercy we are saved but we can not take advantage of that we still got to try to no commit the same mistakes and it's possible not to do it fuse God helps us achieve that if we really want to please Him but no we live in a society where Christians would say: oh is not a big deal just ask for forgiveness and he'll forgive you. But le me tell you that keeping your body holy is a big deal cause it's the temple of God !!!

  12. let he who is without sin cast the first stone... there is no level when it comes to sin. a person fornicating is no different with a person judging someone and let alone his brother in Christ... point is, we sin.. even the smallest sin we make will always be a sin and in the eyes of God it will always be the same..sin....

    Good News is He loves you and has already paid that price for your sin... and yes it is free... you don't have to do anything for it except believe... your good works will never bring you in a position of righteous.. God's grace put you in that place.

    I am proud of Dwight because he believes he is a Christian, that to me is a big testament. In this world today where being a Christian is being ridiculed and judge by non Christians and Christians, it is hard to stand up and be proud to be a Christian... in Dwight's case, the whole world is judging him on every move because he is an athlete/celebrity

  13. well said JT, if God can forgive us for the sins we have committed, then why can't everybody else