MICHAEL SAM, HERO OR PARIAH? by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

A group of students formed a human wall outside of Mizzou Stadium to block from view members of a Baptist Church who were protesting against the outpouring of support for Michael Sam, the SEC defensive player of the year. When he signs with an NFL franchise, he will be the 1st openly gay NFL player.

Religious zealots have been attacking “outsiders” for centuries.

Actor and comedian, Alec Mapa said it beautifully, “I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear that religious people are coming for me and my family the one thing I can think is: Shouldn’t you be reading to the blind? Aren’t there homeless people in your area who could benefit from a kind word or a hot meal? Could there possibly be a better use of your time and resources than going after the lives and freedom of people you’ll never meet, whose lives and freedom will never affect you in any other way?”

It’s amazing that so many people know what’s right and will fight and sometimes even kill anyone who disagrees.

Women shouldn’t vote — repealed 1912 in the US. Now in 2014, Sharia Law professes that women shouldn’t read or attend school.

Prohibition — repealed 1933

Medical school quotas against Jews, unpublicized and denied, — stopped in 1960s

McCarthyism — Communist witch hunts against anyone who opposed Senator Joe McCarthy’s ideas. Finally stopped by President Eisenhower in 1954

George Wallace, governor of Alabama, stated in 1963, “In the name of the greatest people that have trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever.”

Is Michael Sam a hero and a new role model?


Dr. Art Smukler is the award winning writer of Chasing Backwards, a psychological murder mystery, Skin Dance, a mystery, and The Man with a Microphone in his Ear. All are available as paperbacks and eBooks.

5 thoughts on “MICHAEL SAM, HERO OR PARIAH? by Art Smukler, author & psychiatrist

  1. Art,

    I think Michael Sam is breaking barriers like Jackie Robinson did decades ago.

    I was at the gym yesterday watching an interview on MSNBC with the first FEMALE/AFRICAN AMERICAN 2 star general in the U.S. Army. She reiterated what anyone with any intelligence knows that successful organizations embrace diversity and inclusion to ensure that positions are filled with the most talented individuals, no matter what size, shape, or color they come in.

    If Michael Sam is as talented as he is supposed to be, I sure hope my NY Giants draft him as we need a lot of help at several positions.

    To change the subject a bit, I’d like to suggest maybe starting a blog about the power of faith. I just returned from 2.5 weeks in Brazil. My wife wanted to visit an old church in Sao Paulo that she goes to every time we head down there. While I was sitting in the back, a middle-aged woman entered, put a pad on the floor, and walked on her knees up to the alter. I recall a similar scene a number of years ago at the Sanctuary of Fatima, in Portugal, where pilgrims would walk on their knees the final distance to their destination.

    Does a similar power of faith make people strap on a bomb and not only kill themselves, but many innocent bystanders in the area as we hear in the news from the Middle East almost every day?

    Different people have different spiritual needs ranging from little or nothing to requiring a strong belief in something. So, what motivates some individuals to make the sacrifices of pilgrims travelling hundreds of miles or suicide bombers who have no regard for others? Interesting question.

    Mike Busman


    1. A very interesting question. To me, sometimes having the kind of faith that encourages killing innocents or the faith that is so all encompassing that logic is lost, is a powerful need to be the good son or daughter who will do anything to get his or her parent to return the love that they so desperately crave. Turning to a powerful god or Jesus or a father figure (radical or rational) becomes a very satisfying experience.


      1. Art,

        Interesting response to an interesting question. Being a dumb engineer type, I wouldn’t have guessed that logic is bypassed by the need to be a good son or daughter in order to obtain love in return. That’s why I enjoy your blogs.



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