I read an interesting story this morning about two NFL players making headlines about the gay marriage issue.
Here’s what happened:
1. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, a consistent supporter of legalizing same-sex marriage, filmed his own video backing this November’s ballot initiative in Maryland and posted it on YouTube, and he recently donated Ravens tickets to a Marylanders for Marriage Equality fund-raiser.
2. Ayanbadejo’s acts caught the attention of Emmett C. Burns Jr., a Maryland state delegate who opposes same-sex marriage. On Aug. 29, Burns sent a letter to Steve Bisciotti, the Ravens’ owner, urging him to “inhibit such expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions.”
3. Burns’s letter elicited an aggressive, searing response from another N.F.L. player, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who said he could not sleep after reading the letter Thursday night because he was too infuriated. So he wrote a profanity-laced response to Burns, which you can read at Deadspin.com. Klewe’s letter is full of profanities, so I will just share the gist of it:
“Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level,” Kluwe wrote, adding later: “Why do you hate the fact that other people want a chance to live their lives and be happy, even though they may believe in something different than you, or act different than you? How does gay marriage, in any way, shape or form, affect your life?” ~ Chris Klewe, Minnesota Vikings
Most of our listeners know that I’m a big Minnesota Vikings fan, and I don’t share this to point fingers at a non-Christian who is spouting off about an issue about which I take an opposite stance. But what I did find interesting and grievous is the overwhelming response from a whole lot of faithful people who support Klewe’s profane and vitriolic rant, including a commenter who calls himself, “Progressive Pastor.”
Dear Mr. Kluwe,
As longtime advocate for Civil Rights, I not only applaud your willingness to use your stature as a celebrity in the world of sports to hold Mr. Burns accountable for abusing his office as an elected official, I also found it particularly satisfying to read! As an Ordained Elder in a global, Christian, mainline denomination church, I rarely have the ability to publicly applaud examples of not only the nature, spirit and passion of your wonderful response to Mr. Burns, but also your impeccable logic, and gifted ability to express it in writing. God bless you for your willingness to speak out so courageously and intelligently on such an important issue! (So much for the “Dumb jock” stereotype!)
Also, please be assured that MOST progressive Biblical scholars have yet to find any grounds for claiming faith-based prohibitions on any LGBT issues! It’s never even mentioned in the New Testament, and the one Leviticus passage usually trotted out by self-righteous Biblical literalists, is almost always mistranslated and used out of context! Using one’s falsely informed religious beliefs to justify bigotry and hatred is not only misguided, but shameful, and sacrilegious!
Sadly, my gay and lesbian colleagues claim than one more generation will have to die off before the tide of public opinion turns on this issue. Perhaps, if more people of high profile, like you and your colleagues, speak out with such candor and conviction, it could happen sooner! Please encourage everyone you know who has more important things to worry about and expend their energy on than people loving one another (you know, little things like war, slavery, child abuse – even after the children are born, and not just while they’re fetuses – genocide, famine, etc.) to continue speaking out in the name of tolerance, peace and actual love!
A Pastor in favor of Values with Integrity
Here’s the thing. If this were just one pastor’s opinion, I could shake it off and imagine that this had little to do with me personally, or with the greater Body of Christ. But the thing is, liberalism is growing. And I don’t mean political party liberalism – although the two are often tied – but about those who liberally teach that the Bible isn’t 100 percent truth; that it is not the inerrant Word of God, breathed out by the Holy Spirit. That kind of liberalism. It’s exploding, and it is killing the Bride and dividing her into splinters that perhaps cannot be mended.
- NFL Kicker Unloads Diatribe at Politician on Gay Marriage (newser.com)
- NFL Punter Chris Kluwe Helpfully Explains Gay Marriage To A Bigot (patheos.com)
- “They Won’t Magically Turn You Into A Lustful Cockmonster”: Chris Kluwe Explains Gay Marriage To The Politician Who Is Offended By An NFL Player Supporting It [Nfl] (deadspin.com)
- WATCH Vikings Chris Kluwe Discusses His ProGay Letter (advocate.com)