Down in Dallas, Texas, an organization called American Decency is planning to hold a political demonstration outside a sports stadium there, in protest of the decision by the Dallas Cowboys to hire Michael Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL. “We cannot just stand idly by as Christian values and morals are trampled. We will do whatever we can to preserve family values in this country,” explained a spokesman for the group.
Some people may question how protesting against the hiring of a football player supports family values. However, these people have obviously not read the gospel of Matthew, in which Jesus says, “Anyone who puts his love for father or mother above his love for me does not deserve to be mine, and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me,” and “Every man who has left houses or brothers or sisters or fathers or mother or children or land for my sake will receive it all back many times over, and will inherit eternal life.” You can’t get more family values than that!
American Decency is also following the ways of the earliest Christian leaders when they draw attention to the dangers brought about by sports that have fallen from the path of righteousness. 2nd Corinthians warns, for example, “This is a silly game.”
Jesus is himself known to have played football, as we see in the gospel of Luke, who wrote a firsthand account: “Then the men who held Jesus made a great game of knocking him about.” There’s also the story in the gospel of Matthew in which Jesus recruits some friends onto his football team: “While he was walking by the lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon (Peter) and Andrew, casting their large net into the water. They were fishermen, so Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will teach you to catch men!'”
Of course, there has been some reinterpretation of this last passage by liberals, who point out that Jesus appears to have been leading his followers into a homosexual lifestyle, promising to give them dating tips that would enable the first Christians to “catch men”. These liberals point out that homosexual shenanigans appear to have been widespread between Jesus and his disciples, as shown in the gospel of John, which describes the revelation of a love triangle when, “the disciple that Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ Hearing this, Peter slipped on his clothes, for he had been naked.”
Jesus even appears to have counseled his disciples about their problems with sexual dysfunction, saying to them, as they were out among the flowers that grew on the football “field”, “Can any of you, however much he worries, make himself an inch taller? And why do you worry about clothes?”
But when it comes to taking gay football players off the Dallas Cowboys roster, it’s important to keep in mind the parable of the good seed and the bad seed: ““The kingdom of Heaven,” he said, “is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the crop came up and ripened, the weeds appeared as well. Then the owner’s servants came up to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where did all these weeds come from? ‘Some blackguard has done this to spite me.’ he replied. ‘Do you want us then to go out and pull them all up?’ said the servants. ‘No,’ he returned, ‘if you pull up the weeds now, you would pull up the wheat with them. Let them both grow together till the harvest. And at harvest-time I shall tell the reapers, ‘Collect all the weeds first and tie them up in bundles ready to burn, but collect the wheat and store it in my barn.’”
The implications for the current case of the gay football player in Dallas are clear. Local Christian groups like American Decency should let Michael Sam play the game in peace, but then take him out back of the stadium afterwards and burn him.
Thank goodness for the moral clarity of the Bible!