Remember the days when sports played as a vehicle to get away from the real world? Me neither, because those days disappeared a long, long time ago.
The worlds of sports and politics now collide on an almost everyday basis. In fact, rarely do we hear talking points within the sports mainstream media unattached to some sort of political cause.
The latest has to do with the bill passed, and since amended, in Indiana described as the religious freedom law.
Besides Indiana, 19 other states have passed similar if not exact laws to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Other states follow the basic principles of RFRA through judicial edict. Former President Clinton signed such a law into the federal books back in 1993 with the support of an almost unanimous Congress.
Times have changed. Many people, including the mainstream media bending and shaping the issue, view RFRA-like laws as nothing more than anti-homosexual statutes that give Christians a license to “discriminate” against the LGBT community. Today, examples abound of people interpreting the exercise of spiritual convictions with an adherence to biblical precepts as intolerance.
Many people call on the NCAA to move their corporate offices out of Indianapolis and into another, more LGBT-friendly city. These same people call upon institutions such as The Big Ten to take away their conference championship game from Lucas Oil Stadium and want the NFL to disqualify Indianapolis from holding another Super Bowl.
While the leadership of the sports world has completely embraced the LGBT community, where are the athletes who profess a Christian faith?
Christian athletes enjoying as loud a megaphone as Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller, two professed opponents of the Indiana law, offer silence.
Tim Tebow, where are you, sir?
Perhaps we should condition ourselves to understand and acknowledge that this issue has turned into a one-way street.
The agenda seems clear. Tolerance anyone? Humor me because this has never been about tolerance. What this has been about—and will always be about—is an agenda that, through intimidation tactics and with the full compliance of the media as well as many political leaders, forces everyone everywhere to affirm, elevate, and embrace homosexuality and gay marriage. Anything less, even if it involves spiritual convictions which guide many people through each of their days, is to be discounted if not totally dismissed strangely in the name of tolerance.
And so what of these many Christian athletes? Where are they? When will they speak up for what they feel is right—or wrong?
Are we to conclude that these Christian athletes simply cede the high ground completely to not rock any boats?
Shame on all of them who refuse to speak up.
If you are a Christian athlete who adheres to the God of the Bible, then I ask: Where are your convictions and where is your willingness to speak up as loudly as the people who speak up for the removal of the Indiana RFRA?
On judgment day will these Christian athletes face a God and explain to Him that they remained silent and allowed themselves to be bullied and shouted down because they believed that “tolerance” should have carried the day over their fidelity to Christ?
The people who object to the Indiana religious freedom law should have every opportunity to be heard and their grievances should never be muted. The ideas and the sentiments of others, namely Christian athletes, should be considered as well. But they need to speak for this to happen.
I will applaud the tenacity and the vigorous fight by those who wish to see Indiana’s religious freedom law abolished or watered down from its present state. The Constitution allows them a platform to be heard.
Christian Athletes? I’ll call them cowards until further notice.
Dino Costa is a talk show host who can be found at www.dinocostalive.com.