Morality is defined as the differentiation of intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are “good” (or right) and those that are “bad” (or wrong). Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy, religion, culture, or it can derive from a standard that an arrogant person believes should be what they say it should be. Throughout history morality was defined and enforced by tyrannical religious leaders, and although most of the world except Pakistan, Iran, and Talban-controlled Afghanistan put a stop to religious extremists defining and enforcing their version of morality, America is still in the grips of Christian fundamentalists’ attempting to define and legislate morality.
One extremist in the Christian movement has set his sights on the sporting world because as a fine upstanding evangelical Christian K-Street lobbyist, Jack Burkman said “if the NFL doesn’t have any morals, and people like (Commissioner) Roger Goodell just want to appease advertisers, appease corporate America and all that stuff…I figured, well, it is time for conservatives in Congress to step in and define morality for them.” The GOP lobbyist is Jack Burkman, who two months ago was pushing hard for Congressional legislation to ban openly gay athletes from the National Football League after news that Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam announced he was gay. At the time Burkman said “conservatives really hate imposing policy on private business,” but that all went out the window because of the “reason of great urgency and necessity of forcing the NFL’s moral standing.”
Now that Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams because of his football skills and not because he is gay, they will have to look forward to dealing with Burkman who intends to include as part of his campaign to pass legislation banning gay football players from playing in the NFL, “unleashing a relentless boycott against the team that drafted him.” Burkman warned NFL teams he has “a coalition of extremist Christian leaders from across the nation” ready to unleash Hell on the Rams to teach the entire NFL a Christ-like lesson that when Christians are not allowed to enforce their definition of morality on the public “there will be a terrible financial price to pay.”
Burkman claimed he is already mobilizing “powerful grassroots organizations in 27 of the 50 states,” as well as a “coalition of Evangelical Christian leaders from across the nation to take part in a protest if Sam is drafted.We shall exercise our First Amendment rights and shall not stop until the drafting NFL franchise cannot sell a single ticket, jersey or autographed football. In short, we shall be relentless. The NFL, like most of the rest of American business, is about to learn that when you trample the Christian community and Christian values there will be a terrible financial price to pay.” First, the last thing on the NFL’s, or any particular team’s, agenda is trampling the Christian community or their values, and evangelicals likely never entered their collective minds. NFL teams are only concerned with winning, and if they believed fielding an entire team of openly gay players would carry them to victory in the Super Bowl, Michael Sam would not be the only “openly” gay player in the league.
It is another persecuted Christian extremist claiming they and their perverse Christian values are being trampled asunder because they cannot force their ungodly biblical morality on the population in general, and the NFL in particular. It is unclear exactly who gave Christian extremists the idea they own the right to impose their moral will on the entire nation, or from under what authority they dare threaten any American or a multi-billion dollar industry like the National Football League with “a terrible financial price to pay,” or attempt to pass legislation banning openly gay players from the league,
It is noteworthy that Burkman,the morally superior follower of Christ and lobbyist who worked for James Dobson’s Family Research Council, espouses conservative Christian family values, and enlists Christians in Congress to define morality for the NFL is also the MySpace cretin who propositioned girls and offered them money if they would come to the Mayflower Hotel and have sex with him. He was also exposed as being on the notorious DC Madam’s phone list; two pieces of information he conveniently omitted from his evangelical Christian threats about the great urgency and necessity of forcing the NFL’s moral standing to comply with his “coalition of evangelical Christian leaders across the nation” to monitor and regulate the sexual orientation of NFL draftees or veteran players. It is not as if a gay football player is going to romp naked with their lover up and down the gridiron, any more than heterosexual players and their wives or girlfriends, but for evangelicals it has nothing to do with an athlete’s on-field performance and everything to do with their private lives.
When one first heard about Burkman’s intent to enlist Christian Republicans in Congress to ban openly gay players in the NFL it was just another sign that evangelicals are deluded with their own sense of self-importance and god delusion. However, the warning that “if the NFL doesn’t have any morals, it is time for Christians to step in and define morality for them” or the threat to “unleash a relentless coalition of extremist Christian leaders from across the nation to exact a terrible financial price” it was no longer a question of just who do these malcontents think they are, because who they think they are is god-on-Earth and a dangerous group of religious extremists no different than the Taliban.
One hopes Michael Sam has a long and successful career in the NFL and not because he was courageous in coming out as openly gay, but because he achieved a long sought-after personal goal and appears to be a genuinely good human being as well as a great defensive end. As for Burkman and his ilk, one hopes they choke on their evangelical hatred that this country is witnessing on a daily basis and driving more and more Americans away from the Christian religion. A religion that is about as close to Christ’s teaching of love and acceptance as Burkman’s evangelical morality to seek out girls on MySpace to have sex with him for money.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.