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Five Rays Of Light

Five brave Christian Major League Baseball players refuse to live by a lie
Screen Shot 2022-06-06 at 10.21.40 AM

I spoke once to a Christian friend who left his (very good) job because he could not in good conscience live with all the woke changes the new CEO was implementing. He told me there were enough conservative Christians in his senior-level department to have stopped most of this executive action, but almost none spoke out. They were too afraid to endanger their

career prospects, and to be thought poorly of by liberal colleagues. As my friend put it, what they really worshiped was success and assimilation to Babylon.

When he said this, I thought of the anti-communist Christian dissident Kamila Bendova’s warning to me in her Prague apartment: that I should not count on our fellow Christians to make a risky stand for our beliefs. She told me (I tell this story in Live Not By Lies) that under communism, in a time when her late husband went to prison for his beliefs, most Czech Christians did what everybody else did: kept their heads down and their mouths shut, to avoid trouble.

That does not apply to five Christian players on the Tampa Bay Rays Major League Baseball team. Excerpts:

Some Tampa Bay Rays players reportedly broke from the organization’s support of the LGBTQ+ community Saturday during the team’s Pride Night against the Chicago White Sox.

Most Rays players were wearing rainbow logos on their caps and sleeves. But the Tampa Bay Times noted that pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs and Ryan Thompson were among those who didn’t wear the logos of support.

Adam made a statement on behalf of the players who opted out and cited religious beliefs.

“A lot of it comes down to faith, to like a faith-based decision. So it’s a hard decision. Because, ultimately, we all said what we want is them to know that all are welcome and loved here,” he said, via the Tampa Bay Times.

“But when we put it on our bodies, I think a lot of guys decided that it’s just a lifestyle that maybe — not that they look down on anybody or think differently — it’s just that maybe we don’t want to encourage it if we believe in Jesus, who’s encouraged us to live a lifestyle that would abstain from that behavior. Just like (Jesus) encourages me as a heterosexual male to abstain from sex outside of the confines of marriage. It’s no different.

“It’s not judgmental. It’s not looking down. It’s just what we believe the lifestyle he’s encouraged us to live, for our good, not to withhold. But, again, we love these men and women, we care about them and we want them to feel safe and welcome here.”

From the team’s website, woke capitalism is in on the game, naturally:

 

 

From the Tampa Bay Times:

The topic sparked numerous conversations — team-wide, small-group and individual — over the last several weeks. Players on both sides and management said they were constructive and did not create any division.

“I certainly hope not,” manager Kevin Cash said. “I think what it has created is, like, what you’ve heard — a lot of conversation and valuing the different perspectives inside the clubhouse but really appreciating the community that we’re trying to support here.”

In post-Christian America, I think that’s about the best outcome orthodox Christians and other dissenters from the forced Pride march through the institutions can hope for: a respectful dialogue that allows us to abide by our consciences. (I’ll have more to say about this in a separate post later today.) It’s good that the team’s management defends the right of religious dissenters within the organization, even as that management proclaims its devotion to the (typically coercive) civic religion.

As a Christian, I suppose it would be delightful if a sports team, I dunno, decided to have players wear crosses to observe Easter. But I would be appalled if any player — of another religion, or no religion at all — were compelled or pressured in any way to take part. It’s not right. And in the end, I would probably wish the team wouldn’t do it at all, because I wouldn’t want non-Christian players to feel socially pressured. The faith is strong enough to survive a sports team not signaling its support for Christianity.

Frankly, I wish we could return to a time when athletes were not invited or expected to show support for any cause other than winning the damn game. But as we know, Pride is the new civic religion, and one must burn a pinch of rainbow-colored incense to woke Caesar if one wants to avoid trouble.

I took this shot of a placard in an upscale clothing shop window in Vienna yesterday. I am sure it is not meant ironically; many of the shops, especially the fancy ones, in Vienna now are falling all over themselves to celebrate Pride. The words in Latin mean “true joy”. It certainly feels like the joyful unicorns are puking rainbows over all of us during this High Holy Month. I admire how those five Tampa Bay Rays did not resist this angrily … but they certainly resisted living by the lie. We all know there are more of you dissenting Christians (Jews, Muslims, atheists, and others) out there. Aren’t you sick of being coerced and vomited upon? Where is your courage?:

 

I affirm this commentaru from the sports news and commentary site Outkick. The writer is Gary Sheffield, Jr. Excerpt:
Hard to argue against players wanting freedom to express themselves based on their religious backgrounds. Major League Baseball, and most other major networks, have done everything they can do make people appear anti-gay for failing to celebrate gay pride, but these five are doing well standing up for themselves. It should be understood that we all don’t have to agree on each other’s life decisions/sexual orientations because we can mind our own business. Some people just want to make decisions that best suit them and let others do their thing. That’s how life was before social media and many would like that way of life to continue.

Rays manager Kevin Cash spoke to the media and admitted the player’s reluctance to wear their pride patches stirred conversation in the locker room and not once did he mention a heated discussion. Maybe this is how life should work? We aren’t all bullied to share black squares or flag patches to be viewed as quality human beings. We have nuanced discussions like adults that lead to a more healthy environment.

Good for these guys, man. Standing up for their faith.

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