I grew up a Cardinals fan. I also grew up a Christian. I’m still both. However, I also grew up in a homophobic culture — even though I didn’t know it at the time — in which homosexuality was ridiculed and considered an ‘abomination.’
So I guess I wasn’t too surprised when I saw some of Cardinals Nation react the way they did when the team announced they would host their first ever Pride Night this past summer.
Here’s just a sliver of what some fans had to say on social media, many citing their opposition to their religious values.
Ok. There’s a lot going on here. As a Cardinals fan … as a human, the aforementioned responses were embarrassing. But I’m happy at least one fan brought up the “Christian players.”
As a Christian, I too struggled for a long time with my thoughts on homosexuality. Until I learned that it also says in Exodus (21:7) that I can sell my daughter into slavery. Leviticus (19:19) says that wearing garments made of two different threads is a sin. Guess you can say good bye to my entire wardrobe.
Also say good bye to eating bacon or shellfish – because those are sins as well. And did you know that you can be put to death for working on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2)? I guess every single person in the NFL is on death row.
Let’s also not forget the Bible was translated several times from ancient Hebrew and Latin before it ever made it to English. And over the centuries many verses have now been mistranslated, taken out of context and used as clobber text.
All things considered, Jesus doesn’t mention homosexuality at all. The Bible itself mentions it only seven times.
And Jesus – he preaches love and compassion for ‘all’ on countless occasions – so yes, that includes the LGBTQ community.
I commend the Cardinals for hosting their first ever Pride Night. I’m happy to see that over 40,000 fans showed up for the game, seemingly without incident. I also understand that not everyone agrees with this kind of celebration. Which is why I would like to invite those of you who do disagree to a conversation.
Below are the handles to my social media accounts. I am available, as well is the Director of Inclusion for Pride St. Louis, Leon Braxton (firstname.lastname@example.org). Leon was born with male chromosomes but has almost entirely female hormones. She is proud of who she is. And she loves to use what doctors describe as her ‘Disorder of Sexual Development’ to help educate others.
Maybe Leon and I can’t change your mind right now. But maybe we can simply give you another perspective. Because all deserve compassion. And as silly as it seems in the grand scheme of things, all should be welcome in Cardinals Nation.