Mary Eberstadt makes a pretty detailed analysis of how the absence of fathers in the lives of children, especially boys, has affected culture and society.
So, you want an athlete not just spouting off?
NFL tight end Benjamin Watson goes beyond the conventional wisdom
By Andrew Branch July 25, 2015
Marriage and race crises haven’t been lost on athletes, but the online world of sound-bite activism was one-sided. Christian athletes largely kept their two cents in their private circles, away from media. ESPN, alternatively, collected the cheers and rainbows of LGBT-affirming teams, athletes, and celebrants who identify as LGBT.
New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson doesn’t go for sound bites, though. No matter the issue. His November journal as Ferguson burned brought an international spotlight, “liked” on Facebook more than 860,000 times. Embracing the attention, his blog migrated from more abstract spiritual topics drawn from football to a raw advocacy for racial reconciliation, starting with the church. “[It’s] pride that’s in each and every one of us to make us think that we’re better than somebody,” he told WORLD.
The church alone models what a foundation in the imago Dei means, he says, which extends beyond race. Watson put aside allusions to marriage with an 1,100-word manifesto after the Supreme Court ruling. Sharp words like “attempting to normalize illegitimate behavior by law does not make it acceptable” were alongside self-repentance, compassion, and his broad brush that touched numerous sins. Perhaps accordingly, his words have gone unscrutinized by secular voices.
The root of both issues is a loss of absolute truth, he says. That “all men are created equal” isn’t an American invention, and neither is marriage. “If you don’t have any absolute truth, then truth is dependent on the people who make it up,” he told me.
Watson applies disdain for relativism more to race in his writings than marriage and same-sex attraction. His Ferguson quip that racism is “a SIN problem” not a “SKIN problem” was not just a cliché. In either issue facing athlete and average Joe alike, the gospel “is ultimately what can change people’s hearts.”
He acknowledged it’s not always easy to balance truth with compassion. “I’m not condemning anyone. That’s not my role,” he told me. “My role is to simply share truth, and that’s what I’m doing.” And if that angers some in the marriage debate, “that’s a risk that I’m willing to take.”
With soon-to-be five children—and, at 34, looming NFL retirement—Watson faces an uncertain future, perhaps in broadcasting or in using his finance major to help athletes with their finances.
But he’ll continue to speak, crediting his parents, who fostered discussions of current events with their children. It can be easy to throw up one’s hands, he said, particularly as cities burn with racial animosity toward the police. But “Christ says he has overcome the world,” he told me, “and that gives us hope.”
World Magazine is addressing the issues head on.
It’s two weeks since the Supreme Court rocked American evangelicals by nationalizing same-sex marriage. It’s also 150 years since the greatest inaugural address ever given. Abraham Lincoln at his second inaugural culminated his attempt to find meaning in the Civil War by finally trusting God—and we can learn from his conclusions.
Here’s a key section:
“Fondly do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war might speedily pass away. Yet if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid with another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago so still it must be said, ‘the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.’”
Lincoln’s comment goes deeper than Thomas Jefferson’s famous statement that “One man with courage makes a majority.” Jefferson’s dictum works only if that man is on God’s side. Sometimes we fear that five Supreme Court justices will determine our future. Christians know that the real election is God’s. Many campaigners for universal suffrage have spoken of “One man, one vote.” But elections only decide who will rule us if God votes the same way. He raises up presidents. He drives them out of office. One God, one vote.
If we believe what the Bible says about God’s sovereignty, the way we look at politics changes. Secular Republicans often say that strong pro-life or pro-family positions aren’t pragmatic. But Lincoln came to understand that he had to pay attention to voters, yes, but the real decider was one Supreme Voter: “The Almighty has His own purposes.”
If we believe that God is the crucial actor in history, then His vote is decisive. Pragmatism, if it ignores God’s vote, can sometimes be pandering to a temporary majority. Only when we follow biblical principle—discerning which is God’s side and joining it—are we truly pragmatic.
Champion and his champions are never, ever asked serious questions challenging their views. What kinds of questions are appropriate?
Enter Kevin DeYoung. DeYoung has taken to the Gospel Coalition website to pose over 40 questions to Christians who consider themselves supporters of gay “marriage.” These are precisely the kinds of questions a disinterested press would ask if it were disinterested.
Gays have suggested — and now aggressively insist — that it’s not “Christian” to oppose the gay agenda. The secular media know nothing about Christianity, or if they do, they don’t really care to discuss it. Imagine them dropping these questions to a gay-left advocate:
“How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated?”
Or: “Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship? If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman?”
Then there’s the fidelity question: “Is it a sin for LGBT persons to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage?” Gay rabble-rouser Dan Savage insists monogamy is for suckers. Why is he wrong?
DeYoung poses questions about the politics of this issue. Wouldn’t it be fascinating if one, just one, reporter would ask: “Do you think Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were motivated by personal animus and bigotry when they, for almost all of their lives, defined marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman?”
Or: “Do you think children do best with a mother and a father? If not, what research would you point to in support of that conclusion?”
Liberals have long mocked the idea that favoring the gay agenda would lead naturally and inevitably to going soft on polygamy, incest and other sexual “liberations.” So why not ask these questions:
“Should marriage be limited to only two people?”
“On what basis, if any, would you prevent consenting adults of any relation and of any number from getting married? Do you think close family members should be allowed to get married?”
“Should there be an age requirement in this country for obtaining a marriage license?”
One way this sexual revolution advances is by never having to explain itself, and never looking “fringy” to our media elites, even as they advance the fringes into the new mainstream.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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