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Baseball, the all-American family pastime famous for its ability to bring families and communities together, is now the ground on which LGBTQ activists are attacking Christians.
The St. Louis Cardinals have followed their tradition of inviting a former player to speak to a specific audience following a game, but when it was announced that the player would be Lance Berkman who would address the audience with a Biblical message on how Christianity has affected his life, LGBTQ groups seized upon the opportunity to protest.
The address was planned to follow the game, allowing fans who are not interested to leave. So why the outrage?
According to the LGBTQ groups voicing their protest, Barkman's opposition to a 2015 Houston ordinance allowing transgendered persons access to restrooms that don't match their biological gender marks him as a homophobe.
Opposing transgender bathroom policies in 2015 has, in their view, given them the right to close Berkman off to public discourse as a hate-monger.
So, it may come as a surprise to those activists to learn that Lance Berkman's arguments are, far from being hate-filled rants, the same concerns that millions of Americans have, especially Christians.
Neither discriminatory nor intolerant, Berkman explained in a public statement why girls and boys should use separate bathrooms, "The issue is, what to do about a 15 or 16-year-old boy who thinks he's a girl and wants to shower with the girls. Maybe he is [transgender], maybe he's confused. But I wouldn't want him in the shower with my daughters. We shouldn't have the rights of 2 percent of the population trump the rights of the other 98 percent."
In a separate interview, Berkman said that tolerance "is the virtue that is killing this country." He went on to explain, "We're tolerant of everything. You know, everything is OK, and as long as you want to do it and as long as it feels good to you then it's perfectly acceptable to do it. Those are the kinds of things that lead you down a slippery slope, and you'll get in trouble in a hurry."
LGBTQ protestors seem unable to recognize the irony of censoring Berkman by accusing him of intolerance when doing so is itself far more intolerant than any action he has taken.
The real issue is the conservation of historic and accepted gender distinctives and the freedom to express that conviction. We must not permit these freedoms to be trampled upon by a group who stated goal, ironically, is to protect inclusiveness.
The St. Louis Cardinals are not an ideological organization endorsing any religion or sexual protest organization. In fact, the team has allowed their stadium to host events from across the spectrum, including LGBT events.
The official statement from the Cardinals makes this very clear and emphasizes the fact that they are not courting controversy, but instead bringing like-minded groups of together:
"As an organization, the Cardinals have always been committed to bringing like-minded groups together to share in the unifying experience of Cardinals baseball," the statement said. "We are an inclusive organization with a social responsibility to be welcoming to all types of people and organizations.
We continue to try and reach out to every part of our community, and have hosted a variety of themed events like Christian Day, Jewish Community Night, Catholic Family Night, Bosnian Heritage Night, Fiesta Cardenales, and many others. We are excited to announce that we will be hosting our first Pride Night later this season which will bring members of the LGBT Community together to enjoy Cardinals baseball."
The protest is another example of radical elements of the gender movement attempting to silence, through accusations of bigotry, Christians who oppose extreme changes to gender policies.
Not content to celebrate pride night, to come together over a baseball game, instead Lance Berkman is slandered for his Christian and quite mainstream traditional beliefs and concerns.
The Cardinals have, to their credit, resisted attempts to have Berkman barred from speaking at the July 30th event and have defended the ideals of tolerance and inclusiveness that should be American virtues for all organizations.
Let's see now if the LGBT protestors can learn anything by taking a page from their playbook.