Monday, July 25, 2011

Religion and Sports

Having lived in an area of the country in which religious sports leagues have a time honored and important place within the religious landscape, I thought I had heard everything.  There were those women who were kicked out of games for wearing shorts too short or men who were removed for cursing and all of them who faced a church  attendance check before being allowed to play in church league baseball, softball, or basketball.  I know that my own congregation participated at one time but can only surmise that the rule against having beer in the dugout probably did them in -- but that is just a guess.

Now I heard that a courtroom and a judge was the setting for a dispute involving sexual orientation and sports.  No, this was not about women turned into men because of steroids or transgender folks (both of which have been in the news and surrounded with some controversy before).  No, this was a different slant on things.

The lawsuit against the NAGAA (that would be North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance) and its exclusion of three bisexual men will continue, according to the Court House News Service. District Judge John Coughenour ruled that the team has the right to exclude heterosexual players, but thought the team may have violated the rights of the men who were kicked from a San Francisco softball team for being bisexual.  The ruling, as confused as it is, seems not to have addressed the core of the lawsuit. The plaintiffs were not removed from the team for being heterosexual, but because the people who voted on their orientation felt that the players were not gay enough. Complicating the issue is that the complaint was leveled by a rival team initially. [Emphasis added]

I would have never found this out but I am well informed of such things through my founding subscription to First Things and my affection for the While You Are At It section at the end of the articles.... I would suggest you might subscribe and tune in as the great conversation on religion and the public square unfolds...

There is also the interesting factoid that women have apparently hit the glass ceiling in other places besides the boardroom of the multinational corporation.  One report shows that women are highly underrepresented among left-wing terrorist groups with only 22% of the members.  Or, if you did not like that, you could, as one paragraph suggests, run through the litany of obvious jokes told on the Staten Island ferry about a certain congressman named Wiener who got in trouble for taking pictures of his, ah, well, you know...  Good to know that when the seriousness of the world and all its weight hangs over us in the balance, we can find some foolish and tasteless diversions...

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