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Douglas Andrews / June 7, 2022

Standing With Jesus on ‘Pride’ Night

Five Tampa Bay Rays abided by their Christian faith rather than bowing down to the LGBTQ+ mob.

Anyone else sick of “Pride Month” yet?

Anyone else tired of being bullied into celebrating the LGBTQ+ community for an entire calendar month? Anyone else had their fill of Disney and Nike and Champion and Under Armour and Converse and Reebok and Harry’s and Starbucks and Chipotle and Budweiser and Absolut and Listerine and Verizon and Ikea and … you get the idea.

Who are these shameless self-aggrandizers, and why do they insist on trumpeting their deviant sexuality to those of us who’d simply prefer to be left alone? Surely they realize that the Stonewall Uprising was more than half a century ago, and that cops have long since stopped raiding gay bars. Haven’t they noticed that Pride Month has been celebrated in this country now for decades? If we didn’t know better, we’d say the publicity hounds within the LGBTQ+ community would prefer not to melt seamlessly into a society that long ago accepted and embraced them; that they’d instead prefer to make everyone else celebrate them, as if they’d done something heroic — like storming a beach at Normandy or a house in Fallujah, or braving nightsticks and police dogs and water cannons and assassinations while fighting to secure their civil rights.

Also, since we’re talking about a group that was once oppressed, what about some other groups that are currently under siege? Are there any plans to set aside a Christian Month? Or a Conservative Month? Heck, we’d settle for a Toxic Male Month.

Speaking of toxicity and maleness and Christianity, we saw a smattering of it on display in Florida on Saturday, when five brave players on Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays declined to don a rainbow-colored patch the team had added to its uniforms for the franchise’s 16th annual Pride Night celebration. As CBS Sports reports: “Pitchers Jason Adam, Jalen Beeks, Brooks Raley, Jeffrey Springs, and Ryan Thompson were among the players who did not wear the patch on their uniforms and chose to wear the team’s standard caps for the June 4 home game.”

This was a principled stance based on the players’ Christian faith. Adam spoke on behalf of his teammates:

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. 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.

Not everyone agrees. For example, a religious bigot named Jack Flaherty, the injured ace of the St. Louis Cardinals, called the decision an “absolute joke.”

On the other hand, the Tampa Bay five received some strong support from a man whose opinion surely means more to them than Flaherty’s: “I appreciate these Rays Baseball players who said no to endorsing sin during Saturday’s game,” tweeted the Reverend Franklin Graham. “Followers of Jesus must love everyone, but also stand with the truth of God’s Word.”

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