If "good" Christians can't separate themselves from Maryland wackadoodle Emmett Burns Jr., maybe there isn't any separation
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo
So you've heard about the pride of Maryland's House of Delegates, Baptist minister (and psychotic homophobe) Emmett C. Burns Jr., right? The wackadoodle who used his Delegates' office stationery to try to lean on the Baltimore Ravens to "take the necessary action" to muzzle linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo for supporting marriage equality?
Let's let our ThinkProgress colleague Zack Ford tell the story (links onsite):
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo joined many Marylanders for Marriage Equality by posting a video endorsement last October. Ten months later, rabidly anti-gay state Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr. (D) [left] has decided to retaliate, writing to Ravens owner Steven Disciotti on Maryland House letterhead that Ayanbadejo should be sanctioned for speaking out:I find it inconceivable that one of your players, Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo would publicly endorse Same-Sex marriage, specifically as a Raven Football player. Many of my constituents and your football supporters are appalled and aghast that a member of the Ravens Football Team would step into this controversial divide and try to sway public opinion one way or the other.
Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment and excitement. I believe Mr. Ayanbadejo should concentrate on football and steer clear of dividing the fan base.
I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National Football League Owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employees and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions. [Emphasis in the ThinkProgress post -- Ed.] I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing.
Burns is a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage allied with the campaign to overturn Maryland’s new marriage equality law, which is being challenged at the ballot this year through Question 6. Last year, he was already trying to organize a coalition against the proposed bill. Burns has said that same-sex marriage has “nothing to do with discrimination,” but is merely the promotion of the “gay and lesbian agenda.” He also predicted that President Obama would lose the 2012 election for supporting marriage equality: “I love the president, but I cannot support what he has done.”
That's right, boys and girls, as Zack notes above, Delegate Burns is a Democrat. And as Zack points out, Burns's "I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing" is foolish:
Ayanbadejo is hardly the first NFL to take a position on a social issue. In January, six players, including quarterbacks Jay Cutler (Chicago Bears) and Rex Grossman (Washington Redskins), came out against proposed right-to-work legislation in Indiana. Several Green Bay Packers players urged Wisconsin voters to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R) because of his opposition to unions. And of course, Tim Tebow ran anti-choice ads in 2010 in partnership with Focus on the Family. Just last month, the San Francisco 49ers released an “It Gets Better” video, showing their own public support for LGBT teens.
Raw Story's Megan Carpenter fills in the next parts of the story:
Ayanbadejo responded to the news on Twitter, saying “Football is just my job it’s not who I am. I am an American before anything. And just like every American I have the right to speak!!!” He then told the team’s website, “For him to be a delegate, I was kind of shocked that he would want to silence me and tell me to stick to football in a free country. People have died to have those rights to be able to voice those opinions – no matter what their opinions are.”(Megan goes on to point out that Kluwe "expanded on his thoughts in an open letter to Burns published on the sports site Deadspin.")
The Ravens, for their part, say they plan to respond to Burns, and Ravens President Dick Cass told the site, “We support Brendon’s right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment.” According to Ayanbadejo, Cass also expressed his personal support. “Dick personally told me, ‘We’re not an organization that discriminates,’” he told the site.
Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe took to Twitter last night to express his disgust for Burns’ letter in a series of posts:Holy crap. I leave Twitter for a couple hours and I come back to find this garbage? This guy is literally an asshole.The only way I can fathom spewing that type of shit out of your mouth is if your colon reversed flow and you vomited actual fecal matter. And yes, I’m referring to the politician, though to call him that denigrates the few politicians that still deserve the name. It honestly baffles me that in this day and age, someone can think stifling another’s right to free speech is somehow ok. There’s not a lot that gets me seriously angry, but that’s one of the few things on the list. Demand better from your government. Demand better from yourself.
One would like to think that all those "good" Christians who whine constantly about how oppressed they are will be rising to separate themselves from Delegate Burns's ranting. One would like to think it, but one isn't holding one's breath.
That's because all those "good" Christians only get worked up about their own freedom of religion. Anything that conflicts with their beliefs is fair game for suppression. When it comes to anyone else's freedom of religion, well, they're just outraged.