Dabo punts on first down

So Dabo Swinney, the head football coach at Clemson University, found himself knee-deep in political icky this week when the homosexual digi-militia went on the attack in opposition to his planned appearance to receive an award from the Palmetto Family Council. Shockingly, an organization dedicated to preserving the Family is opposed to the current sexual revolution aimed, necessarily, at the destruction of the Family. Dabo, for his part, decided the best way to get the ickey off was to hand the ball to the other team and scamper off to the locker room. He withdrew from the ceremony.

First of all, we should do well to note who the real bigots are here. The Erotic Libertarians are the ones who are out to silence anyone who does not heartily approve of their bedroom kinkery. They are the ones that use coercion. They are the ones that bully. They are the ones that pry. They are the ones that detest opposing ideas. They are the ones that cannot distinguish hate from differing ideas and philosophies. They are the bigots. If you think that Dabo Swinney should have been cool-shamed out of appearing at the PFC event, then you are the bigot.

As for Dabo, in an attempt to bow out of the headlines, he bowed out of the PFC event. He said that he thought he was going to receive an award for the work his foundation does, but had no idea that he was accepting an invitation into a political controversy. He framed his decision to withdraw his appearance in terms of not wanting to be a distraction for his team and not wanting to be political. Reviewing the game film, we should learn a few lessons from this situation.

First, nothing is neutral. Not even college football. When a South Carolinian is asked “Clemson or Carolina?” no one says “neither.” Similarly, you can’t just check “not applicable” when it comes to the current moral revolution under way in America. Everything is connected. So Dabo doesn’t want to be political. But he is. Because he lives in the polis. Because he is a public figure. Because he sees the world a certain way and acts accordingly. When he withdrew from the PFC event he did not make a non-political statement. Rather, he made the political statement that the kinksters wanted him to make. He sided with their political ideas so they would leave him well enough alone (for now). Christians need to learn that there is no morally-neutral ground where one can hide, refuse to take a stand, keep one’s faith to one’s self, or just be. Jesus is Lord and, thus, He is Lord over every domain of human existence. Therefore, in every area of our life we are making moral statements, which are inherently political because politics is all about shaping and stewarding our public morality. We cannot escape making political statements if we are to live in community with other people. Therefore, the day is coming when every Christian will have to declare his allegiance when it comes to the questions of Erotic Liberty.

So Christians should be ready for that day. Decide now whom you will serve, brother. It is one thing to be a fine Christian man or woman when that is to your advantage, like when you’re talking to mommas of five-star recruits or deep-pocketed Bible-belt donors. Family values, positive attitudes, and folksy charm can help you win football games. But what should fine Christian men do when their beliefs upset the cool kids online and start a media firestorm? What should they do when their Christianity might actually cost them something rather than give them something? Hint, the answer isn’t to punt on first down.

 “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”” –Daniel 3:16-18

Lastly, Christians should not buy the lie that keeping your faith to yourself will earn you a pass. If you believe and obey the Bible, you are the problem to be eliminated. You are not culturally justified and never will be. Part of the reason Dabo’s retreat is so unwise is that it does not gain him anything except a bit of respite during this media cycle. He is already tainted. He’s been in the Left’s crosshairs ever since this article appeared the Chronicle of Higher Education in late 2013. Even though he is now skipping the PFC event, he will forever be tainted as someone who originally accepted the invitation. Nothing short of wearing an I Heart Elton John t-shirt and laying a big smooch on the Head Ball Coach at mid-field next November will earn him cultural redemption. All he did was give the Erotic Libertarians another notch in their belt.

Even as a Gamecock fan, I generally like and appreciate Dabo Swinney. But he fumbled this one. And like any coach worth his salt, Christians should look at the tape, see who missed their assignment, and get ready for the next game.

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