Baseball Strikes Out on Culture War Symbols

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Departing from its proudly non-political posture, Major League Baseball offered contrasting responses to different symbols identified with the culture war. In St. Louis, a Cardinals fan complained because Busch Stadium regularly featured a cross and what looked like a Christian fish sign inscribed in the dirt behind the pitcher’s mound. It turned out a groundskeeper inscribed the symbols there before each game, but the Cardinals apologized and banned all such displays.

Meanwhile, at Seattle’s Safeco Field, the Mariners proudly flew the Rainbow Flag to honor the Gay Pride Parade and refused to give ground in the face of fan complaints.

When the universal symbol of the nation’s dominant religion becomes more controversial than a banner associated with the  fight for gay marriage, it shows that for our once traditionalist National Pastime the score has dramatically changed.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Beth Adam @mommyperson1960  •  Jul 13, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Really tired of every one attacking the Christian faith. If we’re so bad, it wouldn’t be so widespread. At least some care enough about it to PROUDLY display it in a Peaceful manner. No one is pushing it on others, simply putting the idea and option out there for others to think about. If it offends you don’t participate but don’t take away MY RIGHT to enjoy and express

  2. Philip Bickley  •  Jul 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I’d like to profess surprise, but that would be a total lie. This is little league stuff. I’ve been shocked at how many people who call themselves “American” have been so quick to tell those who make a religious objection on the job, such as not dispensing the “morning-after pill” or refusing to perform an abortion, to “go find another job…you don’t belong in the medical field…” I sadly predict that the days are not far away when Christians, and others of such historic and dearly held beliefs, will find themselves living under this kind of persecution. It starts with marginalization. But the ultimate insult is: my son, who holds beliefs just like mine, is in the military, defending, ultimately, the rights of these totalitarians to advocate their “liberal fascism” (what else can I call it?). I’d rather they were between him and potential bullets than the other way around. They don’t deserve his honorable and willing sacrifice. The only silver lining to the coming mess is that it will serve to separate the sheep from the goats. But to see the country that I love come to this is sad, indeed.

  3. BBfan  •  Jul 28, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    For the host of a radio show where “there are no victims” to play the Christian “victim card” takes chutzpah!! The only “dominant” victims are the majority of baseball fans (many of whom are Christians) who are tired of religious fanatics so egotistical — or could it be so insecure in their faith?– that they must interject their beliefs into every public event with a captive audience. There is no MLB tradition promoting religious symbols, no matter how “dominant”. In recent years with fans holding up signs quoting John 3:16 which seems to insinuate anyone who isn’t relating to God thru Jesus is damned, the MLB is afraid of any symbol seen as RELIGIOUS exclusion. It also has to do with “boundaries” — a concept most people understand. Jumbotron’s and flagpoles are judged to be within the “boundaries”; MLB doesn’t want any symbols on the pitcher’s mound. It was in St. Louis, right in the “Bible Belt”, where Jackie Robinson faced the most hostile fans; some of them had a religious belief against integration. All that flying the NON -RELIGIOUS gay flag on “gayday” means is that gays are INCLUDED in the Mariners fanbase; some GAYS oppose gay marriage. The NBA has a day devoted to Martin Luther King; it doesn’t mean an endorsement of all of King’s political views . The Suns & Mavericks played games wearing Spanish-language uniforms; does that mean they favor “Reconquista “?
    At high school football games in Texas fans must be prepared to endure halftime prayers in the name of Jesus and cheerleaders waving Bible quotes. One day a Texas muslim cheerleader will file a lawsuit over the “right” to hold up signs with quotes from the Koran or being denied a place on the cheerleader squad because such a sign might be waved by a muslim cheerleader.
    Finally,where does an employee get the “right” to refuse to do the job based on a religious belief? Does a pacifist expect to get a job with the military? If a non-owner pharmacist can refuse to fill a prescription for a morning-after pill, why can’t a truck driver refuse to deliver it, or a clerk refuse to process the sale at the checkout counter? What if a muslim clerk doesn’t want to handle certain products. If you don’t want to perform an abortion, then make yourself so indispensable that your employer will exempt you. Allowing pharmacists to interfere with the Dr.-patient relationship was a bad idea, based on social status.

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