Thousands of Christians are showing up in Arlington to protest Jack Burkman and American Decency for their moralistic, closed-minded stance on the Dallas Cowboys signing openly gay football player Michael Sam to its practice squad.
Oh, wait a sec. I read this press release all wrong.
Turns out the Christians are not protesting Burkman for hating on gay people, they’re protesting the Cowboys for hiring Sam.
Hmmm, that doesn’t sound like Christian behavior based on the Bible passages I recall reading, although I might have inadvertently skipped the part about “despise thy gay neighbor and anyone who gives him a job.”
Who is this Burkman?
The press release describes him as CEO of Burkman LLC, Washington DC’s “top-rated lobbying firm.” I’m guessing the person doing that rating wasn’t Ellen DeGeneres.
Burkman’s press release notes his 25 years of experience in “the bowels of Washington” — there’s a joke in there somewhere – and says he maintains an “impressive intelligence network made up of insiders in the highest corridors of power.”
Despite this coterie of kingmakers, Burkman hasn’t been able to secure legislation to ban openly gay men from playing in the National Football League.
The lack of legislation is odd considering this ironclad argument: “We cannot just stand idly by as Christian values and morals are trampled,” Burkman said in the press release. “We will do whatever we can to preserve family values in this country.”
Ah, there it is: “family values,” read: If you ain’t like us we hate you.
At least Burkman is softening his rhetoric a tad. Back in February, while pushing for legislation to ban gay players, his press release contained this gem of a quote:
“We are losing our decency as a nation,” he said. “Imagine your son being forced to shower with a gay man. That’s a horrifying prospect for every mom in the country. What in the world has this nation come to?”
I’m sure Tony Romo’s mom is trembling with horror as we speak.
I talked to Burkman on the phone this afternoon and he assured me that the Metroplex is “enraged” at Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for hiring Sam.
“It flies in the face of everything Dallas represents,” he said. “He’s compromised the value of the team.”
I asked if his group planned to protest Josh Brent for his drunken driving woes, or Jerry Jones for those pictures of him cavorting with scantily clad women, or NFL players who use their wives and girlfriends as punching bags.
Burkman said his group is against those moral deficiencies as well.
“We’re concerned about morals in the NFL and professional sports generally,” he said. “There are a lot of things we all wish would be improved with the morality of the league but you have to pick your battles.”
Which of those battles is he picking?
“The No. 1 battle is homosexuality,” he said. “I see that as so emblematic and symptomatic of the collapse of the United States. The last six rulers of Rome were gay, look what happened to [the Roman Empire].”
The Cowboys are no longer worthy of the title America’s Team, Burkman said.
“Jerry Jones has betrayed American values, Christian values, and his own city’s values,” Burkman said. “The people of Dallas — and Christians all across this land — are about to make him pay a huge financial price.”
Speaking of financials: I will personally bet Burkman $50 that he can’t get “thousands of Christians” to show up in Arlington to protest Sam’s hiring.
For one thing, the press release failed to say when or where the protest will be held, other than in “Arlington.”
But, in the interest of fair play, I’ll share the time and place: 2 p.m. Sunday at the Cowboys stadium.
The American Decency website says it boasts 3.62 million people who “have join the cause,” with about 1 million of them in Texas alone. And of its 3.62 million members nationally, 2.21 million are ready to protest or “do whatever they are asked to do,” according to the website (Unless, of course, they’re asked to have gay sex.)
With all those people at Burkman’s beck and call, I should probably cancel that bet. Fifty bucks is a lot of money to a working stiff like me.
On second thought, I think I’ll stick to my original bet.