Dr. Grant C. Richison
Update November 17, 2017
Albert Mohler, the President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Souther Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world, had a podcast today dealing with the NFL moving left. He quotes Wall Street Journal’s article by Jason Whitlock “Is Roger Goodell Deliberately Pushing the NFL Leftward.” Goodell hired as his Executive VP of Communications,” President Clinton’s former Press Secretary who worked for other liberal political figures. Goodell’s own father was a very liberal Senator. The issue is that Goodell has taken a pivotal position that has nothing to do with football.
Update November 11, 2017
Much of what is behind the NFL player protests relates to victimization. This is a tendency to relate everything to radical disparity in society. This applies simple ideological formula to a very complex problem. Postmodernism is a recasting of Marxism (rich against poor; bourgeoisie against proletariat). All this is the mentality of group identity. This radical leftist thinking has become dominate in liberal arts departments in universities and has become dominate in news and sports media. Most of them do not understand the fundamental philosophy of what they propagate. Identity politics has come to the NFL with a vengeance. It is far greater issue than standing for the national anthem.
May 12, 2014
The case of homosexual Michael Sam has demonstrated corruption in the NFL. Both ESPN and NFL AM laud his signing by the Saint Louis Rams as “historic” and as a “significant” social event. Former Patriot Tedy Bruschi affirms that acceptance of this is necessary because our society is pluralistic, therefore we need to accept pluralism in the NFL.
There is a rush to judgment in approving of homosexualism by the media with almost universal proclamation. No alternative viewpoint was allowed. Any opinion contrariwise was presented as an obscurant, idiotic, stupid or otherwise archaic.
Even President Obama of the United States had to inject his liberal viewpoint into this event:
“The President [Obama] congratulates Michael Sam, the Rams and the NFL for taking an important step forward today [May 10, 2014] in our nation’s journey. From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove everyday that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are.”
Nicole Zaloumis of NFL AM speaking of the President’s comment said that “we could not have said it better.”
Michael Silver of NFL AM said that Sam made history that will “forever change sports….it was cool to be part of history.”
Michael Sam said that “there are idiots out there who will say some stupid stuff.” NFL AM picked up this idea and affirmed that anyone who does not accept homosexualism as normal are idiots. Evidently biblical Christianity is idiotic and stupid to these people.
The Miami Dolphins disciplined one of their players (Don James) because he tweaked that he was shocked by what he saw when Sam kissed his partner. They said his statements were “inappropriate and unacceptable.” The Dolphins suspending him from training camp until he receives “sensitivity training.” In other words, holding to a biblical viewpoint requires sensitivity training because it offends society. Their statement said that “this will not be tolerated from our players.” This is ironic that they will not tolerate a biblical viewpoint but they will tolerate a homosexual stance.
I never saw nor heard any presentation of the biblical viewpoint whatsoever in the media. That issue was studiously avoided. This is what we call the secularization of America, that is, media tries to marginalize Christianity by not allowing it to have a voice.
When we compare how the media treated Tim Tebow the stark contrast is obvious duplicity and bias in the media. Sports media states their case for left-wing, progressive, and liberal viewpoint.
Paul Burmeister expressed his maudlin, saccharin sentimentalism by stating “the emotions we all felt” after hearing of Sam’s draft into the NFL
Michael Sliver of NFL AM said to coach Jeff Fisher of the Saint Louis Rams in their draft room, “Once the trade was made, people in this room, there was a real buzz and a real excitement, not because of a crusade, but because it is cool to be part of history.”
In an interview on NFL AM Cyd Ziegler co-founder of outsports.com said that “This is the most important moment in LGPT history.” Further he said, “The NFL is the most powerful cultural force we have in America.” Referring to the kiss with Sam’s male partner he hoped that this would become something normal in American society.
Mike and Mike gave their normal relativistic ethics viewpoint about the subject. Michael Greenberg said that people will “have to adapt to the times,” a purely relativistic statement. Again, he said, “That is what we call progress.” Yes, it is progressive liberalism. Again, Greenberg said, “Get ready to spend a lot of time hiding it from your kids.”
Obviously, there is overwhelming sports media bias against normative Christianity. Secular media has long held this predisposition.
First, let me say that I have no problem with Sam making an NFL team. He certainly has the right to do that and I believe most evangelicals are glad that society is open to whatever opportunity that may lie before him.
All these media opinions are based on the presupposition of relative ethics and pluralism. They give no credence to the idea that others hold to absolute ethics. The problem with absolutes of any kind is that they are mutually exclusive and that is the big problem to them.
Israel lived among pluralists over 2000 years ago. Christianity confronted a pluralistic society filled with polytheistic viewpoints. That is why the Roman government martyred Christians, threw them in jail and fed them to the lions. Nero used Christians as lamps set on fire to torch the city of Rome. There was no tolerance for them whatsoever.
Society has changed the meaning of tolerance from the concept of charity toward people in a social sense to the acceptance of ideas in the philosophical sense, declaring ideas equal in worth and validity. They hold not only to moral equivalence but to truth equivalence, and they view any criticism of others as narrow minded.
The upshot of this distorted form of tolerance is reduced capacity to critique the most blatantly false beliefs that may come on the scene. It leaves people vulnerable to pluralistic winds that blow nowhere. This kind of society elevates truth-equivalence above exclusive truth.
There is significant confusion between a pluralism of attitude and a pluralism dealing with truth. Christianity respects all viewpoints and the people who hold them, which is not the same as saying that all viewpoints are equally valid. If a person who holds that all truth is relative claims that a pedophile does not have the right to engage in sex with a child, the moment he makes that claim, he asserts a certainty. There is then a difference between tolerance in attitude and tolerance of truth. The biblical value is that Christians are to render a tolerant attitude toward all people. That is not the same as saying that all perspectives on reality are valid. The way to truth, certainty, and reality is found in the Word of God that stands mutually exclusive from other viewpoints. The Christian does not hold to truth-equivalence.
Both academic and pop beliefs hold that it is impossible to come to certainty about truth. This skepticism denies ability to come to absolutes. Those who hold to uncertainty replace truth with pluralism, pragmatism, relativism, and other current popular philosophies. A subjective view of life is paramount in these philosophies. But these people are certain about doubt!
Because self is subjective, doubt pervades all knowledge. To know that one does not know is a universal fact; one has to know that he or she does not know in order to doubt. Subjective thinkers, who start from the premise of the self, believe there is no universal truth that all can accept. To them, no objective truth outside the self exists, and eternal truth is not an option. They preclude transcendent truth. They also abandon the principle of contradiction (that is, that A does not possess the predicate of B). But doubt, to be meaningful, presupposes the absolute validity of the principle of contradiction. Either there is truth or there is not. Both cannot be true. If both were truth, then doubt would not make sense. Most skeptics can see that a thing cannot be and not be in the same sense at the same time. The question of how we know what we know to be true is crucial to the issue of mutually exclusive truth.
Biblical Christianity stands against pluralism, subjectivism, and relativism. Public schools expose our children to every belief except Christianity, whether it is witchcraft, Native American animism, or Eastern religions. The supposed justification for this is secularism, as if secularism were autonomous or neutral. This amounts to brainwashing and an exclusive closed shop in education. True liberal thought allows all viewpoints to be presented openly and freely. Today’s form of liberalism is establishment at its worst, resulting in awful political correctness.
Humanity’s autonomy from God has disastrous social effects. Abortion and divorce are rampant. AIDS, crime, single-parent families, and political corruption are now normal in society. The church adds to this new standard for society by its weakened view of truth, for it does not fancy exclusive truth as all-pervasive influence on its thinking. All this is a revolt against truth, against God, against the Word. It is an attempt to put self at the center of reality, to deify self through a fragmented viewpoint without ultimate coherence or purpose (solipsism).
Embedded pluralistic viewpoint is so pervasive in culture that few are willing to assert something as truth as over against something that is not true; that is, that Christianity is true and any other belief is false.
Our society holds the Judeo-Christian belief more tentatively than ever. As North America moves toward greater pluralism, the number of options for belief multiplies. The consumer can choose a menu of religions or philosophies at will. None can claim mutually exclusive truth. Because of this influence of pluralism and its extenuating postmodernism no one has the truth for sure, so pick and choose as you prefer from your individual perspective.
Out of pluralism and the philosophy that the individual person is the authority comes the viewpoint that no authority has ultimate truth. All viewpoints about life are interpretations of reality. This philosophy itself became the unexamined and unchallenged belief system of pluralistic society. It became essential secular fundamentalism and secular fundamentalism defines the cultural sentiment of our day.
Pluralism fractures truth and unity of understanding. In other words, it tears down the essential idea that the Bible is a revelation of truth from God that communicates absolutes. Instead, our pluralistic culture breaks down into small segments of knowing, for no one knows any universals. We are left with only fraternities living in isolation from one another without universal truth.
The 1960s brought a sense of despair, and that generation turned to the subjective self in search of hope. People began to search for transcendence in the mysticism of Eastern religions and in drugs. Self-consciousness did not produce the results for which they had hoped. There was a loss of what is normative. External objectivity buckled under the weight of the presupposition of the self as ultimate authority.
North American culture now determines good and evil by the prevailing viewpoint at a given time and place. The culture defines what is right simply by definition from the winds of opinion. There is little or no conviction because there is nothing outside of self.
Christianity is fixed, absolute truth that does not adapt its message to culture. Cultural pluralism will not allow such exclusive truth. In our society movement occurs without a destination, leaving mankind with fragments of meaning but no whole. Uncertainty pervades everything with this assumption. Values are little more than preference.
Out of pluralism and the philosophy that the individual person is final authority comes the viewpoint that no authority has ultimate truth. All viewpoints about life are interpretations of reality. This philosophy itself became the unexamined and unchallenged belief system of pluralistic society. It became essential secular fundamentalism.
Pluralism, relativism, and subjectivism now pervades the communication centers of the NFL and of the NFL headquarters itself. It is one thing to offer these ideas as an alternative but it is another to proclaim them as true and as fact accomplished in society to the exclusion of any other alternative. Instead of choosing to leave homosexual ideology as an option it is now proclaimed as absolute in a pluralistic society (ironically).
Adoption of pluralism of necessity indicates a relative ethic.
I wonder if the NFL and its sponsors realize that they have offended over 90 million evangelicals with their stance. That is not counting the cults, Roman Catholics and other groups. There are many times more people in church on Sunday than all the stadiums of the NFL put together.
For a more developed argument of the content on this page see my book Certainty, a Place to Stand.