Family Research Council

September 10, 2013 - Tuesday

Fox Sports Sacks Outspoken Christian

As a former running back, Craig James isn't used to being on the defensive. But unfortunately, that's exactly where Fox Sports is putting him in a story that should rock the football world. The retired Pro-Bowler became the latest face of the war on religious liberty, when -- after one day on the job -- Fox Sports gave James the boot for his conservative views on marriage. And here's the kicker: he made the comments, not at the sports desk, but during last year's Senate campaign!

Apart from being a popular analyst, Craig also had political aspirations -- aspirations he followed to Texas in an unsuccessful bid against Ted Cruz during the primary. In the course of the campaign, Craig was asked -- as all candidates are -- about his views on marriage and sexuality. James's opinion happens to coincide with the research, which is that no one is born gay. And, as an orthodox Christian, he didn't shy away from the eternal consequences of this sin or any other. "...[T]hey are going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions," he said before pledging not to support same-sex unions.

According to Sports Illustrated, the regional affiliate of Fox hired Craig without involving upper management. "Fox Sports executives were not happy with the hire by the regional network," sources explain. High level executives felt he hadn't been properly vetted (or, properly excluded, depending on how you look at it). When the news broke, a Fox Sports spokesman tried to explain away the network's religious profiling. "We just asked ourselves how Craig's statements would play in our human resources department. He couldn't say those things here."

First off, Craig didn't say them there -- or anywhere in his commentating capacity. He stated his position as a candidate for public office -- in response to legitimate constituent questions. To suggest that having an opinion on cultural issues disqualifies you from breaking down football plays is outrageous -- especially when that opinion is shared by the majority of Americans! Is the grip of religious hostility so tight that Americans can't even have an open debate for fear it'll cost them their jobs?

Dr. Angela McCaskill, Jerry Buell, Julea Ward, Damian Goddard, Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk, Crystal Dixon, and Air National Guardsman Layne Wilson certainly think so. To a man, they were all suspended, fired, or sued by their employers for their views on marriage -- whether or not they expressed them at work! Like them, Craig James's ousting had nothing to do with his job performance -- and everything to do with this new climate of Christian persecution.

From the military to Fox Sports to city halls like San Antonio's, the overwhelming message seems to be that when it comes to the public arena, conservative Christians need not apply. Let the network know what a disappointment their political correctness is by contacting Fox Sports and protesting Craig James's dismissal.

Unfortunately, college football isn't the only one sidelining people of faith. Congressman Randy Forbes (R-Va.) made that quite clear at last night's special order on religious liberty. Joined by Reps. Walberg, Lamborn, Wittman, Lankford, Gohmert, Fleming, Griffith, Franks, and Pearce, Forbes stood on the floor and called for a return to the freedoms our Founders gave their lives to secure. Click here to watch the video.

On ObamaCare, Exempt America!

While the Syria debate threatens to push off the budget and ObamaCare debates, conservatives rallied in D.C. to keep up the pressure. On the West Lawn of the Capitol, a coalition called "Exempt America" turned up the heat on an ObamaCare policy that threatens to bankrupt America-- financially, socially, and even spiritually. Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) headlined the event, which brought out the grassroots in full force. If ObamaCare isn't good enough for Big Business, Big Labor, or Big Government, then it isn't good enough for the American people.

FRC's Cathy Ruse used her time at the microphone to drive that point home on the most important aspects of the law. "As a mom," she said, "I stand against Obamacare because I care about my daughters' future. I want them to have the freedom to choose the best doctor they can find, and to get the medical care they need, when they need it. ObamaCare is a threat to that freedom. As a lawyer, I stand against Obamacare because it's an unprecedented power-grab by the federal government. The Founders of this country never envisioned the federal government reaching so deeply into our personal lives... [T]he government should not force individuals or organizations to violate their faith or face serious fines. The HHS mandate does just that." (See Cathy's remarks here.)

It's time to put a real proposal to defund ObamaCare on the table before it's too late. Join us in calling on members of Congress to exempt America from a health care law before this train wreck knocks our country completely off track!

Speaking out for the Persecuted Church

With the country solidly against a strike on Syria, the President will test his powers of persuasion in a telecast to the American people tonight. His idea of using military force against Syria's weapon stockpile is only mildly more popular in Congress, where members are split on the plan. For now, a proposal by Russian President Vladamir Putin to put Syria's weapons under "international control" seems to be gaining the most traction. Over the weekend, FRC's Executive Vice President, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, dropped by "The Huckabee Show" to talk about the horrible persecution of Christians in Syria, a possible U.S. strike on Syria, and how it would impact Israel. If you missed it, click the video below to watch!

Click here to view


Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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