Fans Intentionally Walk after Baseball's Activism

Fans Intentionally Walk after Baseball's Activism

Fans Intentionally Walk after Baseball's Activism

April 5, 2021

The 2021 baseball season isn't even a week old, and it's already over for some fans. Why? Because, as Andrew McCarthy so efficiently put it: the Left ruins everything. Sports, entertainment, toys, snack cakes, you name it. Their wokeness is a cancer, and it's taking every enjoyable, unifying, non-political piece of American life and destroying it. In Georgia, their crusade against the state's election law is built on a house of lies. And for once, GOP leaders aren't letting them get away with it.

If Major League Baseball wants to alienate half of the country and pull the All-Star Game from Atlanta over a law that makes our elections safer, let them, Governor Brian Kemp (R) argued. It will only show the rest of the country who they are: cowards who cave to "fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies." In this moment, he told Americans, we need to make a decision about what we're going to tolerate as a people. If we don't, "facts and truth won't matter." The far-Left will come for "every aspect of your life," and there won't be a single patch of everyday America when they're done. As for me and my administration, he warned, "I will not back down. Georgians will not be bullied. We will continue to stand up for secure, accessible, fair elections."

Over the weekend, the uproar over Commissioner Robert Manfred's decision to relocate the game reached a fever pitch. Conservatives, who were already well past their boiling point on cancel culture, were ferocious in their calls to boycott companies like Coca-Cola, Delta, Home Depot, Patagonia, and so many others who -- like Joe Biden -- had to resort to outright fiction to justify their phony outrage. "Shame on him," Georgia State Rep. Todd Jones (R) said on "Washington Watch." "Shame on his staff. I expect the office of the presidency to be informed. And I expect him to be a leader of our country no matter what party they're from." The idea that this bill is racist or curtails voting is "pure fallacy," he argued. "And it's built on the fact that folks just want a false narrative to provide... I'll offer to every Atlanta Braves player or any professional athlete a sit down with me and Chairman Fleming, who was the primary author of this bill, and we'll walk them through the bill. And I'm convinced that they would after that talk realize... this is a bill that made Georgia better."

The idea that showing ID at the polls is somehow a resurrection of segregation is absurd. And frankly, African Americans -- and every minority -- ought to be offended at the suggestion that the Left thinks they're too uninformed or oblivious to follow Georgia's election protocol. If anything's racist, it's presuming that an entire people group are too ignorant to vote lawfully. "Those of us whose families lived under Jim Crow segregation decades ago, and also who in modern times have the everyday experience of pulling out photo identification for all sorts of common activities like checking into a hotel or getting medicine, find that comparison appalling," FRC's Ken Blackwell wrote in Breitbart. Not to mention, he pointed out, black Americans support things like voter ID by a 38-point margin. "Jim Crow doesn't get those kind of poll numbers in the black community," he jabbed.

If these CEOs had actually read the bill that they're willing to torch their profits over, they'd have noticed that one of the things Georgia does is make every ID free. "We even," Jones pointed out, "appropriated money to ensure that people would get transportation if they needed it to [take advantage of] that idea." Funny how that's "lost in the conversation," he fumed. "I would expect the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to be informed," he went on, before making a serious allegation that Georgia is disenfranchising their own black employees. "That's just not the case. When you look at the law and what we tried to do, we absolutely looked to empower not just African-Americans, but all Georgia citizens to ensure they can get to the polls, get to the polls easily, but also know that their ballot would be secure."

The Left's problem -- apart from all of the obvious ones -- is that it's using an old playbook. Their strategy of picking a state to make a national example out of, isn't going to work here. The American people, and even the majority of business leaders, are disgusted by the wokeism, the corporate hypocrisy, and corruption of Big Business and their cronies in the Democratic Party. And they're ready to exact a price. Already, Republicans are moving quickly to make this decision hurt. In the Georgia House, legislators made it clear that if Delta doesn't have a problem asking for photo ID to board a plane, then they shouldn't mind it at the polls. Until then, leaders have fired back with a partial vote to strip the airline of its generous tax break. In Congress, conservatives in the House and Senate are getting their ducks in a row to pull the MLB's anti-trust exemption, a threat that should certainly get Manfred's attention.

In the battle over national messaging, Republicans are landing plenty of blows -- pointing out baseball's incredible double standard where its New York headquarters and Chinese business deals are concerned. "It's jaw-dropping to see powerful American institutions not just permit themselves to be bullied," Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argued, "but join in the bullying themselves. Wealthy corporations have no problem operating in New York, for example, which has fewer days of early voting than Georgia, requires excuses for absentee ballots, and restricts electioneering via refreshments. There is no consistent or factual standard being applied here. It's just a fake narrative gaining speed by its own momentum."

Even detractors of Georgia's bill can't believe that corporate America would pick this fight when they have so much of their own political baggage. When it comes to sermonizing about racial and social justice, most of these CEOs don't have a leg to stand on. "Delta, Coke, Major League Baseball, they all work in China, a country now committing genocide. What standards do we hold people to?" New York Times's David Brooks pointed out. In Coke's case, they aren't just selling in China, they're selling China to the world. "We're fully behind China," the company's president said, pushing back on pressure last year about the communist regime. And "we're here for the long-term." There's just no shame.

It's time for American corporations to stop their radical activism and get back to business. Nobody is asking these CEOs to fight on our side -- we're asking them to stop fighting on social issues period. If you sell hamburgers or chicken sandwiches, sell them. But don't take our money and use it to preach wokeism to us. In the meantime, there are plenty of things we can do to make ourselves heard. We can boycott them (and we should). We can disconnect from them. We can join coalitions to stop corporate tyranny. But there's something else we need to be doing that's just as important: We need to confront them. The Left is only controlling these companies because liberals are loud. They're in the minority -- but they're loud. So we need to write letters, make phone calls, share the truth on our platforms, and spend our dollars rewarding the brands that stay in their lanes.

Silence won't win this war. Standing and speaking out will.


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


Hutchinson Errs with the SAFE Side

April 5, 2021

"Image is always important for a governor," Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.) admitted at the end of his Monday press conference on the SAFE Act. And unfortunately I think it was ultimately image -- not protecting children -- that drove his decision to veto a bill that would have saved Arkansas's kids from a lifetime of misery. "I hope that my statement today... causes Republicans to think again about who we are," he insisted. Let's hope it does. Because if passing a common-sense laws that stops children from being sterilized is controversial, then there are a number of Republican leaders that have some soul-searching to do.

"I looked at this bill," he explained, and thought, "'Where do I want my voice to be?'" Now, unfortunately, we know: his voice is on the side of a radical ideology that's literally destroying people for life. In Hutchinson's opinion, asking a child to wait until they're 18 to have irreversible surgery or access untested hormones is "denying care," a "vast government overreach," "off-course and misinformed." Sounding eerily similar to pro-abortion activists, he insisted that asking kids to press pause on dangerous treatments is "interfering in the doctor-patient relationship."

"Part of our Republican principles is a restrained government," Hutchinson argued. Then, mindful of the damage done to his conservative credentials, he launched into a passionate defense of the unborn. "I'm pro-life... I sign those bills. I support those bills. I want those bills. ...[But] is this really the role of the state?" Well, it seems to be the role of the state to stop children from driving, from drinking, from smoking, from getting tattoos, and from doing other drugs before they're an adult. Why would subjecting them to life-altering medical harm be any different?

Fortunately for Arkansans, the governor gets one vote -- and he cast it. "I've acted," he said, "based on the assumption that [my veto] will be overridden." Let's hope he's right. As even Hutchinson admitted, the bill had "very strong support." Even more than that, it had strong leaders. For weeks, the state's legislature has showed true courage in the face of the Left's disinformation campaign. They can't stop now. Under the leadership of state Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R) and Sen. Alan Clark (R), Arkansas made history passing the first-of-its kind protection for minors. It's time to finish the job and do what Governor Hutchinson wouldn't: save our sons and daughters from irreversible harm.

For more on the SAFE Act and what you can do to stop this runaway train from affecting your children, check out FRC.org/SAFEAct for legislation near you.


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


Warnock's Tweet Misses the Point of Easter

April 5, 2021

Over the weekend, millions of Christians celebrated Jesus's resurrection and victory over sin. In many churches, after a year plagued by the pandemic, Resurrection Sunday provided hope that despite life's hardships, Jesus has defeated death and reconciled repentant sinners to God. Pastors around the country reminded their congregants that Jesus's resurrection is at the center of the gospel and the reason we celebrate Easter.

However, on the day when Jesus's resurrection normally takes center stage, Raphael Warnock, the Senior Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, and Georgia's junior Senator took to Twitter to share a very different message: "The meaning of Easter is more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whether you are Christian or not, through a commitment to helping others we are able to save ourselves."

It is no surprise that Raphael Warnock is a liberal politician. Warnock ran on a progressive platform and has been a reliable rubber stamp for Chuck Schumer's liberal priorities since taking office. In his short tenure in the U.S. Senate, he has voted to confirm President Joe Biden's most progressive nominees including Xavier Becerra for HHS Secretary and Rachel Levine for Assistant Secretary of Health. After the House of Representatives narrowly passed legislation that would cut religious freedom protection and expand abortion access, Warnock tweeted support for the bill and encouraged a vote in the Senate. Again, Warnock has not surprised anyone with his voting record or rhetoric since arriving in Washington.

However, the reverend's since-deleted Easter tweet underscores something even more pernicious than his liberal political instincts. Warnock, despite pastoring a well-known church, holds to a progressive form of Christianity that regularly co-opts the gospel for social action and reduces Christian faith to nothing more than a means to something else. For many so-called "progressive" Christians, the Bible's message of reconciliation with a holy God is subservient to political and cultural goals.

In one sense, Warnock's diminished understanding of Jesus's resurrection is not surprising. Warnock is a three-time graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York City, one of the most theologically liberal seminaries in the world. Although the seminary maintains it is "grounded in the Christian tradition," it admits Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Unitarian Universalists, and students who identify as "pagan" into its programs of study. Student groups on campus include "Seminarians for Reproductive Justice" and a caucus for "queer people of color." In 2019, seminary students were encouraged in a chapel service confess to plants. In another, a ritual to melting ice was performed.

Warnock's Easter remark is revealing in the same way his claim to be a "pro-choice pastor" was on the campaign trail. Both comments are similar in that they reveal Warnock's propensity to misinterpret and misapply Scripture. The Bible is clear on the personhood of the unborn. It is also crystal clear on the meaning of Easter (Mark 16). To be completely wrong on both issues suggests an approach to Scripture that ignores the clear meaning of the biblical text in favor of an ulterior agenda or motive.

To be clear, there is nothing "more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ" as Warnock believes. The message of Easter, the very center of Christianity, is that God took the initiative to save sinners because sinners cannot save themselves. As Paul explains in Ephesians 2:1, "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked." However, because of God's love, verse four says, "when we were dead in our trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ." As Paul explains elsewhere, "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21). In other words, Christ died as a sacrifice for sin. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus reconciled us with God (2 Cor. 5:18-19).

There is nothing anyone can do to save themselves. This is made clear in Ephesians 2:8-9 which says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Of course, Christians are called to do good works. A verse later, Paul writes, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." However, the suggestion that "through a commitment to helping others we are able to save ourselves" is contrary to everything that Bible teaches about salvation and strips the empty tomb of its power.

Raphael Warnock is free to believe and teach whatever he wants. However, the message he is preaching of salvation through good works directly contradicts the gospel of Jesus Christ which promises salvation on the basis of Christ's completed work on the cross. Faith in Jesus, not works, is the only way to be saved (Acts 4:12).

In short, many of Senator Warnock's policy proposals are bad for America. But nothing is more dangerous for your soul than Reverend Warnock's misguided beliefs about Jesus's resurrection. For the sake of your eternal destiny, trust Scripture which says, "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Rom. 10:9).