I’m covering two of the hottest topics in this week’s DHD. The NBA-China issue, with specific points relating to LeBron James, and churches and religious institutions losing tax-exempt status if they oppose same-sex marriage.
Here we go!
1. NBA-China issue timeline
In case you don’t have all the facts about this recent fiasco, Aaron Mansfield offers a great recap, detailing all the relevant events, including the Hong Kong protest, Daryl Morey’s Tweet, China’s backlash, NBA’s response, LeBron’s commentary.
Mansfield’s concluding paragraph is correct. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is in a “precarious position,” wanting China’s business while also handling the powerful country’s social record.
Now, let’s look at some relevant commentary.
2. Tramel’s excellent take
Berry Tramel did not hold back when he gave his perspective on the NBA-China issue. On Silver’s original comment on Morey’s tweet, Tramel said it was “the weakest bunch of crap anyone has written,” and he especially calls out the NBA’s protesting the City of Charlotte’s bathroom ordinances and threatening to not allow the city to host the NBA All-Star Game, proving the league’s hypocrisy when it comes to political issues.
Tramel also provided a lesson of how China has a dictatorship-run government. I was impressed with Tramel’s article and applaud him for being political, especially when he admits he doesn’t like to be political.
3. Lamenting LeBron’s loquaciousness
When it appears the NBA-China issue may have subsided, the league’s most popular player heaped some coals on the fire earlier this week.
LeBron James is taking a lot of heat for criticizing Morey’s tweet. One comment in particular was James’ saying Morey should have “waited a week” to post his support for Hong Kong.
USA Today published a sarcastic response to James with this conclusion: “Not supporting other Americans who exercise that same freedom because it might personally inconvenience you for a few days overseas, LeBron, is without question the most disgraceful moment of your career.”
As hard-hitting as that last comment is, the USA Today article doesn’t take the cake to what the Babylon Bee posted. If you’re not familiar with the Bee, it is a parody news website that offers humor (sometimes biting humor) relevant to current events.
The Bee was pretty bold in displaying this headline: “LeBron James says Rosa Parks’ Bus Protest ‘Could Have Waited a Week.” Ouch!
Finally, Albert Mohler gave his perspective in his Oct. 17 edition of The Briefing, regarding James’ pitying how Morey’s tweet caused the all-star and the NBA to pause its financial success involving China:
“The background of that is the fact that people are now suffering oppression in Hong Kong that the Chinese Communist Party in China is breaking its promises of semi-autonomy with Hong Kong, the fact that the Chinese regime is now abusing human rights at the scale of millions, evidently in the view of LeBron James, that pales over against any interruption in the business model of the NBA.”
4. Take away tax-exemption
The next three DHD topics deal with the recent uproar that was caused directly by presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke who declared emphatically that churches and religious organizations that do not approve same-sex marriage or adhere completely to LGBTQ standards should have tax-exempt status removed.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention offered a great explainer this week about tax exemption for religious organizations.
The piece quotes Russell Moore who said about O’Rourke’s declaration, “Tax exemption for churches is not a ‘reward,’ but a recognition that the power to tax is the power to destroy. And, indeed, with these comments Congressman O’Rourke threatens to destroy every church, synagogue or other religious institution that does not adopt his viewpoint on sexual ethics over and against their own traditions and authoritative texts. That is not the American way.”
5. Mohler on candidates and LGBTQ
The Tuesday, Oct. 14 edition of The Briefing is a required listening or a must-read when it comes to understanding the ramifications of the push by the democratic presidential candidates of tax-exemption removal for churches religious organizations.
Every single point Mohler gives is important. He did a lot of work in this presentation, especially the breakdown of each candidate’s viewpoint on this issue. I especially appreciate how he calls out Elizabeth Warren’s smugness and comments on her bold remark “If you don’t hold the view I hold on same-sex marriage, you’re not even worthy of anyone marrying you.”
Mohler’s take on Warren’s antics and the support it drew from those attending the event, “It should tell us a very great deal that that is now an applause line with millions and millions of Americans. If you are not in support of same-sex marriage, which after all has been around legally in the United States for four years, then you are so backward that you don’t even deserve to be married yourself. No one should want to marry you.”
6. Christian colleges’ response to threat tax-exemption removal
I have mentioned before that I appreciation Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra’s writing. Every time I go to The Gospel Coalition’s website and find one of her articles, I’ll read it immediately. She never disappoints me.
Zylstra did an excellent job in interviewing many Christian college president to get their response to the possibility of their respective institutions of higher learning facing no longer being tax exempted.
Check out her article “‘No Obvious Answer’: How Christian Colleges Are Responding to LGBTQ Regulations.”
One of the best comments in the piece is from Covenant College president Derek Halvorson:
“We aren’t going to compromise on clear biblical direction with regard to matters like marriage and sexuality. It’s important for students to see that, and to recognize there may be costs associated with being faithful.”