Just to wrap up this thread, I understand that the NCAA has quietly dropped all plans to use the FOTF ads in the future, specifically during the fast approaching men’s NCAA basketball tournament. Thanks to the NCAA for doing the right thing. Kudos to all the folks who wrote to the NCAA expressing your concern/outrage/disappointment about the NCAA associating themselves with FOTF and their exclusionary political agenda. Also, a special hat tip to Sean Chapin who created that wonderful video that clearly explained the problems with the NCAA being associated with FOTF.
Hearing from so many individuals from member schools, NCAA sports fans and others convinced the NCAA that the ads would only serve to distract from the basketball and reminded them that people take the NCAA’s stated commitments to diversity and inclusion seriously and expect them to do the same. I hope the tone of these letters and email to the NCAA were more civil and reasoned than many of the emails and blog comments I got from people who disagree with my position on this.
It’s been an education for me. I don’t think I have ever been called a “hate-filled ignorant hypocritical fascist” before. I have been called a “sexual deviate,” and a “pervert” before, but I don’t recall being told there was no such thing as gay people, which is weird since I am one and know a whole bunch of others who are. It’s not like we are a nation of Easter Bunnies after all. A few people said they would pray for God to have mercy on my soul or called on me to repent. Thanks, but no thanks. I certainly have many failings and imperfections, but loving a woman isn’t one of them and I am certainly not a sinner because I disagree with a particularly narrow interpretation of what it means to be a Christian.
A part of me would like to have a face to face conversation with some of the folks who wrote to me about my blogs on the NCAA/FOTF situation (others, not so much, they are a little scary). I think it is good when we can get out of our own echo chamber sometimes to talk with people who see things differently whether we are talking politics, religion or social justice. But, for me to engage in that conversation, it would need to be civil and respectful. The goals would need to be understanding and seeking common ground, not conversion or condemnation. It is a sad commentary on how polarized our public dialogues have become that I don’t see this kind of conversation as a realistic possibility anytime soon.