Margaret Court. Some pastors appear completely deaf to the offense they cause.
Margaret Court has waded into the marriage equality debate. Margaret is, arguably, the greatest female tennis player of all time. She had a winning percentage rate of 92%! She is also Senior Pastor of the Victory Life Centre Church in Perth WA.
On the eve of the Australian Open Tennis Championship Margaret has again used the event and her profile as a tennis champion to voice her opposition to marriage equality. In 2002 she made a very public statement about the “abomination” of homosexuality and in 2006 she accused lesbian tennis players of ruining the sport and being a bad example to young aspiring players.
In this most recent outburst Margaret said that “no human law could ever change God’s divine law”. She rejects any assertion that a homosexual person could possibly be born that way. She says that homosexuality should be kept behind closed doors and that they have no right to speak up for their own civil rights. She has intimated that families which comprise same sex couples are not strong or healthy family units. She has called these families unhealthy and unatural. She again mentioned the “abomination” references in the Old Testament. She calls opposing views “ignorance”. She states that our society will suffer “ills” from the homosexual violation of the “God given nature of what is right and what is wrong”
All in all, a nice “loving”, traditional, Christian approach…sigh…
In response, lesbian tennis champions Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean KIng, and Australian Rennae Stubbs are quite measured…
Navratilova told TennisChannel.com “Seems to me a lot of people have evolved as has the Bible, unfortunately Margaret Court has not.”
“Her myopic view is truly frightening as well as damaging to the thousands of children already living in same gender families.”
“I have tried to talk to Margaret, but to say she’s completely close-minded on the issue is an understatement,” Navratilova said. “Here is hoping Australia will be on the right side of history and human rights, and become yet another democracy granting equal rights to all her citizens.”
Billie Jean King responded to Court’s statements by saying that the issue of gay marriage needs to be talked about, and “we have to commit to eliminating homophobia because everyone is entitled to the same rights, opportunities and protection.”
Australian doubles star Rennae Stubbs, who publically came out in 2006, said Court’s comments were particularly troubling because she was her idol.
“As a young Australian tennis player, I aspired to be like Margaret Court,” Stubbs said. “This is why it has been very difficult to understand her words of hate directed towards homosexuals. It is unfortunate that someone with her stature has chosen to propagate discrimination and I disagree with her comments wholeheartedly.”
(From Tennis Now 12 January 2012)
Court said she had never felt hatred towards gay people and was merely expressing God’s word, as taken literally from the Scriptures.
It had nothing to do with people personally or tennis players. I remember speaking to Navratilova 10 years ago on something she brought up with me and I said ‘Martina, I love you, God loves you, but a wrong doesn’t make a right’.
When I spoke a month ago and stood for marriage, things came back from tennis players who probably didn’t read what I wrote.
Yes. Margaret… Im sure thats the problem. They obviously didn’t read what you wrote. Because… surely…no one could possibly take offense from any of your ascerbic, inflamatory, bigotted and hateful words.
Sadly, she gives voice to attitudes held by too many fundamentalist religious leaders.
Anyway, speaking of tennis, offensive outbursts and remaining deaf to the offense they cause, remember McEnroe? Remember “Not the Nine O’clock News”. Watch and enjoy.
(There is a language warning on this one…)
Referenced articles for the above for anyone interested.