Thursday, September 22, 2005

Pushed As Far As I Can Go

So this is how it ends? With a thud. Four straight losses. Three of them in which the Nats held the lead with two outs in the ninth.

Last night was a little different, as Washington fell 5-1 to San Francisco, paced by Barry Bonds' fourth homer of the year. Bonds may not be doing it ethically or legally, but damn -- he's good.

I didn't see the game, so I won't pretend to have anything insightful to say about it. But I do want to rip Mr. Tony Kornheiser a new one.

In today's Washington Post, Mr. Tony finally gets around to devoting his precious six paragraphs to the Nats. However, I guess shouldn't be surprised it's not actually about sports. In his "column" Kornheiser lays into Ryan Church for supposedly saying all Jews are doomed to eternal damnation.

If Church actually said that Jews are doomed to hell, then -- even though he has a right to his beliefs -- he shouldn't have framed it in such an unfortunate way.

But I think we should consider the possibility that Church is the victim of some ambiguous phrasing by the author of the article. Here's the section in question from the original article:

Church was concerned because his former girlfriend was Jewish. He turned to Moeller, "I said, like, Jewish people, they don't believe in Jesus. Does that mean they're doomed? Jon nodded, like, that's what it meant. My ex-girlfriend! I was like, man, if they only knew. Other religions don't know any better. It's up to us to spread the word."

Read that section again... I don't read that as Church proclaiming that Jews are doomed to eternal hellfire. As I read it, Church asked a question then reacted with surprise when receiving an answer from chaplain Jon Moeller. It sounds like he was merely relating to the reporter his reaction to the position stated by the chaplain.

I'm not going to get into a religious or political discussion here. I can understand that Kornheiser and others might be upset that some think they're doomed.

However, Mr. Tony's anger toward Church is misdirected. Ryan asked a question and received an answer. The reporter was recording his reaction to that answer. Kornheiser would be better served devoting his once-in-a-blue-moon excuse for a column to actual sports, rather than searching for a reason to make lame matzoh ball jokes at the expense of a guy searching for answers about his faith.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a similar reaction to the "column" church may be a bit ignorant and un wordly but to accuse him of Dooming Jews to hell is irresponsible.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

I wouldn't even go as far as ignorant. I would probably say something more like he's a guy searching for answers.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently (judging from his column in today's Post) Tony Kornheiser is a firm believer in free speech, except for when it offends him. In such cases, he apparently believes that he is the clear moral authority and his word is that of God.

It's Ok, Tony, we're all allowed to speak our minds no matter what you believe--that's why we live in America and not Cuba.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous BariNoVa said...

Too bad Tony Kornheiser doesn't see fit to attach an e-mail address to his so-called "column" in this morning's Post. Actually, that was not a "column", but, rather a RANT that should have been confined to his personal blog site (if he has one....). I'd like to tell Tony, the all-knowing one, what I think of him for his comments about Ryan Church. For starters, Tony chose the wrong guy to pick on from the article. As rocket1124 says, Ryan seems like a young guy searching for answers. And just perhaps, he asked the wrong guy for the answers. It was the so-called chaplain, Moeller, that Tony should have taken on. Not Ryan. Interesting, that as far as I know, Tony and Michael W. didn't choose to take on the "anti-Jewish" comments in their PTI show... or is religion verbotin as a topic of their rants on that show? Maybe Tony should have actually had a discussion with both Ryan and Moeller and tried to write an article for the Post rather than a rant.

Also, I'm inclined to doubt this country was really founded on religious freedom for ALL religions.... rather, it had something to do with freedom for Protestant type Christian religions... and the concept has been stretched to include all the other extraneous religions that exist....

9:56 AM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

and the concept has been stretched to include all the other extraneous religions that exist

And rightly so, I hope you would agree.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Daedalus said...

It's either
or Try them both.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think *you* might want to read that section again -- assuming that the reporter quoted Church correctly, his reaction to Jon Moeller's indictment (which, I agree, deserves to be lambasted [if that is even a word]) was: "I was like, man, if they only knew. Other religions don't know any better. It's up to us to spread the word."

Look at that for a second. "Other religions don't know any better. It's up to us to spread the word."

Tony's got every right to be pissed about that. This would serve as great bulletin-board material to "spread the word" about the pitfalls of evangelicalism. Not to mention the irony and the appaling lack of critical thinking at work.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's face it. Despite TK's "bandwagon" thing of the past, neither he nor his buddy Chi-town Wilbon are really Washington sportswriters. They view themselves as National Writers, as in deserving of nation wide attention. Their attention to the Washington Nationals impressive season has been minimal. Until now, of course, when an opportunity presents itself to slander a young ballplayer obviously just trying to grow as a person and ballplayer. How disappointing. Tony - we used to love you. What happened?

10:26 AM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

Look at that for a second. "Other religions don't know any better. It's up to us to spread the word."

I'll agree with you that even though he has a right to think that, he shouldn't have said it.

However, the jist of the blog entry is that I read it as a guy searching for answers about his faith. He has a new piece of info from Mr. Moeller and he's mulling it over in his head.

At worst, I think Ryan is guilty of untactfulness and perhaps some naivete. Neither of which deserves the degree of wrath dished out by Tony.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"However, the jist of the blog entry is that I read it as a guy searching for answers about his faith. He has a new piece of info from Mr. Moeller and he's mulling it over in his head."

I didn't hear contemplation of anything in that -- sounds like he took that doggerel as literal truth and formed a commitment to action based on it. Indeed, this is my biggest problem with the whole thing. Plenty of ideas are stupid -- some of them my own, I have been embarrassed to find out over the course of time -- but they all may be expressed, absent certain extraordinary consequences. But it takes a bit of deliberate and critical thinking to weigh what one hears, and that's precisely what did not seem to happen, as presented by the column.

To indulge in hyperbole, this is sort of how Crusades get their momentum.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

What I argue -- and perhaps not very well -- is that his comments lack context. The way it's presented certainly lends itself to the reading that Church is planning a "Crusade".

However, if one reads it in the context that of a young man reacting to a new piece of information, one can certainly forgive him his reaction.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally I am truly offended at the reaction that Mr Church and Mr Moeller have received over their religious discussion. The essence of religion is having a belief about the nature of God and the after-life. Mr Moeller is obviously an evangelical Christian and thus believes that for a person to be "saved" they must believe in Jesus Christ. This is basic Christian doctrine. I am sure he would say that a member of any other religious group which doesn't claim Christ is, within the precepts of his religion, "doomed". This is not bias against Jews, or any other religion or lack thereof. It is simply a belief in the exclusive claims of Christ. Mr Moeller's problem, along with every other person who doesn't believe in some form of Universal salvation (with the exception of really bad people like Hitler, Mussolini and Jerry Jones), is that modern society is biased against religion, particularly classically espoused evangelical Christianity. I don't know what the place is of a chaplin in the Nats clubhouse (at this point, it is too late for prayers), but please don't lynch a guy for believing in his religion. That is what bigots do.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point, Rocket. And young people (of any age, really) should be called on that sort of thing.

Nice blog, BTW. I only discovered it through the link accompanying TK's column on WP. Which says *something* about that org's willingness to take a shot to the chin in an effort to get a good exchange of ideas going...

10:55 AM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

Looks like I sparked some discussion! I'm certainly glad about that.

If all the "anoymous" people wouldn't mind signing a psuedonym, that would be great. It'd help keep everyone straight.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

By the way, I'm doing my best to leave my actual opinion about the idea of non-Christians and hell out of this discussion. I think it's irrelevant to my main point that TK is too hard on Church.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Yuda said...

...modern society is biased against religion, particularly classically espoused evangelical Christianity.

Bullshit. People just don't want to be harassed about their beliefs or lack thereof. Who does most of this harassing? Evangelical Christians.

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

…a guy searching for answers about his faith:

Is that "searching" possibly along the lines of a pogrom?

It is insensitive to judge the validity of one’s religious beliefs as having more value than another. Why in the age of information is there still such ignorance in our society? Faith in God should be inclusive and not bound to one religious belief opposed to another. TK is right for calling out Ryan Church’s comments. If TK offended anyone with his comments, good, you should offended and embarrassed.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Mitt Romney said...

Can't forget the Mormons, Yuda.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Yuda said...

It is insensitive to judge the validity of one’s religious beliefs as having more value than another.

Yeah, and it's also insensitive to say that Joe Horgan is a bad pitcher, but it doesn't change the fact that he is.

Every religion, obviously, thinks that it's correct and the other ones are wrong -- otherwise, why would you choose to be a member of a religion that you think has incorrect beliefs? Perhaps it's not PC to actually say it, but it's really not worthy of this little tempest in a teapot, either.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Yuda said...

The only reason I'm offended and embarassed about TK's comments is because he continues to draw a paycheck for his "sportswriting." He's been mailing it in for years.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

I still maintain that Church's comments lack context. And until the context of his remarks is clear, TK's anger (justified or not) should be directed at Moeller, not Church.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous lt_mandrake said...

I cannot believe how many of you are actually attacking Tony for criticizing Church and the Nats' chaplain for public anti-semitism. Tony was not going after Church. He was commenting on the fact that for a team whose fan-base has a lot of Jews in it to have its team chaplain encouraging religious intolerence and to have that made public by a young star is not smart. Church is obviously a moron. I have no hope that he will get any smarter, but hopefully he'll stay here and be a great ballplayer. No matter what he does, there is no way I will ever like the guy. Tony is on the money.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Yuda said...


So, you've never had an authority figure tell you something you found shocking? And, if you have, have you ever spent some time mulling it over before ultimately accepting or rejecting the idea?

Or did you just know everything, automatically, when you popped out of the womb?

12:08 PM  
Anonymous lt_mandrake said...

There's a difference between "mulling over" what someone said to you and publicly announcing your thoughts. In this day and age, only a total idiot thinks that saying all Jews are doomed - or even "My chaplain said all Jews are doomed?! Oh no! My ex-girlfriend needs to be saved!" - to the media is a good thing to do. True, there aren't many Hasids at RFK, but where does he think he's playing? Texas?

12:30 PM  
Blogger W. E. from DC said...

It is amusing to me that Ryan C's comments and Tony K's response to them has raised such a fuss...

I'd like to point something out... the country was founded on religious tolerance. A tolerance which started out aimed at certain sects of Protestants, has expanded to almost any religion, and more often then not is only applied nowadays to non-Protestant (and sometimes wider: non-Christian) "minority" religions. But the principle also argues for tolerance toward Christian views, no? We're supposed to support the majority as well as the minority. In this case, the official word of the majority faith (Christianity) is (to paraphrase): "Jesus or Bust" - last I checked. Now, some choose to overlook this belief, others de-emphasize it, some don't understand it (Ryan seemed to have fallen in this category), while others make it the centerpiece of their faith (Evangelical - with a capital E). I don't think Ryan was really all that far off base, after all this belief is company policy.

If you choose to not like the fact that someone's religion thinks it is the only "true" religion, and only the chosen ones go to the Good afterlife. Check the foundation of your religion; this is a common theme among nearly all major faiths. For Jews it is found in the "old" Testament part of the Bible which says under commandment one in effect "one true God... no false Gods over me." Muslims, have their own version, which I'll call for short: "Allah or bust." Other religions require certain rites of passage, or fundamental beliefs for ascension to higher states, etc. Implicit in all these requirements to get to the Holy land, is the understanding that if you fall short, well you burn... That is part of how religions get people to follow the Good path. These views are no more or less "tolerant" than the "you must find Jesus to find salvation" excerpts from the New Testament, which is in the very foundation of Christianity.

It seems tolerance and properly following one's faith can sometimes be, or at least seem, at odds. If Ryan Church truly believed that you need to find Jesus to be saved, as his faith dictates he should, would his comments be inappropriate? After all, he's merely trying to save some souls. If he's not allowed to believe this fundamental cornerstone of his faith - without being blacklisted- then those who choose to blacklist also ring of intolerance, and for that matter hypocrisy. We've gotten to a point in our culture, where it is politically damning to follow one's religion, and it is politically damning to not follow any (good luck running for office on the atheist platform).

It seems it's hard to just relax and "all just, get along."

12:36 PM  
Anonymous lt_mandrake said...

No matter what Church "really" believes, he's a professional, or is expected to be at least. He is a fairly high-profile member of a very high-profile team as far as people in this city are concerned. His comments are damaging to the franchise. If I believed that all Christians are doomed, and I started talking about it at work, I would be fired, and rightly so. Intolerence like that has no place in DC.

As a sidenote, if Church really is trying to figure out whether or not all us Jews are damned, he might want to consider the fact that the Roman Catholic Church has stated that Jews can be Jews and they won't go to Hell for it.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Yuda said...

w.e. from d.c. hits the nail on the head.

The thing that's hard to do is figure out exactly where the line is. At what point do you need to leave somebody alone if they say "I've considered Christianity/Judaism/Islam/Zoroastrianism/etc. and it's just not for me"?

That, indeed, is the trick. There are plenty of members of all faiths who don't push others -- or at least don't push them much. But there are also people who push, I'd say, harder than is necessarily appropriate.

But it's also really not up to the gov't to draw that line -- in fact, I'd argue the constitution doesn't allow it. But then, who does draw it?

12:48 PM  
Blogger Yuda said...


Did you even read the article?

Church was recounting for the reporter the conversation he'd had with the chaplain. He didn't seek out the reporter looking to damn Jews to fire and brimstone.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous lt_mandrake said...

I would say there is a precedent that the Constitution does draw that line. As a society, we have repeatedly supported the idea that your freedoms end where they start to infringe upon the freedoms of others. You are free to practice your religion, I am free to practice mine, but if you interfere with my practicing my religion, you are infringing upon my rights.
But above all of this, America is founded on good business more than the bill of rights. And my point remains that beliefs aside, Church's comments were not good business. That is the one American Deadly Sin.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous lt_mandrake said...

Yes, I read what he said. Did he have a gun to his head? Couldn't play it safe and just say "We talked for awhile. It was personal." That's what a real heads-up anti-semite does!

12:57 PM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

Here's what I imagine happened...

Church is dressing at his locker and the reporter comes up to him and asks him about the chapel service. She asks him if he learned anything at chapel. Church relates what he heard about Jews and hell. He also relays his reaction saying, "I was like, wow, what about my ex-gf? If that's actually true, it's up to us to spread the word."

Now I'm not saying that situation happened. But it certainly is plausible. And if it did, Ryan is guilty of being too helpful to the reporter. He made a mistake by portraying the conversation with the chaplain as his own opinion.

If that's the case, Church may be naive, tactless or unprofessional, but he's been misunderstood and doesn't deserve the wrath of TK.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Yuda said...

The fact that you think he's an anti-semite -- even though he's clearly not; the kid dated a Jewish girl, to begin with -- tells me pretty much everything I need to know about having a useful conversation with you.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

That's what a real heads-up anti-semite does!

I'm trying to keep my hands off the discussion, but that's an awfully low blow.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous lt_mandrake said...

Oh please. Can't you people take a joke? I apologize for tyring to emphasize my point with a little tongue-in-cheek sensationalism. Far be it for me, who has never met the man, to label him an anti-semite. He may well be nothing more than a confused kid who doesn't know when to shut up. Heck, he's probably exactly that. He certainly hasn't demonstrated to me, however, that he has much potential to get any smarter about the things he says.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous ..

RC has every right to believe whatever he wants. There seems to be a double standard as pointed out by some of the other bloggers. The way I see it, RC was concerned with compassion about the eternal state of those who do not believe. The view articulated did not condemn people because of there nationality or family ties, rather it was on the basis of their relationship to God or lack there of. As far as condemnation goes, Jesus Himself said "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."
I would commend RC, because if this is true, to hold back would be treasonous to his fellow man. Additionally, RC is willing to go forth with it at the risk of ridicule, which is expected.

I do not understand why TK or anyone else should be offended by what RC or the chaplain said except knowing what the Apostle Paul, a Jewish Guy in the 1st Century AD, wrote in his 1st letter to the Corinthians (verses 1:21-24):
"For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God."

P.S.: Evangelical Christianity & the Baseball Chaplain Program doesn't seem to be a problem on the World Champion Boston Redsox. Check out the Boston Globe article: Faith binds many on Sox - Evangelical Christians give sport a spiritual context

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Girth said...

Mandrake: Why should Church have to shut up?

You all have been talking about free speech and intolerance. What Church said was his opinion, his belief, (and the basic principle of christianity). Also, He wasn't acting as a spokesman for the Nats either. He was responding to a question about a religous discussion with a Christian Chaplin with his opinion. (Why the Nationals or any other Business would provide religous teaching/counseling at work is beyond me, but that is a whole other issue.)

By stating his belief, he wasn't condeming Jews or being intolerant of them. What he did NOT say is, Jews should be doomed or that there is no place for Jews, or Jews are idiots.. THAT WOULD BE INTOLERANT.

In Fact, he said they should be saved. As others have mentioned already, he was generally CONCERNED about his ex girlfriend based on his understanding of HIS religion.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous BariNoVa said...

Wow, mandrake... who the he ll are you anyway, that you seem to think your opinions are the correct ones. What, exactly, did you mean by saying something along the lines that the Constitution disallows "interferring with someone's right to practice their faith"? Is that what Ryan was doing by making a comment to a reporter about something that he'd talked about in "chapel"?

oh, and rocket, I do wonder why you asked me if I thought that it was rightly so that the religious freedom of the Constitution had been extended to include other extraneous religions... and then later say that you were trying to stay out of the rightness or wrongness of religions (not your words, but my take on them....). Anyway, been there, done that, don't much care for all the multi-culti crap that is going on in this country where nobody can say anything any more without being called on the carpet for having hurt someone's feelings. A while back, a Japanese Minister of Economics (or some such) said that the mongrelization of America would lead to it's downfall (again, my take on his words)... and the more I see of the way things are going here, the more I think he had a point.

Anyway, back to Ryan: Ryan Church is a ballplayer, not a minister or chaplin or priest or whatever other religious title one might pick up. So far, he hasn't picked up his bible and come pounding on my door (as some Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses surely have). So I just don't have any problem with what he said.... but I'm surely starting to have problems with some of the things that are being said here.

Oh, and I second what rocket says about using some kind of identifying name so we can at least figure out if it is the same anonymous making all the comments... what is so difficult about taking a user name, which is as anonymous as "anonymous"....

1:37 PM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

What I was asking of you, BariNoVa, was not a statement on the validity of Judaism or any other faith. Just whether you agreed everyone deserved religious freedom.

I have very strong views on my own faith, but I definitely believe in religious freedom. I don't think saying that makes a pronouncement on whether members of any particular religion are going to hell.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous lt_mandrake said...

If you guys are going to respond to my comments, you might at least have the decency to read them. I really don't care a lick for what Ryan Church thinks about Jews personally. He is certainly entitled to his religion and his opinions. My point remains that what he said, indeed the fact that he said anything on the matter, was bad for business. No, Ryan Church is not the voice of the Nats, but he is the voice of Ryan Church, Professional Baseball Player. In a city with a whole lot of Jewish baseball fans, Ryan Church, Inc. isn't practicing very good public relations. Why do people get so down on Jose Guillen? Because he says stupid things. You don't hear the Wilk saying stuff like that, hence people like him. I may not like Nick Johnson's haircut, but he never said he's worried that I might need to be saved from my heathen religion. Did Church outright say that he thinks that Jews are all headed for Hell and he has to save us? No. But he did say that he was struck by what the team chaplain said to him, and for even a slight breeze to catch a sail, it has to be pointed in the right direction. I think that was very clear from what he foolishly said and that is why I think Tony's mini-column made a very valid point.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't really matter what Ryan Church or Jon Moeller says. Listen to the Word of God: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12
"Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me."

2:27 PM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

I want to redirect the discussion back to the point, Anonymous, whether or not TK's criticism of Church was warrented.

2:28 PM  
Blogger D said...

Well Rocket, I see you have a new record for comments being set here. I'll push you to the 40 mark. Anways, thought I'd chime in to say that I agree that your interpretation of events is entirely possible. RC got a comment from the minister that, in today's society, is perceived as somewhat extreme. So he is grappling with it. He probably screwed up and dropped the healthy amount of paranoia one should have when dealing with the media. To put it another way, one can believe people other than you are going to hell, but it's probably not polite to tell them so. And while that may seem trite, politeness and manners is what makes diverse societies able to function. Faith is a personal journey.

2:33 PM  
Blogger D said...

To be redirected back to the point, TK's criticism was misguided. He instantly assumed the worst of RC without considering any other possible interpretation. The worst is, of course, a better story. It may not be the truth.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous lt_mandrake said...

Well said, Rocket. I guess the fact is clear that when sports personalities start talking religion, nowhere is safe. Nevertheless, if a ballplayer is going to say something that even hints at intolerence, he has to be stupid not to expect some people to blow up. I hardly think Tony blew up. I think his mini-column was humorous and well written. He makes the clear point that Church shouldn't have said anything and that he should consider a few more view points that that of the chaplain on such things as whether or not he should go around saving people who might not want to be saved. Hey, if Church wants to go Temple on a fact-finding mission, he'd certainly up the stock of Ryan Church, Inc.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

I think (and it sounds like you agree, lt_mandrake) that RC is guilty only of tactlessness.

Further (and you may disagree) I think he's suffering because the article gave the impression he'd already decided to start hunting down non-believers.

I read it as a guy who is processing a lot of information about religion and salvation. Including the opinions of Moeller. I didn't want this to be a debate about the merits of Moeller's opinion.

Rather, I wanted to point out that I feel Ryan is being lampooned for an opinion that it's not even clear he actually holds.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Yuda said...

Anonymous re: Acts verse

You believe that. I do not. The Bible was written by men and has been translated many times by men. It cannot be taken literally.

2:47 PM  
Blogger John IV said...

now I may just be stirring up stuff...

but people are awfully sensitive.

I really think that Church's true mistake was even getting into this discussion in the first place.


because people in general are not reasonable. and no matter WHAT he could have possibly said regarding Christianity and Jewish People, or any circumstance that could possibly surround the issue, Jewish People (like Tony K) would have lambasted him for merely saying the word "Jewish".

that's my simple take on things. and looking at the Comments to this blog entry, and reading comments like Kornheiser's I see no reason why I should change this outlook.

enlighten me.

2:49 PM  
Anonymous lt_mandrake said...

Okay, John, what if Church had said: "Then Moeller said that all the Jews are going to Hell unless we save them, and I said 'Whoa, Dude, you're really stupid!'" I doubt Tony would object to that. Or what if Church had said: "Chaplain Moeller and I talked about different faiths and Christianity. It really made me think about stuff. It's kinda personal." That probably wouldn't have bothered anyone.

2:55 PM  
Blogger W. E. from DC said...

I also believe that “Faith is a personal journey” as “D” said. But many individuals, and more importantly many Religions disagree with that stance.

The very nature of evangelizing (not with a capital ‘E’) is that one should spread the faith. This concept can be found at the very core of Christianity. (I don’t have a copy of the Bible handy, but trust me it’s in there) To some it is as much a sin to not speak out (be it door to door, to ones congregation or friends, or through non-P.C. statements to the media). Was it within the pastor’s role to communicate to an inquiring charge (Ryan Church) the information that the Bible teaches that people are either saved or not, and if one doesn’t fall into the group that BELIEVES x, y, and z; DOES a, b, and c; and DOESN’T DO e, f, or - God forbid – g? I’d argue that is within his job description. Is it appropriate for Mr. Church to then express his thoughts about this to the media? I wouldn’t do it, be they my beliefs or not. I wouldn’t suggest it, as it clearly is not acceptable by “P.C.” standards. But it is not my job, or anyone else’s in a free society, to tell him he was wrong for mentioning this to the press.

While it’s not a judgment call to say Mr. Church made a really bad business decision. P.C. standards, that try to tell Mr. Church to shut up, are not any different than a standard telling the Mormon’s/Jehovah’s Witness/ etc. that they shouldn’t knock on my door, or solicit my attention on the city street. We may not like it when they try to speak their faith publicly, but to say they are wrong for doing so is to do exactly what we say they are doing: imposing our moral beliefs over others.

2:56 PM  
Blogger CrazyMike27 said...

Non-Christians don't need saving. They need to be allowed to practice their own religion or lack of religion without having to deal with people trying to "save" them.

The concept of "saving" someone who does not believe in Christ is perceived as arrogant and ignorant by a non-Christian (at least this one - and many others - if not all non-Christians).

Why? Because "saving" someone has nothing to do with religous freedom - except that when you are trying to "save" somebody - you are infringing on their right to practice their own religion or lack thereof.

Remember, Jews don't go around saying that if you believe in Christ (or any non-Jewish idol) - that you are going to hell. How many Christians would have a problem with Judaism if that were a core belief????? HUH???

Who is more intolerant - Christians who try and "save" people - or the Non-Christians who tell Christians to piss off? I don't know and I don't care.

All i know is that the only person in DC who should be worried about "saving" is Chad Cordero.

Oh. And Christians who honestly were unaware that when you try and "save" someone - you are only being offensive? Now you know!!!! If we want to convert to Christianity - we'll find you. But, don't wait up for us.

Be happy with your own religion. Understand that I don't need your religion to be happy, saved, or doubled in for the game winning run.

___Crazy Mike

3:05 PM  
Blogger John IV said...

lt_mandrake - I do think Tony would take issue with the first one. Besides that, why should he say "Whoa dude you are really stupid?" is he obligated to defend Judaism? What if he believed what the guy said?

The 2nd, sure that is fine. But that is totally changing the issue.

The issue is, he asked a question, reacted to the answer, and relayed the experience to a reporter.


he didn't Doom and Jews to hell. He didn't walk up to a Jewish Person and tell him, "You are going to hell ."

He asked a question, and reacted to the answer.

if ANYONE should be criticized by Jewish People, it is the Chaplain.

But of course the unreasonable and oversensitive(like Tony K) want to make a big stinking fuss over a professional athlete, just because he is a professional athlete. If a guy on the corner was interviewed in the Post and said "all Jews are doomed", Tony Kornheiser would not give him a second thought.

Incidentally, I read an article that said that some Jewish folks in DC swore never to go to another Nationals game "because of Church's comments." I'm wondering if they are sure it's because of the comments, or because the playoffs are no longer an option.

and I wondering if I can have their tickets for the rest of the season.

This whole issue is ridiculous, and it only shows that when it comes to matters of race and/or religion, NOBODY is reasonable, and EVERYBODY is entirely too insecure and sensitive.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous bcdNoVa said...

Hate to say it, Mike, but there's no right not to be offended. If you want free speech, you have to tolerate in others. You're free to think they're idiots, you may decide not to listen, but they're free to say their opinion.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous bcdNoVa said...

I'll add that I'm plenty annoyed when Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on my door. But that's the price of free speech.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Yuda said...

CrazyMike27: The government can infringe your right to free religion, not private citizens.

3:11 PM  
Blogger John IV said...

Incidentally - Political Correctness is merely a fancy-titled excuse for people with nothing better to do to whine their hearts out about everything that the next man does, instead of worrying about their own lives.

just a thought.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Lurker said...

Anti-Semitism? Intolerance? Saving People? Please...

3:38 PM  
Anonymous lt_mandrake said...

Complaining about how PC people are won't get you anywhere. It's a fact of contemporary American life. Most people want to like all the players and if one of them says something "non-PC" a lot of people will react poorly. Anyone who doesn't realize this is extremely ignorant. Church is paid to be a good ballplayer, but if he hurts the team's ticket sales by being stupid and ignorant, he's not going to look to good to whatever owner we get, especially if it's a member of the Tribe. Don't blame the hyper-sensitive. It's naive not to account for them. All this talk about his right to his religion, the freedom to go around "saving" innocent Jews, Satan worshipers, etc. has nothing to do with why what Church said was wrong. We are all adult enough to realize what happens in today's America when someone with a public persona says something like that. I'm sure if you took Church's comments and just replaced the word "Jewish" with "Catholic" people would be just as upset.

3:44 PM  
Blogger CrazyMike27 said...

Oh, I know that I have no right not to be offended. I would have sued many a people a long, long time ago if I had a right not to be offended.

I also never said anything about changing Ryan Church's beliefs, boycotting the Nats, demanding a trade of Church, or anti-semetism.

But, i do have the right to explain why I was offended (especially given the large number of people still unclear as to why the comments were offensive).

And I also have the right to ask that those who did the offending to stop the offensive acts.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

And I also have the right to ask that those who did the offending to stop the offensive acts.

Absolutely true.

4:26 PM  
Blogger CrazyMike27 said...

To answer the original questions posed by the blogger:

1. Church very well could have been quoted out of context - and it remains unclear what the true context of his conversation with the chaplain was.

2. Tony Kornheiser absolutely has a right to mention this in his column and I'm glad he did. He may have spent less time bashing Church and more time bashing the chaplain - but i'm glad he spoke his mind on this one - as I feared nobody in the media would have. He can talk about the Nats blowing the wild card in his next column.

3. I still wouldn't sum up Church's involvement as nicely as "a confused boy looking for religious guidance" - but in fairness to him - he is young as is still growing. Professional athlete or not - he is a kid. He still could have distanced himself greater from the chaplain or had a stronger apology if he wanted to avoid getting lumped into the situation.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to make this one short: Church is 27. He's not a baby. At the very least I'd have to say he doesn't appear to be the locker-room Scrabble champ.

At 27 there are a lot of things in life you may be unsure of. Whether non-Christians are doomed to Hell and need to be proselytized isn't one of them.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Rocket1124 said...

Agree or disagree with TK if you want, but I think it's awfully presumptious to assume that any 27 year old will have figured out everything in life.

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of the big problems I have with organized religion. Too often religions seem overly concerned with preening about and declaring themselves to be the one, true superior faith above all others and I can't see where this sort of nonsense helps anybody, and it just spreads ill will and bad feelings.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toleration in our society means that we have the right to hold dissenting opinions - without fear of reprisal from others or from the government. It means that different opinions have equal protection under the law - not that different opinions are all equally valid.

To determine the validity of various opinions, there must be the right for open and free discussion - no book burning.

Toleration assumes a certain level of freedom to express different opinions. Without the right of expression, there is no toleration. TK is the one here who is intolerant.

On a more personal note, TK's comments appeared to be motivated by an intense disregard for the personal beliefs of RC. RC's comments, on the other hand, appear to be motivated by a concern for a fellow human being - and the need to share what the Bible calls the "Gospel" - which means Good News.

Once, when a Protestant pastor was questioned by a reporter if Jewish people need Jesus in order to go to heaven, he responded that his own children need Jesus to go to heaven. Unless Evangelical Christians can be accused of hating their own children, they cannot be accused of hating Jewish people.

11:09 AM  
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1:29 PM  

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