USA Today columnist Mike Freeman is calling for an upcoming Promise Keeper's event at the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, to be canceled due to CEO Ken Harrison's biblical viewpoints on homosexuality.
"Comments like Harrison's shouldn't be anywhere near an NFL team. A company like AT&T shouldn't be associated with them, either," Freeman wrote in his op-ed.
"By allowing this conference to happen at one of football's meccas, and by AT&T allowing it, they are helping to mainstream hate speech," he continued.
The "hate speech" he refers to is the Promise Keeper's CEO's biblical view on gender and gender roles, of which Ken Harrison spoke on during a radio interview. He also reaffirmed his beliefs in a USA Today Sports interview.
"Look, today's culture is blurring the lines when it comes to sexual identity," he wrote. "Both Promise Keepers and I subscribe to a Biblical worldview when it comes to male and female, and that's one of the religious freedoms we celebrate in our nation. Sometimes we agree with culture, and sometimes we don't."
Freeman said Harrison's remarks were "offensive" and "inaccurate," quoting Harrison as using the Promise Keepers event to tout religious persecution which, Freeman claims, does not exist.
"The irony of defining my words as hate speech is that is exactly the opposite of what we teach," Harrison wrote. "All people everywhere are welcome to come to our rally to celebrate and be unified around the fact that God forgives the sins of all who believe in Jesus."
Freeman claims a solution is simple:
"What could the Cowboys do? The team essentially rents the stadium, so it's true they technically can't prevent the Promise Keepers from being there. But if owner Jerry Jones, one of the most powerful men in all of sports, didn't want the event to occur at the stadium, he could likely use his influence to make it disappear. Same with AT&T," he concluded.
Evangelist Franklin Graham came to Promise Keeper's defense:
.@PromiseKeepers has encouraged men from a biblical perspective for 30+ years. 80K men are planning to attend their Dallas event in July. This writer says AT&T Stadium & the Cowboys shouldn't associate w/ the group due to their biblical stance on marriage. https://t.co/DwSNvfGk1k— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) May 6, 2021
This is the cancel culture speaking. The issue is religious freedom. This event is about the freedom to believe, share, study, and celebrate biblical truth in love.— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) May 6, 2021
Freeman continued the "conversation," referencing President Joe Biden as "extremely religious" and comparing Harrison's faith to that of the president. Unlike Harrison, Freeman sees Biden's faith as something that "doesn't stop him from seeing trans people as human beings." He further claimed, "Biden gives hope that eventually good will win against hate."
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