Religious institutions can be more than a little overbearing. Just this week a Catholic school in Massachusetts banned the children of a gay couple. The same thing happened in Colorado earlier this year, and will likely happen again. Now the Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, has gotten in on the discriminatory fun by prohibiting a women’s softball team from playing in a tournament because the team’s coach likes ladies. This goes above and beyond crossing the line.
Jana J. Jacobson claims that she and her team, which is made up of gay and straight players, were looking for teams with which to play, and learned that Bellevue Baptist had a team. So, following protocol, they applied for some friendly competition. The Church seemed keen, until they caught whiff of Jacobson’s lesbian ways; or, to use their term, “deviant” behavior. That was the end of their would-be match-up. The church had no comment. That’s not surprising, because they should be endlessly embarrassed.
This softball story differs from other examples of religious discrimination in that this team is not part of the Church, nor were they trying to “infiltrate” in any way. They simply wanted some friendly competition. Bellevue, in all its ignorant glory, couldn’t even find the balls to interact with gay people, and that’s totally shameful.
I can understand religious institutions trying to sexually police – and purge – their ranks. I don’t condone it, but I understand it. Bellevue goes beyond even that: they’re constructing an insular little world where gays and their opposition can’t even meet on a level playing field. There’s not even a show of faux soul searching. They just flat out refuse to consort with queers. At least the aforementioned Massachusetts school offered to help the gay couple’s kids find a new educational facility.
Bellevue simply comes off like a congregation of bigots who forfeited the game to flamers. And, unlike official forfeits, no one wins. That’s too bad, because I would have loved to see a bunch of lesbians take down these ignorant Bible Betties.