I strongly doubt that I am on the front edge of putting out there the recent news about a Maryland politician and local pastor, Emmett C. Burns Jr. and his letter to the owner of the Baltimore Ravens regarding statements made by one of the Raven players on support of gay rights but the news and particularly the supporting letter back to Burns from a teammate were so impactful I thought I’d re-post it in case anyone reading this blog missed it. I apparently did (sometimes too busy to keep up with the news and not a strong sports news person) but as soon as my wife pointed this news item out to me, my immediate response was “need to get it out in my blog”.
Quick facts – Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has spoken out in favor of a Maryland ballot initiative that would legalize gay marriage. Burns shot off a letter on Maryland House of Delegate letterhead to Ravens owner Steven Bisciotti seeking action against Ayanbadejo. That letter follows. An NFL teammate of Brendon, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe’s, then shot off a response to Burns – and it has to be one of the best letters/responses to an asshole of Burns caliber that I have ever read – I can only dream of writing so clearly and thoughtfully. Not a whole lot more comment necessary on Chris Kluwe’s note – pretty much sure most thinking people would pretty much read it and go “f”ing A” – nice response.
So, first, Pastor Dimwit’s letter:
Credit: Yahoo Sports
This is even better given Burns is black and should be a bit more understanding of prejudice and equal rights – but then again, many of these small thinkers don’t take it that far – pretty much a view of “I’ve got mine – time to shit on others”.
Now the best part. The reply from Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe:
Dear Emmett C. Burns Jr.,
I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland’s state government. Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level. The views you espouse neglect to consider several fundamental key points, which I will outline in great detail (you may want to hire an intern to help you with the longer words):
1. As I suspect you have not read the Constitution, I would like to remind you that the very first, the VERY FIRST Amendment in this founding document deals with the freedom of speech, particularly the abridgment of said freedom. By using your position as an elected official (when referring to your constituents so as to implicitly threaten the Ravens organization) to state that the Ravens should “inhibit such expressions from your employees,” more specifically Brendon Ayanbadejo, not only are you clearly violating the First Amendment, you also come across as a narcissistic fromunda stain. What on earth would possess you to be so mind-boggingly stupid? It baffles me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another person’s right to speech. To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the word. Mindfucking obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a little bit.
2. “Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment, and excitement.” Holy fucking shitballs. Did you seriously just say that, as someone who’s “deeply involved in government task forces on the legacy of slavery in Maryland”? Have you not heard of Kenny Washington? Jackie Robinson? As recently as 1962 the NFL still had segregation, which was only done away with by brave athletes and coaches daring to speak their mind and do the right thing, and you’re going to say that political views have “no place in a sport”? I can’t even begin to fathom the cognitive dissonance that must be coursing through your rapidly addled mind right now; the mental gymnastics your brain has to tortuously contort itself through to make such a preposterous statement are surely worthy of an Olympic gold medal (the Russian judge gives you a 10 for “beautiful oppressionism”).
3. This is more a personal quibble of mine, but why do you hate freedom? Why do you hate the fact that other people want a chance to live their lives and be happy, even though they may believe in something different than you, or act different than you? How does gay marriage, in any way shape or form, affect your life? If gay marriage becomes legal, are you worried that all of a sudden you’ll start thinking about penis? “Oh shit. Gay marriage just passed. Gotta get me some of that hot dong action!” Will all of your friends suddenly turn gay and refuse to come to your Sunday Ticket grill-outs? (Unlikely, since gay people enjoy watching football too.)
I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population—rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children. You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?
In closing, I would like to say that I hope this letter, in some small way, causes you to reflect upon the magnitude of the colossal foot in mouth clusterfuck you so brazenly unleashed on a man whose only crime was speaking out for something he believed in. Best of luck in the next election; I’m fairly certain you might need it.
Sincerely, Chris Kluwe
P.S. I’ve also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so you can take your “I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing” and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole.
So today, I’m going to begin a new award. In the spirit of trying to be more positive than my usual negative intent, I want to actually recognize these two NFL players who have taken that step forward and taken us a little bit forward to progressive thinking on one hand (Brendon) and calling an asshole an asshole when deserved on the other (Chris). In both cases a role model that is critical in moving this country forward.
Brendon – congrats on being the first recipient of the “Hero of the Day” award –
Brendon Ayanbadejo – Baltimore Ravens
We have a “twofer” today as I would also like to recognize Chris for his elegant and impactful response –
Chris Kluwe – Minnesota Vikings
Of course, given this attention and what would seem to be extra outrage back at the man, Pastor Burns has now done a quick turnaround and has made statements supporting Brendon Ayanbadejo’s right to state his opinion. Of course that goes without saying (or should). However, no apologies for recognition of his obvious step over the line. In any case, here is an person whom deserves some extra attention. And of course, it wouldn’t be me without doling out a “Head in the Butt” award when so obviously deserved.
So here you go Pastor Burns – no doubt Jesus would be proud –
Maryland politician and minister Emmett C. Burns Jr.
And thank you for re-affirming my decision to embrace atheism and for also showing that the Republican party doesn’t have all the miscreants.