The Tampa Bay Rays, like many companies, are promoting LGBTQ+ pride during the month of June. Not everyone on the roster wants to, though. According to several news reports, several Tampa Bay pitchers were among players who removed the LGBTQ+ pride patch from their uniforms. Post-game, one player made a summary statement.

… we all said what we want is them to know that all are welcome and loved here. But when we put it on our bodies, I think a lot of guys decided that it’s just a lifestyle that maybe — not that they look down on anybody or think differently — it’s just that maybe we don’t want to encourage it if we believe in Jesus, who’s encouraged us to live a lifestyle that would abstain from that behavior, just like (Jesus) encourages me as a heterosexual male to abstain from sex outside of the confines of marriage.

What? Faith? To that, I respond, “Bullhockey.”

Maybe what they really appear to say is, “We believe you should be safe. And we will take your money to watch us play. However, while you’re safe and we take your money, we’re never going to accept you. Our faith demands we don’t.”

I am going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing their faith is based upon a single badass book. Remember, that badass book has multiple themes.

  • 4 Kings 2:23-24– Don’t make fun of bald people or two female bears may eat you;
  • Judges 19:22-30 – Unwilling to let guests be rapped, so owner throws his daughters into the crowd;
  • Found in: 1 Kings 18:25-27 – David kills two hundred men to gather foreskins;
  • Genesis 19:30-36 – Drunken sex with daughters (i.e., incest);
    • Exodus 21 – Gives advice on how to sell your daughter (so much for women’s rights)
  • Genesis 29:21-28 – Jacob takes a job where the payment is a woman (so much for women’s rights);
  • Judah 38:8-10 – Marry your brother’s wife and get her pregnant;
  • Solomon’s Song: A complete sexual love letter;
  • 2 Samuel 11 – King David’s Adultery and Murder of Uriah just to get Uriah’s wife;
  • Ephesians 6:5 – Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ;
  • Leviticus 19:20-22 – If a man rapes his female slave, the woman gets punished and the man’s sins are forgiven;
  • 1 Corinthians 11:3-9 – God over Christ, Christ is over man, and man is over a woman.  After all, man was not created for woman, but the woman was created for man;
  • Judges 21:12 – Basically, young virgins are considered a spoil of war and can be taken for the use of the victors;
  • Deuteronomy 25:10 – Ladies, a man has an obligation to produce a child for his widowed sister-in-law (ladies, I guess you just have to deal with it);
  • Mark 10:29 – Man who leaves his house, wife, brothers, parents, or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will receive special rewards; and
  • The Apostle Paul exhorted women to submit to their husbands and keep silent in church, reason, and experience taught otherwise. Despite Catholic and evangelical resistance, more and more of today’s churches are elevating women to positions of leadership and authority.

So, while you’re addressing faith, I want to ask a couple of questions to those Tampa Bay pitchers. Let me know how your faith answers these and what my next steps are.

  • My brother is interested in selling his youngest daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She’s a college graduate and works in medicine. What would a good price for her be?
  • Exodus 35:2 raises a problem for me. So, being in the medical industry, especially helping those impacted by COVID these past couple of years. I worked on the Sabbath regularly. Exodus 35:2 clearly says I should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill myself, or is it okay to call the police?
  • My former father-in-law planted different crops side-by-side. Should the whole town really have to be together to stone him for planting those crops?
  • Leviticus 19:19/Deuteronomy 22:9-11 My mother makes blankets and quilts for orphaned children and children who experienced trauma. Over the course of 20 years, she and her club of friends made a couple thousand. But the garments are made of different threads. Does faith really dictate that I burn my mother for making these blankets with different threads?
  • Leviticus 21:18-19 says that any man who has a defect shall not approach God, including a man blind or lame, who has a marred face or any limb too long, a man who has a broken foot or broken hand, or is a hunchback or a dwarf, or a man who has a defect in his eye, or eczema or scab, or is a eunuch. I had part of my finger cut off by a wayward brick during my youth. My finger was permanently blemished. Is faith correct? Should I be cast away from God? Or should I wait for Jesus to heal me whole again?
  • Psalm 137:9 states, “Happy is the one who takes and dashes Your little ones against the rock!” Would you be happy about that? Imagine a soldier coming home from a day of baby-smashing. “God was really at work today! Our children were taken and smashed against a rock wall! We all praised God as we did it. The Spirit was really moving!”

Last, lest I forget, Matthew 19:14 quotes Jesus as saying, that the kingdom of heaven belongs to children (“… such as these.)” What if that child knows they are gay or lesbian? Is that child in or out? Since you’re so good at living your faith, please respond.

Seriously Tampa Bay, what the fu**?

Post Script: The Tampa Bay Rays bullpen blew Saturday’s game. The obvious culprits were left-handed relievers Brooks Raley and Jalen Beeks.