ESPN columnist Gene Wojciechowski wouldn't mind seeing Nebraska Cornhuskers assistant coach Ron Brown sacked, but for a reason that has nothing to do with his performance coaching from the sidelines and everything to do with Brown's religious faith.
In his April 27 column, Wojciechowski managed both to demonize and misrepresent Brown's religious convictions on homosexuality, by saying that Brown believes God "loves gays less than women or African-Americans" [h/t Creative Minority Report]:
[W]hat if there were a gay player on the Nebraska roster? Or what if one of the players Brown is trying to recruit this week is gay, or has a family member or friend who is gay?
These are not unreasonable scenarios. Would you want to play for a coach who thinks God loves gays less than women or African-Americans? Would you want to play for a coach who preaches compassion and love, but is willing to turn his back on a fellow human being because of that person's sexual orientation?
Can Wojciechowski back up his claim that Brown thinks God doesn't love gays? Faithful Christians certainly believe God does love gays and wants what's best for them by calling them to repent of their homosexual behavior. To NOT lovingly challenge homosexuality -- or any unrepentant sin -- is hateful, not loving, according to Christian doctrine.
For good measure, the ESPN columnist even cited an innocuous voicemail greeting on Brown's office line as a demerit against Brown (emphasis mine)
...Brown isn't an ordinary citizen. He is a coach at a public university and for a revered football program whose reach stretches from Omaha to Scottsbluff. When he speaks, his words carry more power because of his association with Nebraska football.
It was no accident that when Brown spoke to the Omaha City Council he listed his address as Nebraska's Memorial Stadium. And there is no separation of church and state on Brown's Nebraska football office voice message:
"I praise the Lord Jesus Christ for today. I hope you're having a blessed day. Not able to answer my phone right now. Give me a try back and Lord willing, I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Have a great day."
"To be fired for my faith would be a greater honor than to be fired because we didn't win enough games," Wojciechowski quoted Brown from an earlier AP story.
"So Brown would be a willing martyr," Wojciechowski argued, "And if he continues to confuse faith with a person's fundamental right not to be discriminated against, then Perlman and Osborne should fire him."
Unmentioned by Wojciechowski, but of interest to readers, is that liberal activists have been persecuting Brown for quite some time. From an April 26 ESPN.com article:
Advocacy groups called for Brown's firing after he condemned homosexuality on a Christian radio show in 1999, and the American Civil Liberties Union has threatened legal action against Nebraska public schools that require students to attend Brown's Bible-fueled motivational talks.
Photo of Wojciechowski via his profile page at ESPNmediazone3.com.