The story about Tony Dungy fundraising for the Indiana Family Institute has finally reached the mainstream media. The Philadelphia Inquirer has an article running that talks about Dungy's overt born-again Christianity and what it means to fans. Think the Indy Star might run something soon? Eh, probably not. Who'd want to piss off the Colts? It's only gays making a clamor...
Only one-third of American Christians call themselves "born-again," which refers to a Biblical passage from the Book of John: "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born again." To achieve eternal salvation, most born-again Christians say, you need an intensely personal and transformative spiritual experience. The rest of us will go... well, you know where we're going.
Politically, meanwhile, born-again Christianity is also associated with opposition to abortion and gay marriage. Not every born-again Christian shares these views, of course. But most do. That's why Tony Dungy will be the guest of honor next month at a dinner hosted by the Indiana Family Institute, which is spearheading a proposed amendment to the Indiana constitution that would deny marriage privileges to homosexuals.
Again, Dungy has every right to endorse this campaign in the name of his Christianity. But most people who support gay marriage are Christians, too - and they are every bit as Christian as Tony Dungy. So are the millions of Christians who reject the idea that we'll all burn in hell unless we get born again.
By ignoring these important distinctions, Dungy and his devotees echo the worst aspect of modern American identity politics: You're either black, or red, or yellow, or "Christian," and there's just one way to be that. Listen to all of the absurd debate about whether presidential aspirant Barack Obama is "really" black, and you'll see what I mean.
Of course Obama is black. African Americans comprise an enormous array of beliefs, values, cultures and lifestyles. And so do Christians. Tony Dungy says he follows the "Lord's way," and more power to him. But there are many different ways to follow the Lord, and Dungy's isn't any better than yours. Or than mine.
You can find more on this story on bilerico.com at the following links:
You can find the original story at: Tony Say It Isn't So!
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