(as usual, the italics are mine)
Liberty CounselNEWS RELEASE
Contact: PUBLIC RELATIONS DEPARTMENT – 800-671-1776
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2007
The NFL’s Heavy-Handed Attempt to Silence Churches is Out of Bounds
Miami, FL – The NFL’s heavy-handed attempt to prohibit churches from showing the Super Bowl to church members defies common sense. The NFL demanded that Fall Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, cancel its advertised Super Bowl party. In addition to objecting to the church’s use of the words “Super Bowl” in promotions, the league objected to use of a screen larger than 55 inches and disliked the church’s plans to show a video highlighting the Christian testimonies of Colts coach Tony Dungy and Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith.
The NFL freely admits it routinely makes exceptions for bars and other commercial establishments to show its games with big screen televisions and projection systems. Liberty Counsel characterized this unnecessary singling out of churches as heavy-handed and unfair. The NFL has publicly stated a preference for establishments that sell alcohol over churches hosting a wholesome, family-oriented gathering to watch the biggest football game of the year. With the popularity of big screen TVs and home entertainment, the NFL’s heavy-handed intimidation tactics cross the line into private homes. Will the NFL demand that viewing the Super Bowl at home with friends must be done on screens smaller than 55 inches? This is certainly not the intent of copyright laws, and such tactics by the NFL run afoul of common sense and the spirit of the game.
Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “People throughout the world gather to watch the greatest athletic event of the year. Some view the game on small screens and some on large screens. When cars gather outside our private homes on Sunday afternoon, will the NFL knock on the door and ask to measure our TV screens? It appears that in the NFL’s way of thinking, TV screens bigger than 55 inches are fine for bars but not churches. This discriminatory and nonsensical act of the NFL makes the league look petty, and the NFL should apologize for this silliness.”
Wouldn’t this be a wonderful time for NFL players that profess to be Christians to band together and make some sort of public statement denouncing how the NFL is acting? Even if it were just the two Superbowl Coaches and any of their players who are Christians, it would be great. I;m not suggesting that they refuse to play the game, but take some sort of stand. Say for instance, all the Christians on both teams (including staff) could walk on the field wearing an armband with the cross emblazoned on it as a simple silent protest. Would the NFL dare to halt he game or say try and eject those involved? Not a chance.
For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. – Romans 10:11