Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Murray Chass Doesn't Like Religion

3/26/2008--Imagine that the Pittsburgh Pirates announce a “Polka Night” promotion for a baseball game. That night, a polka band will play after the game. There will be no polka music during the game, but the stadium will of course be filled with polka enthusiasts.

Now imagine that I hate polka music. Do you think I would be justified in complaining to the Pirates about this promotion?

Of course not. Tthe team would just respond, “Leave after the game and you won’t be bothered.” But what if I then said, “But look how polka music is destroying music in this country. And now you are helping.” I would sound like a nut.

Although I am sympathetic to this hypothetical person—I really don’t like polka music—it would seem that this person is infringing on the rights, and just plain enjoyment, of other people and of the attempt by a ball club to engender good-will and make some money. Most people would agree that Polka Night was none of this person’s business.

This is how I feel about New York Times columnist Murray Chass who, on March 14, 2008, complained about “faith nights” at minor, and now major, league ball parks. He called for a separation of church and baseball. He was not kidding.

It’s not inclusive, he wrote. Worse, baseball players will be giving testimony after the games to their faith in Jesus Christ. “Why should teams be in the business of promoting any particular religion?” Chass asked. No segment should be singled out.

What Chass is saying is, “I don’t feel comfortable around religious people.” He should get over it. Being religious is a good thing. The teams are not having a night for rapists.

Secularists have gotten the idea that they own public space. And that they the right to decide who is permitted to be there. Christians don’t have to hide. They don’t need permission from secularists to appear in public. They have just much right to the ball park as polka players or anyone else. Chass’ discomfort is a personal flaw.

And don’t bother to point out that Murray Chass is Jewish. I assure you he would just as uncomfortable if the Yankees had an Orthodox Jewish Night.

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