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04/08/2014

Sporty anti-gay person joins exceedingly anti-gay organization

by Jeremy Hooper

Screen Shot 2014-04-08 At 1.48.42 PmBack in 2012, when running for U.S. Senate, former sportscaster Craig James said of homosexuality:

I think it's a choice. I do. I think—you have to make that choice. Absolutely. I'm gonna finish this up now. Same-sex marriage, if someone chooses to do that, that's them. And the Lord—God's going to judge each one of us in this room for our actions. But in that case right there, they're going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions. We should not give benefits to those civil unions.
...
It should not occur. We have to stay strong on this. This is important, man. I'm telling you what: We have a fiscal issue in this country. We also have a moral issue in this country.

There was already speculation, long before his public anti-gay comments, that Craig's Senate run would interfere with his sports career. Apparently there was even a "#FireCraigJames hashtag on Twitter, completely separate from his anti-LGBT comments. In the sports world, people seemed fairly confident that his choice to enter politics had ended his time as a sportscaster, and his run did, in fact, lead to him breaking up with ESPN (seemingly by mutual agreement), where he had been working at the time.

Then came Fox Sports Southwest, which ultimately decided it didn't want to be in the Craig James business either. After making only one post-campaign appearance on that network, and before he had signed a formal contract with the network, the higher ups at Fox determined they did not James him back on air. Said a spokesperson at the time, "We just asked ourselves how Craig's statements would play in our human resources department." Not well was the answer.

But James has found one human resources department that is all about him and his views: the Family Research Council's, natch. The onetime Senate candidate, sportscaster, and martyr for the anti-LGBT movement is going to work for the viciously anti-LGBT group as Tony Perkins' assistant. I kid you not:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Craig James, a Fox Sports football analyst who was fired after the network learned that he had expressed his views in support of natural marriage during his race for the U.S. Senate 18 months earlier, has joined Family Research Council (FRC) as an Assistant to the President. In this role, Craig will cultivate relationships with like-minded Americans across the country who share a common concern for the growing hostility toward free speech and religious liberty in the U.S. He will continue to share his own story of religious discrimination and educate Americans to the expanding threats to our First Freedom.

"We are very excited and pleased to announce that Craig James is joining Family Research Council's team," said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. "Losing one job because of his religious beliefs has made room for another: raising awareness about the threats to our most precious liberty - the freedom of religion. His leadership skills, his courage in the face of religious hostility, and his passion for faith, family and freedom will make him a great addition to the FRC team.

"Craig has experienced the very workplace disqualification that cultural elites are seeking to impose throughout the country: expressing a politically incorrect opinion on a cultural issue, totally unconnected to employment, is enough to get you fired. Whether you work for Mozilla, Gallaudet University, or serve in the military, you shouldn't have to fear being fired for holding to the belief in marriage as the union of a man and a woman. This discrimination runs over the most basic constitutional liberties that have long made our country great. With religious hostility reaching an all-time high, Craig will play a critical role in educating Americans about what they can do to stand up for freedom," concluded Perkins.
...
"I am honored to join the country's premier Christian public policy organization," said Craig James. "I have a passion for Family Research Council's mission of faith, family and freedom. After I was fired by Fox Sports, I was deeply moved and emboldened by the countless number of people and organizations like Family Research Council that came to my side. Now it is my turn to offer encouragement to others encountering the same kind of religious bigotry. While the challenges to our freedoms are great, I strongly believe the game is far from over," concluded James.

Obviously FRC wants him so they can continue to beat this "religious freedom" drum that has become the anti-LGBT movement's primary focus in 2014. And since FRC, like James, believes gay people choose to be gay and that we are likely to face a heavenly referee who puts us in an eternal penalty box, he is just the person to make this case. He's on message and camera-ready.

In fact, I hear FRC's only hesitancy in hiring him involved the fact that his first and last names are both historically male, and FRC has some sort of policy against two dudes ever getting that close to one another. Don't be surprised if you hear him going by "Craig Sally" or "Craig 'Is Just Friends With' James" instead.

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