November 23, 2005

Liberty Football

Wow, this one is WAY far afield of what I usually post here, but it touches on something that I've talked about before, and I'll get to that in a second.

On the 19th, Jerry Falwell fired his football coach and two assistant athletic directors. The AD resigned. And the condemnation began.

Now, a bit of important background. LU's football team makes my own Pewie Podcasters look talented. Liberty's football team is the only team at LU that isn't competative. Hasn't been in a long time. When I was at Liberty, the team was good. Competative. Had a tight end go in the first round to Pittsburg (then it turned out that the Christian influence at Liberty really hadn't taken hold on him -- he was busted for drug violations. I still have the rookie cards). Got some national attention.

But not recently. Losing seasons have piled up, and frustrations have built among LU fans. And when the football team is losing, what do you do?

Clean house. And the coach got a good severence package, as did the assistants, so there wasn't anyone left broke and penniless. But the sports writers have piled on.

One example is here. Cook takes advantage of the situation to ridicule Liberty for it's rules, especially the dress code. Hey -- he should have seen the dress code when I was there!! One section, though, really shows what upsets me.

That Falwell would fire a good part of his athletic staff over something as relatively unimportant as wins and losses, when it seemingly undermines his Christian values, shouldn't be all that shocking, and not just because that's what college presidents do. You don't start with a little Baptist church in rural Virginia and make it the underpinning for America's conservative Christian movement, probably the most influential political movement of the last 25 years, without an eye on wins and losses.

So Falwell, whether his coach and athletic directors are good Christians or not, is not going to countenance losing in his organization, whether or not anyone believes that firing the coach and athletic staff is not WWJD. God may forgive them; Falwell will not. If you're going to coach the Flames, Falwell will tell you to give him Liberty victories, or he will give you death.

So Christians better not worry about results if they are employers. Don't fire someone because they can't do the job. Wins and losses aren't important -- give people jobs because they need jobs. Results shouldn't matter to Christians -- we are, after all, the world's charity.

This is probably the stupidest thing I've ever read. You hire people to produce results. If results aren't produced, they are replaced by people who can do the job. That is a fact of life. There are ways that Christians should do this that differentiate us from the rest of the world -- generous severnce packages are a start, which all three men who were fired received. Not talking trash about them is another -- Jerry simply said that there was a difference in vision.

People enjoy holding Christians to a higher standard -- as long as they get to make that standard. Bob Cook has decided that Christians cannot do business and succeed in that business if it means that they have to fire anyone. Bob Cook has earned the coveted View From the Pew Get a Clue Award (also known as the Clewie. Congrats, Bob.

{ function(){q=document.getSelection(); if(!q){void(q=prompt('Wikipedia keywords:',''))}; if(q)location.href=''+escape(q)})()">Here's a great take on the whole controversy}

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:04 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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