Craig James, the "Latest Face of the War on Religious Liberty"

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Craig James, former SMU running back and failed U.S. Senate candidate, has managed to alienate an impressively broad swath of humanity, including but not limited to Texas Tech fans, sex workers, the entire LGBT community, Republican primary voters, and the executives of now two major sports networks.

The second of those networks, Fox Sports, is now openly acknowledging that it fired James after a single appearance for comments made during his Senate campaign on homosexuality, such as his assertion that gay people will have to "answer to the Lord for their actions."

"We just asked ourselves how Craig's statements would play in our human resources department," a Fox spokesman told The Dallas Morning News "He couldn't say those things here."

See also: Fox Sports Fires Craig James, Failed Senate Candidate and Alleged Hooker Killer, After One Show

One place where James is perfectly welcome to say those things is the arch-conservative Family Research Council, which views James as yet another martyr sacrificed at the altar of political correctness. In a column Tuesday, founder Tony Perkins writes that James was sacked for being an "outspoken Christian" and calls James "the latest face of the war on religious liberty."

Dr. Angela McCaskill, Jerry Buell, Julea Ward, Damian Goddard, Senior Master Sergeant Phillip Monk, Crystal Dixon, and Air National Guardsman Layne Wilson certainly think so. To a man, they were all suspended, fired, or sued by their employers for their views on marriage -- whether or not they expressed them at work! Like them, Craig James's ousting had nothing to do with his job performance -- and everything to do with this new climate of Christian persecution.

Perkins' argument would be more convincing if Fox Sports' decision to dismiss an extremely visible employee who made inflammatory comments, and whose hiring reportedly hadn't been approved by network higher-ups in the first place, didn't seem so reasonable. Or if the idea of anti-Christian persecution in a Jesus-drenched America weren't so laughable. Or if Perkins hadn't identified James as a "popular analyst."

If that were true, he wouldn't have so much trouble finding a job.


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75 comments
jameshairston
jameshairston

What if james is right? He certainly has lots of people attacking him! What is wrong with having a deep abiding faith. You are the people who are intolerant. The story is published in a forum of readers who are left of center. No wonder he earns your enmity. You are the small minded.

The gay population has an important role in society. But is it fair they are afforded more rights than you and me.

This divisive America of every group versus every groups will collapse this nation.

Then what will we have.

No free speech

Blackman2day
Blackman2day

I noticed Perkin didn't bring up the fact that James took money illegally from SMU Boosters and a corrupt Governor. One of the Ten Commandments is "Thou Shall not Steal." James like to point everyone else sin but not his. What a self-righteous hypocrite.

Al Renteria
Al Renteria

Please disappear you are embarrassing yourself.

nammer
nammer

I don't know why they're complaining, it's just their other favorite thing in the world, the marketplace, making a decision that their consumers wouldn't like a dose of hatred with their football commentary.  Just a corporation making a decision...how can conservatives be upset at that???

rbeezlee
rbeezlee

James is a numbskull.  Period.  He and others like him are easy targets.  Whoopeeee!  Yet another hypocrite, etc...  Why is there never a story about an idiot atheist, like, say, Richard Dawkins?  Have you heard his latest views on what he terms as "mild pedophilia"?  Probably not.  That would entail the leaving of The Bubble.

alteredjustice
alteredjustice

Yeah, I wouldn't so much say he was fired as he was never approved to be hired.

Gabe48
Gabe48

I know a place where a man can go be judged not by how many hookers he may or may not have killed or how homophobic he may be, but by the content of his heart and his faith. That place is Mac's Barbecue on Main St., only open for lunch. The jalapeño sausage is "off the charts", and big meaty ribs, great sauce.

Dub919
Dub919

Let's not forget that CRAIG JAMES KILLED FIVE HOOKERS WHILE AT SMU!

Justin 'Dub' Cook
Justin 'Dub' Cook

Friendly reminder: Craig James killed five hookers while at SMU.

TexMarine
TexMarine

Take a note from Al-Shaq; keep your hate silent if you choose a life in broadcasting.

IgnatiusJ
IgnatiusJ

Boo Hoo, Craig "My Son sucks as a receiver, so I'm going to be the annoying helicopter parent, meanwhile, I'm so badass that with all my football-talking experience, I am a qualified U.S. Senate candidate, plus my limited, perhaps concussion-induced rightwing political baggage" James.  Sorry SOB.  Those rightwing Tech cretins (yes, you, whore Kent Hance), deserve the years they've had since The Pirate left.  If I never see his name again it will be too soon. 

dmtrousd
dmtrousd

That photo is soooo ripe for photoshop hijinks.

Susan Sanders Wansbrough
Susan Sanders Wansbrough

Kevin, I see some differences. 1) different networks 2) different jobs--Olbermann is paid to be controversial, while James was strictly a sports analyst, 3) Olbermann goes after people for choices they make, James goes after people for the way they were born 4) Olbermann didn't kill five hookers.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

James should have been fired for being a poor analyst, a general jerk and an arrogant SOB.

He should not have been fired for stating his personal beliefs on a social issue when he did such outside of his place of work, so long as he merely expressed his personal viewpoint without advocating anything more.

If he truly believes his faith doesn't allow for same sex relationships, fine. There is nothing he violates by expressing that belief.

Ryan Bell
Ryan Bell

I wish Mike Leach would have locked this clown in the shed with his son and lost the key.

wnorton
wnorton

Aren’t we all going to answer to the Lord for our actions?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

So then Perkins equates religious liberty with hate speech.

celebratemybuttsex
celebratemybuttsex

ALTAR. if you are going to be a libtard propagandist for a living, then at least learn how to spell simple words, otherwise your fantasy of getting hired by Gawker will never come true.

cmpolito
cmpolito

What he did to Texas Tech is enough to make me vote against him every time for everything.

SeriouslyWTF
SeriouslyWTF

@jameshairston Wrong. It is you people who are intolerant, and who do not understand the Constitution. 

If you had an ounce of tolerance and understood the Constitution, you'd leave gay people alone even if you still thought being gay is wrong.

Referring to those who disagree with YOUR opinion as small-minded is the best joke I've heard in a while.

ATxann
ATxann

@rbeezlee Yes, I have read the latest story on Richard Dawkins. Apparently you have, too. So obviously there are stories about atheists, just like there are stories about Christians. I'd never heard of James before, but I'll take your word for it that he's a "numbskull," and the details of this article seem to confirm your view. When people put themselves out there saying stupid things in a public forum--in the media--then people see and hear it, and more media report further on it. 

So, yes, he's an easy target, considering that he consciously and deliberately made bigoted statements on television, apparently, and also apparently KILLED HOOKERS (I don't know because I know nothing more about him than the headline and the comments on this article). But it would seem that Fox had more than enough reason to fire him without having to delve into his "Christian" beliefs. I put Christian in quotes because I don't think his behavior is very Christ-like, do you? 

People who fire or otherwise criticize Christians (a huge majority in the U.S.) are very easy targets, considering that most Americans are Christians, so therefore most people who are fired or encounter any criticism are Christians. 

randi.trollop
randi.trollop

@mavdog"He should not have been fired for stating his personal beliefs on a social issue..."

 Happens every day, and though we might not have to be accountable for our personal opinions, reality shows that businesses see those as fair reasons to fire people.   Facebook firings are rampant.

dallas_dude
dallas_dude

Seriously, you people on the far left are just as bad as the people on the far right.  Having a viewpoint that you don't agree with or doesn't fit w/ the majority doesn't make it hate speech. 

Being against gay marriage doesn't make you a homophobe just like being against armed conflict doesn't make you unpatriotic or a supporter of terroism. 

MadeMan
MadeMan

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz No, he equates it with the quite sensible idea that people are free to hold and to express, especially in the political arena, whatever religious or political beliefs they may have without suffering public recrimination. Enforced public orthodoxy is anathema to American ideals, but I fear the enforcers of public political correctness have their ideals rooted in the totalitarian systems of the early and middle twentieth century. No one complained about James' religious beliefs. He was summarily fired for a past expression of what was, until about five years ago, an entirely uncontroversial opinion.

There is no such thing as hate speech. Such ideas are for weak minded wanna-be Kommissars who don't like their feelings hurt. Grow up. Constitutional Republicanism isn't for the weak and stupid. There is no such thing as thoughtcrime.  I realize those on your end of the political spectrum believe that the Constitution's protections for religious and ideological liberty should be withdrawn, but they haven't as of yet. I'm sure you'll eventually have your way, as this little episode illustrates, but then you'll get to realize the horror of what you have wrought. 

I advise you to read Eugenia Somyonovna Ginsberg's fine memoir of the Jewish/Intellectual purges of the post-war Stalinist regime entitled "Into the Whirlwind." It's more chilling than Orwell's 1984 because it actually happened. I don't know, you'll probably cheer for Stalin.

Gabe48
Gabe48

@TheCredibleHulk Hell yea they do! Best hand cut fries this side of the Mason-Dixon line! Truth!

nammer
nammer

@dallas_dude well, actually it does you dumb ass...if you don't believe a certain group of people should have the same rights that you have UNDER THE LAW...not talking about a wedding in a church...legal protection under the law, then you are a homophobe, or a racist if you're against interracial marriage...or fill in the blank...dumb

YouDumbass
YouDumbass

@MadeMan  Understand the Constitution before you lecture on it, dipshit. Fox is not a government actor. They can fire anyone they want for anything an employee did/said that they believe reflects poorly on the company.

IgnatiusJ
IgnatiusJ

@MadeMan @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  Ha!  "Constitutional Republicanism isn't for the weak and stupid".....Still laughing.  Nice idealism, Ayn, but in practice they are whores and the stupid and weak are the electorate of both parties, but particularly the average and low-income rightwingers, who are plied by the climaxing rhetoric of paranoid (since Nov. 2008) Constitutional Scholars such as yourself.  Do you personally identify with Ignatius or is this a hilarious ruse?

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