Baseball team faced with backlash for hosting “Christian Day”

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The St. Louis Cardinals are being pounded by the LGBTQ community for choosing someone with solid Christian values to speak at their annual “Christian Day” event.

The post-game event, held annually, always includes a famous person who speaks about the way Christianity has affected their life.  The speaker is usually a former player, and this year, the Cardinals have chosen Lance Berkman as the main speaker.

The Daily Caller reported that the LGBTQ community is in an uproar, as Berkman – who has four daughters – had spoken out in 2015 against men using women’s bathrooms.

Berkman released a video in 2015 in opposition to a Houston ordinance, stating that the law “would allow troubled men, who claim to be women, to enter women’s bathrooms, showers and locker rooms.”

In a radio interview, also in 2015, Berkman stated, “To me tolerance is the virtue that’s killing this country. We’re tolerant of everything. You know, everything is OK, and as long as you want to do it and as long as it feels good to you then it’s perfectly acceptable do it. Those are the kinds of things that lead you down a slippery slope, and you’ll get in trouble in a hurry.”

He refused to apologize for speaking out against the bathroom ordinance, saying in the interview, “The issue is, what to do about a 15 or 16-year-old boy who thinks he’s a girl and wants to shower with the girls? Maybe he is [transgender], maybe he’s confused. But I wouldn’t want him in the shower with my daughters. We shouldn’t have the rights of 2 percent of the population trump the rights of the other 98 percent. Is it a mental choice? I don’t know. But it’s a Pandora’s Box.”

For taking a stand, he was blasted as a “homophobe.”

A LGBTQ group in St. Louis issued the following statement in protest of Berkman speaking at the event this year:

“Pride St. Louis is disappointed by the decision of the St. Louis Cardinals to provide a public platform for Berkman, an individual whose words and actions towards the LGBTQ+ are divisive and demeaning. We know that the Cardinals can do better, and we want to extend an offer to help them by co-organizing their official LGBT Pride Night at Busch Stadium. Let’s work together to promote love, diversity, and inclusion.”

The Cardinals refused to bow, issuing the following statement in response:

The Cardinals have hosted a Christian Day at the ballpark for nearly three decades.  The post-game event usually features a well-known keynote speaker (often a former Cardinal or professional athlete) who talks about his or her experience of being a practicing Christian in the public arena.  Lance Berkman participated in Christian Day when he was a Cardinals player, and we welcome him back this year to discuss his faith. 

The statement added that, in order to be inclusive, the Cardinals will be hosting several “themed events” and will host their first “Pride Night” later this season.

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