(From Compete Magazine’s January 2012 Issue)
Editor’s Note: With the recent confluence of same-sex marriage now legal in the U.S., an increasing number of gay couples raising children and Serena Williams’ “Serena Slam” performance at Wimbledon, it brought to mind the following article on “Love – In Tennis and in Life” that ran in Compete’s January 2012 issue. While there is still much to be done, this article is a good “TBT” reminder of how far we’ve come in just the last three years. Enjoy!
Australian tennis champ Margaret Court has felt the need to speak out against gay marriage. As senior pastor in Perth’s Victory Life Church, she stated that society is best served by a strong family unit—her version of family unit means a mother, father and children. According to Court, “no amount of legislation or political point-scoring can ever take out of the human heart the knowledge that in the beginning God created them male and female and provided each with a unique sexual function to bring forth new life.”
Retiring from tennis in 1976, she is her country’s most successful and best known tennis player, holding grand slam titles (both singles and doubles) that have never been surpassed. However, since 1991 the Reverend Doctor Court has trained her grand slam technique on homosexuality, recently on gay marriage, declaring that when we are forced to accept law that “violates their very own God-given nature of what is right and what is wrong,” we must be ready to accept the societal ills that follow.
Even though Court has admitted that traditional marriages may not be perfect and in fact are often “dysfunctional … and the role models may be distorted and even severely flawed,” she sees no reason to “put forward alternative, unhealthy, unnatural unions as some form of substitute.”
She has even slammed the state of Massachusetts (same-sex marriage was legalized there in 2004), alleging that the negative effects of such unions have already been felt. But how was it felt? Was there a decline in birth rate that rippled from that great state all the way to Australia, negatively impacting their economy in the process? Please! Are children in unhappy, even violent family settings not deserving of a happy home where two people, despite their sexual preferences, genuinely love and care for them?
Three cheers for tennis legends Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova for standing up to Court’s bullying. In an interview with TennisChannel.com, Navratilova said it “seems to me a lot of people have evolved as has the Bible. Unfortunately, Margaret Court has not. Her myopic view is truly frightening as well as damaging to the thousands of children already living in same-gender families.”
As is evidenced by her evangelical television program, Court obviously knows the power of the spoken word. A major problem for the general public is that evangelists who try to convert others to their way of thinking and believing automatically assume that everyone else is also evangelizing from their own personal belief system. That faulty and dangerous train of thought leads to an assumption that gay couples are automatically trying to convert their children to become homosexual.
Now in her late 60s, it appears that Court thinks that the term love still equates to its tennis definition of zero or nothing. Hopefully Court can remember back to her early childhood teaching that “God is love,” not intolerance. Perhaps then she can begin to evangelize less about gay marriage and its family dynamics and more about the transformative power of love, recognizing in the bargain that love in the real world isn’t a zero.
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