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I’m not a sports fan. So it takes a big sports story to get my attention; the kind that broke, last week, about Donald Sterling and his racist remarks in a taped conversation that was leaked to the press. The NBA reacted swiftly and severely, banning Sterling from any and all involvement with the league for life – including attendance at games – and calling upon other team owners to invoke their power to force Sterling to sell the team.
So, of course, there has been the usual range of comments about all of this from those who are in complete agreement with the consequences imposed on Sterling to those who see the imposition of consequences as a “violation” of Sterling’s “right to free speech.” They are, I assume, referring to his constitutional right to free speech. That is something I happen to know something about, having taught Constitutional Law at NCCU School of Law for a number of years before entering vocational ministry. So I’m offering a bit of clarification, in case any of you might find it useful.
Here’s the question – “Why is it that when people are hurt, disappointed, angered, and/or disillusioned at a church they so often either resolve to never go to church again or renounce their Christian faith altogether?” Please note – there is an “or” in the previous sentence because I do realize those are two different things.
Now the background to the question – I know, and love, several people who have suffered injury in a church context. I also hear/read countless instances of folks I don’t know talking about leaving the church. The #1 most often stated reason I hear is, “I realized that the church was full of hypocrites,” or some variation of that theme.