NFL quarterback Drew Brees is setting the record straight about his stand on a video promoting the Bible.
The New Orleans Saints star posted a video message on his Twitter account after he was accused of being anti-gay for his association with Focus on the Family, urging viewers “not to believe the negativity” about a video message in which he encouraged Christian students to take part in Bring Your Bible to School Day.
(Video: YouTube/Bring Your Bible)
The 40-year-old quarterback told students in the shot video to “live out your faith” and “share God’s love” by bringing their Bibles to school on the special day created by Christian group Focus on the Family.
Brees came under fire for lending his name to the project since the left sees the group as anti-LGBTQ, with even a story about the controversy in The Washington Post labeling them an “anti-LGBT religious group.” By association, the former Purdue University star was also seen as anti-gay and summarily slammed on social media.
He did not back down, however, and came back with his own message to the haters.
“Hopefully this sets the record straight with who I am and what I stand for,” Brees tweeted Thursday along with a video. “Love, Respect, and Accept ALL. I encourage you not to believe the negativity you read that says differently. It’s simply not true. Have a great day.”
Hopefully this sets the record straight with who I am and what I stand for. Love, Respect, and Accept ALL. I encourage you not to believe the negativity you read that says differently. It’s simply not true. Have a great day. pic.twitter.com/4RdTahE7EZ
— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) September 5, 2019
“I’m not sure why the negativity spread or why people tried to rope me into certain negativity, ” Brees said in the video, explaining his faith and what he was promoting in the Bible video. “I do not support any groups that discriminate or that have their own agendas that are trying to promote inequality.”
Brees also spoke with reporters about the Bible video and reiterated again that he does not support “any type of hate.”
“In the video, is there any mention of any group outside of just talking about national ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’?” he asked during a talk with the press on Thursday.”No, there wasn’t. It’s not written anywhere on it. I don’t say anything about it. The only thing I was promoting was encouraging kids to bring their Bibles to school on national ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day,’ to live out your faith with confidence, and I gave my favorite bible verse.”
Brees defended himself while lashing out at a headline that he said read, “Drew Brees does video for anti-gay hate group.”
“Why would they post something like that when it’s not representative of anything that that video was about? And to do it to a person like me who is the antithesis of what they’re trying to talk about? … I know that there are, unfortunately, Christian organizations out there that are involved in that kind of thing. And, to me, that is totally against what being a Christian is all about. Being a Christian is love, it’s forgiveness, it’s respecting all, it’s accepting all,” Brees said.
Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, also addressed the controversy in a video message.
“Our goal is to say, ‘Jesus loves you, cares about you, no matter who you are — your race, your creed, your sexual orientation. Jesus died for every one of us.’ That’s the message we want to get out,” Daly said.
(Video: YouTube/Focus on the Family)
In a published response on the Focus on the Family website, Daly noted that Brees is just another in a long list of people “to be caught up in the middle of a growing intolerance toward those of us with a conservative Christian worldview.”
“Whether it’s Second Lady Karen Pence being attacked for teaching art at a Christian school, the New York Times asking for stories about ‘#exposechristianschools,’ public high school students in Pennsylvania battling a ‘Bible ban’ on their campus, or Chick-fil-A being banned from airports due to their biblical beliefs, people of conservative Christian faith are being unfairly targeted,” he wrote.
“Is there no longer any realm where I can disagree with someone on the definition of marriage and human sexuality and still be considered a decent person?” Daly asked. “By both the Post’s and other critic’s standards, anybody who holds to the historical teachings of biblical sexuality is now labeled a bully and bigot, someone who holds others in personal contempt.”
As for attacks against the organization and accusations of being anti-LGBTQ, Daly said the criticisms “woefully misrepresent” them.
“To be clear, we do not advocate for any therapy that requires or promises change or sexual conversion. We especially denounce any practice that shames, degrades, coerces, abuses, or insults any individuals,” he wrote.
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