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Those Constitutional Bans on Football


My response to the eleven states, including my home of Montana, that passed constitutional bans on football was about what you’d expect: It’s about damned time.

Mind you, I am not a bigot where football is concerned. Some of my best friends play football. I have even been accused of having what some people call “football experiences,” though in fact those were merely adolescent experiments and don’t count. Certainly, I have nothing against mutually consenting adults practicing football in the privacy of their own backyards.

But are they content to do that? No. Those people insist on taking their football agenda public. You can hardly turn on the television these days without seeing a man bending over so that another man can put his hand under the first’s genitals in order to receive a dead pig through his legs. Or two men in a fit of post-touchdown ecstasy, performing what my three-year-old niece calls, with admirable accuracy, “chest humping in the air.”

The hazard to the nation of the football lifestyle is mighty. I refer not to the indictment of linebackers on charges usually reserved for Catholic priests but to the turning of nice suburban boys away from soccerósoccer which has been practiced in this country since before the Revolution and which was practiced in the Old World for millennia before that, without change. (The variant of soccer where the goalkeeper was the property of the forwards, who whipped him for not polishing the goalposts to a proper sheen and traded him back and forth in the weekly poker game, does not count, as it was practiced only from the 23rd century B.C. until last year, and only in the narrow corridor from Sumeria to Wichita.)

I remind football activists that I and my kind did not choose this fight. It was they who convinced the Massachusetts Supreme Court that playing football was no worse than invading oil-soaked countries for the enrichment of the vice president. When you think about it, you could get four guys in robes who do not take money from Halliburton to a lot of crazy ideas. Should our democracy be entrusted to such people?

I stand with my state’s junior U.S. senator, Republican Conrad Burns, who declared, “Four judges should not make policy for the nation.”

When a football activist took issue with Sen. Burns, saying it was judges who integrated our schools, the senator replied, “Well, there’s another one.” Showed him.

The senator is God’s kind of man. His party is God’s kind of party. I know because God told me. Mostly He told me in personal communication, but He has also delivered His approval through my tax-exempt pastor, the same who told us football was responsible for Sept. 11 and the dip in technology stocks and runs in panty hose that have been worn only once.

God, of course, has long been on record against playing with pigskin: “And the swineÖ their carcasses you shall not touch” (Leviticus 11:7-8). That His Word was ignored for so longóand still is in the greater part of the countryójust goes to show how many of us (well, you) will be spending eternity in His great Hibachi.

We are now gathering signatures for ballot initiatives in 2006 to close some of the gaps between His laws and ours. The initiatives will provide for the stoning to death of women who have premarital sex (Leviticus 22:20-21) and of men who retract from their wives immediately before orgasm (Genesis 38:9-10). In the latter case, however, those who cry “NUKULAR!” at the climactic moment will be exempted.

The odds for passage look good in 31 states, not counting Texas, where Southern Baptism has already eliminated orgasm, to say nothing of sassing parents and stealing co-workers’ yogurt from the office fridge. Also, Texas’s comprehensive stoning decree, put in place by the last governor in his final period of martial law, makes the initiatives moot. The “NUKULAR!” exemption, I note with gratitude, was the governor’s idea.

STEPHEN HENDRICKS is vice president of PRIDE, Montana’s gay rights advocacy group. He can be reached at:



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