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‘Out of the closet’ goes out to the ballgame

by Brad A. Greenberg

July 12, 2007 | 2:14 am


It’s not often my hometown of San Diego gets national media attention. But it is right now thanks to a “controversy” that arose Sunday night when Padres baseball team invited gays and lesbians to the park. San Diego Pride dubbed the event “Out at the Park,” and a few Christians protested.

Roughly 75 protesters showed up outside Petco Park’s front gate dressed in red T-shirts emblazoned with the message “Save Our Kids.” They handed out fliers. A few attempted to talk with Padre fans as they arrived for the 5:05 p.m. game that was nationally televised on ESPN.

“We’re here to inform parents, to warn them about what’s happening inside (the ballpark),” said James Hartline, a self-described Christian activist who directed the protest. “Bringing together homosexuals with baseball and kids is beyond bounds. We’re trying to get people to turn around, not go to the game, and we’re succeeding.”

Bill O’Reilly led with the news as his top story. A master of articulation, he simply referred to the Padres as “dumb.”

Meanwhile, across the nation, non-Christians are upset that more baseball clubs are inviting Jesus to the park. The Washinton Nationals’ Faith Night—which will include Christian college booths, characters from the “Veggie Tales” and the band MercyMe—is being called “offensive and exclusionary.”

I’m sorry. Did I miss something? When did baseball clubs, which sell for hundreds of millions of dollars, become public goods? If a business owner thinks it best to market to certain people, regardless of whether that is socially admirable, isn’t that his right?

(Photo: Union-Tribune)

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