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Nebraska Assistant Football Coach Claims Faith Backs His Anti-Gay Stand

April 26, 2012 / Football
NeonTommy.com, Steven Covelman

http://www.neontommy.com/news/2012/04/university-nebraska-assistant-coach-remains-outspoken-critic-homosexuality

An outspoken critic of gay rights, University of Nebraska assistant football coach Ron Brown has come under fire for comments made at an Omaha City Council meeting last month. In a three-minute speech, Brown testified against an anti-discrimination ordinance that gave protections to gay and transgender people.

During his appearance before the council Brown reminded members that the bible does not permit homosexuality.

“The question I have for you all is,” Brown addressed the council, “like Pontius Pilate, what are you going to do with Jesus? Ultimately, if you do not have a relationship with him, and you do not really have a Bible-beliving mentality, really anything goes.”

Activists and educators have called for him to be fired in the wake of his testimony due to the university’s policy to not discriminate against others because of their sexual orientation.

Barbara Baier, a member of the Lincoln Board of Education in Nebraska, said people could have been led to believe that he was representing the university during his testimony and that his current employment with Nebraska fosters an unwelcoming atmosphere for gay student-athletes.

“He says terrible things about members of my community, citizens of this country, people who have not committed any crimes,” said Baier. “He compares gays and lesbians to people who have committed crimes, people who are desiring to go and cause the destruction of the American family, and nothing could be further from the truth.”

In an act that he said he regrets, Brown listed Memorial Stadium, home of Cornhuskers football, as his address, creating an association between his beliefs and the university. Chancellor Harvey Perlman disapproved of Brown’s decision to do this, but said that his personal beliefs are in no way a reflection of the university.

Despite calls for him to be fired because of his outspoken beliefs in the past, Brown is not deterred.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Brown said, “To be fired for my faith would be a greater honor than to be fired because we did not win enough games. I have not lost any sleep over it. I realize at some point, we live in a politically correct enough culture where that very well could happen.”

Following comments he made in 1999 on a Christian radio show, advocacy groups called for Brown to be ousted. The American Civil Liberties Union threatened legal action against Nebraska public schools that forced students to participate in the assistant coach’s Bible-based motivational speeches.

Brown has been on head coach Bo Pelini’s staff since 2008, when Pelini took over for Bill Callahan. During his tenure, Brown has used religion to create relationships with his players, something that Pelini said no player has come to him to complain about.

Tom Osbourne, the former Nebraska head coach who is now the school’s athletic director, said Brown is within his rights to express his beliefs.

“I think it’s important that there be clarity with what you do in your capacity at the university and what you do as a private citizen,” said Osbourne.

Brown said that he is not singling out homosexuals and that a gay agenda in the United States has forced him to respond. According to Brown, gays and lesbians do not deserve the same rights as other historically discriminated groups, such as African-Americans and women.

“The scriptures teach that blacks were created by God, that women were created by God, but that homosexuals… that is not what God had in mind at all,” said Brown.

Despite the risk of losing his job, Brown said that he will not stop delivering his message.

“I have decided I am not going to be afraid of people calling me a bigot or a homophobic or narrow-minded out of a simple, gentle, compassionate expression of the truth of God’s word,” said Brown.  “I am not going to be bought off by that.”


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