What would cause many in the tennis community, mass media and social media to get up in arms about world champion tennis player, Marg1aret Court's, support for heterosexuality? She has boycotted flying with Qantas because it supports homosexual marriage.
Some in the Christian community oppose Dr Court's stand against homosexual marriage.
One is Robyn Whitaker who took Dr Court AO MBE to task. This is my response to 'Note to Margaret Court: the Bible isn't meant to be read that literally', Dr Whitaker of Trinity College,Melbourne, 2 June 2017 (ABC News, Brisbane, Qld)
What are the holes in Dr Robyn Whitaker's arguments against Margaret Court and Court's support for heterosexual marriage over Whitaker's backing of modern Christian families that include gay couples? These are three holes I found:
Hole 1: It starts with Whitaker's title that the Bible is not meant to be understood as literally as Margaret Court reads it.
Then Whitaker proceeds to do exacly what she told Court not to do. She literally accepted the fact that there are 66 books in the Bible and Abraham fathered children with his concubine as well as his wife.
Her literal interpretation continued. She accepted David and Solomon had entire palaces full of wives and concubines and polygamy was common as well as slaves being used for concubines. There was no hint in her article these were supposed to be interpreted metaphorically, allegorically or symbolically.
She made self-defeating statements with her examples, thus failing to meet her own standard of the Bible not being read as literally as in Court's approach.
Thus, Whitaker promoted a contradiction.
Hole 2:What is literal interpretation? She assumed we knew. When I was in high school, I learned that to understand a document literally meant to accept the plain meaning of the text. This includes the use of figures of speech and symbols.
I used Berkeley Mickelsen's text, Interpreting the Bible, in seminary. He wrote that 'literal' means the customarily acknowledged meaning of an expression in its particular context. For example, when Christ declared that he was the door, the metaphorical meaning of 'door' would be obvious. Although metaphorical, this evident meaning is included in literal interpretation.
Therefore, 'by literal meaning the writer refers to the usual or customary sense conveyed by words or expressions' (Mickelsen 1963:17). So when I read Whitaker's article online, I assumed that figures of speech were included in the literal meaning.
That's how I understood her statement that David's and Solomon's wives and concubines 'served as symbols of their power and status'. Margaret Court understands 'literal' in the same way.
I would be in strife if I didn't read Whitaker's 'Note to Margaret Court' literally. Or, does she want me to put a postmodern or allegorical spin on it and make it mean whatever I, the reader, choose it to mean?
Whitaker objected further: 'Margaret Court is wrong to claim marriage is "a union between a man and a woman as stated in the Bible', as Court did in her open letter to Qantas'.
Which view has scriptural support, Whitaker's or Court's?
Since the beginning of time, according to the Old Testament (OT), God promoted heterosexuality: 'That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh' (Genesis 2:24). Jesus Christ affirmed heterosexuality as God's norm for relationships in the New Testament (NT), Matthew 19:5.
God does not promote a man leaving his parents and being united to his male partner. That's Bible!
What were the consequences for homosexuals in the OT? Male homosexual relations were regarded as 'detestable' and both perpetrators were 'put to death' (Leviticus 20:13). It is called an 'outrageous thing' (Judges 19:22-23).
In the NT, God's anger is expressed against all wickedness by human beings who suppress the truth about God in their immorality. An example is those who practise homosexuality in their 'sinful desires'. God has given them 'over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error' (Romans 1:18, 26-27).
How close to the biblical view was Wallabies' star, Israel Folau, in his statement that 'homosexuals would go to "HELL" unless they "repent their sins"'?
The literal truth is that those who commit a whole range of sins without repenting, including homosexuality, 'know God's justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too' (Romans 1:32).
Margaret Court's evidence served an ace to defeat Whitaker's proposals. Court promoted OT and NT teaching on heterosexuality and in opposition to homosexuality. Those who engage in homosexual sins 'will not inherit the kingdom of God' (1 Corinthians 6:9). If not in the kingdom of God, where will they be?
What did Whitaker leave out of her article? This leads to ...
Hole 3:Margaret Court is even "more wrong; to suggest she is being persecuted for her views", Whitaker stated. The situation is more serious. In my view, Court has been bullied.
To bully is to "use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something" (Oxford Dictionary online 2017. s v bully). Mrs Court has been browbeaten and intimidated by the threat of tennis players to boycott the Arena named after Margaret Court at Melbourne Park for the 2018 Australian Open Grand Slam tournament.
She has been bullied by the threat that the arena named in her honour should be changed for the 2018 Australian Open.
Then there was the ridiculous statement by tennis super-brat and now commentator, John McEnroe, after Mrs Court's statement that "tennis is full of lesbians". McEnroe fired back, "This is true and who gives a f***? This is not true and who should give a f***? This is half true and should we really give a f***?" (Darren Walton AAP 2017)
Open lesbian and tennis great, Martina Navratilova, in my view, engaged in emotional abuse of Mrs Court in her "Open letter from Martina Navratilova to Margaret Court Arena" when she stated:
It is now clear exactly who Court is: an amazing tennis player, and a racist and a homophobe. Her vitriol is not just an opinion. She is actively trying to keep LGBT people from getting equal rights (note to Court: we are human beings, too). She is demonising trans kids and trans adults everywhere.
And now, linking LGBT to Nazis, communists, the devil? This is not OK. This is in fact sick and it is dangerous. Kids will suffer more because of this continuous bashing and stigmatising of our LGBT community" (Navratilova 2017).
To the contrary, Dr Court tried to demonstrate from Scripture that heterosexuality is supported by scripture and not homosexuality.
Navratilova supported the change of name of Margaret Court Arena: "I think the Evonne Goolagong arena has a great ring to it". Would Robyn Whitaker endorse this?
Etihad Stadium vs Margaret Court Arena
Does Whitaker consider the former Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, should have had a name change between 2009-2018? It was sponsored by Etihad Airways, the national airline of the Islamic country, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is now known as Docklands' Stadium.
Was she an advocate to change the name of Etihad Stadium during its sponsorship by UAE? Why not?
What is the Islamic view on homosexuality? The Muslim commentary on the Qur'an, Hadith, states in al-Tirmidhi, Sunan 1:152: [Muhammad said] "Whoever is found conducting himself in the manner of the people of Lot, kill the doer and the receiver". Another statement from the Hadith is: "Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If you find anyone doing as Lot's people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done." (Sunan Abu Dawud 38:4447).
Thus, Islam requires capital punishment for both the perpetrator and recipient of what the people of Sodom did.
Lot's (Lut in Arabic) life is explained in Genesis, chapters 11-14, and 19. He lived in Sodom, a city of open homosexuality (see Genesis 19:4-9). What was the sin of HYPERLINK "https://www.str.org/articles/what-was-the-sin-of-sodom-and-gomorrah"Sodom and Gomorrah?Greg Koukl examined the options in depth and concluded:
We know the men of Sodom and Gomorrah were homosexual, 'both young and old, all the people from every quarter' (19:4), to the point of disregarding available women (19:5-8). After they were struck sightless they still persisted (19:11). These men were totally given over to an overwhelming passion that did not abate even when they were supernaturally blinded by angels.
Homosexuality fits the biblical details. It was the sin that epitomized the gross wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah-the 'grave', 'ungodly', 'lawless', 'sensual conduct of unprincipled men' that tormented Lot as he 'saw and heard' it 'day after day', the 'corrupt desire' of those that went after 'strange flesh' (Koukl 2016).
Islam's punishment for homosexuality is an extreme treatment compared with what Margaret Court advocated.
Homosexuality may be punishable by imprisonment or death in the UAE. Why didn't Dr Whitaker support the cancellation of the sponsorship of Etihad Stadium for the sake of the LGBTIQ+ community when Islam is so opposed to homosexuality?
It seems inconsistent to me that she wanted to downgrade Dr Court's persecution and abuse for her statements on homosexuality but avoid dealing with a Muslim country's airline's sponsorship of Etihad Stadium in Australia.
There's a vast gap between Dr Margaret Court's holy Bible and Dr Robyn Whitaker's holey Bible on the authority of scripture that contains teaching on homosexuality, gay couples, marriage equality, polygamy, heterosexuality, bestiality and sexual purity.
It is a serious situation for Whitaker to castigate Court's views on literal interpretation of the Bible when heterosexual and not homosexual relationships are promoted by Jesus himself.
Whitaker has bought into the contemporary, pro-homosexual, politically correct agenda that receives vast mass media coverage. Margaret Court and the Australian Christian Lobby have promoted the biblical mandate of heterosexual marriage, which was supported by Moses and Jesus, and has been the norm since the beginning of time.
I urge Robyn Whitaker to make an apology to Margaret Court and the Australian Christian Lobby for promoting her own views over those endorsed by Scripture – all in Whitaker's name of being a representative of Christianity.