Blaming God For An Unfair Decision

"Yes, I agree, Patrick; I've been thinking the same thing. Paige needs to be playing field hockey. Let it be written. Let it be done."

“Yes, I agree, Patrick; I’ve been thinking the same thing. Maddy Paige needs to be playing field hockey. Let it be written. Let it be done.”

Maddy Paige is a 12-year-old girl from Locust Grove, Georgia who was the starting defensive tackle for her sixth grade football team at Strong Rock Christian School until the school’s head, Patrick Stuart, decided that the order of the universe depended on his implementing a new policy declaring that “Middle school girls play girls’ sports and middle school boys play boys’ sports.”

For all the benefits and wisdom a conservative approach to public policy can add to society’s progress, conservatives will always erode their credibility and trustworthiness by their tendency to stubbornly insist on unjust and arbitrary rules because “that’s just the way it’s always been.” This will be the impact of  conservative opposition to gay marriage, now officially shown to be futile by the Supreme Court’s DOMA rejection yesterday on Due Process and Equal Protection grounds under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment, and it is the lesson to be harvested from Stuart’s fatuous move.
USA TODAY Sports revealed the school CEO’s “thinking, ” according to the account of the banned player’s mother:

“[Stuart] told me students are coming of age and the boys will have impure thoughts and urges and they have the locker room talk and it’s not appropriate for girls to hear,” Paige’s mother, Cassy Blythe, told [the paper.] . “Then he said he prayed about it and he really feels that there’s not supposed to be mixing of the genders. They need to be kept separate.”

Oh, well that makes…what???

  • The boys will have impure thoughts whether Paige is tackling them or not, because they are boys. That’s not Paige’s fault.
  • Why is the locker room talk appropriate for boys to hear and not girls? Isn’t it up to Paige and her parents what she should be permitted to hear?
  • Locker rooms can be supervised, and should be, if speech is an issue.
  • Won’t Paige be changing in a separate area?
  • Gee, I’m pretty sure that there is “supposed” to be some “mixing of the genders…right?
  • What does he mean, they “need” to be kept separate? Where do they “need” to be kept separate? Just on the football field? In locker rooms? In classes? In the street? In elevators? If Paige had a lot of brothers, should she have been sent away? Why do the genders “need” to be kept separate? Where did that rule come from?

If Stuart has real reasons for discriminating against Maddy, rather than this assorted garbage, he has an obligation to state them clearly. It is wrong to arbitrarily forbid one person from doing something they want to do that others are permitted to do based on irrelevant status differences, like race, religion, and gender. The only valid reason for having separate teams for male and female participants isn’t exclusion but inclusion,  because of the general physical disparities and abilities of the genders, not because of their “impure thoughts.” If a student is physically fit for a sport and there is only one team, gender is not a reasonable or fair justification for exclusion.  There is no logic or common sense supporting Stuart’s edict, only bias, archaic tradition and refusal to deal with the world as it is, rather than how people once were told it was.

Worst of all, I think, is that Stuart plays the God card, telling Maddy’s parents that “he prayed” about the decision, as if that gives it extra credibility or weight. The implication, of course, is that God sent him a sign or a neural twitch, and that He also doesn’t want Paige to hear those nasty locker room jokes. If a decision maker wants to pray about a dilemma, that’s his right, but he should keep that fact to himself. Using it to validate the decision is cowardly and an attempt to ship responsibility to Heaven.

It is also foolish. If a critic is dubious about religion, then such an explanation is the equivalent of saying that “I found me a three-eyed toad and read its entrails at midnight” If a critic is a God fan and has the sense to recognize the idiocy of Stuart’s policy, he must either conclude that Stuart is lying, that God was playing a cruel trick on Stuart, that the Lord has an unhealthy desire to make a 12-year old girl miserable, or that He is no smarter than Stuart is, which is a terrifying thought.

Maddy and her mother have started a Facebook campaign called “Let Her Play.” The page has over 23,000 likes in one week; I’m sure Stuart thinks it’s significant that God isn’t one of them.

________________________________________

Sources: USA Today, Huffington Post

Graphic: Dumb

77 thoughts on “Blaming God For An Unfair Decision

  1. I came from a small enough area that only a very few sports had both boys and girls teams (basketball, golf, track, and XC I believe). While female athlete in male sports were quite rare, at least half the schools in the area had at least one female wrestler and there was one notable female defensive tackle. Somehow, and call me crazy here, I managed not to be overcome with lust even while rubbing up against a girl on a wrestling mat, let alone being headbutted by one on a football field…

      • Sharia law is just rules based on Muslim beliefs. Rules based on Christian beliefs is pretty parallel. There’s also considerable overlap between the two.

        • Valid objection if you ignore the meaning behind “some Christians worrying about Sharia law”.

          You pretend like Person A’s religious beliefs lead to enacting a law that gives out ice cream to everyone is equivalent to Person B’s religious beliefs enacting laws that sodomize kittens.

          When ‘some Christians’ worry about sharia law, they worry about pleasant things like no due process, public executions of the most gruesome sort, physical maiming, lex talionis, supremacy of the whims of authorities vs the application of consistent standards.

          So no, it doesn’t equate to worrying about not letting girls play on the same team as boys.

          Additionally, it isn’t even as simple as Person A’s religious beliefs lead to minorly bad Law X beig equal to Person B’s religious beliefs leading to horrifically awful law Y. If person A’s interpretation of their holy books is flawed and leads to flawed law X and Person B’s holy book directly mandates horrific law Y, Then the analogy really does not hold weight at all.

          My original assertion “as much as the decision is in error, it is a hyperbole to compare it to sharia law” is valid.

          • “When ‘some Christians’ worry about sharia law, they worry about pleasant things like no due process, public executions of the most gruesome sort, physical maiming, lex talionis, supremacy of the whims of authorities vs the application of consistent standards.”

            You just described what most rational people fear about Rick Perrys Texas.

                  • An unfair court is no better than no court at all. If anything, it’s worse, as the spectacle will legitimize the result in the eyes of some people.

                • Rick Perry’s questionable decision (while in a whirl wind of questionable debates from multiple interest groups (which can only hope to obfuscate and reduce clarity)) to change some of the members of the commission 5 years *after* the man’s execution somehow equates Rick Perry to executing people at a whim?

                  I’m not certain time travel exists. But if it does, you may have a valid complaint.

                  • Rick Perry’s meddling with the commission after they didn’t find the results he desired is a clear example of a disregard for due process an law being based the whims of authorities.

          • You pretend like Person A’s religious beliefs lead to enacting a law that gives out ice cream to everyone is equivalent to Person B’s religious beliefs enacting laws that sodomize kittens.

            While there are some good things believed by Christians, the same can be said about Muslims. The issue is that people think their beliefs are ice cream and other religious beliefs are sodomizing kittens. In this case, the desire to separate the sexes based on divine providence is common between Christians and Muslims.

            When ‘some Christians’ worry about sharia law, they worry about pleasant things like no due process, public executions of the most gruesome sort, physical maiming, lex talionis, supremacy of the whims of authorities vs the application of consistent standards.

            The idea that sharia law removes “due process” compared to Christian desires is silly. Sharia law still has process, but the judges and juries are religious leaders. I see significant overlap in people complaining about the incursion of sharia and people who thing they should be able to punish gays themselves.

            The public executions, maiming, and law of retaliation? I’ve heard them called barbaric, but they aren’t the focus of the complaints. The focus of the sharia complaints are that it’s anti-Christian, even though the beliefs are often parallel in result.

            Finally, the last point is very odd. sharia is, if nothing else, a consistent standard.

            Additionally, it isn’t even as simple as Person A’s religious beliefs lead to minorly bad Law X beig equal to Person B’s religious beliefs leading to horrifically awful law Y. If person A’s interpretation of their holy books is flawed and leads to flawed law X and Person B’s holy book directly mandates horrific law Y, Then the analogy really does not hold weight at all.

            Okay, and how do you determine flawed interpretations? If read literally, both the Bible and Koran require horrible things. Some people claim that individual pieces of each book should be ignored or aren’t important, but these are just picked and chosen as desired. This looks like special pleading to me. “I get to determine that this horrible stuff in book A is not literal, and it’s a flawed interpretation to suggest it is, but you can’t change a single meaning in book B.”

            • “In this case, the desire to separate the sexes based on divine providence is common between Christians and Muslims.”

              You are still pretending like a huge component of the meaning of the original comment – “And some Christians are worrying about the Muslims and sharia law? Sounds like they’ve beat them to it.” – does not exist.

              I’ve already demonstrated this false. You are merely repeating a demonstably flawed argument.

              “The idea that sharia law removes “due process” compared to Christian desires is silly. Sharia law still has process, but the judges and juries are religious leaders.”

              Nice subtle change of the terms. Failed.

              “I see significant overlap in people complaining about the incursion of sharia and people who thing they should be able to punish gays themselves.”

              And if we were discussing vigilantism, I’m sure this might be relevant. But we aren’t comparing “people who think they should be able to punish gays themselves” and actually constituted Sharia law. If we were, it would be a flawed analogy anyway. Failed, doubly so.

              “The public executions, maiming, and law of retaliation? I’ve heard them called barbaric, but they aren’t the focus of the complaints. The focus of the sharia complaints are that it’s anti-Christian, even though the beliefs are often parallel in result.”

              I’ve always understood the objections oriented towards the barbarism and lack of a fair process. I think your assertion is manufactured.

              “Okay, and how do you determine flawed interpretations? If read literally, both the Bible and Koran require horrible things.”

              I’m not certain you can find me a Christian writing of the early 1st century (you know the one’s that Christianity is directly based upon) that contains any opened ended legal requirements to conduct the kind of barbaric atrocities mandated by the early writings of the founders of Islam. Anything past that is a comparison of what a particular Christian pretends is in a Christian writing, but isn’t, and what a particular Muslim can find and quote verbatim from the Koran.

              You may certainly find specific examples of Jews in the *old testament* fighting off their neighboring ‘heathen’. I don’t think you’ll find any open ended commands to do so.

              You may certainly find specific laws that we would consider barbaric today in the *old testament*. Oddly enough, and disruptive of your argument, those laws are all superceded by the New Testament, which you will be hard pressed to find the kind of atrocities mandated by Sharia.

              I know we* really really really like to pretend that all religions are equally evil, but they simply are not.

              *by “we” I mean you.

              • 1. Separation of the sexes
                You are still pretending like a huge component of the meaning of the original comment – “And some Christians are worrying about the Muslims and sharia law? Sounds like they’ve beat them to it.” – does not exist.

                I’m not pretending other things don’t exist. I’m noting a parallel. THis was in direct response to the piece of your comment stating:

                “You pretend like Person A’s religious beliefs lead to enacting a law that gives out ice cream to everyone is equivalent to Person B’s religious beliefs enacting laws that sodomize kittens.”

                You are pretending there are 2 very different things that are being said to be the same, when that’s not occurring. My comment was applicable.

                2. Change of terms?
                “The idea that sharia law removes “due process” compared to Christian desires is silly. Sharia law still has process, but the judges and juries are religious leaders.”

                Nice subtle change of the terms. Failed.

                I don’t think I changed terms. You said that the people are worried about Sharia due to a loss of due process. I said that there isn’t a loss of due process in Sharia, just a change in who various actors are in the process, and I implied that a parallel change of actors is also desired by Christians. I don’t see the fail.

                3. Context is key
                “I see significant overlap in people complaining about the incursion of sharia and people who thing they should be able to punish gays themselves.”

                And if we were discussing vigilantism, I’m sure this might be relevant. But we aren’t comparing “people who think they should be able to punish gays themselves” and actually constituted Sharia law. If we were, it would be a flawed analogy anyway. Failed, doubly so.

                My comment was in response to the due process comment. It was an example of christian desire to remove due process. I was pointing out that due process is not the complaint of the Christians against sharia law.

                4.
                “The public executions, maiming, and law of retaliation? I’ve heard them called barbaric, but they aren’t the focus of the complaints. The focus of the sharia complaints are that it’s anti-Christian, even though the beliefs are often parallel in result.”

                I’ve always understood the objections oriented towards the barbarism and lack of a fair process. I think your assertion is manufactured.

                Can you give me some examples? Pam Geller is who I consider the leader of the Christian anti-sharia movement, and her arguments are about what the laws prohibit and allow.

                5. On the bible as requiring punishment
                “Okay, and how do you determine flawed interpretations? If read literally, both the Bible and Koran require horrible things.”

                I’m not certain you can find me a Christian writing of the early 1st century (you know the one’s that Christianity is directly based upon) that contains any opened ended legal requirements to conduct the kind of barbaric atrocities mandated by the early writings of the founders of Islam.

                So what?

                Anything past that is a comparison of what a particular Christian pretends is in a Christian writing, but isn’t, and what a particular Muslim can find and quote verbatim from the Koran.

                Um…is the old testament not part of Christianity somehow?

                You may certainly find specific examples of Jews in the *old testament* fighting off their neighboring ‘heathen’. I don’t think you’ll find any open ended commands to do so.

                I don’t see how that would matter.

                I don’t think wiping out tribes is “fighting off” neighbors.

                I can’t see the 10 commandments as anything other than generally applicable commandments.

                I know we* really really really like to pretend that all religions are equally evil, but they simply are not.

                *by “we” I mean you.

                The faith part is equally evil. I don’t say that the deeds and specific commandments of different religions are equally evil. That’s a strawman.

                • 1. You are being willfully obtuse at this point. Again, to repeat myself (since my assertion is valid, and since your only repeated objection has been demonstrated to be flawed): when one compares the worry of Sharia law to separating genders in sports, as was the assertion made that started this, one WILLFULLY IGNORES what people are worrying about with Sharia law. It isn’t merely separation of genders.

                  2. You did change terms. Identified was the concern that Sharia lacks due process, you then asserted “Sharia has a process”. Aha. Spiffy. Sharia has ‘a process’. I wouldn’t term it (neither did you) “due process”. It is a clumsy and arbitrary system at best. A valid worry. This objection debunked further supports my original (and still valid) assertion that Bill engaged in non-analogous hyperbole.

                  3. Ah, ‘in context’ it is much clearer that it is flawed reasoning. Thanks. “people who thing they should be able to punish gays themselves.” “ It was an example of christian desire to remove due process.”

                  Manufactured. Watch, I can do it to. “It was an example of atheist desire to remove due process.” Wow. What an assertion. Flawed like yours.

                  4. ”Pam Geller is who I consider the leader of the Christian anti-sharia movement, and her arguments are about what the laws prohibit and allow.”

                  If that is a refutation, I’m not certain it works. Sounds like it supports my assertion.

                  5a. On the bible as requiring punishment. Nice subtitle, start off with begging the question.

                  5b. “So what?” Is that your answer to a valid objection to your assertion? Nice.

                  5c. The old testament certainly does provide the historic backdrop and narrative (necessary according to Christianity) that leads to the teachings and commands of the new testament (you know the part that defines Christianity, since the new testament was composed of the *Christian* writings).

                  5d. “I don’t see how that would matter.” Of course you ‘wouldn’t’ because it would force you to accept that some religions have open ended commands in their holy texts to kill non-believers, while others do not. And some religions have open ended commands to have wildly barbaric legal codes, while others do not.

                  This is twice you’ve conveniently brushed off items that debunk your stance.

                  “I can’t see the 10 commandments as anything other than generally applicable commandments.” Ok. And?

                  “The faith part is equally evil. I don’t say that the deeds and specific commandments of different religions are equally evil. That’s a strawman.”
                  I’m not certain you’ve been following the gist of this conversation. The original post starting this makes a wild comparison between someone segregating his sports teams because ‘God told him to’ and a culture imposing a barbaric law code on their civilization. Your commentary thus far has asserted that the two are equivalent. Are you back tracking now?

                  • 1. You have changed context from where I made my comment. That was an original complaint of yours, but this subpoint was not that point.

                    2. My point was that Christians consider a parallel process as valid, so complaining that the Sharia process isn’t good enough doesn’t make sense.

                    3. I don’t follow.

                    4. What? You’re complaining about the process of the law and the punishmen, not what is allowed and prohibited.

                    5a. Not begging the question. That was the question.

                    5b. I don’t see a valid refutation. You made some statements, but I don’t see how they support your point. Maybe they do, but that logic is presented.

                    5c. So, the 10 commandments don’t apply to Christians? That’s a pretty uncommon interpretation of Christianity.

                    5d. Open ended commands to kill unbelievers in religion A does not excuse the commands of religion B. That Islam may be worse than Christianity doesn’t solve any problems for you.

                    5d(2).
                    And some religions have open ended commands to have wildly barbaric legal codes, while others do not.

                    I don’t see why the open ended commands have to do with anything? The bible has an extremely barbaric legal code. Most Christians selectively ignore significant parts of it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

                    5e
                    “I can’t see the 10 commandments as anything other than generally applicable commandments.” Ok. And?

                    This was me screwing up. Retracted.

                    6
                    “The faith part is equally evil. I don’t say that the deeds and specific commandments of different religions are equally evil. That’s a strawman.”
                    I’m not certain you’ve been following the gist of this conversation. The original post starting this makes a wild comparison between someone segregating his sports teams because ‘God told him to’ and a culture imposing a barbaric law code on their civilization. Your commentary thus far has asserted that the two are equivalent. Are you back tracking now?

                    I’m not backtracking off my belief that the imposition of Christian rules is parallel to the imposition of Sharia. Imposition of Christian rules is less evil than Sharia, but that’s not exactly a high standard.

                    • 1. Then you may consider rephrasing it to be more apparently relevant.

                      2. Sharia’s process is not a parallel process to our due process. Again, my original response to Bill stands.

                      3. It does follow. I’m not certain there is a mainstream christian desire to remove due process as you have so asserted. I showed the absurdity of your speculation by wildly speculating the same, only with one term changed.

                      4. I don’t think I complained about anything. I demonstrated what the worries involved in allowing Sharia law are and how they are hyperbolically incomparable to an errant administrator keeping a girl off of a particular team.

                      5b. Thoroughly valid considering a substantive comparison was made between laws originating from the beliefs of two separate systems. It is necessary to compare the beliefs of the two separate systems. If one system explicitly demands barbaric laws and another system does not, then it would follow that the explicit system is culpable itself for the barbarism inflicted in its name whereas the non-explicit system is not culpable for barbarism inflicted in its name, only the false claims of its adherents. This distinct difference underlies the error in your logic as well as the fallacy of the original comparison made by Bill.

                      5c. They do, they don’t. Barring this becoming a theological discussion, I’ll say again, the value and necessity of the Old Testament, according to Christianity, is its establishment of the basis necessary for the redemptive story of the New Testament.

                      5d. Again, please find me any commands in the *Christian* writings that compel barbaric legal systems.

                      6. This can be directly refuted by my commentary in items 2, 3, 4, 5b, and 5d. No need to repeat.

                    • 1. Rephrase what? I cited you and responded.

                      2. This is just flat out denial of reality.

                      3. I said “I don’t follow”. I didn’t understand what you were trying to do. Now I understand that you thought you were paralleling my comment in 2.

                      4. Your complaint with Sharia was about the process of the law and the punishment. Geller’s complaints are about what is or isn’t legal.

                      5b. Both systems demand barbaric acts and laws. The only difference you showed was open-ended commands.

                      5c. Either the 10 commandments apply or not. You don’t get to apply them when you want and ignore them when they’re inconvenient.

                      5d. When you deny the old testament is Christian, you’re denying what most Christians think. You may have a less barbaric view of Christianity, but there are similar less barbaric views of Islam as well.

                      6. Your comments in 2, 3, 4, 5b, and 5d do not say that I’m backing off my belief. Nor do they say that you need equally evil deeds for both to be evil.

                    • 1. “You are pretending there are 2 very different things that are being said to be the same, when that’s not occurring. My comment was applicable.” – TGT

                      That line indicates that you have misread everything. I pretend nothing, Bill’s comment DOES equate two very different thing. Therefore your comment is still in error.

                      2. You are the only one here denying reality.

                      3. That my comments have yet to be logically shown invalid, my #3 still stands. There is no mainstream Christian movement to remove due process. Therefore your original objection sparking the #3 sidebar is still invalid.

                      4. You were the one who brought Gellar into this as your appointed paragon to support your argument, now you are saying citing her as an example doesn’t even address the discussion. Wow.

                      5. I didn’t think you could find me a *christian* writing that explicitly compels barbaric law systems.

                      And I haven’t denied the importance of the Old Testament to Christian teachings, so I’d advise against putting words you think decisive to your argument in my mouth. It’s a strawman.

                      6. I’m no longer refuting you not backtracking. Accepting that you aren’t I’ve merely indicated that the aforementioned line refuted your final commentary “…imposition of Christian rules is parallel to the imposition of Sharia. Imposition of Christian rules is less evil than Sharia, but that’s not exactly a high standard.”

          • I think one is too many, but otherwise, yes, there are less Christians that back beheadings than there are Muslims that back back beheadings.

        • “Sharia law is just rules based on Muslim beliefs. Rules based on Christian beliefs is pretty parallel. There’s also considerable overlap between the two.”

          tgt, that is the dumbest sentence I have heard all week. I shouldn’t even need to explain why. Just take a deep breath and think next time before saying things, k?

  2. Well this is a Christian school so invoking conversations with God usually gets the job done.

    Of all the sport to mingle the sexes, football has to be the worst. How’s her fastball?

      • Women actually aren’t horrible at wrestling, particularly at lighter weight classes and at the high school/lower tier college level. Upwards of 160 lbs it’s hard for a girl to compete with the pure muscle mass of her male weight counterparts, but a 103-lb girl is usually way more flexible and often has faster reactions than a guy the same size.

        Of course that’s assuming that by “worst for mingling” he meant “the girl ends up not being able to be competitive.” If it means “getting your naughty bits excited via bodily contact,” then all you can say is the rage and adrenaline of close combat usually don’t let you think of it that way…

        • I assumed it was the close contact that was being complained about. Middle school aged girls can be pretty dominant in, well, any sport. The later onset of male puberty is when differences really show up at the top end.

          • I’m sure the SCHOOL’s definition of mingling meant physical contact- which makes football one of thoe most innocent, since you cant’ even see any jiggly bits under all the pads.

            I don’t know if it’s been said in this particular case but in similar cases I’ve heard the justification that it’s for her own good, so the poor fragile darling doesn’t get hurt- I think I was conflating that rationalization with this particular case.

            And I don’t know why I keep wanting this to be a high school girl rather than a middle school one… but it’s even more absurd when you remember the ages correctly…

  3. Again, sexual orientation should have nothing to do with athletic competition. schoools at all levels should only have one team for each sport and the best athletes should make the teams. Gender should have nothing to do with opporrtunity to compete or competition itself. (Not kidding.)

    • Other Bill – seriously? Do you mean only one team – as opposed to having teams for both genders? I could be reading your statement incorrectly. If you are serious about there being only one team for each sport, than you are saying you endorse policies that exclude most girls/women from team sports. Is that what you are saying – that you support and tolerate gender discrimination in educational settings? Would you like to see Title IX provisions go away?

      As Jack said, separate teams provides inclusion:

      “The only valid reason for having separate teams for male and female participants isn’t exclusion but inclusion, because of the general physical disparities and abilities of the genders, not because of their “impure thoughts.””

      And what do you mean by sexual orientation? Are you talking about gender OR sexual orientation – these are two different things.

    • What? That’s crazy. Muscle mass alone would make that unfair and discriminatory. There’s a reason why the Olympics have teams divided by gender. Let’s take other extra-curriculars like art, music, dance, and drama. In just about every high school, you are going to find a lot more girls (and talented experienced girls) who outperform the guys. Should the rule be that each activity only takes 20 kids, even though that will mean that more girls (and perhaps exclusively girls) get to participate? No, you have to find a way to let everyone participate (even if it’s in lesser roles or on the sidelines). Otherwise, for e.g., you are going to be dressing a lot of girls as boys to handle roles in high school plays. It’s hard enough to find guys who are willing and able to dance, I can’t imagine a rule where they also have to outperform their female counterparts first – many of whom who have been taking dance lessons since they were 5.

  4. I think Ultimate (Frisbee) does the gender thing well. Instead of men’s teams and women’s teams, there are open teams women’s teams (and mixed teams). Anyone can play open ultimate.

    • I think ultimate frisbee also benefits from having its earliest roots in the modern era.

      Typically all sports go through a phase in their initial development that could be termed a ‘casual phase’ when its a group of people getting together to figure out how to have a good time with oppositional objectives.

      Hell, soccer and football and rugby all ultimately derive from a renaissance debacle of drunks crashing through town trying to a ball back and forth.

      As it applies, most of the gender segregated sports developed when genders, by custom, publicly segregated themselves. Therefore in the development phase of these sports, it was a guy’s only affair until te sport have developed formalized rules.

      This doesn’t apply to ultimate frisbee, a sport developed in the modern era when those customs didn’t exist.

      Good example, but explainable.

      • I think it’s more than just being modern era. Ultimate is built around sportsmanship and fair play. I think the ethos of the early adopters of ultimate have as much to do with the openness as the modernity.

        • An ethos with a major component born in the modern era.

          As much as it will be hard to do, imagine if football never never never existed. All its manifestations in our culture and impact on our culture occurred have not occurred.

          Now imagine a group of college aged individuals picking up a ball together and developing casually the interactions that will ultimately become football.

          Don’t you think that group of college aged kids wouldn’t include women?

          Now, imagine ultimate frisbee developing in 1850 and finally becoming an American mainstream sport around 1900, I’d imagine it would be just as segregated by gender today as the others.

          Yes, it is the modern era that has lent to the developers of Ultimate Frisbee a more open attitude toward inclusiveness

          • The modern era has created more people with the proper ethos, but it was the ethos, not the times, that made it the way it is. If it had been created by different people, there might be referees and punishment for fouls. I think golf is a good comparison. The people who created golf created it with sportsmanship and fairness in mind. Golf is at least half a millenium old, but women are allowed to play with the men.

            • Modern era -> inclusive ethos -> Develops inclusive sports

              Older era -> separated ethos -> Develops separate sports

              Hm….

              It’s pretty cut and dry. Indicating that golf CHANGED over time does nothing to the original assertion that Ultimate Frisbee benefited from being developed in modern times.

              • I don’t say that ultimate didn’t benefit from being in modern times, but it’s the people in the times, not the the times themselves that matter. I think I was pretty clear on that.

                You said that football is segregated because it was developed when there was segregation of the sexes. If that is the main driving force, than golf would also still be segregated. Time of development isn’t the issue. Ethos is the issue.

                • No it wouldn’t. Because it isn’t as simple as that. There are plenty of factors governing why a sport would CHANGE over time. None of those factors that change one sport would automatically effect change in another. The mere description of such is really irrelevent to what we are discussing.

                  The fact that the sports developed to be gender segregated in a time of gender segregation has been explained and is logical. That ultimate frisbee developed during a time when genders more readily interact with each other does indicate that the modern era benefitted ultimate frisbee in developing an already integrated play style.

                  • Remember this?

                    “Now, imagine ultimate frisbee developing in 1850 and finally becoming an American mainstream sport around 1900, I’d imagine it would be just as segregated by gender today as the others.”

                    You clearly claimed that time of development determines current segregation. I think that’s bull.

                    It’s the ethos that matters. Golf has allowed women in because of the ethos of the sport, despite coming about in a gender segregated time. I think the same would apply for ultimate.

                    Ultimate was created in the 70s and 80s, and didn’t become the game we know today until the late 80s/early 90s. If it had been developed with an ethos of winning above everything, where fouling was punitive and people aimed to get away with things? I don’t know if gender inclusion would have been part of it.

                    • Yes, I do remember that. It doesn’t disprove anything because it doesn’t address the change in attitudes over time. It addresses a particular set of attitudes a long time ago and a particular set of attitudes today. It stands as a hypothetical, which you failed to answer. Do you remember that?

                      Next.

                      It may be ‘the ethos’ that matters, I have yet to deny that. What you continue to deny is that it also matters the attitudes and culture that existed when the ‘ethos’ developed.

                      Again, to repeat myself in response to your repeated comment (flawed still) that the change in golf is relevent: It isn’t.

                    • “Ultimate was created in the 70s and 80s, and didn’t become the game we know today until the late 80s/early 90s. If it had been developed with an ethos of winning above everything, where fouling was punitive and people aimed to get away with things? I don’t know if gender inclusion would have been part of it.”

                      Probably right about that. That doesn’t change the asssertion that the development of Ultimate Frisbee into a gender inclusive sport benefits greatly from the modern era, which I’ve indicated time and time again allows for more gender integrated activities.

                      You don’t even realize you are slowly talking yourself into support of my original response to you.

                    • Yes, I do remember that. It doesn’t disprove anything because it doesn’t address the change in attitudes over time. It addresses a particular set of attitudes a long time ago and a particular set of attitudes today.

                      Uh…The comment said that the attitudes of the time of creation in reference to gender integration determine the gender integration now. You argued that football is not integrated because of when it was created.

                      It stands as a hypothetical, which you failed to answer. Do you remember that?

                      I believe this answered it:

                      “It’s the ethos that matters. Golf has allowed women in because of the ethos of the sport, despite coming about in a gender segregated time. I think the same would apply for ultimate.”

                      It may be ‘the ethos’ that matters, I have yet to deny that. What you continue to deny is that it also matters the attitudes and culture that existed when the ‘ethos’ developed.

                      I’m not denying that the attitudes and culture that existed when the “ethos” developed don’t matter. What I’m arguing is that the ethos for any given group is not dependent on general cultural norms. 90s culture was against racial discrimination, but some groups that formed in the 90s were still racially discriminatory. Ultimate owes much of it’s current structure to hippies nonconfrontational style, but it was the people, not the time that mattered.

                      Golf is a good example of this. The ethos of golf is about sporstmanship and fair play. As such, golf has been open to the introduction of women on the men’s tour. Even if ultimate had developed earlier when women weren’t so integrated in college campuses, I think the general ethos of the game would have opened up integration.

                      Golf is in stark contrast to football, which is not about sportsmanship and fair play (and never was). Golf and football were both created during non-integrated times and have diverged in their take on integration. As such, I think it’s reasonable to claim that ethos is more important than integration at the time of creation.

                    • “I believe this answered it:

                      “It’s the ethos that matters. Golf has allowed women in because of the ethos of the sport, despite coming about in a gender segregated time. I think the same would apply for ultimate.””

                      That assertion comes after you mis-interpreted the hypothetical to begin with. So, no you didn’t answer the hypothetical.

                      I described the development of ultimate frisbee in terms of the development of football. Golf doesn’t have nearly the same kind of following in America as Football, or even baseball. Golf could easily be swayed by other factors. Even then, can you honestly say that golf has readily welcomed women to compete in its top tiers? No.

                      “I’m not denying that the attitudes and culture that existed when the “ethos” developed don’t matter. What I’m arguing is that the ethos for any given group is not dependent on general cultural norms. 90s culture was against racial discrimination, but some groups that formed in the 90s were still racially discriminatory. Ultimate owes much of it’s current structure to hippies nonconfrontational style, but it was the people, not the time that mattered.”

                      Uh, ethos for any given group are heavily impacted by general cultural norms, as I have asserted. Some groups flaunt them, those groups are exceptions. Ultimate frisbee wasn’t developed by an exception, but by the general cultural norms, as were the sports of old (and consequently in the old general cultural norms).

                      Again, that golf managed to changed itself (dubiously so, and still not completely) does not change the assertion that the sports founding ‘ethos’ develops clearly as a subset of the culture at the time.

          • It’s not about throwing frisbees at things. You might be thinking of disc golf.

            I normally joke that ultimate is the only tie between pot heads and super christians, but there’s been significant build up of people who don’t fall into either category (like me).

            Whoever plays the sport, noble is probably a good qualifier for the rules of the sport. It very much is a gentleman’s game. Trash talking in ultimate is yelling at your own players to make upside throws.

            • Every game is a gentleman’s game if the individual players involved choose to behave like gentlemen.

              I’ve seen fist fights break out in extremely competitive instances of Ultimate. It isn’t the utopian sport you claim it is.

                  • The rules are based on the idea that all fouls and infractions are unintentional. They assume the goodwill of all actors, and when a foul occurs, the consequence is an attempt to replicate what would have happened without the foul.

                    Some individuals do abuse the rules: intentional fouling, contesting fouls a player knows they committed, calling picks when they’re more than 10 feet away, phantom travel calls, and invalid in/out calls can all subvert the rules.

                    • You have described qualities of sportsmanship and sportsmanlike conduct that are unspoken good-faith agreements in all sports. I’m not certain of any sport in it’s earliest stages of development that didn’t expect it’s players to behave like sportsman and not intentionally break rules.

                      That being said, Ultimate Frisbee, just like all the other sports have people who DO intentionally break the rules.

                      So, should be assume all the sports are utopian or none of the sports are utopian?

                    • tex,

                      I can’t think of another sport which doesn’t punish fouls. Ultimate is very different from other sports. For instance: traveling. In basketball, it’s a turn over. In ultimate, it’s simply a pause, go back, and continue as if nothing occurred.

                    • TGT,

                      A player who continues to run after catching the frisbee is penalized by returning to the infraction. That the penalty isn’t harsh does not make it not-a-penalty. Just that it doesn’t warrant a turnover, and fairly so, as the game involves sprinting, it wouldn’t be fair to the spirit of the rules to penalize someone catching a pass at a sprint while expecting them to come to a complete stop.

                      The official rules themselves have a series of penalties worked into the rules to preserve the spirit of the game.

                      Delays of game are guarded against by the stall count, the penalty of violation being a turnover.

                      Delaying the game on a pull, I think its like 70 seconds to pull or something, results in a penalty giving the receiving team possession of the disc at the half way point.

                      A thrower, throwing in such a manner as to receive his own throw is penalized with a turnover.

                      Handoffs are penalized with turnovers.

                      Additionally, I know when people are wild abusers of “the spirit of the game”, we have banned them from playing with us. This too is a penalty born out of the casual nature of the game.

                      I you wanna call the game utopian because it has fewer infractions and less harsh penalties, fine, but you can’t claim it has no penalties for rule infraction. Or if you wanna call the game utopian because it is notionally self-officiating, that’s fine. Although not true when serious tournaments are held.

                    • A player who continues to run after catching the frisbee is penalized by returning to the infraction. That the penalty isn’t harsh does not make it not-a-penalty.

                      That’s not a penalty. It’s a removal of the advantage, but there is no negative affect to breaking the rule. There is no negative consequence over what would happen if the rule was followed. Removing an illegally gained advantage isn’t a punishment.

                      If I steal a television from a store, and the consequence is that I don’t get to keep the television, that’s not a punishment.

                      Delays of game are guarded against by the stall count, the penalty of violation being a turnover.

                      That’s a basic organization rule, not a foul type situation. You might as well be saying here that for catching the ball out of bounds, the penalty of violation is a turnover.

                      Delaying the game on a pull, I think its like 70 seconds to pull or something, results in a penalty giving the receiving team possession of the disc at the half way point.

                      This one I can agree with. This is an actual penalty.

                      A thrower, throwing in such a manner as to receive his own throw is penalized with a turnover.

                      The assumption is that if he didn’t catch it, nobody would have. Not a penalty.

                      Handoffs are penalized with turnovers.

                      This one is also a penalty.

                      Additionally, I know when people are wild abusers of “the spirit of the game”, we have banned them from playing with us. This too is a penalty born out of the casual nature of the game.

                      That’s not a penalty in the rules of the game. I see some equivocation here.

                      I you wanna call the game utopian because it has fewer infractions and less harsh penalties, fine, but you can’t claim it has no penalties for rule infraction. Or if you wanna call the game utopian because it is notionally self-officiating, that’s fine. Although not true when serious tournaments are held.

                      I’ll take the point somewhat and update my claim:

                      “The rules (with a couple exceptions) are based on the idea that all fouls and infractions are unintentional. They assume the goodwill of all actors, and when a foul occurs, the consequence is (generally) an attempt to replicate what would have happened without the foul.”

                    • “The rules (with a couple exceptions) are based on the idea that all fouls and infractions are unintentional. They assume the goodwill of all actors, and when a foul occurs, the consequence is (generally) an attempt to replicate what would have happened without the foul.”

                      Then I reassert my commentary from <a href=https://ethicsalarms.com/2013/06/27/blaming-god-for-an-unfair-decision/comment-page-1/#comment-81204

                      And additionally will reassert that, Ultimate Frisbee, is a good example, but is explainable as benefitting from the time of its creation and that it is still in its casual phase of development.

                      Additionally, I know when people are wild abusers of “the spirit of the game”, we have banned them from playing with us. This too is a penalty born out of the casual nature of the game.

                      That’s not a penalty in the rules of the game. I see some equivocation here.

                      I know that isn’t an explicit penalty prescribed by the rules. But I would submit that a game that purports to be far more self-governing and self-edifying than the others, and it is, has to assume that players ultimately will police themselves and have to ban various miscreants who do violate the rules to excess. And, yes, although not detailed in the rules as such, I don’t see how you can completely disregard internal policing developed from the intended self-governance of the game as not having the qualities of penalizing bad players.

                      I don’t think the stolen TV analogy works. Team A vs Team B does not have the same moral equivalency of Criminal vs Society, so I don’t think penalties have to be morally equitable. There are plenty of sports in which penalties do reset play to a reasonably expected location for the ‘ball’ to have reached had the rule infraction not occurred, without being directly equitable to a punishment.

  5. Maddy is going is going to have a hard time appealing that decision. It’s very hard to get due process when the decision is based on an edict from God. Everyone knows that God really loves football but can’t he just watch without intervening?

  6. Anyone objecting to this decision, or in any way criticising it, is infringing on “Freedom of Religion” and engaging in the “Attack on Christianity”.

    That’s a factual statement, one that I think is true for the current definitions of the terms “Freedom of Religion” and “Attack on Christianity” as they are used today by those talking about them.

    Personally, I think we need more restrictions on “Freedom of Religion” – though not Freedom of Belief. Restrictions in addition to the existing ones prohibiting human sacrifice and the like, no matter how essential those practices might be to Freedom of Worship.

    Freedom of Belief should be essentially untrammeled, even in the case where it’s probably a sign of psychosis. Freedom of Worship – where that includes behaviour and affecting those other than onesself – should have no special rights or disabilities accorded to it. No, the Thug sect of the worshippers of Kali can not ritually sacrifice strangers passing through. No, members of the 4-square Lighthouse Bible Church of Christ can not refuse service to someone suffering the “curse of Ham”. And so on.

    They’re proclaiming their “right” to do so though, even now, and often getting laws passed to that effect. Mostly fairly mild ones compared to the past, but more now than 5 years ago.

    • Anyone objecting to this decision, or in any way criticising it, is infringing on “Freedom of Religion” and engaging in the “Attack on Christianity”.

      That’s a factual statement, one that I think is true for the current definitions of the terms “Freedom of Religion” and “Attack on Christianity” as they are used today by those talking about them.

      Nope. “Freedom of religion” is a freedom from legal restrictions for religious beliefs and also for religious actions that do not impinge other people’s rights. Freedom from criticism is not included.

  7. Whether or not I agree is beside the point. This isn’t a public school and the people who send their kids there expect a Christian school to be….well,Christian. Of course the parents have a right to question and try to change what they feel is unfair and the public has a right to criticize. If the state is called in that’s a different story but they haven’t been. I say let her play. That’s my humble opinion and more power to her mom for going to bat for her kid.

  8. Girls are not built the same way boys are and have different musculature. They are also finer boned and more liable to injury in contact sports. If you place a girl out on the football field- psychological and sexual factors aside- the odds are good that she’s going to get hurt; perhaps seriously. Once that happens, those approving, “high minded” parents are going to sue that school for everything it has… including the mineral rights for the campus property! The Christian aspects to mixed sex sports- especially in early adolescence- are viable concerns, as they also reflect simple common sense. The physical and legal factors, however, are more than enough in themselves to support the wisdom of keeping field sports segregated by sex.

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