Signs and Wonders
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Signs and Wonders: Prom queen gender confusion

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Say what? Nearly 30 years ago, I taught 10th grade English, and a big decision for me was whether to teach Fitzgerald or Faulkner, since I would likely not be able to get to both. (I chose Faulkner.) These days teachers, at least those in the public schools, have to make more complicated choices, or they risk a lawsuit. Take, for example, the case of Coy Villasenor, who thinks he is a homosexual male. He wants to compete for the title of prom queen at his high school in Kyle, Texas. School officials first told him he could run, but subsequently said that only transgender students can run for opposite-sex titles. Christopher Agee, of the conservative Western Center for Journalism, wrote, “Deciding who is and who is not transgender should not be a common problem in America’s high schools.” Agreed. Agee goes on to observe, “As more letters get added to the acronym-describing sexual minorities, we will inevitably see similarly ridiculous situations with increased frequency. As of this writing, the preferred designation by many activist groups is LGBTQIA, which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, and asexual."

Ryne-O’s right. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ryne Sandberg told MLB.com recently that “tainted numbers don’t belong in the Hall.” That’s inside-baseball jargon for: banned drug users shouldn’t be elected to the Hall of Fame, no matter how gaudy their statistics. Players such as Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, or Roger Clemens have so far been kept out because of suspicions (or proof) of their use of banned substances. Sandberg hopes it stays that way. “I can say that in the history of the Hall of Fame, there are no suspicions about guys who are in the Hall of Fame,” Sandberg said. “It’s an elite group. And once you’re in the Hall, you’re in the Hall. Up until now, I think the voting system has handled things very well. And like I said before, there are no suspicions in the Hall of Fame.” He also said voting users in would be unfair to those who stayed clean. Sandberg went into the Hall of Fame in 2005.

Showing grace. I hope you’ll indulge me one more baseball note: Toronto Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is not off to a great start this year. He’s 3-5, though to be fair he hasn’t had a lot of help from his teammates: The Blue Jays are dead last in their division, with a 17-26 record. But things may be looking up for both Dickey and the Jays. The team has played .500 ball for the past two weeks, and Dickey takes the mound again tonight at home. And there’s been another positive development for Dickey: He got an honorary doctorate in “sacred letters” last week from the University of Toronto’s Anglican theological school. In receiving the degree, Dickey said, “I gotta say the way the Blue Jays have been playing early on this year, it’s nice to come to a place that abounds with grace.” The graduation took on a baseball theme when the college’s principal, Rev. George R. Sumner, referred to Jesus as “the starter and closer of our faith.” Dickey is an evangelical Christian whose 2012 bestselling autobiography Wherever I Wind Up detailed both his career in baseball, but also the sexual abuse he suffered as a child. The University of Toronto, in conferring the honorary degree, noted Dickey’s faith and his charitable work.

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Porn’s odd couple. XXXchurch.com is a website whose mission is to help people leave the porn industry and to counsel people suffering from sexual addiction towards recovery. According to a report from ABC News, “Its pastor, Craig Gross, believes that porn hurts individuals, marriages and families and that porn stars suffer the most.” Gross was a conventional pastor before starting XXXchurch.com when he saw that pornography was a problem for the kids in his youth group. Ron Jeremy, on the other hand, is one of porn’s biggest stars. Interestingly, Jeremy and Gross have formed an unlikely friendship and now tour college campuses debating the “pros and cons of porn.” Jeremy said his relationship with Gross and a life-threatening heart condition has brought him to the point that he now “believes in God.” As for turning from porn and trusting Christ? That decision is still in his future. Craig Gross may be “all for Jesus,” but as for Ron Jeremy: “I’m for Ron.”

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is vice president of WORLD News Group and the host of the radio program Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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