Redcuchulain presents an alternative view of Margaret Court’s recent commentary. That is her comments belong to a dark past we no longer accept.
When I first heard all the furore about Margaret Court last week I really couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. So she doesn’t want to use Qantas because she disagrees with their stance on an issue. “Fair enough, I thought. I won’t be shopping in any businesses on Sundays anymore who reduce penalty rates. She has every right to make choices with her money.”
Since then, social conservatives have been touting Margaret as a brave champion of traditional values. If that’s the best role model they have then God help them.
Margaret has a history of bigotry on a number of issues. In 2013 she made personal attacks in a newspaper letter against fellow tennis player Casey Dellacqua regarding her family and her sexuality.
This week she has compared homosexuals to Hitler and communists and said transgender children ‘had the devil in them’.
Controversy is not new to Margaret Court. It has emerged that in 1970 she wrote to a New Zealand newspaper defending apartheid saying,“if you ask me, South Africa has the racial situation rather better organised than anyone else, certainly much better than the United States.” This was in the context of some other sports people boycotting South Africa.
Is there a positive message in this?
Rather than get upset about Margaret’s comments I think we should see the positive in what her position being brought out in the public arena brings. In 1970 some people misused the literal translation of scripture, mostly from the old testament, to continue to justify apartheid. They interpreted words without taking into account the social, cultural, economic or political environment of biblical times to justify not changing their position. To be challenging the apartheid view in some parts of South Africa was interpreted as heresy.
Rather than anyone getting offended about Margaret’s comments, we should thank her for reminding us how far we have come. Her views on homosexuality would not have caused any outrage in 1970 either and would have been much closer to the community norm. It is unthinkable that anyone would now misuse scripture to justify racial bigotry.
In another 40 years, it will be unthinkable that people will misuse scripture to treat people differently on sexuality grounds. Margaret is a living monument to a darker past. She reminds us of how far we have come and that there is still more work to be done. We should be thankful. God is working through her, just probably not in the way that she understands.