While I personally have no problem with people playing tennis, I’ve discovered that this may be because I’m a godless heathen. Or a lapsed Buddhist. Whatever… I’ve since realised that tennis is sinful and Margaret Court’s decision to play was because she was being tempted by the devil.
No, I’m not saying this because she played with women. And I’m not saying this because she once played Bobby Riggs and the Bible forbids women trying to rule over men. No, who should played with isn’t my concern. It’s the act itself that’s sinful and I think that we should stop this evil practice before young children are led astray.
What’s wrong with tennis, some of you are asking? Well, it’s against several religions. For a start, Buddhists believe that desire is the root of suffering and to strive takes one away from the path to enlightenment, and in order to play tennis well, you need to desire to beat your opponents. I’m sure other religions would be concerned about other aspects, but I’m going to use the same logic that various Christians have used to oppose marriage equality.
- The Bible doesn’t say it’s ok. While it doesn’t actually mention tennis, that’s only because – like gay marriage – it’s a recent invention and it didn’t occur to God when he was writing the Bible.
- Because the Bible only mentions male-female partnering, then playing anything other than “mixed doubles” is sinful and should be banned from the scheduling.
- Proverbs 25:8 “Do not hastily go to court, for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame?” Clearly event the act of being on a tennis court will bring you shame.
- There are no examples of people playing tennis in the Bible, so therefore God doesn’t want us doing it.
(Actually, when I searched for Biblical references to tennis, racquets, balls and nets, I only found a handful of references to nets, one of which – if anything – was support for gay people: Jesus tells a couple of his future disciples who were fishing to “cast their nets on the other side” whereupon they catch plenty of fish. He then tells them that soon they’ll be “catching men”.)
Ok, ok, I know that it’s a pretty flimsy case. And I know that most of you don’t believe that another person’s religion should be the basis for making laws that affect all of us. Certainly when you start talking about Sharia law then you’ll have widespread agreement amongst the political conservatives. However, many people argue that we’re a Christian country and that it’s these values which should form the basis of our laws.
Fine, I think, but which Christian values. Being kind to strangers? Turning the other cheek? Not eating meat on Fridays? (Imagine the next lamb ad if that was made law!) Not celebrating Christmas as some Christians argue it’s a heathen festival? Refusing to eat apples?
When Christians agree on exactly what is sinful then I think we can give some consideration to using them as a basis for secular law, but until then we should just continue to use common societal values which will, naturally, change over time. So until the Christian churches unify, or hell freezes over, whichever comes first, things like the rights of minorities, free speech, democracy and so on, should form the basis of our legal framework.
Of course, free speech does raise some wonderful contradictions. Someone commented on another post about Court: “So just reading the headline here says she is a bigot because she has an opinion, which reads to me that if your opinion differs to the Flavour of the month then you are a biggot (sic). She is entitled to her opinion whether you or I like it or not, or should you not be entitled to your opinion.”
Now, while I could point out that this person seems to be arguing that Margaret has the right to say things that might offend other people because that’s her opinion and every has the right to an opinion, but nobody has the right to express the opinion that she’s a bigot. I could suggest that opinions are like arseholes; practically everybody has one, but if you stick it out in public you can expect people to comment on it and, sometimes, you may find that people do things with it that you weren’t expecting. But I’m quite pedantic about the use of language… Of course, only when it suits me, so don’t be pedantic about my use of language or I’ll complain about how you’re inhibiting my freedom of speech. I would simply like to remind everyone the meaning of the word “bigot”
Definition of bigot
: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (such as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance
Obviously some people attacking Court could be considered bigots too, but it’s very hard to argue that this person who once moved balls around a court with the use of a racquet doesn’t fit the definition of a bigot. And, if you’ve been attacking Margaret in bigotted sort of way, that’s just fine, because as George Brandis tells us, people have a right to be bigots.