Christians Should Lead the Charge Against Domestic Violence
Following his arrest on domestic violence charges this past May, New York Giants' kicker Josh Brown was suspended by the NFL for one game. Brown appealed the suspension while being defended by his coach, several teammates, and the Giants' owner. Undoubtedly, many of Brown's defenders will be walking back their statements in light of the release of Josh Brown's journals.
In one journal, Brown admits to repeatedly abusing his wife, and other women, verbally and physically. In a 2013 entry, Brown writes, "From the bruise on your leg when we argued ... to the zipper that caught you last April. I am ashamed and disgraced to call myself a husband." Setting aside the fact that Brown's "remorse" is expressed solely in terms of how his actions make him feel, his regret was very short-lived, having abused his wife many times since that entry.
Many will claim that in light of the recent revelations, the one-game suspension isn't enough. That's absurd. No new revelations were needed in order to see that the NFL came down way too lightly in regards to domestic violence, once again. I guess Roger Goodell and company were too busy policing over-inflated footballs and end-zone celebrations. However, my purpose is not to eviscerate the NFL and their complacency when it comes to domestic violence issues (chances are, by the time this article is published, Goodell, smelling a PR mess, will have brought his arbitrarily wielded hammer down on Josh Brown). No, my purpose is to confront professing Christians with the complacency that many in evangelicalism exhibit when it comes to domestic violence.
This past offseason, a backup quarterback for the 49ers made headlines by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Most everyone knows the rest of the story, and as that story unfolded, many professing Christians, offended by Kaepernick's expression of his opinion, pledged to boycott the NFL. In fact, the outrage was so loud as to cause the whole childish brouhaha to dominate news cycle after news cycle. At this point, people are chortling over the NFL's falling ratings while pointing to the unpatriotic actions of Kaepernick as the cause. I wish that people would express the same outrage whenever the NFL minimizes the atrocity of domestic violence. I mean, where are the loud cries for boycotts from conservative Christians whenever the NFL slaps the wrist of its employees who abuse women?
Unfortunately, many Christians only pay lip service to calling out the sin of violence towards women, and even then only in certain situations. For example, the number of professing Christians excusing or even laughing off Donald Trump's violent comments is appalling. And, hopefully steering this away from politics, I'm not talking about pragmatically deciding to vote for the lesser of two evils; I'm talking about the way Christians have not only eagerly jumped to the defense of Trump, but have also been quick to excuse away his violent statements in reference to women.