NFL quarterback Drew Brees recently partnered with Focus on the Family to promote Bring Your Bible to School Day, a national event on October 3 where students are encouraged to bring their Bibles to school and share their faith. Brees shot a promotional video for social media encouraging kids to take part in the event. It is well known that Brees is a Christian. In the video, he says, “One of my favorite verses in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 5:7 ‘For we live by faith, not by sight.’ So I want to encourage you to live out your faith on Bring Your Bible to School Day and share God’s love with friends. You’re not alone.”
Because of this short video, LGBT activists across the country have taken to the internet to denounce Brees’ association with Focus on the Family. The hashtags #IsitTrueDrew and #SaintsDontHate were both trending on Twitter as a result of an article that lambasted Brees for associating with Focus on the Family.
The controversy began when the leftist website Big Easy Magazine published an article titled, “Drew Brees Records Video for Anti-LGBT Religious Organization.” The magazine writes, “What is surprising is the anti-bullying advocate‘s support of a religious group known to be one of the most well-funded anti-LGBT organizations in the country.” It goes on to accuse Focus on the Family of supporting so-called “conversion therapy.”
USA Today also reported that Focus supports “conversion therapy.” The article says, “Focus on the Family has, among other things, promoted ‘conversion therapy,’ a radical pseudoscientific practice that aims to change an LGBTQ person’s sexual orientation.” The Washington Post also accused Focus of this saying, “The group has sparked outcry over its apparent support of ‘conversion therapy,’ the discredited practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”
To be clear, Focus on the Family does not support any therapy that is coercive, physically abusive or manipulative, often defined by the Left as so-called conversion therapy. Focus President Jim Daly has addressed this accusation in the past. In a blog, he wrote, “For the record, we at Focus do not advocate for any therapy that ‘requires’ or promises categorical change or sexual conversion. We especially denounce any practice that shames, degrades, coerces, abuses, or insults individuals with demands to earn basic human acceptance.” Nonetheless, the false attacks against Focus, and now Drew Brees, continue unabated.
Focus simply supports the right of individuals to receive help as they see fit. Each person should be able to obtain professional counseling that is respectful, safe and responsive to their values and goals.
In response to the controversy, Brees posted an Instagram video where he said, “I live by two very simple Christian fundamentals, and that is love the Lord with all your heart, mind and soul and love your neighbor as yourself. That means love all, respect all, and accept all.”
In a later interview, Brees re-affirmed his support for Bring Your Bible to School Day. Brees said, “We’re sitting here talking about National Bring Your Bible to School Day. So that’s a good thing. It’s October 3 for anyone who wants to know.”
Focus President Jim Daly said in a statement, “We appreciate Drew Brees’ ongoing support for Focus on the Family’s ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day.’ It’s unfortunate that mean-spirited antagonists have attempted to draw attention away from this event by mischaracterizing the beliefs and positions of our organization. Like Scripture teaches and Drew Brees referenced, as Christians, we believe we’re called to love God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind – and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jim Daly continued, “In 21st century post-Christian America, the best and only way forward is to not poke ideological opponents in the eye but find ways to acknowledge and respect our differences.” Focus on the Family acknowledges and respects the differences that LGBT activists have with our organization. Is it too much to ask that those on the Left and those in the LGBT community reciprocate the very respect they claim to seek by allowing influential Christians like Drew Brees to support a simple initiative for students to bring their Bibles to school? Tolerance cuts both ways.