An Open Letter to Maddy Blythe, Whose Christian School Won’t Let Her Play Football

Dear Maddy,

Jesus is fine with you playing on the middle-school football team. I spent four undergrad years with the Southern Baptists, so I know the Word (Old Testament and New) and I’m telling you, nothing in there says you can’t play football with boys. Patrick Stuart, the  guy who runs your Christian school (and who, unfortunately, has nothing in common with Patrick Stewarthas a problem with your athletic goals because he has another kind of problem. Don’t think too much about this. Just know that people who install bars on their windows are the ones most likely to rob someone else.

Mr. Stuart no doubt knows the following verse. It’s from the book of Titus:

“Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted.”

You like football? Play football. The world is full of women who play sports with men; who coach and are coached by men; who sweat and lift and run alongside men every day. Sports aren’t sex. Any adult who confuses these things is wrong. You, at 12 years old, aren’t responsible for any boy’s “impure” thoughts, just as you will never be responsible for any man’s sexual or physical violence.

The great thing is, Maddy? There are TONS of other middle and high high schools out there (Christian and not) and most of them have football teams. You go earn yourself a spot. Eat your protein, get your sleep, see how big/strong/skilled you can get — then hustle out as a…quarterfielder? Runningliner? I don’t really follow sports. Just make sure you wear a helmet, because? In this world? You’re going to need your brains for the fight.