I do not watch hockey but a certain NHL goalie is my new hero.
Like other NHL teams, the San Jose Sharks decided to have a Pride Night complete with their team wearing very special jerseys during warm-ups.
Their goalie James Reimer refused to wear the Pride Night jersey and issued the following statement:
For all 13 years of my NHL career, I have been a Christian – not just in title, but in how I choose to live my life daily. I have a personal faith in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for my sins and, in response, asks me to love everyone and follow Him.
I have no hate in my heart for anyone, and I have always strived to treat everyone that I encounter with respect and kindness. In this specific instance, I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in my life.
I strongly believe that every person has value and worth, and the LGBTQIA+ community, like all others, should be welcomed in all aspects of the game of hockey.
That is how to respond with respect, love, and truth when the woke insist you participate in their wokeness or when anyone pressures you to support what you should not support.
That is a praiseworthy example of what Solzhenitsyn wrote of in his essay “Live Not By Lies” and echoed in Rod Dreher’s Live Not By Lies, of not participating in lies when the totalitarians pressure you to participate:
Our way must be: Never knowingly support lies! …
And thus, overcoming our temerity, let each man choose: Will he remain a witting servant of the lies (needless to say, not due to natural predisposition, but in order to provide a living for the family, to rear the children in the spirit of lies!), or has the time come for him to stand straight as an honest man, worthy of the respect of his children and contemporaries? And from that day onward he:
· Will not write, sign, nor publish in any way, a single line distorting, so far as he can see, the truth;
· Will not utter such a line in private or in public conversation, nor read it from a crib sheet, nor speak it in the role of educator, canvasser, teacher, actor;
· Will not in painting, sculpture, photograph, technology, or music depict, support, or broadcast a single false thought, a single distortion of the truth as he discerns it;
· Will not cite in writing or in speech a single “guiding” quote for gratification, insurance, for his success at work, unless he fully shares the cited thought and believes that it fits the context precisely;
· Will not be forced to a demonstration or a rally if it runs counter to his desire and his will; will not take up and raise a banner or slogan in which he does not fully believe…
And that is exactly how Reimer stood his ground by not wearing the jersey, by not participating in the lie that sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman should be, must be, affirmed. And he did so with such respect, gentleness and love that it becomes that much more clear who the real haters and bigots are.
He is getting flack from those usual woke haters and bigots, of course. Affirmation of sexual proclivities is so much more important than Christian morality and freedom of religion, don’tcha know. So he may have a cost to pay. Totalitarians insist that everything, even sports, must promote their lies or else. So, yes, there may be a cost to pay.
All of us should be prepared to pay the cost of following Jesus and living by The Truth no matter what that cost might be.
So be James Reimer. Follow Jesus anyway. Live not by lies anyway.