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Austin Cline

Target Field: Guests Must Follow the Ten Commandments

By June 30, 2011

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I'm going to have to update my copy of the Ten Commandments because apparently one of them forbids lesbians from kissing. At least, that was the position of security at Target Field in Minnesota because a lesbian couple were chastised by security for daring to display anything like affection. Yes, that's right, in Christian America it's acceptable to express anger and hostility towards displays of affection because that affection is itself unacceptable. That's how Christians today define "love."

The incident occurred on May 27 when the Minnesota Twins were hosting the L.A. Angels. Taylor Campione and Kelsi Culpepper were attending the game and kissed briefly when one was approached by a security guard whose job it was to police that sort of thing.

"I saw you kissing that girl, you can't do that," the security guard said.

"I can kiss whoever I want to," Campione replied.

"Well, we don't play grab ass here," the guard answered.

When Culpepper came out of the bathroom, Campione told her what happened, and Culpepper decided to confront the security guard.

"I don't understand what's wrong with kissing my girlfriend," Culpepper told the man.

After some argument, the guard repeated his comment about not "playing grab ass."

"Then he said, 'Well here in the stadium, we adhere to the 10 Commandments,'" recalls Culpepper. "After that, I decided I was no longer going to speak with him, and I asked for his manager."

Target Field isn't releasing the name of the security guard, but Twins spokesman Smith says the guard has worked for the Twins for almost a decade, and has an otherwise "exemplary record."

Source: City Pages

The idea of labeling a quick kiss as "grab ass" may seem absurd at first glance, but it is in some ways a key to understanding this. For homophobic bigots, any display of affection between gays is inappropriate, unacceptable, and a challenge to the "natural order" -- an order which was ordained by god and in which they are privileged, first-class citizens.

A quick kiss is not "grab ass" in any literal sense, but it is representative of rampant, unrestrained, and sinful sexuality. It represents everything about "sex" that is both tempting and repulsive, attractive and sinful. Of course they have a fit when it appears in public, no matter what the specifics or details.

Consider how many other commandments were being broken at the baseball game without this security guard raising a fuss:

Lesbianism is not mentioned in Exodus 20. The game was, however, played on a Friday and lasted until 11:31 p.m., more than two and a half hours after sunset, in violation of the Fourth Commandment. (For people with alternative Sabbaths, the series also included a game that began by daylight on Saturday and another one played on Sunday.) Leading off for the Twins was Denard Span, who once hit his own mother with a foul ball (Fifth Commandment) and who earlier this year said, "Thank God we didn't get no-hit today" (Third).

Source: Dead Spin

Why didn't the security guard complain about any of these things? Because following the Ten Commandments was never really the point. Suppressing public displays of inappropriate, unrestrained, and sinful sexuality was the only point. Citing the "Ten Commandments" was only an excuse or a rationalization so the guard didn't have to do the heavy intellectual work of articulating his real complaints and issues.

The security guard has been "disciplined" but people are demanding that more be done. Better training and education would be a good start, but should the security guard lose his job? There's a lot of disagreement about that, but for me the question shouldn't be so hard to answer. Stop and ask yourself how the incident would have been handled had it been an interracial couple -- would the guard keep his job? I have my doubts. Why should this sort of bigotry against gays be treated as any less serious?

If you don't believe the guard should be fired in either case then you're consistent and may have a reasonable argument for this conclusion. If, however, you treat bigotry against gays as less serious than racist bigotry, then you are sending the message that bigotry and discrimination against gays isn't so bad and thus that gays themselves deserve less protection and consideration as compared to others -- and that makes you part of the problem, not part of the solution.

June 30, 2011 at 2:53 pm
(1) P Smith says:

It’s amazing how stupid the religious are. The only people who have to obey a religion are those who belong to it. Maybe the idiot “thinks” he lives in a theocracy, or maybe he’s just another idiot teabagger who blindly obeys morons like Bachmann.

If you want to give feedback to the stadium or team owners, it’s very difficult to get any information. They hide their contact information and provide no direct means of giving feedback. The only one I found was this:



In my experience, there is a relationship between the ease of contacting a high-profile business, organization or person and the honesty or decency of such entities. Scumbags who act like scum spew their filth and then hide from the consequences, while those with any decency or courage are easily contacted.


June 30, 2011 at 3:56 pm
(2) josh says:

It seems fairly clear that neither the guard nor the author of this article know the 10 commandments well enough to comment on them.

June 30, 2011 at 8:12 pm
(3) Austin Cline says:

It seems fairly clear that neither the guard nor the author of this article know the 10 commandments well enough to comment on them.

I’d say that I understand them quite a bit better than the average Christian.

June 30, 2011 at 4:05 pm
(4) John says:

I’ve noticed that Christians have a tendency to oppose homosexuality, but they almost never say anything about adultery or premarital sex, which are both punished with the same penalty as homosexuality in the Bible.

As a matter of fact, many of the same Christian opponents of homosexuality have engaged in premarital sex or are on their second or third marriage (which the Bible describes as adultery in the New Testament).

Do you know why so many Christians are adamantly against homosexuality while also being guilty of sexual indiscretions that the Bible penalizes with the same punishment, Austin?

July 1, 2011 at 4:27 am
(5) Linda says:

I think kissing should not be done in public places.

July 1, 2011 at 7:15 am
(6) Austin Cline says:

I think kissing should not be done in public places.

I’d rather see more kissing in public than praying and and other useless religious rituals. Kissing is more likely to express genuine love than any prayer or self-righteous religious exhortation.

July 1, 2011 at 7:48 am
(7) Jack says:

Didn’t Jesus kiss Mary Magdelene in the New Testament? Didn’t Judas kiss Jesus?

Sounds like a whole lot of “grab ass” going on in the bible.

July 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm
(8) Chris says:

Austin, Honestly you should be an evangelist. You would actually be good at it. Kissing does show more love than praying in public or other rituals. This nation is uncomfortable showing affection of any kind that’s why we don’t like it when people do it publicly-gay or straight. This security guard just felt justified telling them to stop b/c they happened to be different ie lesbien.

July 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm
(9) A says:

It used to be the other way around.

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