Photo: Iconica / John Giustina
Women's sports has been growing steadily over the past few decades, in large part because of government mandates that women's sports be funded equally at all educational levels. Some see Christians seem to regard this development as encouraging pagan and humanistic attitudes. Playing sports competitively prevents women from learning how to be meek and humbly serve their husbands.
If you think about the sorts of things which the most conservative Christians oppose (women in the workplace, women in the military) and the things which they endorse (women submitting to husbands, women learning to be humble), it would seem to follow logically that competitive sports would also be opposed. When you get right down to it, is there anything about competitive sports which would be consistent with the religious, social, and political agendas of conservative and fundamentalist Christians?
Scott Jonas wrote a couple of years ago:
One of the trends in schools is the participation in sports by women; therefore it shouldn't surprise us that so many Christian daughters today participate in sports. But is this really all that bad? For those of us who believe we should train our daughters according to Titus 2, 1 Peter 3, and other Biblical passages, my answer is "Yes, it is not good." I propose that sports greatly hinders the development of godly, Biblical, feminine character.
[T]oday's Christian women are often ill-prepared to be Biblically obedient wives and mothers. ... [S]ports prepare women to be more like men. Instead of spending all that time preparing our daughters as the Bible directs, we are training them to be like men so they can better compete with men in traditionally masculine roles - i.e., compete with them in the workforce, in politics, in the military, and in sports.
The Bible talks about women developing a quiet and gentle spirit; I think sports fosters anything but that. They instead develop a competitive and contentious spirit that will cause them to have great difficulty in their marriages. I already mentioned that the effort expended on sports will hinder the development of wifely duties around the home; even worse is when a man has to compete against his own wife in the workplace and community.
I also notice when driving by our public school grounds and sports fields another phenomenon taking place: the young girls are trained in sports right along with the boys. To me, this can only be degrading to the boys. ... I read about one school where the boys refused to wrestle the girls and forfeited their matches; there could be no greater embarrassment to them than to lose to a girl, not to mention it likely violated their sense of masculine chivalry. So not only is female sports participation degrading the feminine nature of women, in many cases it degrades the developing masculinity in boys.
Is the above satire or genuine? Admit it, you aren't sure -- and that's probably the saddest thing of all.