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One church shuns Leroy Butler, another church welcomes him

Leroy butler Getty Images

Last week we noted that former Packers safety Leroy Butler had been told not to come to a Wisconsin church where he had been scheduled to give a speech, because the church was upset Butler wrote a message on Twitter in support of openly gay NBA player Jason Collins. But this week Butler has found a church where he’s welcome.

St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Madison will have Butler in next month to talk to young people about bullying, which was the same message he was scheduled to give at the church appearance that was canceled.

“We are a religion that is about standing up next to those who are struggling, who are excluded, who are marginalized,” St. Dunstan’s Rector Miranda Hassett told NBC 15 in Madison.

Butler, who delivers speeches to schools and church youth groups several times a year, is in the process of raising money to make a documentary about his anti-bullying efforts.

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53 Responses to “One church shuns Leroy Butler, another church welcomes him”
  1. bla bla bla says: May 10, 2013 6:54 AM

    Class act all the way around.

  2. butterstone84 says: May 10, 2013 6:59 AM

    A church that wants someone to speak on bullying but wont allow him because he supports someones lifestyle? who’s the real bully? no wonder people who can think for themselves don’t take religion literally.

  3. rasalghoul says: May 10, 2013 7:04 AM

    I’m not into the whole church scene but you cannot help but love Butler. He is a stand up guy and was an awesome player. Nice to see a church with human needs ahead of antiquated ideas of what is “allowed”.

  4. thedoubleentandres says: May 10, 2013 7:08 AM

    wow wow wow, it was an anti bullyin speech he was supposed to give in the 1st church??? and then they tried to bully him into retracting his comments. CHILD PUUUUUULEEEEZE

    wonder if he still got $8000 from the 2nd church

  5. mikeinminny says: May 10, 2013 7:12 AM

    As a Christian, this bothers me to no end. This is precisely why so many have turned away from Religion. People that claim to be Christians but are un accepting are hypocritical.

  6. mrpresident2 says: May 10, 2013 7:12 AM

    This is what that first church should have done. Glad to see some churches have their heads on straight.

  7. coachbeck says: May 10, 2013 7:14 AM

    If their religion does not believe in it then why would they have someone speak who does not believe the same.

  8. coleman121280 says: May 10, 2013 7:28 AM

    Erica Rodgers is a bum too btw. PURPLE REIGN has already started gentleman.

    REAP THE WORLD WIND…

    MVPPPPPETERSON!!!!!

  9. coleman121280 says: May 10, 2013 7:31 AM

    You guys overpaid two bums in erica and clayina that do better commercials then make plays on sunday.

    MVPPPETERSON!

  10. sportsmeccabi says: May 10, 2013 7:31 AM

    Let he, who is without sin, speak at the next church gathering.

    Religion is a joke and only takes the parts that are covenient for them.

  11. footballfan says: May 10, 2013 7:31 AM

    Nice to see a church be the bully. I’m glad he didn’t give his speech there, sounds like it would have fallen on deaf ears. Time to get into the real world everyone!!

  12. packattack1967 says: May 10, 2013 7:53 AM

    The inventor of the Lambeau Leap continues to impress.

  13. commonsensedude says: May 10, 2013 8:07 AM

    Doesn’t the church – or any organization – have the right to not have somebody speak there if they discover that the person does not share their perspective on an issue that is important to them?

    Suppose a scheduled keynote speaker for the Democratic National Convention sends a tweet congratulating a politician for having the courage to criticize Planned Parenthood. Think that invite won’t be retracted?

  14. ktm300xcwe says: May 10, 2013 8:10 AM

    You believe what you want, let others do the same. Free country. You call certain beliefs “antiquated”, that is your right to believe as you wish, so do others. If you do not believe in what a particular religion or church professes, leave that church. It is not up to the church to change its beliefs, it is up to the flock to either believe and participate or move on.

  15. kerc1986 says: May 10, 2013 8:42 AM

    Isnt the whole theme of religion to forgive and love, funny how churches and some religion as soon as you dont agree with their ways they cast you aside and judge you.

  16. crownofthehelmet says: May 10, 2013 8:54 AM

    I don’t support his views, but at least Butler stands up for what he believes. The church that canceled his event was also standing up for what they believe in, so if you’re praising Butler and bashing the church, you’re a hypocrite.

  17. wryly1 says: May 10, 2013 9:09 AM

    In the history of the world, in virtually every country and every culture, many of the worst injustices mankind has inflicted upon one another, have been done in the name of some god or religion or church.

  18. vincentbojackson says: May 10, 2013 9:10 AM

    That’s the problem with society today. Nobody wants to be challenged about their beliefs. Whether its politics, religion, gun control, or any other social issues, we dismiss those with a differing viewpoint. We watch TV news that is slanted toward our own views and surround ourselves only with people who agree with us.

    There is no more agreeing to disagree on issues. Now you must ignore, belittle, or destroy those with differing viewpoints. Makes me sick.

  19. bigbenisgay says: May 10, 2013 9:30 AM

    Why are people knocking the church they have every right to feel how they want to feel

  20. truthfactory says: May 10, 2013 9:32 AM

    According to the Church’s religion, being gay is a sin. As is premarital sex, stealing, addiction etc…

    If Butler were to come out in support of any of the other “sins”, then he would also likey would have been asked not to speak because its against the churches beliefs.

    The liberal media continues to demonize anyone who has a conservative viewpoint. The church can/ should accept anyone who’s gay, just like they accept anyone who steals, or is addicted to drugs etc. But accepting the person, and promoting and approving of their choices are 2 different things. The church has a right to stick to their beliefs.

  21. fanodawg says: May 10, 2013 9:36 AM

    @butterstone84

    Help me understand, Leroy Butler can take a stand on a position but the church cannot?

  22. crewdawg says: May 10, 2013 9:42 AM

    Class move by this church. Even if you don’t believe in J-Coll’s lifestyle, you should still be able to respect his choice.

  23. ninerfan81 says: May 10, 2013 10:02 AM

    Even though I hated LB as a Niners fan I always respected him. Butler was always a class act, a tough competitor but a classy competitor. For you fellow Christians out there you have to recognize one thing, we’re sitting in church next to felons, women and men who sin for various reasons, in the closet men and women, imperfect pastors priests and the like, but we seem to give all of those people a pass, yet you want to judge someone who actually had the honesty to come out and admit who they are AND judge those who support them. This is the height of hypocrisy. Kudos to Butler.

  24. stevent92 says: May 10, 2013 10:24 AM

    The whole theme of religion is NOT “forgive” and “love.” It is TRUTH, and someone who is walking and endorsing error should not be invited to address a body that upholds truth as its standard.

    Forgiveness and Love stem from understanding what is true and what is not.

  25. flavadave10 says: May 10, 2013 10:29 AM

    Coming from a Christian, Christians can be the biggest bullies around. Props to Leroy Butler for taking a stand.

  26. therealpittbull says: May 10, 2013 10:40 AM

    I don’t respect his choice. If you are, you are, right? To me their weak, and not taking life head on. For minorities, immigrants, women, disabled, and many others that get held back in different ways, we don’t get a choice to “hide” who we are, for the sake of “being happy and earning an income”, why should they. The coming out individuals are not role models, but weak clowns with issues. I have more respect for those that are willing to risk it all, before all is given. Those who put their lives, families, and future on the line for others.

  27. 2manyconcussions says: May 10, 2013 10:41 AM

    @kerc1986
    The “theme” of Christianity is to follow Jesus. The first church didn’t criticize Butler, they decided his views on a controversial issue weren’t in line with their understanding of how to follow Christ and uninvited him. Sometimes being loving means protecting one’s children from views you find inappropriate and harmful. Others may disagree and that is their right.

    I’m not sure I would have handled it the same way, but freedom of speech comes with consequences. One of those consequences is that people can disagree with you.

  28. bigdaddyraven says: May 10, 2013 10:43 AM

    If Butler was coming to the first church to speak about gay rights then I would be understanding of their actions. But he was there to speak about bullying, who knows he might have saved some kids life at that church. Either way both parties have the right to believe what they want.

  29. fievel03 says: May 10, 2013 10:43 AM

    @truthfactory “According to the Church’s religion, being gay is a sin. As is premarital sex, stealing, addiction etc…”

    Spending thousands of dollars on a celebrity to talk to the congregation for a few minutes while that same money could be used to buy extra food/supplies for the area’s homeless and needy is the real sin of the issue. Yes, Butler may have a great message. Yes, he is trying to raise funds for his film. But it isn’t a church’s responsibility to fund projects like that when there are immediate needs at hand.

  30. joe2jerry says: May 10, 2013 10:55 AM

    I agree with the above poster. It needs to be clear in church’s that there is a standard set by God for His church and to invite a person to speak or lead that church who doesn’t adhere to that standard is goofy.

    Having said that, even if you believe sin is a very real cultural/personal sickness you also have to look at when scripture talks about the woman at the well and the woman caught in adultery. Jesus never sugar coated the sin but in each case showed compassion, forgiveness, and offered something even better.

    Both Church’s are right and wrong. The stand against sin is worthless without the love for the heart of those in it. Besides, if this is about bullying – no one likes that anyway!

  31. butterstone84 says: May 10, 2013 10:56 AM

    @ fanodawg.

    The church has every right to do what they want. which is precisely what they do. They preach about acceptance and forgiveness, about how God gave us free will. But go against something they think is right and wrong then you are an outcast. Butlers “free will” is to let people live their life in a matter that works for them.. The gay individuals “free will” is to be gay, maybe not what “god” intended but still it is free will. So in turn, the church is inadvertently going against their own beliefs. I personally think religion can be used for many positive as well as negatives. Its each individuals “free will” which should effect the outcome of how they live their life.

  32. garyhd01 says: May 10, 2013 10:57 AM

    surprised to read all the comments and find so few that understood the message here. this is about talking to children about bullying not their beliefs the children of the first church lose and the children of the second church win that’s the whole point

  33. jimmysee says: May 10, 2013 11:02 AM

    Do both of these churches worship the same God? One of them has got it pretty messed up.

    And He’s *not* happy about that.

  34. jkampel20 says: May 10, 2013 11:22 AM

    My only question is which church is practicing true Christianity?

    They both claim to be, yet one must be wrong. They can’t both be true! Everyone can fold and manipulate religious text and teachings into whatever fits their “beliefs” or agenda.

    I see no problem with them practicing what they believe and denying his speaking.

    Whether or not their beliefs are commendable is another story, but it’s certainly within their rights.

  35. axespray says: May 10, 2013 11:22 AM

    coleman121280 says:
    May 10, 2013 7:28 AM
    “Erica Rodgers is a bum too btw. PURPLE REIGN has already started gentleman.
    REAP THE WORLD WIND…
    MVPPPPPETERSON!!!!!”
    ———————————
    MVPPPERTERSON has just as many playoff wins… as Romo… two joke players for joke franchises and joke fanbases – “Erica” has 5 playoff wins including a Superbowl, that’s 1 more superbowl than the entire 40 year history of the “PURPLE REIGN”.

  36. flaccotoboldin says: May 10, 2013 11:33 AM

    Here is the issue:

    You can’t talk about bullying and how its a problem, but then support a certain kind of bullying “because you’re right” or because the bible says so.

    Its hypocritical.

    I’m a christian, and i think the challenge here is that parts of the bible will partially conflict, particularly the New Testament and Old.

    Its up to the individual, the congregation, the leadership of a church community to figure out how to work it out.

    But being anti-bullying while ostracizing someone for how they live their life . . . hypocritically. We’re anti bullying, except when we’re right.

  37. mungman69 says: May 10, 2013 11:37 AM

    Religion? Sounds like some hypocrites to me. That’s why I stay away.

  38. trapshoot says: May 10, 2013 11:45 AM

    He’s always been a class act.

  39. wipackman1265 says: May 10, 2013 11:51 AM

    Not an easy subject…. Leroy did what he felt is right as did the church… No matter what we need to treat others with dignity and respect while still living as best we can. These things are designed to move people away from God by making people focus on the failings of people instead of Christ and the Grace of a loving God !!!

  40. fynsmoothy says: May 10, 2013 12:18 PM

    The First Church made a good choice “Choice” is so often the word we leave out. They stood for what they believe to be in the best interest for the church. LB may have had a good or great message against bullying. It is easy to see the church was in support of that message. Being a public figure, the church did not want to support his opinions and support of the gay lifestyle. That support would be more harmful to the church and the children they strive to protect. They can be labeled as bullies by the ignorant or called names by So-called Christians who don’t know anything about Christianity. Both views are ignorant. The Church didn’t know before that he would make the statements, they responded after. The second church is part of the shrinking churches that don’t stand for truth.

  41. gdeli says: May 10, 2013 12:52 PM

    such is life. I found another priest when the 1st priest wouldn’t marry us. Then again having a ft job would have helped my case in the first place. Married 20+ years, ha.

  42. commonsensedude says: May 10, 2013 1:10 PM

    So, just to make sure that we’re all being fair and consistent in our thinking …

    Let’s suppose that the year is 2011 and a church that supports same-sex marriage extends an invite to former New York Giants receiver David Tyree to speak to the congregation. The week before he is to speak, Tyree makes a statement expressing his disagreement with same-sex marriage – a statement that puts him at odds with the thinking of the church leadership. They cancel his invitation to speak.

    Are you mad at this church for cancelling his invite? If you are not upset about this but are upset that the other church cancelled Leroy, do you see the inconsistency in those two positions?

  43. jbrashorlando says: May 10, 2013 1:11 PM

    wryly1 said:

    “In the history of the world, in virtually every country and every culture, many of the worst injustices mankind has inflicted upon one another, have been done in the name of some god or religion or church.”

    my reply:

    Some of the worst acts in history have also been conducted by non religious people – what’s your point? All groups of people make mistakes. If anything religion might have MORE inclination to it as the entire point is for people who readily admit they are grossly flawed to have a fresh start – thus you have quite an assortment of very flawed people who are religious. Some people acting outside the beliefs of the teachings of a religion does not invalidate the message of the religion. The whole “religion has done a lot of harm” argument is socially ignorant and I’m tired of seeing it on every single religious controversial discussion – regardless of religion.

  44. ilovefoolsball says: May 10, 2013 1:15 PM

    Do not judge the work of God by the humans who claim to be it’s purveyors.

    God is good, all of the time. It is humans who are imperfect.

  45. vikescry1 says: May 10, 2013 1:18 PM

    2manyconcussions says:
    May 10, 2013 10:41 AM
    @kerc1986
    The “theme” of Christianity is to follow Jesus. The first church didn’t criticize Butler, they decided his views on a controversial issue weren’t in line with their understanding of how to follow Christ and uninvited him. Sometimes being loving means protecting one’s children from views you find inappropriate and harmful. Others may disagree and that is their right.

    I’m not sure I would have handled it the same way, but freedom of speech comes with consequences. One of those consequences is that people can disagree with you.

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————– his view was only to say congratulations for having the strength to come out and publicly announce he was gay. butler even said later he didn’t support gay people just his strength for being the first nba star to say it.

  46. jbrashorlando says: May 10, 2013 1:27 PM

    @vikescry1 – what some regard as strength to come out other regard as unashamed sin. I’m not saying I feel that way – but conveying what many people view it as. I grew up around these types and understand (not agree with – there’s a difference) their thinking.

  47. dalcow4 says: May 10, 2013 3:21 PM

    No surprise it is an Episcopal Church. This is how churches disintegrate over time:

    Follow the world so it makes people feel better. Do that on every touchy issue and pretty soon you ARE the world and not the church.

  48. revskip says: May 10, 2013 3:58 PM

    commonsensedude says: May 10, 2013 8:07 AM

    Doesn’t the church – or any organization – have the right to not have somebody speak there if they discover that the person does not share their perspective on an issue that is important to them?

    ————————————————————–

    The church absolutely has that right. And the church’s right to rescind the invitation was not abrogated in any way. However, the public still has a right to view the church’s opinion as bigoted and small minded and to lose parishioners because of it.

    I tend to have much better feelings towards Christians who speak and act like Christ, love their neighbor and let the rest fall by the wayside.

  49. jbrashorlando says: May 10, 2013 4:11 PM

    @revskip – Christ didn’t just accept any and all behavior. He turned tables over and was ready to brawl when he saw some types of wrong doing. This image of a Jesus who never in any way disapproved of anything whatsoever is not accurate.

  50. hvoigt21 says: May 10, 2013 8:02 PM

    Sports Mecca….talk all you want about the church that rejected his visit…..but don’t run your mouth about religion being a joke. is this your opportunity to get on your soapbox to talk bad about religion. Hope you find Christ someday and change your life. Christ dying on the cross for your sins is real. And the Holy Spirit is real. If you don’t bring Christ into your life before you die, then you will probably end up in hell. That is God’s decision not mine. or your sake I hope you make the right choice.

  51. hvoigt21 says: May 10, 2013 8:22 PM

    Crown of the helmet. Liked your post. It is common sense. As others have said, why would you have someone speak at your church ( or a democratic convention as a speaker) who does not share the same views.

  52. xjokerz says: May 11, 2013 4:27 AM

    Must of been a pathetic Christian or Catholic Church that showed him the door. Scared of the big bad gay boogy man.. Boo !

  53. paultruckdriver says: May 11, 2013 8:03 AM

    This website is about sports, not pushing forward a liberal agenda. If you want to push forward your gay agenda, go somewhere else with it.

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