CrossFit executive Russell Berger was booted from the organization last week after he voiced his support for one of the gyms — located in Indianapolis — which decided not to host a workout in the city for pride week.
Berger had tweeted, “As someone who personally believes celebrating ‘pride’ is a sin, I’d like to personally encourage #CrossFitInfiltrate for standing by their convictions and refusing to host an @indypride workout.”
The tweet has since been deleted, but not before it led to his termination, proof positive that if you dare to stand for convictions that uphold traditional views of family or that pride in sinful behaviors is a bad thing, you might end up paying some hefty social consequences.
Well now Berger is speaking out and he’s not holding anything back.
During an interview with Apologia Radio, Berger did not backdown from his personal views, but expressed dismay with his decision to voice them in a public way that put his company — and its employees — in a compromising position.
“I think my comments were imprudent, and I think that it was unwise for me to use the platform that I have and largely use to act as a spokesperson for CrossFit Inc, to express my personal views,” Berger said.
“I put my company in a position that I wish I hadn’t. I put them in a position where they felt they had to weigh in on something that they otherwise wouldn’t have and I regret that. I think it distracts them from their mission and takes away time and energy and resources from making people fitter and healthier which is what they should be doing. I regret that,” he explained.
However, Berger also stated during the interview that he believed what happened to him is indicative of a larger problem in modern American culture.
“I think it’s a really sobering and a disheartening example of where we are as a culture,” he said.
“Simply by expressing those views, which again have been pretty standard views for the historic Christian faith over thousands of years, that view is no longer tolerated and in fact it’s a view that’s so divisive and so intolerable that it’s the kind of thing you can’t say and expect to keep your job,” he added.
“The misrepresentation is that that makes me a homophobic bigot who hates gay people and doesn’t want them involved in the CrossFit world. That’s so far from the truth. I love the people in the LGBTQ community and I want them to know Christ. That means being honest about the fact that we are all sinners and we need to not revel in our sin but turn from it, and trust in Him,” he said.
Berger also had a message for other Christians considering speaking out on issues involving the LGBTQ community and warned them they need to be aware of the tactics these folks use and the consequences that could come as a result of their actions:
It’s a really powerful and important lesson that all Christians should be aware of. This is a very common and very effective strategy that’s being employed by a certain segment of the LGBTQ community in terms of basically silencing any view that disagrees with their beliefs.
You just need to be aware of that and be prepared for that should you make the decision to weigh in on a subject like I did. You have to understand that the pressure will be applied to you, but it will also be applied to your employer, it will also be applied to your family members, it will be applied anywhere where those who are outraged by what you said think they can harm you. And that’s just the reality of the situation unfortunately.
It’s become a sad day in America when traditional views of family and marriage, two institutions created by God that serve as the back bone of all society, have become a grounds for being terminated from your job.
While we should absolutely support the right of companies to choose how to run their business, including who they choose to be associated with, that doesn’t mean we cannot criticize the direction a particular company or brand is moving in, particularly if the choice they have made is morally wrong.
In the case of CrossFit, their decision to uphold complaints of the LGBTQ community over the faith of Christ they espouse makes them guilty of transgressing God’s standards of righteousness, an act for which they should repent immediately.
Let’s hope the Holy Spirit convicts them and brings them to an understanding of why what they did to Berger is wrong.
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