Craig James: Supporting marriage equality = Supporting Satan

Craig James

Craig James

Former New England Patriots running back and current Family Research Council employee Craig James spoke out against marriage equality this week — again — declaring that supporting marriage equality is equal to practicing Satanism, according to The Huffington Post.

Commenting after his former team — the Super Bowl Champs, by the way — and Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants and Tampa Bay Rays joined 376 businesses and companies in calling for the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down bans on same-sex marriage.

During an FRC radio program on Monday, March 9, James declared, “If I were a current player in that locker room and my livelihood depended on me being quiet or losing it because of my belief system, I worry, I wonder. So, that’s Satan working on us.”

Yep. He said that. You can listen to it here at Right Wing Watch. And by the way, James is a Texan — one more reason that Texans who favor equality and fairness need to speak up and drown out the voices of hate that have been allowed to rule here in the Lone Star State for too long.

James was a football star at Stratford High School in Houston in the late 1970s, and in the early 1980s, he and fellow running back and future NFL star Eric Dickerson teamed up as “The Pony Express” to lead Southern Methodist University’s Mustangs to numerous victories. James’ star there was later somewhat tarnished when he admitted that he had received “insignificant gifts” as part of the scandal surrounding under-the-table payments to SMU players from the mid-1970s to 1986.

After a year in the USFL with the Washington Federals, James joined the Patriots as a running back. When injuries forced him to retire from football after the ’88 season, James started a career in radio and broadcasting, starting as an SMU game analyst before moving on to KDFW-TV and then ESPN.

James left ESPN in 2011 to run for Kay Bailey Hutchison’s seat in the U.S. Senate when she decided not to run again. During the race, James was fired from Fox Sports Southwest because of anti-gay views he expressed in his campaign. Among other anti-gay comments, James said that being gay is a choice and that gay people will have to “”answer to the Lord for their actions,” according to the Houston Chronicle. He also chastised his opponent Tom Leppert, who had resigned as mayor of Dallas to run for the Senate, because Leppert had appeared in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, Dallas’ LGBT Pride parade.

Public Policy Polling conducted polls that indicated Craig was becoming less and less popular the more people learned about him, and he eventually placed a distant fourth in the Republican Primary that year, with just 4 percent of the vote. Ted Cruz, another well-known anti-gay Texan (well, sort-of Texan), won and continues to oppose the godless LGBT hordes in Washington, most recently with a proposed constitutional amendment that would keep federal courts from prohibiting states from banning same-sex marriage.

James joined Family Research Council in 2014.


—  Tammye Nash

‘Paradise’ found: After nearly 20 years, a documentary comes full circle

In the movies, the scene where the intrepid reporter/lawyer/medical examiner, after years of effort, finally clears the name of the wrongly convicted druggie/teen/single mom never rings true. It’s a cliche created in Hollywood for dramatic effect.

Except in the case of Paradise Lost, it’s true.

In 1996, HBO aired the documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders of Robin Hood Hills, a compelling real-life whodunnit about three teens seemingly railroaded by closed-minded Arkansas yokels for allegedly killing three young boys in 1993. The defendants mostly had alibis and no motives, but they didn’t “look” normal — they were Goth and had piercings and wore black. Murmurs spread of Satanism (because, apparently, that’s the natural consequence of listening to Marilyn Manson). The doc raised questions of their guilt, but the three men festered in prison, one on death row. A follow-up documentary in 2000 introduced more exculpatory evidence, but nothing happened.

The finale of the unintended trilogy, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, does the remarkable: It basically ties up all the questions, and even points audiences in the direction of the real killer. (It’s a doozy, especially if you’ve watched the other documentaries intently — as I have — for 15 years.)

It’s almost unsettling how everything comes full circle, both for the men — Damien Nichols, Jessie Miskelly and Jason Baldwin — and the documentarians. (You don’t need to have seen the previous films; a lot of 3 is recap.) There are the requisite “Where are they now?” updates about the defendants and other principals, and the legal wrangling to get courts to reexamine the flimsy evidence and flaws of due process that landed them in prison.

But what makes Paradise Lost 3 so exciting — and not always in a good way — is seeing how hardened the opinions of many of those who blamed the West Memphis Three have become, despite all proof to the contrary… and how some unexpected accusers have softened. It truly is a story of human growth and understanding. I don’t know how the filmmakers could have known it when they named the first film nearly two decades ago, but Paradise Lost really has become a tale of redemption, and if the resolution is imperfect, it is nevertheless more real for it. And it doesn’t require Matthew McConaghey in a courtroom to accomplish it.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Four stars. Airs Jan. 12 on HBO.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 6, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens