Charles Barkley, the great basketball player who played at Auburn and had a storied NBA career, should definitely stick to commenting on sports. Recently Barkley endorsed pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and said he has problems with those who oppose abortion. Barkley endorsed Barack Obama, which in itself is his choice and I grant celebrities the right to make any statement that want for a candidate they believe in personally.

But Sir Charles, as he was often called, added, "Every time I hear the word ‘conservative,’ it makes me sick to my stomach, because they’re really just fake Christians, as I call them. That’s all they are." When Wolf Blitzer asked Barkley to explain the terms he was using Barkley condemned conservative Christians for wanting to be "judge and jury." He added, just for good measure: "I’m pro-choice. And I think these Christians–first of all, they’re supposed to be–they’re not supposed to judge other people. But they’re the most hypocritical judge of people we have in this country. And it bugs the hell out of me."

Then Barkley concluded: "They act like they’re Christians. And they’re not forgiving at all."

I wonder what would happen at CNN if an analyst (Barkley is employed by CNN as a basketball analyst) called liberal Christians who support Obama and Clinton "fake Christians." I tend, therefore, to think that Charles Barkley is getting a free pass simply because he did not offend the wrong group in this case.

Even CNN’s Wolf Blitzer realized in the interview that Barkley was going too far when he reminded him of the truth by adding: "But you can’t lump all these conservatives as being fake. A lot of them obviously–most of them are very, very sincere in their religious beliefs," he said. Barkley’s best attempt at a biblical answer to this question was: "Well, they should read the part about they’re not supposed to judge other people. They forget that one when it doesn’t fit what they want it to say."

I frankly do not care what CNN does with Charles Barkley but I do care that the media culture generally allows this kind of preposterous statement to go unchallenged while Don Imus was fired in a storm of protest over referring to black women basketball players as "nappy headed ho’s." What really happened to "free speech" in America? I confess that I don’t much care for Imus either but one thing I do know, now more than ever–Charles Barkley is not nearly as bright and fair-minded as I once thought. I respected him as a great athlete and even listened to his views regarding race and racism at one point. But he went way too far in this interview. By his standards I  am one of those who bugs "the hell" out of him. And this is all because I believe that a society of just laws ought to protect innocent unborn children. One thing I can do is turn Barkley off the next time I hear him speaking on anything, including basketball. He lost my respect totally this weekend and unless he offers some kind of thoughtful apology I doubt he will get it back. I think I am not alone in this response and millions will agree. I am not a far-right conservative in any meaningful sense of this term so it is Barkley who has "judged" in this case, not me.

Related Posts


  1. Dave Dryer February 25, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    If Sir Charles decides to run for political office in Alabama, as has often been reported, that quote may come back to haunt him.

  2. George C February 25, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    The saddest thing about this type of comments is that it is just par for the course. We see it in news casters, politicians, and preachers.
    The more I listen to some people talk about issues the more it makes me think of the propaganda of cold war era Russia. There seems to be very little demand for explaination, argument, or proof; just loads emotional rhetoric to sway the masses.
    It is almost as if people are so convinced that they hold the moral high ground that they are justified in appealing to some of man’s most base insticts (mob mentality, sectarianism, ect) to get people to join their cause. The manipulative means are justified by the ends of getting support or agreeement.
    We as Christians need to be careful that we are respectful of the dignity that God has endowed men with enough to care not only about the result of getting people to conform to what is right (or what we think is right), but to place as much priority upon the means we use to try and convince people.

  3. Dave Moorhead February 26, 2008 at 8:26 am

    That is precisely the kind of thing that made me stop watching CNN. Every once in awhile I think I need to go back to CNN to see what they’re saying but I don’t watch it regularly.
    Do you remember several years back when Sir Charles was talking about running for public office. I don’t remember what it was but it seems like it was mayor of Atlanta or governor of something. Can you imagine?

  4. RogerC February 27, 2008 at 7:11 am

    It sounds to me like “sir” Charles needs to be a little more forgiving. Something he accuses the conservatives of NOT being. I guess I better not mention the kettle and pot here in fear of being labeled a racist, huh?

  5. Shapel Mallard April 2, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Lets be serious though, He was fairly accurate in alot of regards. In some fashion we all exhibit hypocrisy, christians and conservatives don’t corner the market on that. But the fact that Conservative christian rhetoric has a tendency to be ardent in it;s judgements of people while claiming to adhere to tenets such as love and forgiveness is a troubling. More christians should make an attempt to follow Christ’s example, not invoke his name while defending thier own biases. Liberals are judgmental too, but they dont then ground thier position in a metaphysical doctrine that completely ccontradicts thier actions.

Comments are closed.

My Latest Book!

Use Promo code UNITY for 40% discount!

Recent Articles