Yoel Romero soundly defeated his opponent at UFC Fight Night in Florida with, according to the reports I read, an impressive and even career-defining performance. I'm not really a boxing fan but something that happened after the fight has drawn a lot of attention. In the post-fight speech, Romero (who goes by the nickname "Soldier of God") proceeded to shout the following message, while wearing a John 3:16 headband. His words came one day after the tragic Supreme Court decision regarding homosexual "marriage":
"I want to say something. Maybe, I try in English. Sorry if people can't understand me, but I'm trying. Hey, hey UFC! Hey, Miami! Hey, Florida! Listen, people, listen, listen. Listen! What happened to you, USA? What happened to you? What's going on? You forget for the best of the best in world the name is Jesus Christ. What happened to you? Why come USA? Go! Go back for you, go. Go for Jesus, no forget Jesus, people!"
Admittedly, because English is not his first language there is some debate as to the intended meaning of certain phrases he used and whether he actually said "no forget Jesus" at the end or "no for gay Jesus". I've heard the audio multiple times and am uncertain. Based on his later comments, he likely was not making an explicit statement against homosexuality but against American culture and "progress" in general.
Regardless, UFC president Dana White was not pleased with Romero's words and responded:
"The reality is this: You just won the biggest fight of your career, America doesn't want to hear your thoughts on Jesus. Keep that stuff at home; religion, politics, all that stuff. When you're out there fighting and you're being interviewed, they want to hear about the fight. It's awesome you love Jesus; love Jesus all you want. You just don't have to do it publicly...talk about your fight. People don't want to be preached to."
This reminds me so much of the Tim Tebow news coverage from a few years ago. So many just wanted him to shut up about his religious beliefs, but he refused. Yet, there was a glaring inconsistency then as there is now that I'd like to address. What if Romero had spoken favorably about "gay rights" or "abortion," for example? What would have happened? No doubt the media would have heralded him as a brave & "evolved" man! Had he told them he was "transgender," they would have made him a hero! You see, many in the media have been pushing (for decades) to remove any hint of Christianity from public discourse and both silence and punish any form of dissent from the accepted "politically correct" views. They are in favor of free speech as long as it suits them, but if you say something they don't like, they will use it (no matter what you say or how tactfully) in an effort to destroy you!
Many illogically affirm that certain values and beliefs (namely theirs) should be proclaimed to the world proudly and all should accept them, but other views--Christian views (mine & yours)--should not be mentioned. Wouldn't it be better in our "enlightened culture" to promote a willingness to consider all views and allow people the freedom to decide for themselves? Why work hard to destroy those who come to a different conclusion than you do & hold different values than you do? Isn't tolerance a two-way street? I guess that now since homosexuals are out of the closet, so to speak, many think it is time to put Jesus in there!
Mr. White doesn't want his fighters expressing love for Jesus publicly. How about love for other men--would that be acceptable? What about praise for Allah or the Quran? Somehow I doubt White would have said anything in those circumstances, and therein lies the double-standard! People bring up religion, politics, moral views, etc., all the time and few object, but as soon as something pertaining to the Bible or Jesus Christ is brought up, those who are truly intolerant go nuts!
Friends, I have no idea what kind of life Romero may live for the Lord, but I give him kudos for being bold
enough to speak his mind and try to call our country back to Jesus! Dana White won't respect him for that and neither will most of the media, but I applaud him. In truth, it is not possible to "love Jesus all you want" yet not "do it publicly"! Christ wants us to be the light of the world, not hidden (cf. Matt. 5:13-16).
"Therefore, whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword" (Matt. 10:32-34). The wise will remember the words of Christ and take courage - "'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you" (John 15:20).