• January 21, 2022

Tulsa Shock’s “Faith Night,” moral codes and WNBA teams

Oklahoma Wesleyan University is set to sponsor the Tulsa Shock’s first ever Faith & Family Night on Friday, June 4 when the team takes on the Minnesota Lynx.

“We are excited to partner with Oklahoma Wesleyan University in the unique opportunity for Faith & Family Night,” said Tulsa Shock president Steve Swetoha in a statement. “This is a wonderful opportunity to expand our brand and allow fans to see Shock basketball and a free Christian concert that evening.”

The school, like many other conservative institutions with religious affiliations such as Baylor University, has a strict code of conduct for its students:

Oklahoma Wesleyan University affirms the exemplar and standard of heterosexual monogamy within the context of marriage as the singular, healthy, and holy expression of human sexuality. We believe that a contrived gender change lies outside the parameters of what an evangelical university in the Wesleyan tradition would consider righteous behavior. As stated in Isaiah 45 we do not have the right to question God or even our parents in regard to the body we have received (verses 9 and 10). Therefore, we maintain that a person does not have the right to alter one’s sexual identity, for surely this would be a defilement of the body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:19). To attempt to alter one’s sexual identity does not in fact change the sex or the gender of a person, except only in the most superficial manner. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27(NIV) Finally, all human life must be respected and protected from its conception to its completion.

Another section states:

By virtue of their voluntary enrollment, all students, regardless of age, residency, or status agree to engage in sexual behavior exclusively within the context of marital heterosexual monogamy.

Other violations include prohibitions against “showing movies and playing music that violate policy, immodest dress, and room decor that are inappropriate…illicit sexual dancing and patronizing dance clubs.”

Some WNBA time-out and half-time shows might be a little too much for Oklahoma Wesleyan.

OKU president Everett Piper signed the Manhattan Declaration in 2009, a document that outlines arguments against same-sex marriage and legal protection of gays and lesbians.

The Declaration, endorsed by dozens of other conservative religious leaders, states:

Some who enter into same-sex and polyamorous relationships no doubt regard their unions as truly marital. They fail to understand, however, that marriage is made possible by the sexual complementarity of man and woman, and that the comprehensive, multi-level sharing of life that marriage is includes bodily unity of the sort that unites husband and wife biologically as a reproductive unit.

The San Antonio Silver Stars is also taking part in a Faith night when they host the Shock on June 11 at 7 p.m.

The Texas-based Christian band Shane & Shane will take the court following the Silver Stars game to perform a special postgame concert for all fans in attendance. Pregame, the group will host an autograph session on the main concourse starting at 6 p.m.

The practice facility of the Seattle Storm is located at Seattle Pacific University, a school with similar leanings as Oklahoma Wesleyan. Students can be disciplined for “homosexual sexual activities.”

While not many are out, there are players in the WNBA in same-sex relationships and marriages including members of the Shock, Silver Stars and Storm.

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  • This is very disturbing. I am a 50 something fan of the WNBA. I love watching strong women determined to meet a goal (wining a game). They train, and work hard. Sometimes they are successful and sometimes they aren't. They inspire me with every game. I'm sure they inspire others. At the same time, these women who are some of the best role models of what women can do against all stereotypes of women's inequality are being asked to deny who they are. I never liked the glamorization of athletes–with make up and fancy clothes, however, make up and clothes can be taken off. These venues set up a "witch hunt" situation for players. If you are a lesbian, you must hide it. If you aren't you must prove it. I've noticed this week in the Twitter feed from my favorite players there are a lot of "I love god" comments. So to have the right to play professional women's basketball, women have to pretend to be heterosexual and god loving. This is a job not a religion. Is there a WNBA players union? What do they say about this?

  • Great post!

  • This is sickening to me.

  • Why do we persist in making the tired and rather silly claim that anyone is forcing people to deny themselves and their identity when all that is being said (and rightly so) is that sexual behavior is just that – a behavioral choice. There are lots of behaviors that we (and society at large) set aside because we believe them to be wrong and there are lots of behaviors that we embrace because we believe them to be right. But none of these behaviors represent who I "am". I can chose or not chose to have sex with someone or some thing and while it may have a lot to do with my proclivities it has nothing to do with my identity. It my choice pure and simple. It is not my identity! Minorities – true minorities – should be offended that the talking heads and elites of our day have hoodwinked the average Joe into believing this falacious pablum about sexual perference being somehow equivilant to the color of one's skin or the one's given biological gender.

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