TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
Those are some of the words I can use to describe my feelings concerning some of the commentary enveloping the young cross-country runner who refused to sport the Christian “number of the beast” — 666 — during a regional cross-country meet Saturday.
For those who missed Wednesday’s paper, Codie Thacker stood up for her rights as a free-thinking American.
And because she stood for those rights — her rights, my rights and your rights — she has become a target of ridicule and stupidity.
On Tuesday night after I put the story to bed (as news folks put it when the story is complete), I looked at some of the other news agencies who had reported on that topic.
And the commentary from the public was overall very mean-spirited and callous.
I know one answer.
In this modern age of technology where we can get on the Internet and speak to people across the state, country and world in seconds, we, as a society, have abandoned conversational etiquette and employed the rough sides of our tongues when engaging with others online.
When confronted with an issue, most people calm down and take the high road, trying to work things out without violence or abusive language.
But now, from the safety and comfort of our computer chairs, we can trash talk anyone or anything from around the world.
And that’s what’s going on with Codie Thacker.
I spoke with her Tuesday, and spoke with her family.
Codie has read some of those nasty comments, she said.
And while I’m sure some of those words sliced like Ginsu knives, I thought Ms. Thacker was taking the cruel blows very well.
She sounded like a rock to me.
As far as reasons for this verbal bashing of Ms. Thacker, I know another one.
For anti-Christians, it’s another chance to bash a Christian and his or her beliefs against a tree.
This property we call “America” was founded on several beliefs. And, while most of those principles are touted as “Christian,” I wonder how having life, enjoying liberty and pursuing happiness is only a Christian ideal.
Don’t ALL Americans wish to be afforded those basic tenets of American life?
If we, as Americans, have decided to succumb to the modern ideals of “political correctness” — which we obviously have for decades now — then why on earth has Christianity not fallen under this “PC” category?
If a Muslim person was having his or her religious rights trampled on, the “PC police” activists would scurry to save the day.
If a black person was having his or her rights trampled on, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton would turn stormtroopers and bring down the house.
If a woman was having her rights trampled on, then Gloria Allred would sweep into town to tell us all how things should be done.
So my question is, where is the national Christian leader to stand up for those Christians getting their rights trampled on? Or has bashing the Christian religion become the PC thing to do?
I have to applaud Ms. Codie Thacker — and all patriotic Americans should do the same.
As captain of Whitley County High School’s cross-country team, Ms. Thacker has shown her teammates an example of how a mature adult makes decisions in this modern, mixed-up society.
As far as the Kentucky High School Athletics Association — this should never, ever have become an issue.
That number, 666, has certain meanings for certain people — and whether those meanings are agreed upon by others is far from the point.
KHSAA officials should have exchanged numbers without incident, and if there’s any person or group that should hang their heads — it’s them. They are the ones who forced this young lady to make the decision she made — and they should make certain that course of action is not repeated.
Because of their poor decision, Codie Thacker was not able to live her life as she wanted last Saturday.
She was not able to enjoy the liberty of being a cross-country runner.
And she was not able to pursue happiness by trying to snag the gold.
But she did snag something better — the respect and admiration of her family, friends and fellow Christians.
I salute you, Codie.
John Ross can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org