Acton Institute Powerblog

Tony Dungy and Heresy

Share this article:
Join the Discussion:

In this week’s Acton Commentary Hunter Baker wonders why are so-called progressives eager to use political power to “correct” the thinking of those they disagree with:

You may not have realized it, but Tony Dungy is a heretic. Does the former football player, coach and now TV analyst hold beliefs that are considered heretical by his fellow Christians? No. But his recent doubts about Michael Sam as an NFL player (you’ll recall Sam as the All American college athlete who has publicly announced that he’s gay), caused Dungy to be viewed as a heretic by members of another sect that is gaining adherents at a rapid pace. They are more sure of themselves than ever. Where once they pleaded for tolerance, now they sense that they are gaining the upper hand. “There can be no tolerance for ideas that are wrong,” they explain.And they are thinking it might be time to exercise new power.

The full text of the essay can be found here. Subscribe to the free, weekly Acton News & Commentary and other publications here.

Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).


  • H. Kirk Rainer

    Yes, but not just the “temptation” (to finish the process) but with action-force, physical or otherwise.

  • Aivis

    Heretics are found on all sides. In Russia, if you disagree with the state dogmas and the feed of information given by the state, you are immediately classed as a traitor and your ideas are therefore on the wrong. It is very similar elsewhere. That is why even the slightest of coercions leads us not into a full debate but abusive environment where you better keep shut for your own safety. We must not give up.

  • John S.

    I’m not hounding, I’m not persecuting, I am educating, enlightening and correcting those who would otherwise be lost and suffer harm, or harm others-especially children, from their holding of wrong beliefs and ideas.

  • Alecto

    To paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can demonize you without your consent.” Perhaps in this case it should be, “No one can call you heretic until you assist progressives in destroying the fabric of the nation.”

    While Catholics are doing everything and anything to assist the Administration with its Cloward-Piven strategy by illegally harboring the diseased refuse of Third World – even dispersing it throughout our society, they are breaking new ground in the use of creative language by labeling themselves “heretics”. Very clever indeed! Mr. Baker, from were I sit, looks like the term “useful idiot” is far more appropriate for the average Catholic bishop, or member of clergy than “heretic”. Wise up why don’t you?

  • Scott Miller

    This is a very 21st century American way to look at it. It’s also such a superficial review of history and philosophy to reveal the banality that plagues our post-modern culture. The fact that the writer is a lawyer and a professor demonstrates how deeply the moral rot of our society runs. With the 20/20 hindsight of history we can say that Torquemada was absolutely wrong when he encouraged Ferdinand and Isabella to expel the Jews from Spain in 1492. His non-tolerance worked to the overall ill of Spanish society, even though it may have seemed the logically right thing to do at the time. But what the modern politically correct zealots and Torquemada got right was that tolerance is not the ultimate inviolable virtue that modern America pretends it is. As long as there are competing ideas, those who subscribe to them must declare that this idea is right and that idea is wrong. Some ideas are so vile and so stupid that they should not be tolerated, and to hold up tolerance as a virtue above that of standing against and even actively suppressing bad ideas is the stupidity that led us into the lunacy we now face where evil is good and good evil. As long as we live in a fallen world we will never have a Utopia and must always be vigilant to suppress evil for our own sake and that of our neighbors. The difficult thing is how to do this with equity and without adopting an ends-justifies-the-means attitude that tries to fight evil by adopting evil as a methodology.

  • Christians are heretics in most of the world, especially the Muslim world. Maybe we need to learn from persecuted Christians elsewhere how to suffer with joy and dignity. Unless there is a revival, things will only get worse.