Would Jesus Approve of SI’s Swimsuit Issue?



The annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue arrives on newsstands Tuesday. It features three semi-nude babes on the cover.

The issue is eagerly awaited by much of SI’s readership. However, let those of us who are Christ followers not deceive ourselves: the magazine’s swimsuit issue is nothing more than softcore pornography.

Indeed, SI’s cover, celebrating the 50th anniversary of its swimsuit issue, actually is more sexualized than the cover of the latest issue of Playboy, which marks the skin magazine’s 60th anniversary, and which features the model Kate Moss in a bunny costume.

What particularly offends about SI is its hypocrisy.

The magazine’s writers and editors pride themselves in being on the right side of controversial social issues that transcend sport. But they have been silent about the sports media’s shameless exploitation of young women for the lustful pleasure of men (and boys).

To wit: SI recently published a fawning cover story about Michael Sam, the former Missouri college football player who came out of the closet as a homosexual, who hopes to become the first openly-gay player in the NFL.

“America is ready for Michael Sam,” SI declared.

Then there’s SI’s campaign to compel the Washington Redskins to change its team name to comport with the magazine’s politically correct sensibilities. In fact, the mag’s NFL writer Peter King decided last football season he would no longer reference the franchise’s team name.

“It has nothing to do with calling anyone racist.” said King. “It’s just I’m uncomfortable using the name.”

Yet, SI’s writers and editors think it perfectly acceptable to pander to its preponderantly male readership with lascivious pictorials of young women that are seminude or fully nude (save for body paint).

MJ Day, the madam of sorts  who edits the mag’s swimsuit issue, even goes so far as to suggest that the cover shot of models Nina Agdal and Lily Aldridge, “clad in orange thong bikini bottoms,” as the New York Daily News described their skimpy attire, and Chrissy Teigen, in a “barely-there pink bikini,” was perfectly wholesome.

As to the models themselves, who’ve sold their souls for fame and fortune, “They’re really good girls,” Day told the Newark Star-Ledger. “They’re the girl next door.”

Well, really good girls do not take their clothes off for the titillation of millions of men. And girls next door don’t strike come hither poses suggesting that they’re inviting a sex acts.

Of course, most of SI’s male readers look forward to this Tuesday’s arrival of the swimsuit issue. They can’t wait to ogle the scantily clad models therein.

But for those us who are Christ followers first, sports fans further down the list (behind family, country, et al.) we are instructed to be not “conformed to this world,” where soft core pornography has been mainstreamed by the popular culture.

No, we will not go to hell by viewing the risqué photos in SI’s swimsuit issue. But we certainly will be conducting ourselves outside of God’s will.

Indeed, in the Gospel According to Matthew, Jesus declared, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

That’s why the men among us who are committed Christ followers will bring every lustful thought into captivity to the obedience of God. And that means avoiding SI’s soft core porn issue.

Does God Have a Super Bowl Favorite?



The decidedly secularist Sports Illustrated – evidenced by the busty swimsuit models it teasingly features on the home page of its web site (alongside the latest sports news, which is what “SI” is supposed to be about) – thought the occasion of the Super Bowl  would be the perfect time to weigh in on the subject of Christianity and football.

The cover of its February 4 issue, still available on newsstands, has a picture of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, under the headline:  “Does God Care Who Wins the Super Bowl?”

In the cover shot, Lewis is up to his shoulders in water, hands folded as in prayer. It seems obvious the image is meant to suggest the baptism of Christ; as if Lewis, who was at least indirectly involved in the murders of two people the last time his NFL team made the Super Bowl, is some sort of Messianic figure.

SI’s cover story asserts, “The sport with the biggest Christian presence, most famous Christian athletes and most religious leaders affiliated with teams features a culture that seemingly goes against the values of Christianity.”

So whom did SI assign to write about “the values of Christianity” as they relate to “big-time football?” Mark Oppenheimer – yes, he’s Jewish – religion columnist for The New York Times.

Is it any wonder that a writer who disbelieves the divinity of Christ, who thinks he knows better than the 80 percent of us who identify ourselves as Christ followers, would sneer at footballers who publicly profess their Christ followers?

In his cover story, Oppenheimer mocks what he says has become customary for many NFL players: They point to heaven, pray on their knees and thank Jesus in post-game interviews.

The SI writer’s sarcastic prediction for today’s Super Bowl: Ray Lewis will wear his customary black T-shirt under his uniform that says PSALMS 91 and 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, if successful on a big play, will kiss either his tattoo of the words GOD TO GLORY or the one that reads FAITH.

Well, as a Christ follower who is also a football fan, I see absolutely nothing wrong with NFL players honoring God, giving glory to their Lord and Savior.

In fact, I root for those who are not ashamed to publicly profess their Christian faith – be it Lewis or Kaepernick, one of which will win the Super Bowl, or such past Super Bowl MVPs as Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Kurt Warner.

As to whether God cares whether the Ravens or 49ers win today’s Super Bowl, I think not.

But I do believe He delights in athletes who make full use of the talent with which He has blessed them; who pursue their craft as unto the Lord and not to men; who glorify Him when they  achieve success; and who evince His peace, which surpasses all understanding, even when they fall short of victory.

SI Swimsuit Issue is Soft Core Porn


The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue has just hit newsstands. Its glossy cover lasciviously displays teen-aged model Kate Upton in what People magazine described as an “itty-bitty bikini.”

SI’s editors insist that its annual swimsuit issue – which always ranks as its best-seller – is tastefully done. But the reality is that SI is peddling soft core pornography. Its models are only slightly less sexualized than those that appear in Playboy.

In fact, SI is in many respects worst than Playboy.

Hugh Hefner’s skin magazine makes no pretense to be anything other than pornographic, notwithstanding the articles that fill the pages between the magazine’s nude photo spreads.

SI pretends that its swimsuit issue has something to do with sports. But closest connection covergirl Uptonhas to sports is that she is rumored to be dating New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Yes, the magazine does include several actual female athletes, including Alex Morgan, a member of theU.S.women’s soccer team, Natalie Coughlin, an Olympic swimmer, and Natalie Gulbis, the LPGA tour player.

The three legit sportswomen did not pose in itty-bitty swimsuits like Upton. No they were photographed nude, with only coats of body paint affording them any modesty.

What particularly disturbs is that, unlike most other soft core porn – be it in magazines, at the video store or on pay-per-view television – SI’s swimsuit issue is readily accessible to under-age boys.

For at least some of those boys, the sexualized image of teen-aged Kate in her itty-bitty bikini will stimulate an even more prurient sexual appetite: For hard-core pornography. For topless bars and all-nude strip clubs. For escort services and sex-for-hire.

SI is exploiting young women like Upton, while cultivating unhealthy sexual appetites in its young male readers.

The magazine is doing the dirty work of the sex industry.

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