Dungy, Bayh and Obama

January 14, 2009
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Evan Bayh is pitching Tony Dungy to Barack Obama as a czar to promote “responsible fatherhood” and Obama likes the idea, Bayh says.

Dungy, who is retiring as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, has made fatherhood a centerpiece of his off-field ministries, and Bayh has long advocated better fathering as a way to solve social ills. Obama said much the same during his campaign.

However, this could get complicated. Dungy builds his case for fatherhood on the framework of his faith. So, would Dungy be expected to separate his faith from his government job? If Dungy were offered a post under that condition, should he take it?

A related thought: Dungy kept a lot more than just footballs in the air during his seven years in Indianapolis. Had he led a corporation, some boards would have forced him to devote more time to his day job.

Dungy said from the outset that he came to Indianapolis with the understanding that his passions off the field would come first.

His record glitters compared to most coaches even in the NFL. Yet would Dungy have won more Super Bowls had he, too, slept on cots at the office and otherwise shut out everything non-football?

And had he gone the all-football route and won more championships, would the loss of his outside activities been worth the effort?

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  • One is allowed to have faith while working for the government, but can not say Do it in the name of GOD. (or anything around that idea). Faith (if you have it or you don't) is an intragrated part of our every day life. Decisions are more likely to be based on morals taught in our faith. Granted, we should leave the Preaching at the door, but not our core values.

    For all the non-religious jobs out there, do you go to your job and Preach the word of the Lord to your co-workers? In most cases, you will most likely respond No. It is expected to have the same effect on government positions, but there are laws out there to promote social standards between your job and your faith.

    As long as Dungy's outside jobs are not affected by what he does in the government, he should be able to keep them. It is like working in retail or soda companies. If you work for coke, you can't work for pepsi and vise versa. If you work for Walmart, it is expected to not work for Meijer and vise versa. On the government point, if you work in a position in the government that could affect your other job (oil company), it is frowned upon to have both.
  • Mr. Dungy does not like gays. It is hard to promote someone being a family person if they openly try to keep people from being married. He spoke against gay marriage on the General Assembly floor. There should be no hate spoken within the People's House.
  • No more Czars! If Evan Bayh wants Dungy to advance the cause of fatherhood and assist our youth, he should give him a huge donation to fund a nonprofit. Government is not the place for this.
  • What about encouraging the use of Mr. Dungy as a spokesperson for fatherhood, rather than a czar? or perhaps he can be a goodwill ambassador? If he is not on the government payroll he can be a lot more flexible and bring his faith into it, if he wants to speak as an individual. If he wants to speak about fatherhood as a faith-mandated value, well, he can't do that as a fed employee. He can talk about moral obligations as a fed employee without referencing faith or religion. I guess the question is, does the gov't need to pay him to speak?
  • PAA:

    Objecting to gay marriage is not hate, it is disagreement. Persons of faith are taught the inherent word of God, not the current social interpretation. It does not mean hate. There are other avenues such as civil unions without trying to distort the institution of marriage handed down by our creator. Tolerance should come in the form of compromise on both sides. So the next time you throw out hate as a descriptor for someone like Tony Dungy, remember he has an obligation to be true to his faith.

    That was a cheap shot on your part, but I must say it seems typical.
  • I agree with you berwickguy. There needs to be better discussion and compromise. There is a difference between marriage in the sense of the State, as well as, marriage as a sacrament. This is something that should be important within the debate. I have no problem with the term civil unions, however, if this is what is required for gays to receive the same treatment under the secular law then so be it. But, then straight marriage should also be called civil unions. For if marriage, the sacrament, was marriage, the state, then this is a constitutional issue. Or, it might be just an English language issue (it's a very complex language we speak!).

    It should be up to the group of religious individuals as to whether marriage -- the sacrament -- is accepted within a denomination. This is not for the State to decide. Whether people get equal protection, well this is a State issue. Semantics is what makes politics so fun...

    I generally think Dungy has done good things and he is good at working with the youth. But -- I don't think we should reward him quite so quickly for letting his team fall a part in the last 2 minutes of the Chargers-Colts game. They should have been a bit more professional.
  • PAA:

    You have to be kidding, right. They had no control over a kicker that had a career game. Excessive penalties and boneheaded mistakes by certain defense players is not the fault of the coach.
  • Ah -- well, if the failures of a team are not the ultimate responsibility of the head coach, then I don't know what to say. It's like saying that Mayor Daley in Chicago should stick around because his department screwed up on signing the federal grant requests for $130 million in transit funds. And him stating -- as usual -- it's not me, it's the department. Dungy could have called a timeout.

    But, in terms of good role models, it is great that he is involved within the community. However, I don't think he should be a part of the Obama Administration. Don't worry though, the faith-based organization program under Obama is going to be expanded and I think that this is a good thing. There are many great religious organizations out there that could use funding. Maybe if Dungy applies, he can get a grant or two with the help of Senators Martinez, Nelson, Bayh and Lugar.

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