January 31, 2009

Super Bowl 43: Faith on Display in NFL

Kurt Warner
Kurt Warner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am not a sports nut by any means, but I do watch quite a bit of American football and consider myself a fan of the sport. I have always been fascinated by the common practice of football teams praying for victory, mostly because it means that they are asking their god for the defeat of another team who is simultaneously asking the same god for victory. Thus, I was happy that a reader sent me a timely story from The Kansas City Star addressing the role of Christian faith in the NFL. I have previously commented on the absurdity of sports teams praying for victory over their opponents, and it is good to have an excuse to revisit the subject.

In the article, Arizona Cardinals quarterback, Curt Warner, is described as "the NFL's most outspoken Christian." I haven't followed Warner's career or even the NFL in general enough to be able to evaluate such a statement. However, Warner comes across sounding like enough of a moron in the article that I'll go along with the claim.

Unfortunately, Warner is hardly alone in needing to share his religious delusion with others.

As players increasingly use the field and priceless TV time as platforms to extol their faith, fans either roll their eyes or feel inspired to jump behind teams they’d otherwise ignore.
You can count me among the eye rollers. I tend to watch more college football than professional, and the announcers constant fawning over Tim Tebow's Christian faith was a frequent source of annoyance, sufficient to get me to turn off the BCS championship before it was over.

What's even worse is that one cannot simply hope the Steelers beat the Cardinals because Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sounds like another Jesus freak. Whichever team wins the game, zombie Jesus wins.

Both teams will grovel before zombie Jesus, begging for a win (and the loss of the other team). The wining team will give thanks to zombie Jesus for assisting them. The loser will blame themselves and bitterly resent any suggestion that zombie Jesus let them down. After all, "god works in mysterious ways" and "it is all part of god's plan."

Meanwhile, millions of Americans will not find anything troubling about this whatsoever. And that really is the kicker, isn't it?

So what is anyone who is disgusted with all the public displays of faith to do? I suppose we can always turn off the TV. Of course, then we would miss the inevitable Super Bowl miracle.

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