August 09, 2005

A message from God: to athletes, footballers, golfers tennis players and anyone else that ever thanked Him in a victory speech.

posted by JJ to culture at 04:23 AM - 50 comments

Interesting article-but it makes alot of assumptions. What you really need to look at out the athletes who "thank the lord" or "Praise Jesus" in defeat. Trust me its out there. The "prayer huddle" after an NFL game. The Fellowship of Christains Athletes promote competion that clean and celebrates God. Kurt Warner, for example has "praised the Lord" in both victory and defeat. Yes there have been people who misuse this "praising" Here is a real life example: Everyday I wake up is a miricale( I know its misspelled but hang with me!) I have survived cancer through lots of prayer and some great medicine. My doctor's acknowledge that I may not be here if it were for the prayers and faith. That its said of anybody who includes a strong faith in their healing. Now, if and when I die from my cancer. I certainly will still thank the Lord for being with me and providing me with the added time with to be with my family etc. I certainly wouldn't be blaming him for defeat. I know at times it seems really comical. Its gotten to the point the one can deal a "thanker" thats sincere and ones who aren't. Its an interesting article but its still needs to be taken in context even though its really meant to be sattire...

posted by daddisamm at 08:31 AM on August 09

Don't forget Larry Centers, who got a Call during the Pro Bowl one year.

posted by yerfatma at 08:57 AM on August 09

Lets not go down the road of blending religion and sports please.

posted by panteeze at 10:17 AM on August 09

going down what road? This is an interesting post. Much more interesting than talking about Mike Tyson's porn career.

posted by daddisamm at 10:27 AM on August 09

I don't think the writer has a problem with anyone praising or thanking any deity for victory or defeat - I think the problem is with the people who now 'thank god' despite having no faith in any religion whatsoever. I also sympathise with the writer's annoyance at someone who rather than thanking their god for victory sounds like they're thankful for the defeat of everyone else. "God was in my victory!" "No he/she/it wasnt." "He/she/it was! He/she/it is in EVERYTHING!" "Even Mike's porn career?" "Yes!" "Well then, it's tautology to say so... so shut up."

posted by JJ at 10:38 AM on August 09

There are some good points in this article about how many men think of God and how they treat God in order to gain popularity or make themselves feel better about losing, but there are some disturbing thoughts in this in this article as well... I beleive that this article brings God down to a level where man can feel equal or superior to Him. Men do not want to acknowledge God for Who He is, for then they are responsible to obey His commandments. It is easy to praise a God that is just a buddy... But men praise a God they do not know, a God that they have built in their thoughts. In reality, God cannot be molded to man's thought; rather, man must mold Himself to God. God is not simply a goofy tag-along that can be left out of one's "serious" business, He is a God that knows every man's thoughts and the intents of his heart. Also, why is it that talk about God must be jocular? We read many articles that treat God as a buddy or a mythical thought, but deep in a man's conscience He knows that there is a God, and that God is sovereign. Man has a very difficult time accepting this because that would mean he is under someone else's authority and accountable to all the laws of God (which are impossible for man to keep). Yes, this article has some good points, but creating it in such a way to make God seem petty and silly is not proper for such a God as the God who created this universe and owns all that is contained within.

posted by nbritt1611 at 10:45 AM on August 09

tautology??? explain this word please.. It went way over my head. :-)

posted by daddisamm at 10:57 AM on August 09

No - I think the constant praising of God and the use of His/Her/Its name by multimillionaire athletes and entertainers in entirely selfish and self-serving scenarios makes God seem petty and silly. The article's intent seems to be revelling in this using a little tongue-in-cheek style. Personally, I don't want to hear about your relationship with God. Nothing could be less interesting to me than your particular and unique experience. It's like people telling me the specific details about their dreams.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:00 AM on August 09

I don't think the writer has a problem with anyone praising or thanking any deity for victory or defeat - I think the problem is with the people who now 'thank god' despite having no faith in any religion whatsoever. Thats my point exactly-the writer is lumping everybody into the same category-ie thanking god and having no faith in any religon. I certainly wasnt offended by the article, I am discusted with people who turn out to be hypocrits. Then again its not my place to make a judgement on that regard.

posted by daddisamm at 11:03 AM on August 09

What I hate is when athletes credit God in victory but never blame Him in defeat. If you believe in a supreme deity who involves himself in sporting events, he's not just choosing you to win. He also picked someone else to lose. The after-game huddle of religious players strikes me as a nice humble display of faith. That's a separate matter entirely.

posted by rcade at 11:06 AM on August 09

Personally, I don't want to hear about your relationship with God. Nothing could be less interesting to me than your particular and unique experience. It's like people telling me the specific details about their dreams. Hearing about a person relatioship with God is no different than hearing about a person' family, politcal beliefs, social exploits, etc etc. Its all a part of the entire person. Speaking of dreams, how many stupid "fantasies" has we read about on this very sight! good discussion

posted by daddisamm at 11:08 AM on August 09

The after-game huddle of religious players strikes me as a nice humble display of faith. That's a separate matter entirely. agreed-the Fellowship of Christain Athletes is the same type of thing. the FCA was mentioned in the article.

posted by daddisamm at 11:12 AM on August 09

Hearing about a person relatioship with God is no different than hearing about a person' family, politcal beliefs, social exploits, etc etc. That's true, but they don't tend to talk about those things in a victory speech -- except for family, which makes some sense when a family member is also a coach, or when your family has beggared itself to further your athletic career. The after-game huddle of religious players strikes me as a nice humble display of faith. That's a separate matter entirely. agreed-the Fellowship of Christain Athletes is the same type of thing. the FCA was mentioned in the article. Honestly? The after-game huddle of "religious" (meaning evangelical Christian) players after a game strikes me as a pompous, self-serving, lookit-how-holy-I-am display. What's prayer, after all? It's communication between a person and God, it's not performance art. And the Fellowship of Christian Athletes which you praise so is not always the most lily-smelling of organizations, daddisamm.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:32 AM on August 09

I think that we need to keep this in prospective. The athletes should be thanking God for the exceptional talent that he has given them. Not for a win! Not everyone is given that type of talent, all God asks for is a little acknowledgement for what he has given. Personally though I really don't know what even posessed the writer to compose the article.???????? Who cares.

posted by royalgold72 at 11:36 AM on August 09

And the Fellowship of Christian Athletes which you praise so is not always the most lily-smelling of organizations, daddisamm. True, no organization is perfect lbb. They have had their ups and downs. The big difference between you are I, lbb is that you tend to find something negative in almost everything. I quess I am more of a half full kind of guy. You mentioned evangelical christains, llb. That could be the root of the whole discussion. Many have a negative view of evangelical christains. It had alot to do with the TV boys who went bad(Jimmy S. et el) In many cases, these christains have earned that bad reputation, However these are the minority not the majority. The final judgement is not up to any of us. I agree that people should be more careful when the "praise Jesus" Generally it would be considered allright for a christain to "thank the Lord". However it should occur in everyday converstion-not when one wins a game etc. The sincere Athletes will mention their faith in any converstion-Again Warner is a good example. This is true in the non athletic world, In my world, my faith is a normal part of my daily converstion. Great dicussion

posted by daddisamm at 11:51 AM on August 09

Honestly? The after-game huddle of "religious" (meaning evangelical Christian) players after a game strikes me as a pompous, self-serving, lookit-how-holy-I-am display. What's prayer, after all? It's communication between a person and God, it's not performance art. I don't think the prayer circle is showing off in any way. God is about fellowship and when else are these players, from opposite teams, going to be able to be aroundeach other like that? Prayer is misused all the time but I don't think any of us can sit here and say someone is showing off by praying, showing off to who?

posted by gbottlerocket at 12:08 PM on August 09

How do you make the quote italics?

posted by gbottlerocket at 12:08 PM on August 09

gbottlerocket: you have to put italic tags around the text you want to quote. So to make your quote look like this: How do you make the quote italics? You would need to type this in the comment box: <em>How do you make the quote italics?</em> The first em tag (which stands for emphasis) is the opening tag, and the last one is the closing tag. If you forget the closing tag your whole post will appear italicized.

posted by insomnyuk at 12:45 PM on August 09

LBB: NFL athletes play a game where paralysis and death are uncomfortably within the realm of possibility. How is the post-game prayer huddle among the religious players, which is not televised and is often lost among the scramble of players and team personnel on the field, self-serving? I think it's reasonable for them to celebrate their good health after such a brutal sport.

posted by rcade at 12:51 PM on August 09

I'm with Weedy on this one. I could care less about your faith. If I did care about it, I'd ask you about it. If I haven't, then I don't care, so keep it to yourself. And don't even get me started on the whole "God-is-just-something-man-made-up-to-expain-that-which-he-could-not-understand-and-to-influence-people-to-his-own-cause" line of thinking, 'cause I could go on for days.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 12:53 PM on August 09

The big difference between you are I, lbb is that you tend to find something negative in almost everything. The difference between you and me, dds, is that you tend to overlook bigotry in Christians that you'd call out in anyone else. Don't like that statement? Think it sounds mean? Think it sounds, gosh, negative? The pot calls the kettle black. You mentioned evangelical christains, llb....In many cases, these christains have earned that bad reputation, However these are the minority not the majority. But they claim to be It. They claim to be the one, true, authentic, authorized-by-Jesus-to-speak-for-him Christians. That's the evangelical model, and so when evangelicals do something nasty and bigoted, the association sticks. You're asking people to apply a very selective filter to these actions -- to accept the good as Christian-inspired but discount the bad as an aberration. But wasn't it you who was just explaining that people are a package deal -- a sentiment with which I heartily concur, BTW?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:56 PM on August 09

I think we're getting off track here people. Religion or Christianty a whole is one thing. Now we are exhibiting religious racisim. What one or a few individuals perceive as a show of religion, may not be necessarily be the case. I was under the impression all sports were to be secular. Unless you attend a college such a Notre Dame, which is know as a Primarily Catholic college. Do they still pray as a team before the game? What about a prayer before the start of a NASCAR race? Everyone in the crowd is Evangelical? Is'nt the word Christian Used as a whole(group) word?

posted by volfire at 01:31 PM on August 09

lbb -- your comment regarding evangelical Christians in the prayer huddles implies that after-game prayer huddles are inhabited solely by evangelical Christians. Do you have any data or information other than your own perception to back that up? I would imagine that there are at least a minority of players from non-protestant backgrounds and protestant non-evangelical backgrounds or just those who are nominally religious who participate in those prayers.

posted by holden at 01:32 PM on August 09

Nothing pleases God more than the prayers of the privileged...except maybe diamond encrusted crucifix necklaces, to show the true suffering and bling of Jesus. I'm waiting for the Minnesota Twins to switch to Santeria and animal sacrifice...to get the religious edge they lack (along with nearly everything else).

posted by chris2sy at 01:57 PM on August 09

It's assumed that God is our creator. With that said, some believe that they are always being watched by the Lord. I personally don't see God caring one way or the other if a team wins a championship or a movie star wins an oscar or a singer winning the Grammy! We are put here to do well. However We got here is our gift. Whatever you believe, our job is to try to be best at whatever it is We are doing or at least just try. I am catholic and honestly don't look to the lord for praise on my personal accomplishments, that's my job and those lives it affects. For those who see it differently, maybe you could have been right all along. After-all, none of us will know until the day We have passed anyway.

posted by melcarek69 at 01:58 PM on August 09

I don't find football players huddling after a game to be pompous or self serving. Like rcade mentioned, they're probably just happy that they weren't injured in any capacity. The fact is, they could care less if we take notice of their prayer huddle (I for one hardly ever take note of these.) What I do find pompous is when a christian or jehovah's witness comes to my front door in an attempt to convert me. Thank you, but I know where to find you if I decide to join up.

posted by curlyelk at 02:05 PM on August 09

Maybe because it is a group of guy's AFTER the game that get together. Just because they are still in uniform, or on the field does not mean it's sanctioned by the school. Maybe those guys don't care what religion the other guy is. Would 'nt that be nice for a change ?

posted by volfire at 02:06 PM on August 09

rcade: NFL athletes play a game in paralysis and death are uncomfortably within the realm of possibility. How is the post-game prayer huddle among the religious players, which is not televised and is often lost among the scramble of players and team personnel on the field, self-serving? Well, first of all, frequently it is televised. It shows up on the tee vee quite often, and when it does, you can see camera crews and photographers surrounding the "prayer huddle". I'm willing to bet they're there all the time. Public acts of piety when you know the cameras are rolling are suspect. Some people in the huddle are genuine, some people are not genuine, and some have an understanding of "prayer" that I do not get at all. I just hope, for their sakes, that none of them ever get arrested and end up in solitary confinement; why, how would they ever pray, in an enclosed space, out of anyone's view, with no one there to pray with them? gbottlerocket: God is about fellowship That's your claim and your interpretation. I can also find you people who will say that God is "about" love, war, capitalism, heterosexuality, or just about anything else you care to name -- which, an old-fashioned Christian will tell you, are all blasphemous statements.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:24 PM on August 09

curlyelk: I don't find football players huddling after a game to be pompous or self serving. Cool. That's your perception; I was just stating mine, based on what my idea of prayer is, which has nothing to do with "witnessing" or any other kind of public display.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:26 PM on August 09

lbb -- with respect to the prayer huddle, I think you are making assumptions colored by your own bias or limited knowledge in assuming that they are done as they are for purposes of public display. The prayer huddles typically are conducted with members of both teams and, in many cases, the field is the only area of the stadium where members of both teams can get together. To judge from afar the motivations of the individuals praying after the game seems to me to be "suspect" and borderline "pompous," to use a couple of your terms.

posted by holden at 02:51 PM on August 09

I'm not a huge fan of public prayer, and I find players thanking someone in the sky for something they did themselves to be kind of quaint, but that's a personal belief. And without the on-camera proselytizing, I have no real problem with prayer circles and the like neither. I think of it thus: These people spent their entire lives performing absurd amounts of of physical labor and often they came from extreme poverty. Then, one day, before they really reach adulthood, they wake up rich, famous, and adored by everyone they've ever met and many more they've never met. If they had any religion before that process, I could see how something that huge and transforming would reinforce their faith in something else having helped them along the path. There are many athletes who don't push their beliefs, whatever they may be, on others. But man, if I believed that God picked me out of a slum and gave me all the Bentleys, fame and supermodels I could imagine just for being able to run a 4.3 40 or slam dunk on tippytoe, I'd be telling the world about the power of prayer too. In that light, it just makes sense.

posted by chicobangs at 02:54 PM on August 09

I Thank God that there is someone, like lbb, that is truly perfect in this universe.

posted by volfire at 03:27 PM on August 09

Everyday I wake up is a miricale( I know its misspelled but hang with me!) You have time and understanding to add the warning but not to simply look up the correct spelling? LOL. Same for the request of a definition of tautology. You clearly know how to use your PC and the web, typing dictionary.com into the address bar can't be too hard. To those who would suggest that players have no (convenient) post-game location for the prayer circle need to go under the seats and see just how huge these stadiums really are. There are plenty of rooms large enough for brief meetings, prayer or otherwise, of 30-50 men. [Much longer, anti-religious rant deleted for the sake of it just not being worth my time.]

posted by billsaysthis at 03:43 PM on August 09

Ok, but WHY SHOULD THEY? They at least played and sweat on that field. It's their ground. You only watched, if you don't like what your'e watching, LEAVE!

posted by volfire at 03:53 PM on August 09

billysaysthis -- I don't disagree that there may be other acceptable (or even more acceptable) locales for a post-game prayer, but there are probably not any more convenient locations than on the field itself. After the players leave the field, they are expected to go to their respective locker rooms. The field is likely the most convenient place to have a prayer in a manner that is least disruptive to the general post-game obligations and activities and also that ensures that greatest number of those who wish to participate can participate. The convenience factor is just as feasible a reason to conduct the prayer on the field than the public display factor.

posted by holden at 04:13 PM on August 09

Cool. That's your perception; I was just stating mine, based on what my idea of prayer is, which has nothing to do with "witnessing" or any other kind of public display. > You are right llb prayer and "witnessing" are two things. "Wittness" is simply sharing your "faith/your story with others" As a Christain, its the hardest thing to do because most people dont want to hear it about such things. I appreciates everybody's to keep this discussion civil.....

posted by daddisamm at 04:26 PM on August 09

Holden, VolKindaSparkingAtTheTinders: Or your reasoning could just be rationalizing. People pay, either by buying tickets and such or watching the ads (hello Tivo), to see the game. The players get paid, out of this money, to play the game. If the prayer circles are for the players' personal benefit then their convenience is not really a consideration, is it? Most other places of commerce, which is exactly what an NFL game is, money talks and everything else walks.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:42 PM on August 09

Ok, check this one out! I feel that the players huddling for Prayer after a game is no different that me and my family bowing are head ans saying a prayer before eating at a restaurant.

posted by daddisamm at 12:15 AM on August 10

You are right llb prayer and "witnessing" are two things. "Wittness" is simply sharing your "faith/your story with others" As a Christain, its the hardest thing to do because most people dont want to hear it about such things. Really? I thought the hardest thing for many Christians, these athletes included, was to develop the basic manners to understand that not every event and contact with other human beings is an opportunity to try and shove their belief system at them. I would be annoyed if sportspeople tried to to foist their enthusiasm for a political party on me in aftermatch interviews; I see know difference between that and shoving their religion at me.

posted by rodgerd at 04:10 AM on August 10

... you can see camera crews and photographers surrounding the "prayer huddle". I'm willing to bet they're there all the time. Whether they are there or not, who ever sees them? I watch a lot of football. After a game they'll show the coach handshake and possibly interview a few players. The prayer huddle gets next to no attention. I understand where you're coming from, because I hate it when people make a public display of their piety as a gesture of superiority. But I think you're being far too cynical about this demonstration.

posted by rcade at 06:25 AM on August 10

But I think you're being far too cynical about this demonstration. I'm not too cynical; you're not cynical enough. After all, didn't volfire declare that I'm perfect? (oh, and to volfire? Meow.)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:44 AM on August 10

I understand where you're coming from, because I hate it when people make a public display of their piety as a gesture of superiority. Why do you say this rcade? What's the thought process behind this? Have you ever asked a person why the made that "public display of thier piety"? I am curious.

posted by daddisamm at 09:37 AM on August 10

religionfilter (I only posted it because I thought it was mildly amusing)

posted by JJ at 09:44 AM on August 10

And how is it that this thread has gone on this long without somebody trotting out the one place where sports and Jesus does mix? the little inspiration statues!

posted by gspm at 02:46 PM on August 10

Those are creepy beyond belief...although he does look a little like "Buddy Jesus" from the movie Dogma.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:51 PM on August 10

I think the Basketball Jesus is guilty of taunting. And the Martial Arts Jesus? "Okay, you two, let's have three clean rounds and a win on points!"

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:46 PM on August 10

Yup, when the "little inspirational statues" come out the discussion is over! ;-)

posted by daddisamm at 01:20 PM on August 11

Tell the truth, daddisamm: would you ever, in a million years, be caught dead with one of those on your desk???

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:38 PM on August 11

not in a billion years-

posted by daddisamm at 11:59 AM on August 12

not in 6,000 years

posted by cl at 10:20 AM on August 25

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