The League

THE QUESTION

Is There Too Much "God" in Football?

From prayer session during games to thanking God at press conferences, has the NFL become too religious?

Posted by Emil Steiner on February 4, 2009 9:21 AM
FEATURED COMMENTS

twalker21: What difference does it make? My goodness the media makes such a big deal out of everything. Is it not bad enough the country is in turmoil...

jaho: One day in the near future, a star NFL player will rush off the field after scoring the winning touchdown, run up to a waiting on-field repo...

dbwsr: For many, going to God in prayer is not done as a last resort. For the believer, we thank God daily for our very existence In a football g...

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ALL COMMENTS (78)
dgal Author Profile Page :

What is really baffling is the situation where a player is running full speed aiming to hit another player as absolutely hard as he can, no matter what, like the hit on Ravens McGahee, and then when the player does not get up and has to be carted off the field suddenly have of the teams are on knees and holding hands in prayer. I mean, what do they expect?

quietpilgrim Author Profile Page :

Public expressions of faith by players, individually and in groups, shouldn't be translated into endorsement by the NFL. All players are free to express their individual faith (or lack of it), and many exercise that right frequently. Within recent memory NFL players have been arrested for and convicted of a variety of felonies and lesser crimes, yet no one is asking "Has the NFL become too criminal?" Let the players be themselves, and let the NFL be the sum of all the players.

quietpilgrim Author Profile Page :

Public expressions of faith by players, individually and in groups, shouldn't be translated into endorsement by the NFL. All players are free to express their individual faith (or lack of it), and many exercise that right frequently. Within recent memory NFL players have been arrested for and convicted of a variety of felonies and lesser crimes, yet no one is asking "Has the NFL become too criminal?" Let the players be themselves, and let the NFL be the sum of all the players.

warrensapp44 Author Profile Page :

Football is America's sport and America is a Christian country. I see no problem with players expressing their faith. This is a free country and we need to respect that. It's only the most kneejerk of jerks who would want to see that taken away.

riddledj Author Profile Page :

The players and teams can pray as much as they want. What makes this laughable is that both teams are asking for God to help them win the game. Sure, they can do that, but it makes them foolish to ask for help from some being with the magical power to...win football games?

alex35332 Author Profile Page :

The real question comes up what would be the reaction to a non-christian player being as overtly religious as a Kitna, Warner or Gibbs? I am willing to bet that if mid game we saw shot of a Muslim player praying towards Mecca or a Atheist saying "I would like to thank science for giving me the strength to win", and what would happen if there was someone who was really in an out there religion, a Scientologist, a Wicca or something even weirder? Would people be cool with that. Because you either got to go all in or all out.

MSchafer Author Profile Page :

Emil,

Whatcha shooting for? Separation of church and sports? Where's that in the Constitution?

griot1 Author Profile Page :

Airports have chapels. Maybe stadiums should have them so players can gather in prayer. Surely in a stadium of 70,000 there are more than a few who see these mass kneel-downs as at best inappropriate and possibly intolerant. There is no good reason for these displays to be so public.

allknowingguy Author Profile Page :

It's annoying, but I don't see any reason to make a big deal about it. These guys are risking serious injury every time they take the field and if they think they can get some godly protection by praying, then let them.

riddledj Author Profile Page :

I do not understand why athletes or ordinary people have to give credit to God for their acheivements. An atheist wouldn't thank "Science" because science would not have "given the strength to win" unless he was endorsed by Powerade and he was referring to the scientific (mainly chemical) processes that gave him enough electrolytes to continue playing....Obviously, this becomes absurd which is why an Atheist or any other rational human being would not thank God or some clearly unrelated power for winning.

bearback08 Author Profile Page :

This seems so hypocritical. Like ALEX says if any player tried to thank any God but Jesus it would be awkward. As a Satanist, I would like to praise the Dark Lord for giving me the evil strength to defeat the Jesus loving other team. Hail Satan. WOW that would be some you know what. Cloaking religion as free speech is oldest fraud. Faith is fine, just keep it to yourself.

elazarus Author Profile Page :

What kind of God would intervene in a professional football game to change it's outcome (prevent injuries, perhaps) as a result of prayer, but would ignore the prayers of millions as they were slaughtered by the Nazis in WWII.

quietpilgrim Author Profile Page :

It's a short hop from denying public expressions of certain thoughts (religious or other wise) to deciding which books to burn and from there to choosing who to send to re-education camps. It's easy to move on if someone's thoughts or actions annoy us, it's harder to look inward and honestly deal with why we are so annoyed that our first response is a desire to drive the thoughts or actions into the shadows.

FreedomRawks Author Profile Page :

Everyone who believes in God likes to believe that God is paying attention to them personally, which is easy since God is supposed to be omnipotent. But obviously, God doesn't answer everyone's prayers so when something good happens, people feel lucky, kind of like God picked them this time around.

I've always wondered though, why does God get credit and thanks for the good stuff but not criticism and blame for the bad stuff?

ANTGA Author Profile Page :

Why is it that those who are completely devoted to their faith have to wear it on their sleeves and make it their calling card? Aren't devout believers secure enough with their faith and their connection to god that they can say a prayer to themselves or give praise in their minds, rather than demonstrating it? Is it because they believe god has ears - like us - and can only hear praise when it's verbalized? Or is it that these people aren't really about praising god, but about SEEKING praise and acknowledgement from the public?

FreedomRawks Author Profile Page :

It's also possible they do it to make their mums, dads, grandmammy's and grandpappy's happy.

adtaylor8 Author Profile Page :

I don't understand how it is that people that don't believe are always upset when Christians practice their faith publically when Atheist or whatever you may consider yourselves get to express how you feel about it everyday. What if someone made it law that if you don't believe in God then keep it to yourself. You would say it is a violation of your first amendment rights or (the favorite) separation of church in state. Which the latter only means religion (and the lack there of) should not influence the government. And the real reason people (including non-believers) in this country will look twice at say a Muslim or whoever practicing their belief is for two reasons: The terrorist issue and the fact that this is a Christian country. That would be like me going to Mecca (all muslim) being a practicing Christian. Personally, I have no problem with anyone from any belief and will not disrespect them cause that is not what I believe. But I will not keep (nor do I think NFL players) my faith behind closed doors. Because that is apart of me. Just like being an Atheist is who you are or being homosexual or being anything that no one agrees on. And to be quite honest, I feel like Atheist spend just as much time energy trying to get people on board with what they believe as Muslims and Christians. So, I think if we are going to be melting pot country, then people need to realize that there are going be differences in opinions and expression. And I feel like if its not harming you or tearing you down as a person, then you need to really get over it. Thats what they tell Christians. Might as well be the doctrine everyone follows. The day the NFL players tell you to kneel and pray with you is the day you should feel its offensive and an attempt to influence your beliefs.

riddledj Author Profile Page :

As an atheist, I have no problem with people demonstrating their 'faith' in public, however, I do have a problem with Christians incessantly claiming that I am the one spending too "much time and energy trying to get people on board." ADTaylor8, the religious people are the ones doing exactly that! Let's not get sidetracked with your own assumptions on religion and those that practice one. The facts are that Christians always claim to be persecuted even they hold a majority. This is NOT a Christian nation. It is a nation WITH a majority of christians. There's a big difference.

alwaysAlabama Author Profile Page :

There is never too much God in anything and certainly not in foot ball. This is not only a challenging game but a highly dangerous one, these guys need to pray at every opportunity. I am really surprised more of them do not receive serious injuries. As O'Jay I can believe a lot of them end up with bad knees. Aging alone is hell on the bones these guys put a lot on the line for their self gratification also to entertain the spectators, whom should surely pray for them.

alex35332 Author Profile Page :

The reason atheist dislike the way christians practice more than they do other religions is because in western history christians have committed the most genocide of any other religion, and are the most proactive in terms of attempting conversions. For very liberal people like myself who are not atheists, but are more agnostic, christians largely looked at as being, hypocritically (on Christianity's part) associated with the philosophy of the political "right" which has kept human society from taking steps forward towards a cleaner planet and lessening human suffering around the world.

riddledj Author Profile Page :

These athletes are definitely challenging their bodies for the game of football but what good is it to pray for them? I HOPE they make it through the game with some points and hopefully no injuries but I won't be "praying" for them for doing their job. Prayer does NOTHING. Prayer WASTES time and energy instead of actually solving a problem, and these guys are getting paid lots of money so their physical bodies will heal in time.

And by the way, there's too much God in lots of things: politics, money, (paper and coin), schools (creationism), etc. I'm not asking to stop believing, but stop trying to FORCE your crazy beliefs on me and my children.

Go Redskins.

jeffc6578 Author Profile Page :

Too much God, and too much politics. I'm really tired of evangelical Christians proselytizing. People who express views that differ are usually castigated for not being evangelical by the same people who wear their religion on their sleeves.
As for politics, Hank Williams Junior did a bunch of McCain rallies wearing NFL jerseys; If the republicans have ownership of football I'll chuck all my Redskins junk. The best thing about football is that on Monday, everyone from all walks of life in the city have a common identity - not republican, not democratic, not black or white, not hyper-religious or athiest.
The NFL should take note and keep it free of being hijacked by partisan special interests - it takes away from the game.

rayray18 Author Profile Page :

This reminds me of a story I once heard about Yogi Berra, who as coach reportedly watched one particular player go up to bat, and the player's at-bat took forever, because before each pitch, he would step out of the batter's box and cross himself three times. After the player uneventfully grounded out and slowly returned to the dugout after jogging off the field, Berra quipped, "how about next time we just let God watch the game?"

skinsfan80 Author Profile Page :

It fascinates me to read topic discussions such as this one. Is there too much God in football? Really folks? To listen to some of the posters on this forum, one would think that we live in the midst of an oppresive dictatorship, being forced at gunpoint to convert to a given religion or to bear witness to unspeakable atrocities. Even now we find ourselves in the midst of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, in the middle of two wars, and at the turning point of a new political administration. This does not even begin to say anything about past atrocities such as the Holocaust, ethnic and religious cleansings, the crusades, and on and on you can go. These are oppressions, these are life altering events that cause one to take pause. That we are even having a discussion about football players expressing their constitutional right to free speech and expression is difficult to understand. As a Christian myself, watching someone give praise to Allah does not threaten my belief nor does it make me unable to enjoy the activity I'm currently partaking in. If the situation does get offensive, I have the choice to go somewhere else, or to ignore the situation and continue on my way. I cannot, however deny them of their right, without also denying myself of my own right to expression and speech. If football players praying at the end of a football game bothers you so much that it shakes the core of yoru beliefs, you have the ability to turn off the tv, to walk away from teh field of play, or to not pay attention. If you are secure enough in whatever your beliefs may be, you can simply ignore the act going on before you, in the same way you ignore someone yelling on the street corner when you walk by. At the end of the day, its hard to have a discussion about restricting one persons rights while not also asking yourself if you should stop talking because your furthering your own agenda in teh same breath. Its one of great constituional paradoxes that makes this country so great, every one has the right to express themselves within the confines of the law, even if those around them dont like what they have to say. Footbal is not a state run organization, so to even mention of church and state is irrelevant. Football is simply entertainment, and no one is forced to watch or attend this entertainment. The commissioner of the NFL is not your leader any more so than the head pastor of so and so church or synagogue, and they do not possess any power over any one of you to alter your course of action. To wrap this up, we know nothing of what its like to be truly oppressed in this country, and if having to watch football players in a privately run football game pray afterwards is the worst "oppression" we ever witness, we should all be truly thankful for it. Welcome to America, the home of the brave and the free.

lpears Author Profile Page :

As an admitted atheist, I could give a rats behind about whether football players choose to pray on the field or to talk about the big G in press conferences - that choice has nothing to do with me, nor does their free expression limit my own free expression in any way. If however the announcer decided it was his place to lead the spectators in prayer for the safety of the players, I'd feel rather encroached upon, as I did when I was asked to bow my head in prayer at a recent military ceremony.

I don't care if someone wants to pray, public or private, as long as they keep me and my government out of it. Pretty simple.

ANTGA Author Profile Page :


Hey ADTAYLOR8 and ALWAYSALABAMA... Many here, including me, have no issues with athletes practicing their faith. But if the most important aspect of faith is one's connection to Jesus or god or anything else (as it should be) then why preach and proselytize? When one talks ALL THE TIME about money, it shows me how insecure they are financially speaking. Same is true with religious freaks... it tells me they are lost souls - actually NOT secure in their faith. And yes, I am spiritual and not an atheist.

dbax Author Profile Page :

If it makes the players feel better I have no problem with it. However, it is hard for me to believe that God is really interested in, has time to think about, or cares who wins a football game.

SHAIDORSAI Author Profile Page :

As regards to America values, shouldn't the question be reversed?

Is there too much Football in God? I saw on TV a large church somewhere in the south where the altar was constructed to represent a football field. It scared me to death.

As an old football player, there are many great values to be learned on the field. Teamwork, sacrifice to a common goal, respect for yourself and others, hard work. But the competitve nature of the sport, its violent nature and the aggressiveness needed to succeed as a player are not combatible with christianity as I understand it or have read about.

donnolo Author Profile Page :

The idea that god listens to end-zone prayers is sacrilegious. If there were a god, he wouldn't give a flying [wedge] for football. He would have more important things to do.

Chaotician Author Profile Page :

The ridicules hypocrisy is frankly disgusting; just pretension for pretty standard over the top economic theivery in the name of sports! Paying these sports players, announcers and other exploiters for banal advertisers of crappy products mostly imported is poor godliness, poor economics, and poor judge,emt by everyone!

orionexpress Author Profile Page :

Evidently GOD hates Kurt Warner, even after all of the God SH-t that Warner puked out of his mouth.

orionexpress Author Profile Page :

Evidently GOD hates Kurt Warner, even after all of the God SH-t that Warner puked out of his mouth.

wbell1 Author Profile Page :

Why do the heathen rage?

jjgriffin1 Author Profile Page :

What with the human suffering in Gaza, Darfur, Irag and Afghanistan etc., does one really believe that God would be listening to prayers from athletes beseeching Him to deliver a win?
God help us!

Silverback-92 Author Profile Page :

If God intervenes by, say, making you throw that TD pass with 35 seconds remaining in the SB, why bother practicing? If God truly has a plan for you, does one need to even work at the game? Yes, there is too much God in the NFL but the players are free to pray to whomever. I will say that if there is a God, he sports black-n-gold robes and waves a Terrible Towel.

bentz7 Author Profile Page :

John Paul II declared that Roman Catholics must keep the Sabbath holy by not participating, attending, or viewing sports whether live, taped, or televised.

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_05071998_dies-domini_en.html

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_apl_05071998_dies-domini_sp.html

Silverback-92 Author Profile Page :

"John Paul II declared that Roman Catholics must keep the Sabbath holy by not participating, attending, or viewing sports whether live, taped, or televised."

... Now THAT'S the definition of blasphemy.

salescoach Author Profile Page :

Props to SKINSFAN8 for a cogent argument about tolerance. As he points out, if it bothers you, there are many forms of literal and virtual "off" switches to save you from it.

Personally, I find amusing the frequency with which people in many endeavors invoke a deity to justify or legitimize their pursuit of self-interest -- whether physical, political, economic or social. Humans act out of self-interest. How they package it is another story.

WednesdaysChild Author Profile Page :

Personally, I think it's a meaningless trivialization of one's faith to pray for victory or credit athletic (or any other personal) success to the direct intervention of God. I've been watching sports for over 50 years and although I've heard the divinity assigned credit for success on many occasions, it usually sounds like little more than false modesty. I'm still waiting for a loser to thank God for being given the chance to suck in front of millions of TV viewers or to attribute a win that results from a bad call by an official to a supreme being who chose the precise moment to strike the referee temporarily blind. And if God is responsible for so much success in the NFL, then what the hell did the Detroit Lions do?

gilliam Author Profile Page :

warrensapp44 Author Profile Page :

Football is America's sport and America is a Christian country. I see no problem with players expressing their faith. This is a free country and we need to respect that. It's only the most kneejerk of jerks who would want to see that taken away.
it is not a christian country,it is a country conquered by the Christians,but it is a country that allows you to be what ever faith you choose.

lowercaselarry Author Profile Page :

A majority of Americans identify themselves as Christian. However, since a majority of that majority are non-observers, I guess you can say Americans are Christian in name but not in Spirit.

koremori Author Profile Page :

ANTGA complained...


"Hey ADTAYLOR8 and ALWAYSALABAMA... Many here, including me, have no issues with athletes practicing their faith. But if the most important aspect of faith is one's connection to Jesus or god or anything else (as it should be) then why preach and proselytize?"

Like all atheists, Antqa thinks that religion should never be anything more than a hobby. No sincerely held religious faith is "private". It is the center of your life. And as it happens Jesus' last command to his disciples was to go forth and make disciples in his name, so preaching is what a Christian is supposed to do, whether you like it or not.

Now as it happens, football players are heavily drawn from the most devoutly religious demographic in American society aside from the Mormons. A demographic that as we saw on Prop 8 has no affection for secularists or their agenda. A demographic that is economically populist but culturally very conservative.

Athletes are often men who are driving BMW's, surrounded with flatterers and bimbos, and flush with money when they are still emotionally boys. In many cases they have been pampered since high school. Women have been throwing themselves at them since they were 15. Ending up like Michael Vick or Pacman Jones between predatory hangers on and predator women is possible without some serious values grounding. Only a few of the dangers these men will face are on the playing field.

fiveman3 Author Profile Page :

Thank God for America. Thank God for football. Thank God for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The mere fact that the question was asked shows the viewpoint of the asker. In a situation where death can happen, where broken necks, broken bones, concussions, and at the least sore bodies for a few days after a game are routine the question should not even be asked. It would seem odd if the players did not seek God's protection. God Bless them. Samuel Margolies - Las Vegas

koremori Author Profile Page :

Men who have flattery, bimbos, hangers on, lots of easy money, fame, and adulation thrown at them at an early age need all the humility they can get.

Pray on, NFL players.

shoebeacon Author Profile Page :

I enjoy watching football. I don't look to football players, however, for philosophical guidance. Assertions of some magical power that bestows injury or defeat on some and not others, in the face of a complete lack of evidence, is not worth taking seriously.

fiveman3 Author Profile Page :

Thank God for America. Thank God for football. Thank God for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The mere fact that the question was asked shows the viewpoint of the asker. In a situation where death can happen, where broken necks, broken bones, concussions, and at the least sore bodies for a few days after a game are routine the question should not even be asked. It would seem odd if the players did not seek God's protection. God Bless them. Samuel Margolies - Las Vegas

msgrinnell Author Profile Page :

A couple recent examples notwithstanding, I never see atheists putting up billboards declaring that religion is a bunch of voodoo so I always wonder what makes religious people feel comfortable making public displays of their religiosity.

tartansailor Author Profile Page :

Warrensapp44 said it best, and I quote:
warrensapp44: Football is America's sport and America is a Christian country. I see no problem with players expressing their faith. This is a free country...
Richard, Milton, DE

mmccboyd12 Author Profile Page :

I wonder at the provincial response to people's public expressions of faith. Faith should influence our lives and what we do. The Constitution protects the freedom of expression of religion, and that is exactly what these athletes are doing. I'm assuming that all of the images and sound bytes of athletes are the result of the public's desire for access. We should not limit the rights of athletes because this access reveals something we don't like.

jimarush Author Profile Page :

If you believe in God there can never be “too much God”. The people that believe understand why people including athletes pay homage to God. They love him and believe that by saying thanks they communicate their love to him. The love for God does not end after a game should one lose. In fact the love grows stronger because you can now thank God that your were not injured seriously and for bringing you together with such great team mates and for blessing you just to play in the game. There are so many things to thank God for if you believe.

If you are atheist as it seems most American’s have become, the mere mention of God’s name gives you the creeps. The only time atheist feel comfortable is when God’s name is not mentioned. To these atheist all I can say is God, God, God, God, God ……etc with a little Jesus thrown in for further agitation heh heh.

joeortega4 Author Profile Page :

Pol Pot
Adolph Hitler
Josef Stalin
Chairman Mao
Enough said on the actual religion of death.
Anyone that uses religion for their benefit is not a believer.
Prayer is not a Christmas list. Until you have visited the depths of despair and seen how a little religion brought some back you don't get it. That's OK.
Most NFL players don't come from the greatest backgrounds.

dgblues Author Profile Page :

America is a "christian country" only to christo-fascist American Taliban zipperheads who never met a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu, or, if they did, think they're sub-human and not American. I have no time for bigots.

That said, the Russia-like military flyovers are as, if not more, distressing than these public supplications to an invisible man who lives in the clouds. The latter is a joke; the former is deadly serious.

They are a commercial to get cannon fodder from our youth to fight illegitimate wars for oil, murdering citizens of a sovereign nation that are of no threat to us, all under the government's lie of "protecting our freedom."

And while our brave troops are laying down their lives and losing their limbs "protecting our freedom" in an oil-rich nation, the perpetrator of 9/11 is still running around in his pajamas making tapes. While they're "liberating" Iraqis from a dictator to whom Rumsfeld delivered golden spurs on a velvet pillow in the 1980s, people in Darfur are being slaughtered and nary a finger lifted. Too bad there's no oil in Darfur I guess.

This communist May-day display of military hardware before games should be stopped, period. We are not Russia. Or at least, we didn't used to be until we started torturing, spying on our own citizens, kidnapping, holding people indefinitely with no legal recourse, and all the rest. These flyovers just reinforce our image as a totalitarian corporatocracy.

slowe111 Author Profile Page :

YES ! Prayer, if done at all, should be private and not done in public. Besides it embarasses me to see how childish and weak these masculine men can be: acting like children and slaves asking for what they can do all by themselves.

teo_68 Author Profile Page :

Hey, I've got no problems with individual professions of faith, the FCA prayer circles after the game or anything optional. Somebody sticks a microphone in Kurt Warner's face they get to hear what Kurt Warner thinks.

But when I played high school ball I know that despite a nice methodist upbringing I really didn't feel comfortable with my coach leading the whole team through the Lord's Prayer before every game, for a couple of reasons. First he just assumed it was what everybody wanted and felt, it wasn't for the team, it was for him. If it was for the team he'd have tried to figure out how the team felt about it. Second, we were going to play in a game...it seemed far too frivolous an activity to be asking for god's attention. Hardly the type of task to further god's glory.

Garak Author Profile Page :

Just pretend you're atheist Pat Tilman and ask how you'd feel when a large number of your teammates do their god thing.

Group prayers and professions of faith, especially those in public and in front of TV audiences, necessarily exclude all who don't fit into that particular insular group. The clear message is that those not joining in are not really part of the team.

Take the late Pat Tilman, an atheist. His atheist values made him walk away from a multi-million dollar contract and give his life for his country. His Christian teammates stayed behind in pursuit of the almighty dollar, their real god. Imagine how Tilman would have felt had he saw a large part of his team turn their backs on hims and ostentatiously pray to their non-existent god.

The Christian ethic on display here is nothing but pressure on all those who are smart enough not to fall for religious superstitions.

warrensapp44: America is NOT a christian country. We are a SECULAR nation. If we were a truly christian country, freedom of religion would not exist. Freedom of religion is possible only in secular nations.

Stop trying to rewrite history to bolster your religious insecurities.

Cowabunga1 Author Profile Page :

As long as they don't imply that God is rooting for them I could care less. They aren't government. It's their right to worship and even talk about god if they want to. Personally I think it's boring behavior but hundreds of thousands have died so they'd have that right.

ncarv Author Profile Page :

Thank God I'm an athiest, not an athletisist!

christian09 Author Profile Page :

The goal of Kurt Warner and other's who walk in His path is to extend the kingdom of God through fellowship demonstrating the unity of the body of Christ by standing for biblical truth, speaking with a representative voice, and serving the evangelical community.
God Bless those who aren't afraid of their faith. Shame on those who fear it.

cbmuzik Author Profile Page :

The way I see it is this. The goal in football is to score a touchdown. And win eventually. The sport in itself is not a bad sport. But what HAS made the sport bad is the mentality breathed into the minds of the players to win by any means neccesary. With the introduction of steriods and other sports enhancing drugs that alter your mind state to some degree, and coaches that implore the defensive unit to punish to opposition, THAT in itself has made the sport bad.

Children are raised on pee-wee league ball with the idea that "popping" his opponent is within the ramifications of the game.

By the time the kid gets into high school, he's getting bigger, better and stronger. He remembers that tackling as HARD as you can keeps your opponent from scoring. So he tackles even harder.

He gets a scholarship to play at a major university. the pressure to perform at his highest level is constantly in front of him. Between his peers, coaches, staff and fans, you'd better go out there and KILL your opponent for the sake of your school, your name, and your chance to play in the NFL. He is now a killing machine.

He's now in the NFL and is a man, hopefully matured and realizes some realities in life at this point. But the MINUTE he sees the ball kicked off, he goes back to a "wartime" mentality, as so was explained to me by SEVERAL pro players I know.

The aim is to destroy your opponent. Even if you KNOW the guy, it's too much like right to not lay a lick on him that will be shown on ESPN for weeks. So instinctively, he runs at full speed, lunges at his opponents body and hits him hard enough to break a glass window to a mall entrance door.

The friend lays there, lifeless, motionless, barely breathing, and the defense, offense, and anyone willing to share a prayer in his behalf, says a prayer asking that he gets better.

All of this could have been avoided if they had read the scripture in the Bible that says "those loving violence God hates".

How can you pray to God in behalf of a game, that according to the Bible, He hates? The body was not made for such activity. It has been proven over, and over, and over, and over, and over again.

But society's lust for blood sports spurs them on. Thank you society for blurring the lines of what God really wants and what you force Him to like about your activity here on Earth.

Usama1 Author Profile Page :

As a Muslim who played high school and college football, and who's teammates were born again Christians, I don't really mind that folks pray before or after games. However, on some teams Christian players cause divisions and controversy by allowing their religious beliefs to cause friction and division within teams. Many born-agains are bigots against Muslims, atheists, agnostics. Add athlete egoism, selfidolation, and basic contempt and ignorance, and you have preachin' Christian players who render the entire atmosphere "permeated" with something, and it ain't "God's kingdom", that's for sure.

Usama1 Author Profile Page :

BTW, many Christian players with their student 'ministry' at my college sought to disrupt Muslim student activities on campus, including passing slanderous flyers to students. This caused tensions started from their 'ministry' and had nothing to do with the Muslim students or with football.

So the real question is: what are the born again NFL players doing to adversely affect their respective teams?
Are they making nonChristians uncomfortable? Are they causing divisions based solely on religious issues? And to what degree are they violating workplace rights of nonChristian players and staff?

baltimoremom Author Profile Page :

It does seem to be the thing to do now. I have no problem with it. The players should be thanking God for their natural talent that, combined with their hard work, has allowed them to make millions of dollars. They should be asking God to keep themselves and others involved safe from injury. As long as no one is coerced, I don't care.

My only thing is when I hear an athlete proclaim God in that after-game interview, or in any interview, I always wander if he's reflecting this in his private life. If he a faithful husband? Does he have any illegitimate kids? If he is towing the Christian values, then I have no problem. But if he's saying it just to say it, or if he really thinks he's a Christian but is not living the life, that's when I have a problem.

rb-freedom-for-all Author Profile Page :

Make sure you touch "Touchdown Jesus" on your way onto the field!

Sandmeistr Author Profile Page :

I can't wait for the day a member of the losing team gives thanks to god or jesus or whomever - then we'll see a (wo)man of faith. Until then, it's all a crock.

spidey103 Author Profile Page :

I pretty much don't care. However, I wonder if Kurt Warner is concerned that Jesus loves Ben Roethlisberger more.

twbarr25 Author Profile Page :

Only the Post would think there's too much God in anything. Why else would they pose the question. There can never be enough God whether it's the NFL, MLB, public school system, gov't, etc. I know the libs at the Post would love to attack Christianity and see it go away, but it's been here for over 2000 yrs and it ain't going away.

demtse Author Profile Page :

There's just too much god, PERIOD!!!!

LegallyMurphy Author Profile Page :

Does God get stronger every time someone thanks God or praises God? Does God worry that if nobody talked about God, God wouldn't matter anymore. Is God afraid that people think God is a fraud? Is God a bit of narcissist?

JKJ88 Author Profile Page :

It's a free country and we do have the right to express our religious beliefs. However, I do find these public displays of prayer to be a bit contrived. I prefer to pray in private, because it is a private matter to me and I choose to not make it public. However, to each his own as long as it is not being forced on anyone.

To TWBARR25,

No one is trying to make Christianity go away. That's paranoid and silly. Remember... Freedom of Religion also means having the freedom from having it in your face if you do not want it. It works both ways.

miknugget Author Profile Page :

I’ve been annoyed by the use of “God” in sports and many other aspects of my life, for my entire life. I wish that people would just shut up and keep their “God” to themselves. I love football, but get turned off by all the prayer and “god helped me make that pass” crap that we always have to hear. I don’t even believe that any of these people really believe in “God”, otherwise they wouldn’t be so insecure, and wouldn’t be trying to shove it down everyone’s throats with every chance they get.

Enjoy this quote (source unknown) from an answer to a bonus question on a college chemistry exam:

“Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we
can project that all souls go to Hell.”

BWAHAHAHA!

jrrogers1908 Author Profile Page :

I count myself among those who are put-off/annoyed by these overt displays of "godliness". I notcied that the Pittsburgh player Harris did not point to heaven or hell when he pounded on the Cardinal in the end zone. If God truly cared about the outcome of these events, he would have had the least of us (the Lions) beating the most prideful (the Cowboys).

fasm7700 Author Profile Page :

It is refreshing when sports figures give God the glory for their successes. It reminds us that we cannot achieve great things without His help. We will still love those who don't agree us because God commands us to love our brothers.

alex35332 Author Profile Page :

I say we settle this the old fashion way. We get all the players to write down their religious preferences as well as the coaches and then do a round robin of sorts between the Christian zealots, Jewish team, Muslim team, Agnostic team and Atheist teams and whatever other groups we end up having. The winner gets to determine what happens in the NFL on this issue.

ceo1958 Author Profile Page :

Whether its war or football warriors of all faiths have prayed to their God before battle. Since millions upon millions of people on this planet have died or been mutilated in the subsequent slaughter it must work to pray..

jonathanlonczak Author Profile Page :

This question seems to break to the question of whether or not free speech and freedom of religion should be restricted whenever a camera is being pointed at an individual and being viewed by an audience. The problem with this is that it requires the restriction of an individual's right to practice free speech and freedom of religion to comply with another person's view of religion. If I am an atheist and am offended by someone else believing in God so I force them to not pray before they play a sport I may be seeing, I am forcing that person to temporarily give up their freedom of religion in order to comply with my religious beliefs. Likewise if a Theist was to say to an Atheist that before every game they must pray, they are forcing that Atheist to temporarily comply with their religious viewpoint in order to avoid offense. Both cases require the relinquishment of our right to freedom of speech and religion, which is against the constitution this country, is founded on. Also why should we feel offended that someone else has other beliefs than our own? Shouldn't we just all love each other and accept each other for who we are? Atheist or Theist? If we disagree with each other’s views can't we do that rationally, but without offense? The whole debate seems pointless to me. If a Muslim wanted to pray or read from the Koran before a football game on TV, I wouldn't be offended by it. If an atheist thanked his parents for their genetic makeup which was passed on to him and allowed him to succeed I wouldn't be offended as well. Bottom line everyone should be able to practice free speech and religion freely.

twalker21 Author Profile Page :

What difference does it make? My goodness the media makes such a big deal out of everything. Is it not bad enough the country is in turmoil right now? Don't take the joy out of the one leisure we all have in sports. Let the individual thank who they want and us the fans enjoy the game!!!!!!

jaho Author Profile Page :

One day in the near future, a star NFL player will rush off the field after scoring the winning touchdown, run up to a waiting on-field reporter and say, directly into the camera: Praise be the name of Allah for the wonders he has wrought!"


This WHOLE conversation will change completely on that day.

dbwsr Author Profile Page :

For many, going to God in prayer is not done as a last resort. For the believer, we thank God daily for our very existence In a football game, where a person's life can be taken, or life as they knew it going in, may not come out of the game the same way.
For that reason, players have formed prayer groups to thank God for their opportunity to excel, and pray no matter who wins, that all players will leave the game healthy. The fact you like green, more than I like red, and the expression of same at the end of the game, should not draw any more review, than your ordering a chicken on biscuit and me ordering a hamburger. To the believer, thanking God for safety, health, and existence (breath and water) is realization of our frailty Lets leave that nod to heaven, that pointing to the sky after something well done alone, we know where our true ability comes from. If it offends you, then you’re the one who need to question what you believe.

 
 
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