A PROGRESSIVE VOICE FROM THE LLANO ESTACADO

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

God Picks The Sports Winners ?

(The image above was found at the website of Tom McMahon.)

We've all seen athletes pray before a sporting event, and give thanks to Jesus (or some god) if they are successful in that event (although we never seem to see any athletes blaming god for their losing effort -- strange). I don't really have much of a problem with that, as long as no one is forced to participate against their will and it doesn't happen with government-sponsored teams (i.e., public schools and colleges, because that would be a sponsoring of religion by government, and usually it's a particular religion).

These voluntary prayers by non-public school or college athletes are just an example of people exercising their freedom of religion. You may think that a strange thing for an atheist like myself to say, but I believe in the Constitution. I just want religious people to also believe in that same Constitution, and honor the freedom of others to not believe in their particular religion (or even any religion at all).

But some people take their religion a bit far. A new poll, done between January 16th and 20th of this year of a random sample of 1,033 adults, by the Public Religion Research Institute, shows that there is a significant segment of the American population who believes that god rewards faithful athletes who believe in him with success in sports, and that god actually plays a role in determining the winner in team sports.

Frankly, I am amazed that anyone would believe such a thing. Even if there was a god, why would he bother himself with determining the outcome of something so meaningless as a sporting event? And it is meaningless in the large scheme of things. I love sports, but I recognize that nothing is going to change regardless of which sporting team wins. It's just entertainment, nothing else. And if god existed, there would be no reason why he/she would concern themselves with sports (especially since he/she ignores suffering and tragedy all over the world).

But people will believe what they want to believe, whether it makes any sense or not. That's the only excuse I can find for these poll results:

GOD REWARDS ATHLETES WHO HAVE FAITH WITH GOOD HEALTH AND SUCCESS.
completely agree...............24%
mostly agree...............29%
mostly disagree...............17%
completely disagree...............25%
don't know...............5%
or
agree...............53%
disagree...............42%
don't know...............5%

GOD PLAYS A ROLE IN DETERMINING WHICH TEAM WINS A SPORTING EVENT.
completely agree...............12%
mostly agree...............15%
mostly disagree...............21%
completely disagree...............49%
don't know...............3%
or
agree...............27%
disagree...............70%
don't know...............3%

It makes me feel a little better knowing that 70% of Americans don't believe god determines the winner of team sporting events, but it's still a bit disconcerting to think that more than one out of four Americans thinks god is picking the winners (and over half of all Americans think god makes individual athletes successful to reward their faith). I wonder if these people think the losers were not faithful enough or had done something to make god mad.

But it was another question in that same poll that troubled me far more than the questions above. Those questions above just detail some rather silly beliefs of some Americans, but this next question shows a significant portion of our population doesn't really believe in the religious freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. They think it's perfectly OK to force their religion on others at a public school (government) sponsored sporting event.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO SPONSOR PRAYERS BEFORE FOOTBALL GAMES.
completely agree...............49%
mostly agree...............27%
mostly disagree...............10%
completely agree...............11%
don't know...............3%
or
agree...............76%
disagree...............21%
don't know...............3%

It makes me wonder if these people have thought this through. They think it's great to impose their own religion on people with other beliefs (or no religious beliefs). But I'd bet they would be incensed and offended if that prayer was islamic (or hindu, buddhist, taoist, wiccan, etc.) rather than christian. That fact is that public school sponsored prayers are wrong, and unconstitutional, no matter what religion is offering them.

2 comments:

  1. I asked the Goddess and she said neither she or any of the Gods she knew gave a rats ass about any sports game, the grammy's, oscars, etc. and when you prayed to them for your team to win they just laugh their asses off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And they should laugh. The very idea is ridiculous.

      Delete

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