"God" and Sports

BLiNK

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i'd like to first start off by explaining that i was born and raised in the Morman church until i was a teenager. it was at that age that i decided i no longer felt i needed to go to church anymore and it had nothing to do with the LDS religion. it had everything to do with me accepting that there was/is a higher being that controlled our fate. to this day i still struggle with that philosophy. also to this date i have been lucky enough that i have not experienced any tragedies and or death with immediate family members so maybe my "faith" truly has not been put to the test as of yet

now, onto the subject at hand..

my problem with "God" and sports is when after a game or event an athlete will "thank god" for helping them succeed or putting them in a position to win. now i am not naive enough to actually believe that if there were a god he/it physically helps you do something but i do understand how faith works as well. i also think it is pretty convenient when an athlete experiences a loss that it was possibly predetermined.. i don't get it. is it because their faith gives them that final push to physically do something or an explanation as to why they fail? i guess lets just ignore the fact that athletes train and practice almost every day of their career and are actually prepared
 

Laelipoo

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This is a touchy subject for me as well (recovering catholic). I don't mind when people use their faith as justification or to humble themselves; it's their thing. What gets me is when religion (especially Christianity) is forced into sports IE NASCAR and the forced prayer at the beginning. To me it's rude and pushy.
 

Just_Me_D

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Every person is given a measure of faith just like some people are Blessed with more money than others or more talent than others. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Having said that, those of us who thank GOD are obeying the words of the Bible which tells us, "in everything, give thanks" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). So for those of us who believe, seeing athletes pray before, during and after the game is not offensive or unsightly. It's normal to us. For instance, as soon as I open my eyes in the morning, the first thing I say is "Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to live yet another day". I do that EVERY morning. If I almost have an accident, I will say, "Thank you for preventing me from hitting that car or to be hit by that car". Finally, giving thanks keeps you humble because it forces you to acknowledge that higher power. As for testing one's faith, mine was tested early on when my mother passed away two weeks before Christmas and a week before my youngest brother's 9th birthday. I was only 16 years old. I never hated HIM for it and I still don't and I am still a believer without question or hesitation. Anyway, I hope I wasn't too preachy....:)....Enjoy the rest of your day, Blink.
 
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Just_Me_D

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This is a touchy subject for me as well (recovering catholic). I don't mind when people use their faith as justification or to humble themselves; it's their thing. What gets me is when religion (especially Christianity) is forced into sports IE NASCAR and the forced prayer at the beginning. To me it's rude and pushy.

Although I respect your opinion, I really do, I can never understand why people are offended when others pray for the safety & well-being of competing athletes and those attending the event. I could care less what religion he or she is a part of, a prayer like that benefits all. I would also argue that telling someone, "good luck today" bear resemblance to "I'm praying for you today".
 

Alli

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This is basically my problem with religion in general. If you thank God for helping you win...are you also thanking him for making the other guy lose? Why are religious people allowed to praise God when things go their way, but not blame him when things go wrong? Somewhere there seems to ba a rule that says God is infallible, and you're not allowed to argue about it. Yet referees make bad calls, allowing the better team to lose now and then, and innocent people die, while criminals live out long happy lives.

The worst part is that the athlete who will get down in the end zone and publicly thank God (who I seem to recall reading prefers to be praised and acclaimed in private), will drink, curse,womanize, etc., etc., etc., and probably cheated on his college entrance exam.
 

anon(4698833)

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To me, it's as simple as this...a person thanks god for the ability to achieve success, a god given talent to succeed. I, for one, being born a Christian man, thank god all the time for my abilities, because to me, those abilities were given to me by my god, and my use of those abilities are granted to me by him. I feel a necessity to thank god, not just for success, but for simply being here, breathing, living, and everything in between.

If an athlete is thanking god (or praying to god), it is because they are a person of a faith in which they recognize that their abilities were gifted to them, and gratitude should be shown for the abilities and how they are used. They train and practice every day because they have the ability to do that...a person of this faith thanks god for those abilities.

That said, none of this is to say the choice is right or wrong...it's simply a choice.
 

Alli

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Although I respect your opinion, I really do, I can never understand why people are offended when others pray for the safety & well-being of competing athletes and those attending the event. I could care less what religion he or she is a part of, a prayer like that benefits all. I would also argue that telling someone, "good luck today" bear resemblance to "I'm praying for you today".

Saying "good luck" requires no divine intervention...just luck. Praying, again, is done in private and normally does not need to be announced. I've noticed in my population that the people who regularly announce they're going to church or praying are the ones leading the least "Christian lives." Of course, if you pray for one team to have a great game, are you by dint praying that the other team has a bad one? Is it right to pray against a team? And if all you're doing is praying for the health and well-being of each athlete during the course of the game...it doesn't bear mentioning.
 

anon(4698833)

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This is basically my problem with religion in general. If you thank God for helping you win...are you also thanking him for making the other guy lose? Why are religious people allowed to praise God when things go their way, but not blame him when things go wrong? Somewhere there seems to ba a rule that says God is infallible, and you're not allowed to argue about it. Yet referees make bad calls, allowing the better team to lose now and then, and innocent people die, while criminals live out long happy lives.

The worst part is that the athlete who will get down in the end zone and publicly thank God (who I seem to recall reading prefers to be praised and acclaimed in private), will drink, curse,womanize, etc., etc., etc., and probably cheated on his college entrance exam.

Falling short of successes should also receive thanks (if one chooses to thank god for success that is)...the ability to try, the ability to experience the failure and further learn about oneself. Thats just the way i look at it though, how my faith responds to it.

As far as the second piece of your comment...nobody is perfect. Only god and the person know the reasoning for their praise...if it's in vain, there's only one place that person really needs to worry about it.
 

Fausty82

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This could be a really good discussion... or it could head south very quickly.

As a person of faith, I tend to agree with D. I do not believe that the outcomes of athletic events are predetermined by God. I believe that God has blessed each of us with certain abilities, and that He expects us to develop and use those abilities for His glory, as well as to provide for our families and loved ones. And I do get annoyed when Joe Athlete stand up after scoring the winning touchdown and thanking God for winning the game. What about Tommy Defensive-Back whose mistake allowed Joe Athlete to catch the game winning pass. Does God not love him as much?

As I said, we are all given talents and abilities, and we should be thankful for those. But whether we develop them and use them as intended or squander them away is totally up to us. And acknowledging those gifts and talents is proper. But to often I think we see people pulling out the "God card" as a way of being flashy or pandering to someone/something. Thank God for your ability to be the start quarterback, or the high-scoring point guard. But I doubt that he really "made" you win at the expense of another.

Just my two cents.
 
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Just_Me_D

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This is basically my problem with religion in general. If you thank God for helping you win...are you also thanking him for making the other guy lose? Why are religious people allowed to praise God when things go their way, but not blame him when things go wrong? Somewhere there seems to ba a rule that says God is infallible, and you're not allowed to argue about it. Yet referees make bad calls, allowing the better team to lose now and then, and innocent people die, while criminals live out long happy lives.

The worst part is that the athlete who will get down in the end zone and publicly thank God (who I seem to recall reading prefers to be praised and acclaimed in private), will drink, curse,womanize, etc., etc., etc., and probably cheated on his college entrance exam.

The "praying in private" part is in regard to not praying for the sole purpose of being seen by others. Those athletes are not doing that. Furthermore, you're probably right about some of them drinking, womanizing, cursing, etcetera, but you're also assuming that religious people (I'm Christian) are perfect and/or flawless. There is no such person. We ALL fall short. The goal is to strive to be like the Savior. As for thanking HIM when you win and not thanking HIM when you lose, I'll say this: I stated earlier that we give thanks in everything. After a win, the cameras often finds the star of the game and that person is then interviewed. If that person is a believer, he or she will give thanks. Rarely does the camera seek out the losers. However, the camera indeed catches both winners & losers kneeling together after the game (I'm talking football here). The losers, although disappointed by their defeat, still give thanks.
 
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anon(4698833)

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The "praying in private" part is in regard to not praying for the sole purpose of being seen by others. Those athletes are not doing that. Furthermore, you're probably right about some of them drinking, womanizing, cursing, etcetera, but you're also assuming that religious people (I'm Christian) are perfect and/or flawless. There is no such person. We ALL fall short. The goal is to strive to be like the Savior. As for thanking HIM when you win and not thanking HIM when you lose, I'll say this: I stated earlier that we give thanks in everything. After a win, the cameras often finds the star of the game and that person is then interviewed. If that person is a believer, he or she will give thanks. Rarely does the camera seek out the losers. However, the camera indeed catches both winners & losers kneeling together after the game (I'm talking football here). The losers, although disappointed by their defeat, still giving thanks.

This.

And to be honest, it's not easy for these athletes to be totally open with their faith on the field...when they start praying and living their faith in everything on the field, people start coming down on them for it...just look at what happened to Tebow, the guy was simply and honestly showing his faith and pride in such on the field, and people actually started mocking him for it...now the "Tebowing" thing is one thing, that was good fun...but people were attacking the guy for being open more than others in public, it's no wonder other players try and keep it to a minimum.
 

Just_Me_D

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Saying "good luck" requires no divine intervention...just luck.
Is saying "good luck" not a form of hope?
Praying, again, is done in private and normally does not need to be announced.
Whenever I feel the desire to pray, I pray and I don't care where I am. Some people just don't like seeing people praying in public. To some, it's offensive. As stated earlier, praying in private is preferred so you won't be attempted to show off in front of others for self aggrandizement.
I've noticed in my population that the people who regularly announce they're going to church or praying are the ones leading the least "Christian lives."
Unfortunately, no one is perfect and not everyone who say, "I believe", believes.
Of course, if you pray for one team to have a great game, are you by dint praying that the other team has a bad one?
I suppose that is true for some people. Some might say that praying for the safety & well-being of the athletes are beneficial to GOD, but praying for YOUR favorite team to win is for self gratification.
Is it right to pray against a team?
Is it right to prevent me from praying for the safety & well-being of the athletes before & after a game and even for the team I'm not rooting for?
And if all you're doing is praying for the health and well-being of each athlete during the course of the game...it doesn't bear mentioning.
Those athletes are not asked what they are praying for before & after the game by the media. At least I haven't seen or heard of an interview in which that question was asked.
 
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haxrnick

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Glad to see this didn't get nasty as it easily can. In respect to the comment above about not thanking God when you lose. I do hear quite frequently "i'd like to thank God for this opportunity to even be here" or something along those lines when players/teams lose.
 

Laelipoo

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To me "god" can be as vague or specific as you want. So it being on the money, or in the pledge, as a person I can take it to refer to my own god. But the prayer, invoking Jesus, those are very specific to one group and to me, exclude the others who probably don't enjoy said exclusion. If it's a moment of silence, or of reflection, or a singular person expressing their beliefs, that is totally fine with me. But when groups use their collective view for the group, despite the individual beliefs of group members, that's not ok. If NASCAR had a moment of reflection for the safety of the drivers, that would be ok. But to be so specific to one religion at the cost of leaving others out, that should be left out of public things. To me, at least.
 

3cit

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The thing about NASCAR though, is that they are NASCAR!
A very specific organization, owned operated and governed by a SMALL group of individuals.
They can pretty much do anything they like...
 

anon(4698833)

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To me "god" can be as vague or specific as you want. So it being on the money, or in the pledge, as a person I can take it to refer to my own god. But the prayer, invoking Jesus, those are very specific to one group and to me, exclude the others who probably don't enjoy said exclusion. If it's a moment of silence, or of reflection, or a singular person expressing their beliefs, that is totally fine with me. But when groups use their collective view for the group, despite the individual beliefs of group members, that's not ok. If NASCAR had a moment of reflection for the safety of the drivers, that would be ok. But to be so specific to one religion at the cost of leaving others out, that should be left out of public things. To me, at least.

NASCAR was created in the bible belt, so the continuation of that ceremony shouldn't be surprising. Nobody is forced to pray, but it is part of the history of the motorsport, and has never changed since the inception of NASCAR.
 

Laelipoo

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NASCAR was created in the bible belt, so the continuation of that ceremony shouldn't be surprising. Nobody is forced to pray, but it is part of the history of the motorsport, and has never changed since the inception of NASCAR.

Doesn't mean I have to like it. ;). I'm just very much for the separation. I do love how we are all being awesome grown-ups about this. A+ Team.