It never fails to amaze me how often God’s name gushes from the lips of triumphant athletes, scantily-clad celebrities upon winning a “major award,” and gansta’ rappers who attribute their riches to God even though there’s enough sin in their explicit lyrics to rebuild and “re-destroy” Sodom and Gomorrah. Funny that you rarely hear losers quoting God as a contributor or cussing him out because he failed them. You’d think that door would swing both ways but if it did, try to imagine the consequences.
Many are the football games that start in prayer–even in public school programs. For believers, it’s nice that they have a chance to pray that no one gets injured, that the play is honorable and that the best aspects of athletic competition prevail throughout the contest. That’s easy for me to say, because I believe. If I didn’t have faith, I wonder if I’d be so accommodating. And I doubt that most of the prayers said in huddles are of this ilk.
Is God a sports fan? Did God witness blood sport yet due nothing to stop it? Did he root for Christians or the lions? Did God watch the original Olympians compete butt naked? Stupid questions, these.
We do what we do, watch what we watch and are entertained by choices free will provides. God’s got nothing to do with these options, despite how fervently participants petition, give thanks or offer praise for their their achievements.
As a democracy, we’re assured that we can worship or not as our consciences dictate. Religious persecution was one of the evils our forefathers fled as they crossed the pond to eventually steal our nation from native Americans.
Yet centuries later, we still argue about our religious rights and freedoms– and those most vocal about faith’s place in our government often appear anything but religious.
Even so, it’s entertaining, industrious, and somehow seems patently American to capitalize on faith, although Europeans ans Asians perfected it long before we ever changed our addresses.
Religion is big business, world-wide. It’s hard at times to separate religion from hype and marketing at times and at others, darn near impossible.
I think the fact that people mention and see Jesus at peculiar times is due both to attempts to separate church from state as well as fundamentalist beliefs that stress strict adherence to beliefs and behaviors out of step with our daily lives.
So Jesus turns up as a Chee-to– Christ to some, a snack to others. A piece of toast with what some see as Christ’s likeness goes up for sale on e-Bay…a shadow that appears when the light is just right draws pilgrims.
If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck it MUST be a duck. Believers indeed feel God’s presence among us.
But what’s God’s presence to some may as well be a clever decoy. The truth can be subjective, based on one’s belief system, which is why we call it faith.