God Influences Sporting Events

Thanks to Trishia Jacobs who sent this link from CNN.

27% of Americans believe that God plays a role in who wins sporting events (I suspect that percentage is much higher here in Texas…say around 95%).

One of the contributors to the article said that, “these figures reflect many Americans’ belief in a very active God.” So I guess, if you’re like me, you’re wondering where the heck is God the rest of the time, when he’s really needed to affect things like wars, violent crimes and natural disasters.

The article quotes one of the players, Raven’s linebacker Ray Lewis, as saying,

“God doesn’t make mistakes. He’s never made one mistake. … God is so amazing.”

Not one mistake?

When life is good for you, your god doesn’t make mistakes. When life is not good, well….that’s not for us to understand.

Thanks again, Trishia, for sharing.

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50 responses to “God Influences Sporting Events

  1. It is so nice to read sensible writings on the subject for once!!I love this blog!

  2. Thank you for writing what I’ve believed all my adult life! It is hard raising kids in a country that believes there is a God answering prayers about sporting events while kids suffer and die from horrible diseases.

  3. I guess he forgot about creating us with flaws and then having to flood the whole earth to try to fix it.

    I suppose that was our own free will that caused that. Even though Gods all knowing so he knew he was going to have to do that in the first place. Such a vicious cycle.

    Sheesh.

    Really enjoying all the new posts. :)

  4. I wonder where god was on January 31, 2000 for Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar. I wonder where god was for Ray when he made the choices to have six children with FOUR different women. But I guess love means a superbowl ring.

  5. Lewis is a fount of crazy religious quotes. Here he is after the last playoff win: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW5ySXrd2mo&sns=em

    Even when I was a Xian this kind of stuff made me uncomfortable.

    • @MichaelB That is really funny. I see Lewis being nicknamed “The Preacher.” I think the commentator was looking at him like, “Holy Sh*t. Is this guy for real?”
      And thanks for praying for me. ;)

  6. Thanks again for the great commentary. Nice to know there are so many like-minded parents out there (who are rational, reasonable, and open-minded :-)

  7. This post just struck a chord w/me, it’s one of my pet peeves. For the record I’m a huge sports fan and I’ve seen this ridiculous banter for years. I just love how these athletes point to the sky or kneel down and say a quick prayer after making a big play or after a victory. This behavior by athletes adds a comical addition to watching sporting events to me. These poor guys think that God is on their side all the time and has a preordained plan for their success. What about the losing team? Does God really prefer Ray Lewis over Tom Brady?

  8. Drives me nuts when players cross themselves or point upwards after a big play . . . I scream at the TV, “If there is a god I hope she has better things to do than worry about getting your ball through the goal posts!” My kids shake their heads and role their eyes . . mom’s at it again.

  9. “Every culture in the world brainwashes its children in order to maintain its cultural identity.” The line backer mentioned here was brainwashed as a child and has not learned to think for himself, therefore he is still a child because, “Human beings attain true adulthood only when they learn to think for themselves.”…pir faqir

  10. I agree! So happy that I found this blog. I too have never understood the logic behind any athelete thinking that God helped with the play, and yet allowed wars and murder.

  11. Lewis: “For his will to happen this way, I could never ask for anything else.” Yeah, if your annual salary is in the millions, I can see why he’d say this. Amazing how Lewis’ god would help somebody win a super bowl, but let millions die in war and starvation. And the list goes on….

  12. Do you have a facebook? I so wish you have a link on facebook so I can “Like” your postings. Thank you for all you thoughtful postings and insightful reflections. Jane

    Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2013 13:48:48 +0000 To: jleng@hotmail.com

    • @J Leng I do have FB but I don’t talk about my religious views on there as there are a lot of folks from my community as well as friends and parents of my kids. You are welcome to join the discussion here any time.

  13. God gets all of the credit, but none of the blame. I truly fail to understand how they deal with the cognitive dissonance.

  14. The human brain can rationalize to an amazing extent (e.g.: mothers drowning their babies, etc). You just have to keep pointing out those flaws in logic to them and eventually they will start to question it themselves.

    • @Erik….I wonder if that is the way. I think that pointing out the flaws in logic is what got me so much hate mail. Not sure how people can open up to other ideas…Are you saying that repetition is the key?

      • Repetition of a clear argument is the key.
        Repetition of a clear argument is the key.
        Repetition of a clear argument is the key. ;). Of course they are going to hate what challenges their preconceived notions. That’s a Human (not just Xian) problem. Some will “double down” and some will start to question. Those which “double down” will expose themselves to be how they are (cognitively dissonant) and the rest will change over time. How many people still think the world is flat? How many believe in “humours” still? Eventually nuts are marginalized and forgotten (unless the media drudges them back up).

  15. Deborah and Erik, in regard to ‘getting through’ folks’ barriers to THINKING — the chisel in my ‘beliefs’ started after the death of my mother when I never got any sign/indication that she was alive elsewhere. Once, on a trip to France, I was under EXTREME stress (lost at 11 pm, at the mercy of a black couple to lead me to my motel through a wooded park area, had my 13 year old daughter with me). Finally safe at our hotel, I asked my kid if she was fearful during any of this event, and she replied: No. If he had been a white guy, I would have been:) When I got back home, I told my mother about the event, my traumatic fears and the happy ending. She started crying and telling me about KNOWING there was something wrong with me but that my daughter was OK. She had started to call my then husband but feared he’d think she was crazy. Anyway, I knew from that event that my mother and I were somehow connected, though 5,000 miles apart. When she died, I was the one at her side. Still, not even in my dreams did I ever get a real sense that she was ‘alive’ elsewhere and the chink in my beliefs began. The final wedge was this: I left Texas and started over on my own. No matter how much I worked, I found myself living below the poverty level. One day I heard myself saying, “I just can’t believe that God’s purpose for me in this life is to figure out where my next dollar is coming from.” Bingo! I realized two things then: Either there is no God and/or my life does not have a ‘pre-ordained’ purpose. As the Apostle Paul would say, the scales fell off my eyes and I saw the light:) [ironic]

    • @Trishia Jacobs. Interesting. Thanks for sharing that. I had a similar experience with my dad’s death this past summer. But my faith had started unraveling around high school age, and by the time I was in my early 20s, my world view had changed completely. I do this is a process all of us nonbelievers go through–I don’t think we just wake up one day and have a eureka moment…

  16. I have often wondered how Yahweh picks sides. In football (soccer to you) it’s usually a xian team against another – like France vs. Italy.

    The majority of religious thoughts are at best lunatic but a deity taking interest in a game is shameful.

  17. @saab93f, I’ve been reading the Norse myths to my daughter, and Odin picked the winner of battles based on who was strongest and most worthy. If only I could discern who god was picking, I’d place a wager. Both superbowl teams appear pretty worthy to me.

  18. While it was easy for me to disown religion, I went from the organized version to the New Age version,frying pan into fire, some might say:) But I kept searching, trying to find truth and understanding,a big picture of what the heck is going on. I really fell for Jungian psychology, which is quite “spiritual” and — if I’m not mistaken — does indeed teach a continuance of the soul after death. Anyway, I’m 56 years old now and just in the 4-5 years (thanks to my husband) am learning to look to science for ‘answers’ and even more importantly, am learning to appreciate that questions are often more instructive than answers. Part of what holds us back is our animal instinct to look for ‘patterns’ to be aware of threats and hence, aid in our survival. Most everyone is guilty of ONLY seeing the “patterns” that reinforce our already held beliefs. I do believe repetition is important, but sometimes one’s life falling down around them is also a great wake up call:)

  19. maybe the winner of the Super Bowl will be the team that points up to God the most. It doesn’t matter what the final score will be. God’s counting ‘shout outs.’

    Sorry NFL player’s. Every game could be your last game…I’m not jabbing what you all do to provide us great entertainment.

  20. @erykf, maybe there really is a God…..could that explain why the religious south continues to dominate college sports? Particularly football? Then again maybe not because Timmy Tebow would be participating this Sunday considering all of the ‘shout outs’ he’s given God when he’s had the opportunity. I wonder if God wants Timmy to be unemployed come Sept?

  21. @dam When we were less than a 10-25% of the population, yes, but not now. (Though in Texas, that’s still true).

  22. @grantness24….thanks for the laugh

  23. Their god (as an idea in their heads) does influence sporting events. People who believe in a god feel safe around others who do so. From referees to sponsors the influence is there and sometimes it is just not sub-conscious. If you don’t believe it, show me one player or coach that comes out as an atheist and we will see how quick things turn south for them.
    As for what they say on camera, just think about your boss at work (really true in Texas I bet). He also “doesn’t make mistakes. He’s never made one mistake”. On the camera in front of millions (while they are making millions), you better be sure they will say how amazing he is.
    For some it’s lip service and pure sucking up to the boss, which is why politicians do it as well. For the believers, it is just false humility when they win or an easy excuse when they loose.

  24. I find it interesting that amongst all the commentators in this thread, there is no (unless of course I missed it) acknowledgment that some of the cross making fingerpointing folks do so, not to thank their God for helping them to score a touchdown, hit a homerun or score a goal (pick your sport), but merely to thank thier God for allowing them to exist and for creating them. I’m in agreement as to the view that thier creator, if it existed, would not cause someone to kick a ball through the uprights, but I can’t be honest and not acknowledge that a substantial number of the cross making finger pointing set do so for general thanks and not specific event driven thanks. I always thought unreasonable thanks of the prior sort was the case until I had a friend reccomend that I actually listen to Tim Tebow’s words and realize he doesn’t thank his creator for making the ball go somewhere, or help someone catch a ball. He just merely gives acknowlegdment and praise to his creator. One may not agree with the fact that he thinks there is actually a creator god, but in light of that belief, I can not in good concience fault someone for wanting to thank that creator for the act of creation itself.

    • @Joe K I see your point, but I guess why no one has mentioned it is because it seems a little false coming right after a big score. As for Tim Tebow, it’s a nice gesture if he’s just giving thanks…

    • @Joe K. That’s actually a good point. It could be the same as someone waving to a parent in the stands. Of course, it does seem a bit unsportsmanlike since by the same token your sibling who your just defeated should be giving them the same credit. So is the message to a parent whose two children are competing.. “I did it mom/dad and thank you for raising me” or is the message “See I did better than her/him and you raised us both so therefore you must like me best so I am happy”

      Think of it this way. As a parent with two children in the game would you like the pointing finger of credit from the winner, or for the winner to walk up to the loser and say, “You almost had me. That was fun.. Oh look, there is mom/dad. Let’s wave.” It seems to me the latter is more genuine appreciation for the value of family and thanks for the joy of living.

  25. Do you think God would put money on the 49′ers or Ravens this weekend?

  26. Hafta wonder why God isn’t taking better advantage of this. He could really clean up at the betting window.
    Seriously though, I find it insulting to think that the Almighty would even bother to involve Himself in sporting events.

  27. I ditto cushingsmelissa’s comment! Sometimes I honestly think that those who are hellbent on being so outspoken with their beliefs are guilty of something. In Ray Lewis’ case it makes you wonder. Only 4 guys in a brawl and two are dead. Hmmm!

    In the words of the late George Carlin and I would put sports into this as well………
    There are 200 countries in the world now. Do these people honestly think that God is sitting around picking out his favorites? Why would he do that? Why would God have a favorite country? And why would it be America out of all the countries? Because you have the most money? Because he likes our National Anthem? Maybe it’s because he heard we have 18 delicious flavors of Classic Rice-A-Roni! It’s delusional thinking! And America is not alone with these sorts of delusions. Military cemeteries around the world are packed with brainwashed dead soldiers who were convinced God was on their side. America prays for God to destroy our enemies. Our enemies pray for God to destroy us. Somebody’s gonna be disappointed.

  28. Was it not wonderful how Yahweh decided to support Baltimore? It is quite odd when Ravens hail from liberal Northeast – and naturally should not be blessed but rained with fire or something.
    I am sure there were many xians playing for the 49ers but this time they were overlooked when God had his favorite player in the other team.
    I cannot say that I would loath that kind of idiocy but it is getting close – Ray Lewis and Tim Tebow and likes are just obnoxious.

  29. Yay! So glad to read about others finding this absurd and annoying. Just yesterday a close friend of mine posted on FB concerning the little boy who was held hostage in Alabama:
    “So Thankful that little Ethan was rescued today. Praise God for answered prayers!!”
    Yes, it is wonderful that he was rescued, but why did god answer these prayers (and take days to do it), but ignore so many others, such as another FB post today about a little boy with cancer going into a coma.

    • @Stephanie. Seriously! And why did he allow him to be taken in the first place and also allow the bus driver to be shot!

      • The way its been explained to me by a friend who is devoutly religious is that God works on a level that “we cant comprehend.” Allrighty then, so when good things happen, God gets the credit and when bad things happen, it’s because he (or she for that matter) didnt choose to intervene.

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