::Literate Blather::
Monday, February 05, 2007
Under God's Right Arm: God and Football

By: Colson Crosslick

Let me be clear: I’m not a fan of the NFL. Professional football is a dirty, disgraceful sport that promotes violence and features oversized men with bulging muscles and tight trousers groping and tackling each other in the mud. The NFL also quietly advocates gambling – a very dangerous activity for young people. As a result, football is one of our least Christian sports (with the possibly exception of soccer which is very popular with Muslims).

But I watch the Super Bowl every year with my Christian youth group. We gather in the church basement with root beer, cheese Nachos, and potato skins to bond together and view what has become the most popular sporting event in the world. So while I disapprove of football on a macro-type level – I’m proud of this wholly American export on a micro-type level. It allows America to showcase our superior sporting acumen to less fortunate countries like those in Southeast Asia and Western Europe.

So imagine my pleasant surprise when our most ungodly of sports turned into a pulpit for the wonders, beauty, and righteousness of Christianity!

We owe it all to Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy, who is a Christian first and a black man second. After leading his team to victory in yesterday’s Super Bowl by defeating the Chicago Bears, the soft-spoken Dungy made this remarkable statement to the assembled media:

“I'm proud to be the first African-American coach to win this. But again, more than anything, (Chicago Coach) Lovie Smith and I are not only African-American but also Christian coaches, showing you can do it the Lord's way. We're more proud of that.”

It speaks volumes about our Godless, anti-Christian society that the Bloomberg News Service omitted Dungy’s Christian comment – but included the part about being African American. I guess being black is more important than being Christian to Bloomberg News! Talk about refusing to report on reality! But this is how the media works against Christians in today’s society (do you think it is a coincidence that Bloomberg is headquartered in New York City?).

Dungy understands that in today’s America Christians are more persecuted than blacks, Hispanics, women, Italians, and homosexual prostitutes – combined! He understands that being Christian in today’s America means being ridiculed, harassed, and being subjected to prejudicial attitudes by the liberal forces in this otherwise great country.

(Look no further than the pornographic movie called “Borat,” where a reporter from a former Soviet communist country verbally assaults a Christian pastor and his friends at a dinner party. I guess this is what now passes for entertainment in modern day America! Hollywood might as well have a sign installed that says: “Christian Bashers Welcome!”)

While black people make up only 12 percent of the population in the U.S. and Christians account for 80 percent, Dungy understands that the real minority in this country is being a believer in Christ. That’s why he downplayed the color of skin and highlighted his religious beliefs – quite a risk in this day and age!

Dungy clearly knew that his belief in a Christian God helped his team win the big game. This, of course, doesn’t mean that Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and other misguided religions don’t have their place on the fringes of our society and that people who practice those religions can’t win a Super Bowl (although the anti-God media will probably report that Dungy “hates” these religions because he didn’t praise those false gods after the game).

Dungy was simply thanking the true God – the God who founded this country and made it number one in the world. There’s a reason why Christian nations like the United States lead the world in economics, politics, retail, philosophy, entertainment, and production. It’s because God has favored those of us who embrace Jesus Christ as our savior. That isn’t a slight against non-Christian nations – just the bitter reality.

Dungy is a rarity in the NFL. He is a light-skinned African-American coach who refuses to raise his voice to his players and conducts himself in a polite, Christian manner. He avoids alcohol, doesn’t smoke cigarettes, and rarely, if ever, uses profanity. Talk about breaking the stereotype of the angry black man!

This is because Dungy identifies more with his Christian roots than with his African ones. He knows that evangelic Christian beliefs are the reason why a common black man can rise up to be the winning coach of the Super Bowl.

So while Dungy is proud of his black roots – he is prouder of Christian ones. And that, my friends, is a refreshing burst of sunshine and a blow against the growing anti-Christian forces in our country.

So stand up with Coach Dungy this week and proudly proclaim your Christianity!

(The Rev. Colson Crosslick is pastor of the Pretty Good Shepherd Church in Ripsaw, Arkansas. In the past, he has called for a boycott of all Super Bowl ads featuring scantily clad women. He also writes the regularly appearing column Under God's Right Arm for DaRK PaRTY.)

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