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Arian Foster talks about being an openly non-religious NFL player

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by Unlucky 13, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/08/06/arian-foster-opens-up-about-not-believing-in-god/

    This is an excellent article about Texans RB Arian Foster, who is a rare NFL star who's openly non-religious, and the things that he's had to face because of that. Some of it is exclusive to him (such as giving up endorcements because the company was afraid to have ties to a non-religious person), but other aspects are examples of the bigotry that almost all non-religious people face in this country. A great read. If you get a chance to read the whole ESPN magazine article, I recommend it.
     
  2. Mcduffie81

    Mcduffie81 Wildcat Club Member

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    We gonna throw a pity party for all the non-religious people now?
     
  3. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    Dude wtf?
     
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  4. Mcduffie81

    Mcduffie81 Wildcat Club Member

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    Try being religious in this day and age and see who deserves the pity.

    No one needs pity. It's a stupid argument and I don't see the point of the article.
     
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  5. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    That's ridiculous and fabricated.
     
  6. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    Not sure what your angle on that is. People who aren't religious, although not part of a group themselves, are widely the victims of bigotry and hatred, and not only does the government often look the other way, some state and local governments specifically target those who don't choose to believe or belong to a faith. Being openly non religious may not be quite the big step as coming out as homosexual, but a great many number of people live their lives "in the closet" as non religious, for fear of what their families, neighbors and society will say or do if they were to know. No person should feel the need to live that way.

    Joining a religion is much like cheering for a sports team. Its a choice, many people do it, and there's nothing wrong with it. However, feeling ill will towards someone because they choose not to be a believer is as nonsensical as doing so because someone isn't a fan of the NFL. It's not their thing. Why should anyone care? Sadly, many do.
     
  7. Mcduffie81

    Mcduffie81 Wildcat Club Member

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    I know what it's like to be unpopular for my beliefs. I've been through it my whole life.

    LIVING a life trying to hold a certain standard of morals because of your strong beliefs is much harder than simply admitting you don't believe in God to a few neighbors or fellas in a locker room. Who besides children and teenagers can't handle a little verbal ridicule and misunderstandings? As I've said, I've dealt with it my whole life....you can deal with it if you're an adult.

    The comment about joining a religion was stupid. It's nothing like choosing a sports team.
     
  8. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    Religion and morals often have nothing to do with one another. My wife is a devout Southern Baptist. She and I have a very similar set of values and morals, and that's one of the reasons that we've worked well as a couple for the past 11 years. She get's hers partially from what she's been taught in her church. Mine are just from my own self. Neither one or better or worse than the other.
     
  9. Mcduffie81

    Mcduffie81 Wildcat Club Member

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    Good for both of you. 11 yrs myself.

    I still don't understand why ESPN needs to make this a topic of discussion.
     
  10. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    I'm sorry, but I call BS.

    You came into this thread swinging without provocation.

    This is fairly typical for many religious people....they insert themselves into situations, then lash out, then claim they are being attacked, then pretend like the topic they inserted themselves into is pointless anyway.

    Its like your reading a script.
     
  11. Mcduffie81

    Mcduffie81 Wildcat Club Member

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    You must be EXTREMELY thin skinned. BS on what? I haven't apologized for anything I've said nor am I hiding anything. I never claimed to be attacked. I'm not offended as easily as you seem to be. I said I've dealt with tougher issues than one who's claiming disbelief in God and I'm sure many, MANY people have as well.

    I posted exactly what I wanted to while being as transparent as possible. Script? You obviously have something against religious people....your issue, not mine.
     
  12. Two Tacos

    Two Tacos Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    How ridiculous is it for you to assume that he isn't holding his life to a strong standard of morals because of his strong beliefs? The article even mentions the charity he is envolved with, and that being envolved with the charity could cost him job opportunities. If it was a religion based charity would you make the same assumptions?
     
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  13. Mcduffie81

    Mcduffie81 Wildcat Club Member

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  14. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    Still following the script I see. I am not offended, I'm just pointing out what you're doing. If anyone else read this thread, it would be you that comes across offended, btw.

    Your first post was combative.
    Your second post was a contradiction.
    Your third post was making a martyr of yourself.
    Your fourth post was you saying this whole topic was stupid and pointless.

    So as I said, you inserted yourself into a conversation by attacking for no reason, then you contradict yourself, then you further contradict yourself, then you act like this whole thing is stupid anyway....even though you inserted yourself into the conversation.

    As an atheist I have been attacked by your kind for decades. I've been compared to a drug addicted thief simply because I was an atheist. I've been ostracized by members of family for being an atheist. In spite of all that, I still call for people to be respectful of faith discussions. So don't tell me you know what its like to "unpopular" for your beliefs and don't tell me I have a problem with religious people.

    Its you that has the problem and that is clearly illustrated by all your posts in this thread. You came in ****ting on the plight of non believers. No one attacked you. You attacked.
     
  15. Two Tacos

    Two Tacos Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I don't think you understand how morals work.
     
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  16. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I think the article was written because of the passions displayed in this thread. Charges of bigotry were tossed in the first comments and it has gone down hill from there.
    Frankly I disagree with Foster and if we met I would love an opportunity to "argue " his assumptions with him. Having said that I do agree with him regarding the simplistic understanding of faith that abound in culture. Dropping into sterotypes happens too quickly and by all sides.
     
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  17. Two Tacos

    Two Tacos Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    What "assumptions" did you read Foster making in the article? It seemed like he expressed personal belief and related experiences to me.
     
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  18. Mcduffie81

    Mcduffie81 Wildcat Club Member

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    Anyone who has been on this site a while knows that you are ultra sensitive and love to debate and argue to the point that you've become a professional at it. You can't hide it from anyone. I don't make having arguments with people on message boards my hobby so forgive me for not being as good at it as you are.

    My first post, as blunt as it was, was simply my frustration with how this Country and its media make everything and everyone seem so persecuted. My second post was a comparison at first, then last 2 sentences were edited in because I KNEW where this would go with you and I wanted to drop it. My third post was an explanation. I was not acting as a martyr. I said in so many words that people just need to deal with people treating them different for their beliefs as I have my whole life. My fourth post was in line with my first. I think its written to stir emotions and induce inflammatory discussions....which clearly it succeeded in doing.

    I didn't insert myself into any conversation. There was none, until your radar went off.

    "As an atheist I have been attacked by your kind for decades. I've been compared to a drug addicted thief simply because I was an atheist. I've been ostracized by members of family for being an atheist. In spite of all that, I still call for people to be respectful of faith discussions".

    Does that qualify as acting like a martyr? Attacked by my "kind" what does that mean?
     
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  19. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

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    So you do that by acting persecuted?
     
  20. Mcduffie81

    Mcduffie81 Wildcat Club Member

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    Please explain what morals mean to you, because it can mean many different things to people. In this instance I do happen to consider sleeping with another woman while married with 2 children immoral.

    A quick definition search from Merriam-Webster,

    : concerning or relating to what is right and wrong in human behavior

    : based on what you think is right and good

    : considered right and good by most people : agreeing with a standard of right behavior
     
  21. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    He made assumptions about the nature of God. He made assumptions about what belief, faith, and practice either should be or what they mean. I suppose one could say he simply said what he believed but I would argue that such statements of belief are inherently assumptions. When I make a statement about God or faith or Christianity there is an entire set of dogmatic assumptions behind what I say. Foster has done the same thing and that is where I would start my discussion with him. There is nothing sinister in that, just honest disagreement over base positions.
     
  22. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

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    IMO, assumption is a word that has a negative context. A way to take away from a persons experiences.

    I do not think you meant it that way, just that it can be construed that way.
     
  23. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    In this country and at this time in history, we have all been taught to presume we are being persecuted. It is a victim mentality. I could make an argument that religion in general and Christianity in particular is under attack. Communities passing zoning laws to prevent the building of houses of worship. Attacks on hiring practices of religious groups. Imposition of national values over specific religious values.

    At the same time folks who reject religious claims are also under attack as strident voices from many angles lump all disbelief into categories of immorality and perversion. The list goes on.

    There ought to be a link between morality and religious values. There often is not. Too often a "moral value" is understood to be faith based simply because it is a moral value. Nothing could be further from the truth. Look at the secession documents of the Confederate States. They are full of appeals to God for ordaining the inherent inferiority of minorities and sanctioning bigotry and slavery. Most would today admit such positions were pure rationalization but at the time people were willing to die and worse, kill to defend them!

    I often wonder what folks a 100 years from now will say about the assumptions we make today in the name of God which will later be understood to be very, very wrong!
     
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  24. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    OK, I now understand your question in its context.

    I think you can see from my answers that I did not nor do I use the word "assumption" as code for negativity. I am using it as a term for the basic underlying structures and beliefs behind an argument or position a person is making.
     
  25. Mcduffie81

    Mcduffie81 Wildcat Club Member

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    Thank you! My attempts to express how I feel are not nearly as polished. Everything you've said I agree with.
     
  26. Two Tacos

    Two Tacos Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    So, you want to correct his beliefs. This is one of the issues that I think comes up with atheism, and why what he is doing is important. What sort of reaction would I get if I stated that I wanted to correct Tebow's assumptions, and explain why God doesn't exist, on a thread about his beliefs and his missionary work? I'm not trying to debate God with you here. I'm trying to make a point about how athiest beliefs are treated vs how religious beliefs are treated.
     
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  27. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Thank you. As you might suspect, my being a parish pastor means I spend a fair amount of time in discussion like this. I have served on the governing board of my denomination and such arguments were often underlying much of what we did.

    If I could offer counsel to anyone who holds any strong position it would be to at least admit to yourself with all humility that "hey, I might be wrong!"

    Martin Luther has a quote that we should "Sin Boldly!". The quote is well known though the context is often lost. Luther was trying to argue that ultimately we study things and we reason an argue what may be a right answer but ultimately one has to trust their position is correct and move forward. If it is wrong, we can always face God in judgement and ask for forgiveness.
     
  28. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito. Club Member

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    I realize that, however the first time I read your post I had a negative reaction. I was about to write a reply, however I decided to read it again and see why I had the negative reaction.

    It came from the word assumption. At first glace to me that was a way to discount his personal experiences and claiming he was ignorant on the subject.

    Reading over again, I concluded that was probably not what you meant. Which is why I decided to share my experience with you.
     
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  29. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I am not sure we are on different sides of this but let me try answering you this way.

    Foster is putting into the public arena an argument about the nature of belief/disbelief and calling for tolerance and understanding. Fine. But by putting such a position out there he is inherently making an argument which should be subject to honest debate.

    He suggests it is (curious?, foolish?, silly? I am not sure what word he would use?) that fellow players believe God takes an interest in their games when in Foster's mind, that if a god exists he should be worried about starving children, etc.

    I would ask Foster what it is he doesn't believe in? I don't believe in the god he suggest either. I would want to know what if anything he does believe in?

    I will freely admit that Christianity (along with Islam) has a proselytizing component which is basic to the faith. It is that history which has caused rhetoric and apologetics to have arisen out of religious contexts. Therefore when someone makes a religious claim, even if it to be non religious, Christians will feel compelled to debate. That it should be done honestly and respectfully, should go with out saying but alas such is not the case. With that history I can certainly understand why folks such as you and perhaps Foster find even a discussion of your positions to feel like attacks.

    O and I think Tim Tebow would welcome such a debate. In fact it happens it seems with great regularity. As I said Christianity at its core is about proselytizing and thus debate is always with us.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  30. Two Tacos

    Two Tacos Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" gets labeled as an attack on Christmas. My point wasn't Tebow's reaction, but the general reaction to me using his faith to push my agenda in a thread here. This is why Foster coming out, so to speak, is important, and why others being dissmive is disappointing.


    Proselytizing is not necessarily the same as debate. Lecturing is not conversation. The distinction between the two is often lost by those pushing their faith. I understand why you say your faith, (I'm not sure what word to use here, requires? encourages?) debate through proselytizing, but in my experience, the form the proselytizing usually takes is a lecture not a dabate. Let me state now that in my enteractions with you, this has not been the case. I'm not sure if you, not being an atheist, realize how rare that is.
     
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  31. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Thank you for the very kind words. I am honored. You and indeed a number of folks in this particular forum have been very gracious to me.

    Sadly I have to agree with you regarding the way the Christian faith is often proclaimed. A regular prayer I lift up to God is, "please protect me from the people on my side". Surely in some cases it is because of arrogance but more often than not it is simply because folks often have more enthusiasm than information. They mean well without thinking of the totality of their words' consequences.

    I am sorry Foster's contact with Christians has been so negative for him. I think he has tapped into something even if he falls victim to some of the same stereotypes he regrets in others. We are all caught in that trap.
     
  32. SICK

    SICK Lounge Moderator

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    I started a new job. Second day. Driving with my new boss. 3 hours from home. Staying in a hotel. Trying to fit in. My boss turns down the radio and asks "are you religious?"

    I am atheist.

    Awkwardly and without trying to be jobless I tip toed around the question. I said I was raised Christian. I saw it do great things for my grandmother and tried to leave it at that.

    "Do you tithe?"

    *pull on my shirt collar*

    "Tithing changed my life. Once I started tithing I made more money that I ever did. Give to God and he will return it to you"

    Awkwardness.

    Needless to say I don't work there anymore. It's not easy being a non-believer in North Carolina. Bible Belt. The folks I've told am atheist shunned me. Asked if I worshiped satan. Asked if my son was "alright". It's Pathetic I don't deserve to have that. I can't be myself on Facebook I'll lose friends. I can't be myself at work I may not get promotions I deserve or get treated different.

    This "try being religious" sentiment is laughable. Give me a break.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  33. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I wish I could say yours is a rare occurrence but again sadly it is not. The example of the tithing question is one of those situations where I wish Christians would shut up. Your boss may have understood correctly but made it sound to you like some magical talisman. Sad.

    Saying you are an atheist in a strongly Christian area or declaring you are a person of faith in a secular area should not be hard but they both sadly are so.
     
  34. unluckyluciano

    unluckyluciano For My Hero JetsSuck

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    I think both sides need to calm down and do the proverbial "treat others as you'd like to be treated." It comes down to respect to me.
     
  35. Stitches

    Stitches ThePhin's Biggest Killjoy Luxury Box

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    Yes, being an athiest myself, I wish all my interactions with those with strong religious faiths were as good as those I have had with Ohiophinphan and my former college roommate (who was thankfully best man at my wedding too).
     
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  36. Two Tacos

    Two Tacos Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    NO!!!!!! You ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  37. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I am assuming you mean this in the world around us. I would heartily agree with that.

    In this thread, I think we are being passionate but respectful. It is hard when you have had a tough experience or experiences. Many have felt disrespected in their day to day lives.

    In the Christian faith we talk about God's law as "being written on our hearts". To that we mean, God has imputed a moral code of right and wrong on all of us. I have seen folks who seem to have missed that printing but in general I see that as a broad based "rule". It is a reason, I believe, we find axioms such as "Love your neighbor as yourself" across most religious and secular dogmas. It is also why, I believe, we react so viscerally when someone rejects that as a way of life.
     
  38. SICK

    SICK Lounge Moderator

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    Love you Ohio !


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  39. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    I have had very similar experiences, Sick. I didn't quit or lose a job, but I did have my interactions with superiors change from warm and open to very cold and distant. It took me years and years to get to the point where some of my wife's family would accept me as a vaild husband to her. And I've dealt with the satan worshiper question too. Such nonsense. One former coworker insisted she was taught that anyone who wasn't christian worshiped the devil, and so I must be a liar. Was nasty to me after that the rest of the time she worked there.
     
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  40. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I have been wearing a clerical collar and had parents pull children away from me and say out loud, "stay away from people like that, they're bad!" I have been treated as delusional. Someone once said, "Between you and me, you really know what you are doing is a dodge, right?"

    No side's skirts are clean here and I think arguing who gets picked on more is unhelpful. Just my opinion. I choose to live my witness and try and respect folks wherever they are. I do not apologize for my faith or my calling. I just try and live it as best I can.
     

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