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Coach Zorn and religion in the locker room.

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by Finfangirl, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I don't think that's entirely accurate or fair. Certainly there have been some incredible horrors committed in the name Jesus Christ. No thinking person can or should deny that. But to limit one's assessment of Christianity by its failings avoids so much. People of faith began the majority of hospitals and social safety net institutions here and in Western Europe. Even today three of the five hospitals serving the occupied West Bank in Palestine/Israel are run by Christians despite Christianity being a minority Faith in the land of its birth.

    The Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Bread for the World and a host of other NGO's have Christian roots or are still run by Christian groups.

    I will not deny our sins but at the same time I would call for a deeper, more nuanced view of Christians in public life and Christian traditions in the public life of citizens.
     
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  2. rafael

    rafael Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I never claimed that no Christians or members of other religions for that matter can't or haven't done some good things. In fact, I specifically stated that such people are doing so in spite of religion. My point is that any belief system that separates people into us and them can't be all-inclusive or tolerant. It has to be a hinderance toward those traits.
     
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  3. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    The two bolded portions are the places where I am finding disagreement. You say "in spite of", I would argue it is because of their faith. The call to love you neighbor drives us. (Or at least some of us.) That is if you are using religion as a synonym for my use of faith. I have seen arguments where the word religion is defined in such a way as to be something quite separate from faith and/or practice.

    As to the "Us versus them" dichotomy; if a Christian is honest and reads the New Testament honestly, then the inside/outside division has to be defined as "members of the community/prospects for evangelism".

    I think in terms of principles we are generally in agreement though we use language a bit differently.
     
  4. cdz12250

    cdz12250 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    The difference is in the attitude. To Ohio, "us and them" means us and those we can love, help and share with. To Rafael, "us and them" means "us and those we are better than." The former is following the teachings of Jesus. The latter is misguided pride and elitism.

    Christians of all flavors are very much aware of this and seek to do something about it. Think of the old Francis (of Assisi) and the new Francis (the Pope). Ohio can probably name Protestants who have tried and are trying to do the same thing.
     
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  5. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    That is how you understand it. They may well be their intent. I appreciate that. I just wanted you to know that anyone who sees it outside of the circle of followers of the band but who has knowledge of Christian symbolism will see it as I described it. It is your choice. I was just trying to give you information so you could make a fully informed decision. Best of luck.
     
  6. Boomer

    Boomer Premium Member Luxury Box

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    I think there's no place for religion in sport. On the field. People thanking the Lord in interviews irritates me SO much. But that's just me. Not because I'm not religious, but because I don't want someone else's religious beliefs shoved down my throat. "John, how did you score that winning touchdown?"......."I want to give all the glory to God".

    Sorry, what?

    If that was the answer, then the question would surely have religious connotations. I believe that Israel is the greatest threat to the world, but after scoring a goal with my team I don't say "Netanyahu is a war criminal" because it has no connection to the game. And neither does giving all the glory to God. There is a time and a place and it's not on the field of play.

    There was a very interesting article by Arian Foster about his rejection of religion a few months ago. But when he tore his achilles, he was told that his teammates were praying for him. It's those juxtapositions that interest me around religion in sport.
     
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  7. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I understand your point Boomer, but I don't think I agree with it entirely.

    Many people of faith understand their physical gifts are just that, gifts. While an athlete needs to use them well, 20-10 eyesight can not be coached nor can 6-8 or quick twitch muscles. I don't want to muzzle a player in an interview after the game anymore than I want to limit their TD celebrations or whatever. If in their faith they see their gift as just that a gift from God then let them say it.

    To make a political statement such as you offered in your example, that is more dicey to me but should be in the hands of the editor of the story. Yet, John Carlos making the black power salute at the '68 Olympics was a major milestone in Civil Rights.

    That Foster's teammates are praying for him should not be surprising. Praying is what I do. Praying is what Christians do. Even if folks don't ask or sometimes even want me to do it. I can't and shouldn't be able to make you pray nor should you be able to stop me.

    Underlying all of this though is an acknowledgement that we ALL get to make those choices and that choices have consequences. As a public figure, all athletes need to be aware they are on a larger stage. If they pray or don't pray that could cost them or gain them side benefits. It may cost them your fanship and if enough like you, sponsorships, etc.

    Complicated topic.
     
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  8. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    Here's the thing though, it is a bit arrogant.

    Think of it like this, for every accomplishment on the football field a given player makes, there's a failure that made that possible. If catching that TD bomb was due to God's gift, does the DB that just got burnt for that deep ball mean he got less of a gift from God? Does the WR bragging about the gift he got qualify as rude? I mean if two children got presents from their grandparents, with one of them getting $100 and the other a pair of socks, is ok for the $100 child to brag to the sock child about the gift they got?
     
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  9. cdz12250

    cdz12250 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    To me, a person who truly believes it has an absolute right to give credit to God for having given him the physical gifts and inspired him to work hard for everything he achieves. But he has to understand that there are a lot of people out there who will think he's being a sanctimonious, exhibitionist hypocrite, who is saying what he says because he thinks that others will think better of him and for no other real reason. That does not reflect well on religion.

    I'm also with Fin D when he says, in effect, that in any endeavor where there is a winner and a loser, it's easy to perceive a person as supremely arrogant when he appears to claim, when reduced to lowest terms, that he won a battle because of the favor of God. I doubt that God is a fan of any particular athlete over another.

    Think of Tebow. I have no doubt that he is 100 percent sincere when he credits God with everything he has been able to achieve, but it would have been better for people of faith as a whole if he had toned it down a little bit, in view of the eventual outcome.
     
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  10. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    If your thanks is self aggrandizing, then yes it would be wrong. A few years ago Pat Robertson told everyone he had prayed a hurricane away from Norfolk so it would then hit a godless other part of the coast. That was anathema to me! How dare he first of all claim "credit" for such and action and then suggest that his actions intentionally inflicted pain on others in god's name. Despicable!

    When I compete, I give thanks to God for the capacity to compete. I would hope others who thank God in post match interviews are doing the same thing. If they are saying God gave them the victory then you are correct, their theology is mixed up.

    I have made the point a number of times in a variety of threads; one needs to learn to say, "I believe myself and my position to be correct" at the same time avoid saying, "therefore you are wrong!" That is a hard thing to do both for the teller and the listener but I work hard at it.
     
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  11. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I honestly wonder, were folks as upset when Muhammed Ali embraced Islam and begin giving credit to Allah after all his fights? I don't have an answer? :confused1:
     
  12. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    Now folks would be upset.

    You have to understand though Ohio, but atheists are persecuted and judged by Christians in this country. Our government was meant to be separate from religion and literally everyday there's some person or group trying to insert more Christianity into our lives.

    Imagine if you wanted to watch the Dolphin game out and the only place you could find was a Jets' bar. Would you feel welcome? Would you even feel safe? Now imagine we are talking about something way more important than a football team affiliation and the bar is the entire country.

    Based on that, it makes people question it more when a Christian person does it at this point.
     
  13. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    There was/is to be no religious test for holding office.
    There is to be no establishment of any faith (or no faith) or its promotion by a government.
    There is to be no interference by government in the free exercise of religion.

    Find D, you are beginning to sound as paranoid as those religious zealots on Fox who claim Christianity is under attack on every front.:wink2:

    Yes, Christians following their faith mandate to proclaim the faith, have announced it at every opportunity. Sometimes they have done it well, other times badly.

    Atheists have attacked any pronouncement of a faith as an attack upon them as if the mere mention of faith in any forum was unacceptable.

    In years past Christians out numbered Atheists by a sizable number and abused their majority status for sure. Now the numbers are at least equal if perhaps not a bit skewed the other way. Christians have too often then felt attacked and Atheists, used to their inferior status have waffled between their historic victimhood, and the abusive behavior of a new majority.

    We all need to tone down our rhetoric, being willing to be humble, and care for one another.
     
  14. cdz12250

    cdz12250 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I'm thinking no, with the atmosphere the way it is in this country for Muslims these days. In those days, a lot of the nation thought "militant black." Today a lot of the nation thinks "the enemy." Whether that's fair is another set of issues.
     
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  15. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    Do you truely feel that the percentage of Christians and those who are non-religious is close to being equal in our country? Numbers listed usually show about 70% Christian, 20% non-religious, and 10% other religions. Even if there are a great many "closeted" non-religious people, which I do believe to be true, that number would have to be around a third of the total Christian population for the numbers to be close to equal.

    As someone who lives in an area where the population is said to be over 90% Christian, its often hard for me to fathom things being close to 50/50.
     
  16. cdz12250

    cdz12250 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Check out New England, the Pacific Northwest and Hawai'i, where very religious people only number, on the average, about 25% of the population according to Gallup.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/167267/mississippi-religious-vermont-least-religious-state.aspx

    What's interesting in that poll is that, nationally, the number of nonreligious people has held steady throughout the years at around 30% of the population.

    I saw another statistic where, in Canada and Australia, nonreligious people number between about 50% and 75% of the population.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...ese-are-the-worlds-least-religious-countries/
     
  17. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    If you look at national averages, then maybe you have a point. But in regions of the country as cdz points out, the number of the "nones" is growing and becoming more militant.

    I live in a rural area, which statistically is the most "Lutheran" area in the US east of the Mississippi. Yet the number of folks who have no actual affiliation with a congregation or attend worship outside of an occasional festival is very large. Many "Christians" are nominal at best and self identify as Christian instead of none yet practically there is no difference.

    I am regularly embarrassed by those who make headlines as "Christians" when what they stand for (or more commonly against) has no relation to any expression of the faith, I would recognize or preach.
     
  18. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    I have friends that are gay, they have been consistently persecuted by the religious.

    I had conservative Christian bosses who once considered me every bit as lost as an employee of their's that had a serious drug habit and actually broke in and stole from the company, because I was a non believer.

    I've been grilled by co-workers about why I'm even alive since I don't believe in anything and how that's wrong.

    I've had parents of women I date go from loving me to forbidding their daughter from dating me simply because I was an Atheist.

    Just look at how Muslims are regarded and how Jews have been regarded and those people actually believe in something similar to Christianity.

    I think the problem here is that you are a good and rational man of faith and just don't realize how bad it can get out there for non believers.
     
  19. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Thank you.

    You may be correct. It also may be that your personal situation has been so negative that you have universalized your situation. Unfortunately short of extracting your brain and running tests, we will likely never know?

    See at least one Christian has a sense of humor?!

    Seriously, I know that because of my treatment by Jewish classmates as a kid, Baptists in high school, and by Atheists in more recent years, I have had to be careful not to universalize my feelings when it comes to religious expressions.
     
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  20. josh

    josh Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Ohio: It's nice to take a break from the pain of Thursday's loss and talk about something even worse, LOL. This has been a civil conversation so far, and it's refreshing. Thank you to all involved.

    Now, those statements about the hurricane are unsavory and I know this will sound a bit sarcastic, but, perhaps Pat Robertson was influenced in his thinking by reading the Bible. After looking this up, Pat has a long history of praying away many hurricanes as well as a long history of talking in public, so he could have said almost anything. I did find this video of him praying away a hurricane, "safely out to sea" and giving God a lot of credit for it. So it might be different statement you're referring to. But are your objections on biblical grounds?

    Matthew 17:20 quotes Jesus as saying: "Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

    I've highlighted a lot of "you's" there, which translate to Pat's "I". So it may be in poor taste for him to take credit for a miracle, but it does not appear to be technically unbiblical.

    As far as inflicting pain on the godless, see: Joshua's Campaign, Sodom and Gomorrah, The Flood ...
     
  21. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Appreciate your thanks Josh and yes this discourse has been civil. It is pretty far away from the original topic of a coach insisting on a particular personal stance to exist in a locker room. Threads do get a life of their own.

    A couple of points. I think Robertson would likely agree with you. He sees himself in the line of "prophetic" voices who proclaim God. While he does give credit to God his mention of the incident gives me pause. If God did it all on God's own then why bring up how you prayed? And I should admit, that I may have slandered Pat Robertson by suggesting from memory that he had sent the hurricane into a different part of the coast. Memory can be tricky and I well may have that portion wrong. I am sorry.

    One problem with claiming a place in the prophetic chain is the judgement of history. You can sometimes see the hand of God in an action in real time. I think the work of Mother Theresa was understood within her lifetime as a work of God. But far more common is the need to see things through the lens of time. I think time will be the best judge of the ministry of Pat Robertson or anyone else.

    A technical point, the "you"'s you quote are all plurals in the original Greek. He is speaking to all the disciples and I believe through them to the whole Church. That "power" exists within the body of Christ.

    The Old Testament sections you cite certainly would be on point. The exploits of the Children of Israel in their conquering the Canaanites is pretty horrific as are the other episodes you bring up. Where do they fit in a post Easter world? How does one hold them up against Jesus saying we should pray for our enemies? Indeed where does Jesus' action of cleansing the temple hold up against His own mandate to turn the other cheek? I am not always sure how to balance, weigh, and apply all the words of scripture.

    There is, I believe, an overall arc of action which pulls me along. The falleness of humanity, the love of God trying to bring us back under our own power, the sending of Jesus to first teach and then redeem creation by his death and resurrection, and finally the sending out of believers into the world to proclaim God's story. Many are uncomfortable with aspects of the story and I understand that. For me the arc of the story as I describe it then interprets the items of the story within it.

    I also want to say this. I am always happy to speak about my faith and discuss it with most anyone. I am also aware of trying to do it in the best time and place for it to not offend (offense closes minds and makes the message undeliverable) and to be effective. I fear we have gone too far afield in this thread and it needs to go into the Religion forum. If no one else posts, then I will leave it here. But if folks want to continue this discussion, which I would be happy to do, then I will pick it up and move it. Hope that is OK???
     
  22. cdz12250

    cdz12250 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I feel like an amateur talking to professionals, but here goes.

    I am in a profession whose calling, in good part, is to help others see hucksterism for what it is. I would never denigrate anyone's belief held honestly and in good faith, nor do I see anything wrong with using electronic media to spread the Good News. But with all possible respect, I look at Pat Robertson (and this is just my personal opinion) and I see a cheap huckster preying on the gullible. And no snippet from Scripture is going to convince me otherwise.

    That's just me. Others may, and do, believe differently, but I have a serious problem with the use of people's faith to obtain wealth and temporal power, and my opinion of Pat Robertson reflects that point of view. I apologize to all those I've just insulted, but for the insult they perceive, not for my opinion.

    May be time to move the thread, Reverend Ohio. I think it's useful and I am learning a lot from it, since it's a golden opportunity to be able to talk to a Lutheran pastor and other people of faith and of skepticism on these issues.
     
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  23. PhinFan1968

    PhinFan1968 To 2020, and BEYOND! Club Member

    Please don't take the following as directed at anybody or any religion as a whole, because I CERTAINLY respect everybody in this thread and do not mean, in any way, to offend anyone, it's just my view on the whole deal.

    This drives me mad as well. I mean, the guy being interviewed MUST be a better Christian or believe harder than the Christians on the other team...right? My problem with it is the hypocrisy of the whole deal. Many people that are raised as Christians (myself, for one) are also raised in a society that routinely sees "devout" Christians sent to prison for heinous crimes (some of which would be perfectly OK with the teachings of the Bible)...they see their parents and other supposed role-models impart "do as I say, not as I do" on them...they see athletes give praise to God for making a catch or winning a game, then they see that same athlete partying it up, getting drunk, womanizing...they see Televangelists caught red-handed screwing over the masses. If God is to be given all the glory, wouldn't that go without saying, since "he" created the universe and everything in it? It comes across as really self-serving, even if intended to appear the opposite. So God picked that team to win a game over another team, just because? I just don't buy it.

    There are myriad expectations and proper behaviors within the structures of the various Christian religions, particularly as depicted in the Bible, that are socially, sometimes even legally, NOT acceptable today, so they're not preached or followed en masse. Yet, if somebody were to follow them by the letter, they'd be outcast, thrown in prison, degraded publicly, etc. But that's all OK because there's an out that says you still have to follow the laws of the land...just like it's OK for a Catholic to apologize on Sunday and all's good...mess up and apologize again the next week...just squeeze some Hail Marys in there.

    Just as a little background, I'm a former-Christian, but I FULLY believe in a higher power...maybe it's vanity, but I can't believe a world like ours, with all the species on it, could just happen by accident. But I'm more of the gnostic approach...I believe there's an all-powerful being, and I believe there's a creator of man...but I don't believe they're the same being. I've read TONS of spiritual literature that was intentionally left out of the Bible because it was deemed heresy...and a LOT of it fills in various holes in the Bible, IMO. The Bible has its merits, but I don't think it's anywhere close to complete, nor a realistic interpretation of "the" supreme being...it has to be taken with everything else available for a clearer picture. "Religions" are made by man...how can they be flawless, as we're supposed to believe they are because they came from a collection of literature inspired and imparted by the all-powerful, perfect being?

    Again, my apologies if this offends anybody, it surely wasn't my intent...I just feel strongly about these situations in sports, and am firm in my beliefs.
     
  24. MrClean

    MrClean Inglourious Basterd Club Member

    I do not know of any proof that a supreme being exists, but if one does, this description, written by one of my Facebook friends, is the best one I have ever read and I thank her for letting me share it here.

    "Oh man. I believe in God. I hate religion. I don't believe in the God as portrayed in the Bible or the Qu'ran. We give God human emotions like jealousy and anger. Does anyone really think that a force as large as God would have any need for human emotions? Does anyone really think that God is so insecure that he is angry when creatures on one planet in the midst of billions of planets, billions of stars, billions or millions of universes question his/her/its existence? How arrogant of people to think we human beings are the center of anything.


    No one needs religion. I have a strong spiritual life. There is something bigger than me - a Higher Power. I believe it is benevolent, and doesn't punish. Every creature in the universe was given free will. There is no Satan.


    The Bible, Qu'ran and every other religious book were written by men. How convenient, then the religious scholars can say that God spoke to those men, they wrote down his words, and then every religion can say it's the only true religion.


    What bull****. The universe is infinite. If you really believe in God, you know that God is infinite, beyond our comprehension, is NOT attached to any particular religion or planet or species.


    The arrogance of our vision of a Higher Power is astonishing. We live in a world with both randomness and order. People who kill in the name of their Higher Power, or who believe that God has a purpose for some two-month-old baby killed by a terrorist or a serial killer or a drive-by shooting on some part of the Earth are ridiculous.


    People need to take a look at what they think God is and do some serious recalculating."
     
  25. MikeHoncho

    MikeHoncho -=| Censored |=- Club Member

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    Imagine if this guy were a muslim doing this sort of stuff.
     
  26. Fin D

    Fin D Sigh Club Member

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    You're late.
     
  27. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Thanks for following this discussion into the Religion forum. I wasn't sure folks would.

    BTW, I have exchanged PM's with FFG regarding this thread. I apologized for "hijacking" a thread she started. As gracious as she always is she was fine with the onging discussion.

    PhinFan1968 and MrClean, thank you for sharing your feelings. Since you shared them as strongly held, personal opinions, I accept them as such.

    I remain a Christian. Whether that is stubborn, arrogant, or simply faithful, I suppose I will let others sort that out.
     
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  28. MikeHoncho

    MikeHoncho -=| Censored |=- Club Member

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    Hey guys. So what's going on in here? Why is everyone so serious, and why is FinD digging a hole in the ground?
     
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  29. SCall13

    SCall13 ThePhins QB

    Nevermind
     
  30. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    I don't think that there's much, if any, of that going on in here.....

    The point is that everyone, but especially those in a position of authority, need to keep their religious views out of the workplace as much as possible, and that if someone in a position of authority is biassed against an employee because that person's beliefs or personal life don't match up with the supervisors, then the supervisor is wrong.

    Believe whatever you want to believe. Go or don't go to whatever religious service/building you want on your own free time. But keep it out of the workplace/school/government/ect.
     
  31. SCall13

    SCall13 ThePhins QB

    I've coached at just about every level there is and I've always said a prayer before games - asking for the safety of the players for both teams, good sportsmanship. etc. I never ran into an issue with a player, parent, other coaches, etc. Most people appreciate prayer before a game as violent as football. It's not out of the ordinary by any means. I'd be willing to bet that the VAST majority of sports at all levels have prayer before/after a game. It's not as big an issue as some would like it to be.
     
  32. SCall13

    SCall13 ThePhins QB

    I don't agree nor disagree with you. But a coach can pray before/ after a game. He simply needs ask this of his players: "If you don't want to pray, you have a right to step aside and not participate, so please feel free to do what you find fit." That's what I did. Never had less than 100% participation.
     
  33. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    Its not a big deal when its voluntary, or when players do it on their own. However, when its something with the entire team, and is expected to be something that everyone participates in, then you by definition exclude those who don't wish to be part of it, and run the risk of alienating them and turning teammates and coaches against them. Thats not fair to those people, and certainly isn't productive or constructive.
     
  34. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    SCall13, I applaud your willingness to be active in your faith. I read your original post and understand when you pulled it back. It has become a difficult ground in America as folks who claim the name of the Christian faith often espouse ideas which seem very far afield from what the Christian Faith has always been about and should be about.

    My reading of scripture tells me I have been given a free, unearned gift by God through the actions of Jesus the Christ. In gratitude for that gift and in response to the love behind it, I and all Christians are called to live a life of witness, sacrifice, and service on behalf of the creation God has made.

    What I hear on the right is that means we ought to arm ourselves so we might forcibly battle everyone who thinks differently than we do. On the liberal ide we hear folks saying that love means giving complete license to anything and anybody to do anything even if we are convinced it might harm them.

    Both sides seem to agree that as long as you feel like you are "saved" what you do to someone else doesn't matter. <Sigh>

    Please know if you are employed by a public school or are sponsored by a taxpayer supported entity, you will lose in court if you are challenged. I have made a study of such cases and it would be said that since you are the person "in power" you are "intimidating" the players in your charge who would fear a negative reaction from you or teammates if they stepped away. That is the way it as played out in dozens of cases of "voluntary" prayer run by the folks in charge. On the other hand if the players do it themselves, they are just as likely to win as you are to lose. They have a free speech right which will trump most/all other arguments.

    Best wishes to you.
     
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