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God and the Super Bowl

My local paper’s “Voices of Faith” column, on Super Bowl weekend, was authored by Richard John Mouw, “professor of faith and public life” at a California seminary. He discussed a past Sports Illustrated cover story: “Does God Care Who Wins the Super Bowl?” His essay appears to be on the level, not satirical. (At least not intentionally.)

Mouw noted several theologian colleagues doubting God has anything to do with deciding Football Games. But that Reggie White, a Green Bay Packers player and Pentecostal preacher, disagreed. White questioned what basis scholars have for thinking God doesn’t take sides. Didn’t he intervene in David’s fight with Goliath?* And what about “Jesus’ victory over death?” White reportedly avowed that God “doesn’t think much of losers.”

Mouw takes a middle position: “God cares much about how the game is played . . . the physical prowess that is on display in a well-played game.” He also says God similarly enjoys a well-written poem, or Bach concerto. And when “a player makes a spectacular catch, I imagine the Lord saying to himself, ‘Nicely done! This is one of the reasons why I created the human race!'”** However, Mouw doesn’t think God is a fan of any particular team.

He is all wrong. In this year’s Super Bowl, God was rooting for the Eagles, for the obvious reason that Brady and the Patriots are cheaters. (But he denies helping the Eagles.) Also, God does not like poetry, nor Bach’s music. He prefers instead a good short story; in music his tastes run to heavy metal.

He also enjoys a good laugh. And he certainly got one from Mouw’s essay, and people who imagine not only knowing an invisible deity exists, but more, his mind. They can’t quite manage to square their concept of God with all the evil, suffering, and injustice in the world. That’s chalked up as mystery. But they do know God’s tastes in literature and music, and the specific ways in which he enjoys football games.

In fact, he prefers soccer. Those heretics believing differently will burn in Hell forever.

* Actually, no. Nothing in the Bible fable suggests David didn’t win through his own skill.

** Is it also one of the reasons why he afflicts players with concussions?

This post first appeared on The Rational Optimist | Frank S. Robinson's Blog On Life, Society, Politics, And Philosophy, please read the originial post: here

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God and the Super Bowl


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