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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Oh. My. God. (Well, not technically MY god, of course.)

Posted by: Jambo / 10:50 PM

Faith Night at the ballpark? Is nothing, um, sacred?

It has long been noted that in certain parts of the United States, a fine line separates sports from religion. But at a minor league indoor football game last month in Birmingham, Ala., fans may have witnessed as transparent an attempt to merge football and church as had ever been tried.

Before kickoff, a Christian band called Audio Adrenaline entertained the crowd. Promoters gave away thousands of Bibles and bobblehead dolls depicting biblical characters like Daniel, Noah and Moses. And when the home team, the Birmingham Steeldogs, took the field, they wore specially made jerseys with the book and number of bible verses printed on the back.


The Atlanta Braves are planning three Faith Days this season, the Arizona Diamondbacks one. The Florida Marlins have tentatively scheduled a Faith Night for September.

Not that I attend a lot of baseball games but is there no place I can go without expecting to be hit over the head with Christian theology these days? Can we please please please have an evolution night somewhere? The players all have a Darwinfish on their uniforms and the first 500 fans get a vestigial organ.

Are there no Christians out there who are embarrassed to see their faith slowly morph into some form of tacky commerce?


Don't you suppose that there are Darwinists out there who embarrass you? Economists probably, too. There are a lot of Democrats I admire (well, maybe not a lot) but there are certainly ones that I consider an embarrassment to any rational person who considers him/herself to be a Democrat.
There are nut jobs and nimrods in any group. Don't judge all by some.
I'm often reminded of the ad that the Episcopal Diocese used to run: "Jesus came to take away your sins, not your mind."

By Anonymous therealrepublican, at 10:18 AM  

Just about every group I consider myself to be a part of no doubt has its share of nut jobs but it seems in my circles those people are pretty marginalized. Those groups on the "other" side seem to have their nut jobs running the show, or at least a pretty sizable portion of it.

By Blogger Jambo, at 11:08 AM  

You may have a point, but you still paint with a pretty broad brush. I guess I have more faith in the faith (most days, anyway).

By Anonymous therealrepublican, at 2:48 PM  

Gotta disagree with you on this one, Jambo. It's a marketing thing. The clubs are encouraging church youth groups to come out and watch some baseball. It's not really any different than giving out bobbleheads or featuring Ham Solo.

I think the church groups are welcomed and announced, but there's no prostelytizing during the game. One of the players typically offers his personal witness to the faithful.

I think it's important to be compromising in public spaces. You can surely organize your evolution night, I just don't think you'll get that many people to show up.

By Blogger Hammer, at 2:59 PM  

Contact the St Paul Saints. They're just crazy enough to have a Darwin night.

I hated that for a while after 9/11, the Twins played that suckwad Lee "I suck" Greenwood suck song during the 7th inning stretch, right after "Take Me Out to the Ball Game". It sucked three different ways. This season they play Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" and run a video montage of Saint Puckett up on the two Jumbotrons. That's a definite improvement.

By Anonymous Jerjo of Flonase, at 8:53 AM  

You know, if the events were just the doing of a bunch of Lutheran church basement ladies giving out lime jello at the games I wouldn’t give them a second thought. But the connection between pro sports and religion isn’t just some marketing tool to cross promote community events. It is an orchestrated campaign by the evangelical right to promote their agenda. And those fuckers scare the shit out of me. These bastards are the gay-bashing misogynistic anti-science theocrats who would love to roll back several hundred years of social progress. I have no problem with “people of faith” (my circle of friends would be cut in half if I did) but I have a huge beef the creeping fundamentalist theocracy in this country.

By Blogger Jambo, at 12:15 PM  

Now we've reached common ground.

By Anonymous therealrepublican, at 2:17 PM  

I still say we should respect without complaint their right to have a night out at the ball park. Just like they should respect without complaint the right of the atheists or GLBT & friends, or anyone else to have a day at the ball park.

Except, of course, the Illinois Nazis.

By Blogger Hammer, at 2:20 PM  

These are the type of people who don't even respect the right of American war dead to be burried in peace. (Yes, I know, Phelps is extreme even for this crowd but I suspect he might have a place in a Roy Moore administration.)

By Blogger Jambo, at 5:15 PM  

Hammer, I agree with your mutual respect idea in theory. However, in practice the way it works out is that we liberals respect the rights of gay-bashing religion-mongers to have a powwow at the ballpark, and in return, they say that gays (or Darwin-supporting athiests before too long, I'm sure) can't have a day at the ballpark. Can you imagine a ballpark having a "Bring your gay friend to the park day"? These right-wing fringe groups thrive becuase they are exclusionary and discriminatory.

So I'm not sure what the solution is. Mutual respect doesn't work when one side is premised on the theme of hating, and therefore disrespecting, the other side.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:29 PM  

I respect the freedom to wear your religion (or lack of religion) on your sleeve in the public square; not the small-minded bigotry that has come to be most associated with James Dobson and his ilk.

By Blogger Hammer, at 7:54 PM  

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