Friday, December 02, 2005

The Theological Opinions of Sports Talk Show Hosts

I was listening to ESPN's Colin Cowherd on the radio a couple of days ago when the host started ripping Michael Irvin (late of the Dallas Cowboys) for bringing up Christianity and the problem of generational curses in his discussion of the recent controversy in which he was found with a crack pipe in his car.

Cowherd started in an interesting way. He said that God is not a prop and the Bible should not be used to deflect blame or criticism. Good stuff. Couldn't agree more.

The slip started to show a little bit as he then proclaimed that if a fellow wants to talk about the Bible, he had better be living it. Don't sin and talk about the Bible. Whoops. Colin, I think you missed your Sunday school class on that one. In fact, you may have missed the whole point. I don't know if Irvin is sincere about being a Christian, but the cup is for sinners, Laddie.

It got worse as Colin apparently got nervous and began to assure listeners he's not very religious (ya kidding bro, I never would have guessed it). Perhaps emboldened by having delivered that disclaimer, the good Cowherd (as opposed to the good Shepherd) provided his own carefully crafted theological opinion clearly informed by a lot of thought. "Religion is like a stream that runs through everything and we can just dip a ladle in and get some refreshment whenever we need it." This was an odd statement to make after he ripped Irvin and other athletes for bringing up religion whenever they are in trouble. No, that doesn't sound anything like dipping in a ladle as needed.

I remember years back reading a GQ article where a reporter ditched a college athletic ceremony because he didn't want to listen to the theological opinions of athletes. Maybe the shoe should be on the other foot and we should just let the athletes keep giving glory to God and have the sports reporters just stick to sports.

6 comments:

Matt Huisman said...

I recently saw a book at our church bookstore titled, "No Perfect People Allowed". It would be nice if people on both sides of the discussion would take a moment to consider the significance of that statement.

Kathy Hutchins said...

Going to ESPN sports announcers for theology makes about as much sense as going to Cardinal McCarrick for the point spread on next Sunday's Skins game.

James Elliott said...

Anyone who plays or roots for the Cowboys is damned for eternity, so why smoke some dope? Eh? Who's with me?

Hunter Baker said...

You might be right about that one, James.

Jay D. Homnick said...

Two comments occur.

1) This reminds me of my old philosophy professor, who used to say: "You're only a hypocrite if you say something is your ideal when it isn't. You're not a hypocrite if you say that something is your ideal but you are not yet fully successful in living up to it."

As long as you're making some kind of effort to live up to them, I think that expressing your religious beliefs is fair. Certainly someone can argue the importance of the rule of law in America even if he went through a red light that day.

However, there is a Jewish concept explained by Rabbi Jonah of Gerona (1200-1264), that if one knows himself to be deficient in a particular area, he should not chastise the shortcomings of others in that area.

2) The idea of dipping into religion with a "ladle" for "refreshment" when necessary sounds suspiciously like that pernicious brand of American corruption of religion. Namely, the idea that God serves you rather than the other way round.

Papa Jack said...

Jay,

I'm just catching up on posts, so this comment is a little late in coming -- you may not even see it.

Enjoy your posts. Had to add that the concept explained by Rabbi Jonah reminded me of an earlier concept, explained by Rabbi Jesus in Matthew 7:3-5.

Best wishes!