Monday, October 31, 2011

A Seperation of Church and Sport

Editorial Viewpoint
by Jack Rosenberg

I received a complaint email expressing concern over a Facebook post yesterday (10/30/12) which referenced Tim Tebow and religion. I want to bring this out into the open and present my point of view.

This is the email referencing our Facebook post; we’ll leave the name anonymous.

 “I generally follow you guys on Facebook.  I admit I am a massive Lions fan and I think Tebow is a terrible QB, but a stupid religious pun isn't funny.  The quote I am referring to is In Play! Magazine “26.2 QB Rating HAHAHAHAH OMG..No pun intended!” Very funny guys.  Since you are a sports magazine I expect you to talk about someones athletic ability not their religious affiliation.  Philip Rivers is a Christian as well.  Are you going to start commenting on that?  What about Kitna?  What about Muslim athletes?  Grow up.”

First, let me say I appreciate the reader’s feedback and encourage the interaction.

But let me say this, it is Tebow that has placed religion front and center, almost ahead of football itself matter of fact. This started back in his college days by wearing religious slogans and references on his eye black. He in fact was so blatant that the NCAA was forced to create the “Tim Tebow Rule” banning the practice to help put a stop to the unwanted distractions.

Tebow brought religion into football, not us, and by doing so he is fair game for all the praise and the criticism that comes with it.

To take advantage of the mass media and force his beliefs on fans trying to watch the game that did not ask for these distractions is improper. Let me say the In Play! Facebook page is an opt–in media, our views and opinions are not forced on our fans and they are also free to express their own opinions just like the reader above.

And when I’m talking about religion, I’m talking about all religion!

Let’s use Wicca for example. Should the general public be forced to watch athletes perform Pagan rituals in the end zone, in the batter’s box, after a goal or after every slam dunk? Should players be allowed to wear pentagrams on their helmets and should we be forced to listen to post game interviews thanking gods we’ve never heard of?  

The answer in my opinion is no, we shouldn’t be exposed to any religious references when it comes to sports. Because ultimately as with all religions, everybody else is wrong, depending on which sect you belong to.

In the Christian’s eyes, the Rastafarian is wrong, in the Buddhist’s eyes the Christian is wrong, in the Muslim’s eyes the Jew is wrong, and in the atheist’s eyes…everybody’s wrong!

In my opinion, religion has no business in sports period, for this exact reason. The field is a place to decide a contest between organizations and to decide which one is the better team on that particular day.
For this reason sports organizations should consider a clear separation between church and sport.

Next time you score a touchdown, score a goal, rain down three’s or hit a home run...try thanking mom and dad, your big brother/sister or probably your coach instead, because they’re the real miracle.

The views and opinions expressed are those of Jack Rosenberg and not necessarily those of In Play! Magazine or its advertisers.


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