Merica’s gods: Football, Athletes, & Idolatry

I’ve spent the last several months thinking about the utter waste in our nation. We waste resources, education, and effort on a wealth of idolatrous pursuits that are at the epicenter of American culture. It makes me sad. It is deeply sinful. And one of the saddest parts about it is that the American church has done or is doing very little to call it’s people to repentance. Shame on us.

I was reading an article this morning about the new football stadium in Allen, TX. The pricetag for this new pigskin palace? $60 million. Oh, and did I mention that it’s a high school stadium? The same school laid off 44 teachers last year. Wha…..?

We all know Texas loves their football, but lest we forget about the plank in our own eyes, so does pretty much everywhere else in this country. And if it’s not football it’s something else; basketball, baseball, soccer, this list could get really long if I kept going.

We idolize sports. American arenas are the modern version of their Greco-Roman counterparts, places where athletes competed in violent rites of competition. The spirit of competition is a large part of the problem. We don’t know how to compete without making an idol out of it. We don’t know how to recognize the incredible athleticism of someone without trying to promote them above who and what they are. We don’t know how to watch without worshipping. Any time we attribute more value to something than it actually deserves we have turned it into an idol. Shame on us.

This latest monument to idolatry in Allen, TX is only one small part of a much larger issue. Those of us who call ourselves Christians need to openly repent, and then we need to ask God to help us change our behavior. We can start by detaching some of the passion we have for sports and redirecting in a way that brings God glory. There’s nothing inherently sinful in turning on our TV and watching our favorite team, but there is something deeply sinful going on when we become overly passionate about it.

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More posts in this series:

Etiquette, Etican, Etican’t

Football, Athletes, and Idolatry

Mirrors, Models, and Muscles

Education

Sex

Culture Wars

Religious Tradition and Dissidence

Intolerance

Greed & Consumerism

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