I doubt that's what Maradona had in mind

When I read things like this, I’m reminded why I am neither a sports fan nor a Christian commentator:
Many would call Christians divisive and even dangerous to the world's well-being, but let me illustrate that falsity of that notion. You've got two teams on the football field, fighting it out. There is physical and mental conflict being waged, division if you will. Would anyone argue that these teams should stop, line up on one side of the ball, and together forge ahead toward the end zone unabated? How ridiculous. That's not the purpose of sports, because that does not resolve the conflict.

There is a very real spiritual battle taking place, and Christians should not seek unity with the enemy. We should seek to bring those on the enemy's side to our side, which through God's ineffable grace is possible. But never should we abandon our convictions for the sake of a disingenuous peace. Not even if we like the same team.

Do I really need to comment on the fact that the world isn’t a football game, and it need not operate on the assumption that it is good and just for there to be winners and losers? Must I actually point out that when one team wins a soccer match, they may bruise the egos of their opponents, but they don’t actually oppress them or destroy their communities? Surely we can all see that at the end of the day it might be great to win that baseball game, but to do so at the expense of the other team’s humanity hurts us all—even the winners?

annamaria at 9:12 AM

6 spoke


at Sunday, January 08, 2006 12:38:00 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite honestly, I do not hold any form of religion as I am agnostic. And to any of those that think I am a very evil, cold, godless heathin, go bite me. I actually have studied a great deal of theology, learning all of the different forms of religion to gain an idea of what our history holds in itself. I am honestly tired of hearing about these great deeds that christains do now, and damn those "sinners" of the past. Oh how so many have quickly forgotten the crusades in which the "football teams" clashed against eachother. I would like to note that in this "conflict being waged" there were many of thousands being killed, most of which in gods name just after raping them, then killing merclessly. Christains past are not as clean as the like to say they are. On that note, I would like to add that there are many who should shutup and learn the truth before they speak. Have a nice day! =)

at Tuesday, January 10, 2006 10:51:00 PM Blogger Kurt said...

you did it again....I have been so busy at work that I haven't had much chance to read any posts. And then there is this!
First of all, let me say that the editorial column you linked us to did have a bit of concillatory tone to it, the damage has been done way ahead of it by other shrill voices. Let's take a paragraph from his piece and change one phrase -
The world is replace with Right-wing Christians are fond of the unity ideal, but unfortunately, it's an ideal that when manifested forces all competing worldviews to capitulate to its tyranny. Those who resist are vilified as intolerant and divisive. This is completely illogical of course, but then logic can be rather exclusionary, so it must be tossed as well.
See, while I agree there are definitely forces for good and evil at work in the world, too often the lines are blurred when humans attempt to impose our standards or ideals on God. The result is that individuals get villified instead of behaviors and those who believe themselves on the good side elevate their status over those who disagree with them, at least in terms of "worthiness."
The God I believe in doesn't see any of us as more worthy than another of having relationship with Him/Her. I mean, seriously, what can I do that could possibly make me even slightly more important to that which created and is creating everything known and not known (possibly through evolution)?

at Wednesday, January 11, 2006 7:59:00 AM Blogger annamaria said...

I did what again?? :)

Believe it or not, I completely and totally agree with your last paragraph--if god exists, and indeed created, as you put it, "everything known and unknown," how can any one of us be more worthy of his love? And this is the major problem I have with right-wing and fundamentalist Christians--the belief that god is waiting for us to fuck up so that he can punish us. It's as if they view their god as the ultimate daddy figure, ready to cast out his children should they fail to live up to (what they believe are) his exacting standards. This is probably why you have people like Randall Terry who can throw his son out of his home and life simply because he is gay.

I don't have a problem with the idea of the forces of good prevailing over the forces of evil. My problem with the editorial is that I doubt I agree with the author about what constitutes evil. Everytime I read "enemy" or "other team" I replaced it with "Muslims" or "homosexuals" or "feminists." And I think there is a great opportunity for unity amongst mainstream Christians and these groups, but I think that is precisely the kind of unity that the author was opposing.

That's why I object to the lame sports analogy--he's created a zero-sum game wherein for right-wing, fundamentalist Christians to prevail, they must oppress and destroy their "enemies." This thinking has nothing to do with the teachings of Christ as I learned them as a wee little girl, and I can't imagine that most mainstream Christians would appreciate the notion that their ticket to heaven is won through the oppression of others.

at Wednesday, January 11, 2006 8:08:00 AM Blogger annamaria said...

Oh, and Kurt, I thought you would appreciate this article about Jimmy Carter--at least if you, like me, appreciate reading the insane rantings of young commentators who believe that people like Carter are ruining their religion because he doesn't hate "the gays." :)

at Thursday, January 12, 2006 10:50:00 PM Blogger paul asjes said...

i feel like "agape" should read these verses from their bible.

He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly & to love mercy & to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds [the football analogy, just 2 sides, good v. evil] and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart. -Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn

it is easier for this writer to focus on the "evil" in others then it is to look at his own self righteous and judging heart.

i like your posts. they are very thougth provoking.


ps. i literally have blood on my teeth right now due to oral surgury and a bleeding mouth.

at Friday, January 13, 2006 11:26:00 AM Blogger annamaria said...

What I love most about Agape Press is that agape is actually the ancient Greek word for love of everyone. It was used by Plato to differentiate between romantic love (eros) and a universal love of humanity. It was only C.S. Lewis who maintained that agape (which some now define as the love God has for humankind) was a uniquely Christian virture. Certainly the kind of condemnation of non-Christians (which far too many right-wing Christians practice) can't be considered evidence of a universal love.

Sorry to hear about the oral surgery; no fun at all. I was luckier than I deserved to be when I had my wisdom teeth extracted and was eating solid foods the next day. I'm sure I intercepted someone else's karma on that one!


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