Saturday, September 6, 2008

If God's On Our Side

I have been reborn. Previously I denied that God could be interested in football.
"And, seriously," I wrote, "if God were interested in football, why would it be played on the Sabbath (Friday night and Saturday for you Jewish, high school and college fans or Sunday for the Christian, NFL fans?"
Since then I have had a revelation; it is precisely the fact that God created Football on the Sabbath that gives me faith that he is a fan. When a player “takes it to the house” it is God’s house. This is why we should worship at the stadiums and in front of our TVs instead of in Churches and synagogues.
Ohio is full of religious zealots. High school football may not be as big here as it is in Texas, but it is followed with holy devotion. We get to see 16-year-old kids interviewed on the news, developing their big time cliché skills (“we just went out and played our own game” “I give all thanks to God” “when one guy has a bad game, someone else steps up”). I’m not so much a high school fan though, I follow the college denomination. As I reported last year, I am a convert to Temple B'Chai (usually transliterated as “Buckeye”). Now I have a crisis of faith as Beanie Wells, the star running back, sits on the sideline with an injured toe. It is not so critical this week as it will be next week when The Ohio State University plays against USC in Los Angeles. What is God trying to say? Will Beanie be miraculously healed before next Saturday? Or does God actually support our enemies, the radical, fundamental Trojans?
This is a similar conundrum to that faced by those who believe we are on a mission from God in Iraq. When the enemy has success there, don’t the radicals run down the field pointing their finger heavenward, thanking God (by any other name, still the same) just like we do?
Whose side is God on? That question was best posed by the poet, Robert Zimmerman.

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