Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....


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Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby Flumpy » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:47 pm

.......when they win and yet don't hold him accountable when they lose.

As you know we don't 'do God' in the UK. I doubt there is a more secular country in the world and yet this ridiculous thanks is slowly creeping into the national team (From the black team members obvs). It is of course something that is almost taken for granted in the US.

It makes me want to scream at them 'Take the bloody credit for yourself. God didn't do 300 stomach crunches!!!'.

I particularly hate all the tweets I've seen over the past week from people who haven't been selected along the lines of 'God is good. He has a plan for me'. Yeah, and his plan was that you're a loser who isn't going to the Olympics. You should be furious with him!!! :x
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby slowjo » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:13 pm

Hear hear!

I have never heard a Canadian athlete say it in an interview although I am sure we have a few Christians on the team.

As an atheist I can not relate at all to their sentiments but beyond that how rational is it to think that a god gives a hoot about a LJ compeition? Or a 100m sprint? And even if IT does care why would it pick special YOU over all the other devout Christians in the race?

There was not a single interview with American sprinters etc. in which someone or all of the medallist said it was God's plan....so sick of it. :roll: :roll:
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby TN1965 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:20 pm

I once had the same question and asked my Christian friends.

When I said, "God wouldn't care who wins athletic competitions," they said that's not what most athletes mean. They are thanking God for having the natural talent they are born with, and for the opportunity to develop that talent, and for the opportunity to compete and exhibit their talent, and so forth.

If that's the case, I don't find it troubling. For the same reason, I don't find it troubling when musicians or actors/actresses thank God in receiving their Grammy or Oscar.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby JRM » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:24 pm

But why thank God? Why not thank their parents, their grandparents, their neighbors, or even (God forbid) themselves?
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby BisonHurdler » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:30 pm

I understand what TN1965 is saying, but when athletes say things like "I just put the race in God's hands, and knew that if it was his will for me to win, I would find a way" I really do kind of worry.

Physicians often run into a similar phenomenon. When the surgeon successfully performs a difficult procedure and saves a patient's life, family members are quick to "praise God" (I've heard people praise God for guiding the surgeon's hands during a whipple, which is a rather lengthy surgical case . . . in this instance, isn't it a bit irresponsible for a supposed "God" to spend 5-6 hours scrubbed into surgery when his efforts are required all over the world during that time?). When a patient has a bad surgical outcome, it is the surgeon's fault, and the idea of a lawsuit is entertained.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby mump boy » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:33 pm

ALL OF THIS X 10000000000000000000000000000000
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby JRM » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:39 pm

BisonHurdler wrote:When a patient has a bad surgical outcome, it is the surgeon's fault, and the idea of a lawsuit is entertained.


Exactly. I'll bet God has some pretty deep pockets!...
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby TN1965 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:42 pm

JRM wrote:But why thank God? Why not thank their parents, their grandparents, their neighbors, or even (God forbid) themselves?


I personally agree with this. But that's not how "religious" people think. For them having good parents, grandparents or neighbors is God's blessing. So if their parents helped them develop their talent, they thank God for giving them such caring parents.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby BisonHurdler » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:44 pm

TN1965 wrote:
JRM wrote:But why thank God? Why not thank their parents, their grandparents, their neighbors, or even (God forbid) themselves?


I personally agree with this. But that's not how "religious" people think. For them having good parents, grandparents or neighbors is God's blessing. So if their parents helped them develop their talent, they thank God for giving them such caring parents.


Should people with abusive parents similarly condemn and hate God for giving them such terrible parents?
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby TN1965 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:52 pm

BisonHurdler wrote:Should people with abusive parents similarly condemn and hate God for giving them such terrible parents?


No. If you had abusive parents, that means God is trying to make you a stronger person by giving you an obstacle to overcome. And this is true about other adversities (including defeat in athletic competitions! :wink: )
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby BisonHurdler » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:57 pm

TN1965 wrote:
BisonHurdler wrote:Should people with abusive parents similarly condemn and hate God for giving them such terrible parents?


No. If you had abusive parents, that means God is trying to make you a stronger person by giving you an obstacle to overcome. And this is true about other adversities (including defeat in athletic competitions! :wink: )


See, this is exactly the awful, rationalizing reasoning that truly does scare me. It is absurdly "convenient" that whenever a good thing happens, it is because God made it happen, while whenever a bad thing happens, it's just God's way of "testing" someone.

Try explaining to a child sexually abused by a parent that it's simply God's way of "testing" them. How perverse. It somehow spins the "God" thing to ensure that his image is always "positive."

At least the guys who wrote the Old Testament were sensible enough to write the "God" character as capable of being an asshole from time to time.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby kuha » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:03 pm

That sort of thinking is the conceptual equivalent of "heads I win, tails you lose." In pretending to explain everything, it does nothing at all.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby TN1965 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:11 pm

BisonHurdler wrote:At least the guys who wrote the Old Testament were sensible enough to write the "God" character as capable of being an asshole from time to time.


The guys who wroe the Old Testament? You mean, the Bible was written by human? :wink:
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby BisonHurdler » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:12 pm

TN1965 wrote:
BisonHurdler wrote:At least the guys who wrote the Old Testament were sensible enough to write the "God" character as capable of being an asshole from time to time.


The guys who wroe the Old Testament? You mean, the Bible was written by human? :wink:


Correct.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby Flumpy » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:20 pm

BisonHurdler wrote:Try explaining to a child sexually abused by a parent that it's simply God's way of "testing" them. How perverse. It somehow spins the "God" thing to ensure that his image is always "positive."


But then this is the same guy who got his own son murdered to make some nonsensical point.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby Pego » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:23 pm

Bison Hurdler wrote: When the surgeon successfully performs a difficult procedure and saves a patient's life, family members are quick to "praise God".... When a patient has a bad surgical outcome, it is the surgeon's fault, and the idea of a lawsuit is entertained.


Interestingly, this is a fairly recent reversal of the past few decades. When I was a young physician, the opposite was the case. When the patient died, it was God's will, when he pulled through, the doctors received the praise.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby BisonHurdler » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:24 pm

Pego wrote:
Bison Hurdler wrote: When the surgeon successfully performs a difficult procedure and saves a patient's life, family members are quick to "praise God".... When a patient has a bad surgical outcome, it is the surgeon's fault, and the idea of a lawsuit is entertained.


Interestingly, this is a fairly recent reversal of the past few decades. When I was a young physician, the opposite was the case. When the patient died, it was God's will, when he pulled through, the doctors received the praise.


Very interesting, indeed. I was unaware this used to be the case.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby TN1965 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:26 pm

Joking aside, ancient religions were born at the time when so many things seemd beyond human control. If you cannot avoid myriads of adversities, how should you face them? Should you feel bitter, angry or sad about your misfortune? Or should you seek peace of mind, thinking there must be some positive meaning behind the adversities?

Of course, some of those "adversities" were human made, and even others had some possible solutions through human efforts. But those solutions took centuries to be realized, and in the meantime generations after generations died without seeing their fruition. Yes, we have more things under human control today, but that has not eliminated many other adversities.

If it gives them peace of mind to think that God is testing their strength through adversities, what's wrong with that?
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby TN1965 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:31 pm

BisonHurdler wrote: When the surgeon successfully performs a difficult procedure and saves a patient's life, family members are quick to "praise God"... When a patient has a bad surgical outcome, it is the surgeon's fault, and the idea of a lawsuit is entertained.


If you are truly religious, shouldn't you praise God when your family member is saved, and accept it as God's will when the outcome is negative? At least one is consistent that way...
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby Vault-emort » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:42 pm

I hate it too.

I always blamed Flo-Jo or Gail Devers for starting this trend.

Who were the first athletes that you remember doing it?
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby trevorp » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:50 pm

This has been bugging me recently too. To these English ears, these proclamations sound so stylised, formulaic and trite that one questions their sincerity and wonders if there isn't an element of 'fashion' about it. I almost (for the briefest of moments) began to warm towards Gatlin at the trials as he seemed to be the only interviewee who didn't do this. That's a measure of how much it grated.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby JRM » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:57 pm

While we're at it (while it lasts...), why is there the emphasis of political folk on proclaiming "God Bless the United States of America"? (a secular nation, by inception).
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby TN1965 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:22 pm

A secular nation by inception? That interpretation is challenged by many people, and poilitical folks cannot ignore them (even if they don't agree). Yes, it may offend some voters, but not as many as the ones who are offended in the other direction.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby TrakFan » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:25 pm

The question I have is why does an individual's actions concerning themselves and something that's personal to them bother some of you so much? Personally, I don't feel I'm being bombarded with another's belief when they express themselves by thanking thank their God, dog, cat, sheep etc. Similarly, I don't feel anyone's lifestyle is being forced upon me when they have gay parades, when individual's express their desire to marry the same sex, when two guys walk hand in hand and kiss outside of my kid's elementary school, etc. I don't "hate it" It doesn't "bug me" It doesn't make me "want to scream" -- unlike some who used such language to describe how they feel about a Christian expressing their beliefs. Live and let live...
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:33 pm

One thing I really dislike is this over-the-top reverence to the song God bless America. It is just a damn Irving Berlin song. Let us stand up every time White Christmas is sung....
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby Marlow » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:02 pm

Unless you are deeply religious, you won't EVER understand why people thank God - or why Tebow does what he does. Both seem to REALLY annoy some people and I wonder WHY. How are they impinging upon your freedoms or prusuit of happiness. Not - at - all. I would never do it, but I certainly have no problem with people who do.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby TrakFan » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:49 pm

The responses in red are the various views from individuals in this thread concerning their feelings towards those who express their religous beliefs. I simply added a different topic in front of each comment. I attempted to hit the typical, intolerant areas of race, sexuality, and gender.

Interracial couples: “I’m so sick of it”

Acceptance of gay lifestyles: “this ridiculous thought is slowly creeping into the national team”

Women are just as capable as men: ”See, this is exactly the awful, rationalizing reasoning that truly does scare me.”
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby BisonHurdler » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:53 pm

TrakFan wrote:The responses in red are the various views from individuals in this thread concerning their feelings towards those who express their religous beliefs. I simply added a different topic in front of each comment. I attempted to hit the typical, intolerant areas of race, sexuality, and gender.

Interracial couples: “I’m so sick of it”

Acceptance of gay lifestyles: “this ridiculous thought is slowly creeping into the national team”

Women are just as capable as men: ”See, this is exactly the awful, rationalizing reasoning that truly does scare me.”


This post is so bizarrely non sequitur and intentionally disingenuous that it doesn't merit a direct response.
Last edited by BisonHurdler on Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby j-a-m » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:56 pm

TN1965 wrote: They are thanking God for having the natural talent they are born with, and for the opportunity to develop that talent, and for the opportunity to compete and exhibit their talent, and so forth.

This makes sense.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby Pelpa » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:09 pm

Many athletes thank God because many athletes are Christian believers.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby BisonHurdler » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:12 pm

Pelpa wrote:Many athletes thank God because many athletes are Christian believers.


Do they also blame him for their downfalls? And if so, why not?
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby TrakFan » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:14 pm

BisonHurdler wrote:This post is so bizarrely non sequitur and intentionally disingenuous that it doesn't merit a direct response.


Sure. However, similar intolerant statements such as the one you made towards those who express their religious beliefs are routinely uttered by individuals when discussing other topics.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby Vault-emort » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:22 pm

I just find it a cliche these days - as if their agent has told them 'remember to thank your sponsors and God'..

I find it like beauty queens wishing for 'world peace' - yawn..
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby BisonHurdler » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:25 pm

TrakFan wrote:
BisonHurdler wrote:This post is so bizarrely non sequitur and intentionally disingenuous that it doesn't merit a direct response.


Sure. However, similar intolerant statements such as the one you made towards those who express their religious beliefs are routinely uttered by individuals when discussing other topics.


Whoa whoa whoa whoa. Slow down here, no one is saying they are against religious people having the right to speak out about their religion. If that is how you've misconstrued this conversation, you need to go back and really read this thread.

People are talking about how athletes (and people in general) are always so quick to give praise to their God for their own accomplishments, yet look the other way and rationalize negative experiences as "oh, well God probably meant to do that to me too."

The ironic part about your previous post is that with regard to the views you mentioned about race/sex/sexuality, all have "improved" following education and cultural enlightenment (for lack of a better term) . . . and this education and cultural enlightenment is exactly what is leading young people to realize that religion is indeed much more likely to be a construct of man rather than a collection of dictums handed down from some divine being.

In other words, it seems the point of your post was to say "you people that are against religious freedom [which we have already established is not a correct characterization at all] will see, you'll eventually realize just how bigoted you sounded just like people in these examples!" . . . and yet, you were actually helping elucidate the notion that one day we will look back at our current religions and view them with the same amusement we currently apply to Roman and Greek mythology.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby Pelpa » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:30 pm

BisonHurdler wrote:
Pelpa wrote:Many athletes thank God because many athletes are Christian believers.


Do they also blame him for their downfalls? And if so, why not?


No you accept the burden he gives you to bear..
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby TrakFan » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:06 pm

BisonHurdler wrote:In other words, it seems the point of your post was to say "you people that are against religious freedom [which we have already established is not a correct characterization at all] will see, you'll eventually realize just how bigoted you sounded just like people in these examples!" . . . and yet, you were actually helping elucidate the notion that one day we will look back at our current religions and view them with the same amusement we currently apply to Roman and Greek mythology.


The point I was making, and what others have validated in this this thread is that it's somewhat "okay" or accepted to make intolerant statements when discussing religion. I never mentioned or insinuated that anyone was against religious freedom. I simply hilighted intolerant statements. Can this acceptance of intolerant statements be attributed to the MULTITUDE of intolerant beliefs and statements that have been expressed by "religious" individuals over the years? Of course! It's still wrong... Thanking their God publicly is something that many Christians do, and I don't begrudge them for that. It's simply a way for them to express their feelings; and one poster (slowjo) felt comfortable saying she was "sick of it." Although it's free speech weekday, I don't think it would be as accepted for a well-known poster to say they were "sick of" homosexuals openly expressing their feelings by holding the hand of their significant other -- even if they're accepting of their sexuality.

Disclaimer: I'm confident slowjo has zero disdain towards the individuals who make those statements.
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Re: Why Do So Many Athletes Thank God.....

Postby Friar » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:59 pm

you won't EVER understand why people thank God

Because it's strictly a one-way street. You can join a person in thanking God for the health of their baby. But you certainly can't (eg.) reproach God for the death of an infant. Why one not the other: it isn't a path toward rational living.

If you work for a good hospital you don't have personnel speaking in these terms with the patients. They understand that the only thing that matters in a medical atmosphere is science and humanity (plus some optimism). Leave God out of it.
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