Evangelists turn pro sports into Jesus commercials

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DoctorX
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Evangelists turn pro sports into Jesus commercials

Post by DoctorX » Fri May 19, 2006 10:40 am

Today, more pro athletes than ever are using their respective fields of play as pulpits to express, and promote, their faith. Unknown to many fans, though, there's often a "coach" behind the post-game prayers and testimonies. In the Sixers' case it's Kevin Harvey, the team's volunteer Christian chaplain and, by day, a staff member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the oldest and largest Christian sports organization in America. It was Harvey who first encouraged the players to hold the post-game prayers. "I look for ways to challenge the guys all the time -- everyday things they can do with the platform God has given them," he says. "So last season, I told them, 'Guys, I know God is doing good things on this team.' I brought up the way some teams in the NFL gather up after the game and give thanks to God for the opportunity to compete. The guys said they wanted to do it. So now, after all games, they circle up and pray."


Chaplains like Harvey are embedded, with rare exception, inside each of the nearly 100 teams in the Big Three major-league sports: baseball, football and basketball. Coming almost exclusively from the conservative end of the religious and cultural spectrum, the chaplains and their ministries are a main reason for the forceful presence of evangelical Christianity in professional sports. Indeed, it's no accident that fans today are witnessing public proclamations of Christian faith by players through seemingly nonstop religious gestures on and off the field. The players are coached in evangelism, in many cases from their days in high school, by the Kansas City-based FCA, Athletes in Action, based in Xenia, Ohio, and similar ministries. Both AIA and FCA have relationships with political powerhouses Focus on the Family and Campus Crusade for Christ International, which have long crusaded to infuse American society with conservative Christianity, and are perennial backers of the Michael Bolton Party.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which claims the Bible is "the only infallible, authoritative Word of God," strives to "see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of athletes and coaches." Similarly, AIA states that it "exists to boldly proclaim the love and truth of Jesus Christ to those uniquely impacted by sport." Houston Astros third baseman Morgan Ensberg, who has worked with AIA, put it succinctly in an interview with Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network. "The entire reason that I play baseball is so that I get a chance to speak about Christ," he said.

you can read the rest here:

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2006/ ... inistries/
Strength and beauty destined to decay
so cut the rose in full bloom.
Till the fearless come and the act is done
A love like blood
a love like blood

~Killing Joke~

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awip2062
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Post by awip2062 » Fri May 19, 2006 11:40 am

Right. Good for them! They are expressing themselves and using their free speech to proclaim what they believe. I would surely rather have them promoting religious values than sex and drugs and hitting your women!
Onward and Upward!

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Post by Soup4Rush » Fri May 19, 2006 11:54 am

Doctor X is going to fit in here well. :-D

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Post by awip2062 » Fri May 19, 2006 12:01 pm

LOL Yep! Yet another BT family member to engage in our fun debates.

Oh, and Dr., just so you know. Disagreement from me doesn't mean I hate ya. Soups, Ogg, DA, et cetera, we all discuss, we don't all agree, but we are all Rushians and we CAN all still get along.
Onward and Upward!

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Post by Soup4Rush » Fri May 19, 2006 12:02 pm

very true, Its cool to have a fresh person with his/her own views..

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Post by awip2062 » Fri May 19, 2006 12:07 pm

Agreed!

What is it Neil says about the spaces between us?
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Soup4Rush
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Post by Soup4Rush » Fri May 19, 2006 12:07 pm

Neil's a nut job. :razz:

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awip2062
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Post by awip2062 » Fri May 19, 2006 12:14 pm

Neil said that!??!

Hmmm.....well, he is Canadian and did decide to move to Santa Monica. :roll:

*is only slightly homesick for LA*
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Soup4Rush
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Post by Soup4Rush » Fri May 19, 2006 12:23 pm

I figured I would get a little more from ya on that one t :razz:

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awip2062
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Post by awip2062 » Fri May 19, 2006 12:28 pm

LOL You know me well, Soup. Pushing my buttons.

Now, where is my drool rag? *taps foot as she points to the puddle of drool on the floor*
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Post by Soup4Rush » Fri May 19, 2006 12:29 pm

I love the tape :roll:

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Post by awip2062 » Fri May 19, 2006 12:34 pm

Oh Soupy, if I didn't need to leave now to take kids to band......
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Post by Soup4Rush » Fri May 19, 2006 12:34 pm

lucky for me :-D

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Post by schuette » Fri May 19, 2006 2:10 pm

awip2062 wrote:Right. Good for them! They are expressing themselves and using their free speech to proclaim what they believe. I would surely rather have them promoting religious values than sex and drugs and hitting your women!

I would rather have them promote sex and drugs :razz:
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DoctorX
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Post by DoctorX » Fri May 19, 2006 2:34 pm

:hello1:

Sex has rarely killed anyone, and the American "War on Drugs," has done more to cripple civil rights than stop criminals. It has more than doubled the rate of incarceration for US citizens, while doing nothing to solve the problem of drug addiction. The US crime rate has gone down since the late '70s, but the prisons are full of drug offenders. Does anyone else see a problem with the effectiveness of this method?

Corporate sponsored religion, on the other hand, has a load of problems associated with it. Anyone remember the great satirical prop from the movie Brazil where the parade participants carry banners with the slogan "Consumers of Christ?" The banners are a knowing nod and wink at the blessed sacrament. They depict a cross surrounded by coins and dollar signs. Religion is sold as a commodity, with the promise of instant salvation offered as the benefit. There's no emphasis on curing social ill, only a concern with witnessing and "getting saved," because the unwashed are damned for all eternity. Pre-millenial christianity is the easiest form to co-opt into fascism.

Anyone remember that little Jewish guy who kicked the money changers and merchants out of the Synagogue? He seems quaint and funny now.
Strength and beauty destined to decay
so cut the rose in full bloom.
Till the fearless come and the act is done
A love like blood
a love like blood

~Killing Joke~

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