Just how Super is the Super Bowl really? Is God out there rooting for one team or another? Or is God within all players - prompting each to do his personal best?
According to a recent Public Religion Research Institute survey, "nearly two-thirds of Americans say they are very (44%) or somewhat (22%) likely to watch the [Super Bowl] game this year." This same survey indicated that a majority of Americans (53%) "believe that God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success," and that three-in-ten Americans "believe that God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event." As for players Tebowing on the field? Over ten times the amount of Americans surveyed approved "of athletes expressing their faith publicly by thanking God during or after a sporting event" than disapproved.
Although Americans talk (as well as play) a good game - when it comes to walking that talk, congruity sometimes fails. Although many of those surveyed claimed that "religion is significantly more important in their lives than their fan affiliation" - 17% stated "that they are more likely to be watching football" on Sundays than they are to be attending church.
Now one can make the argument (and many do) that attending church is not necessarily the same thing as
being a person of faith. After all - if life itself is a game (as some theorists contend), then why not just kick back and worship at football's altar?
So there you have it. Just some sobering thoughts to ponder between that third and fourth Super Bowl beer…
Copyright February 1, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved