Results tagged ‘ Religion ’

The Filibuster

When the Catholic church complained about teams playing/opening their
season on Good Friday, you guys were all over it – “reminding” us all
of the separation of Church and State. So, will we also get a public
reminder of that over the New York Congressman writing to Uncle Bud
complaining about ESPN’s decision to move the Red Sox-Yankees game to
8pm on September 27th and the fact that it started after sundown on Yom
Kippur. MLB & ESPN caved and the game will be played at 1pm and
shown only on ESPN. Is one religious holiday more “holy” then another?
Where is the public outcry? Inquiring minds want to know your opinion.

Julia
Julia’s Rants
Massachusetts
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church and state.jpgDespite what they may tell you in church, or temple or mosque or whatever… the founding fathers of our great US American nation had a pretty good sense of how detrimental, confusing and manipulative the institution of the Church could be to the sanctity of the State.  Of course, these men were no angels, but they did know enough to make it clear that the two entities should never intersect — one shouldn’t influence the other.

Unfortunately, even after hundreds of years, those pesky little zealots continue to infiltrate where they shouldn’t.  They meddle in my schools.  They lobby in my government.  And now they are sticking their hypocritical hands into my national pastime

And I don’t like it.

You see, dear readers, to be frank, I really don’t care if you are religious or not.  If you choose to put all your faith in recycled fairy tales that is most definitely your choice, your right.  I will not judge you because I don’t really care and I don’t claim to know the answer to any of those questions that religion supposedly answers either.  I just know that it isn’t for me.  But when it comes to your life, it’s your life and you should be allowed to live it however you want.

But in return for this congenial act of courtesy, I ask that religious folk kindly extend me the same respect.  Don’t tell me I’m going to hell.  Don’t tell me what I should believe.  Don’t stick your nose in my bedroom.  Don’t blow up my cities.  Don’t tell my kids (speaking for the future) that they have to pray before algebra class.  Stay out of my business and I’ll stay out of yours.

And that includes my game.

Just stay out of it.  If a game is being played during your ‘holy’ day then don’t go to the game.  And don’t complain about it.  What’s so hard about that?  I don’t complain when you want to say a prayer before dinner.  I just let you do it and go about my business.  Because I respect your decisions, your choices, your thoughts.

Doesn’t mean I have to believe them or practice them. 

New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, the one responsible for sparking this childish debate, said:

“Practicing your
religion shouldn’t conflict with rooting for your home team.”

Likewise, Congressman, your religion should not conflict with how I or a baseball team or television network goes about business.  Isn’t religion all about sacrifice?  Then sacrifice the game.  Forget the game.  Go do your thing and keep everyone else out of it.

The Tigers didn’t give in to the Catholics in April.  They made the right choice.

ESPN and MLB shouldn’t have caved in to the Jewish faith on this matter either; because now they’re forcing me to live my life how they want me to live it… and I ain’t down with that. 

King Bud screwed up again.

It’s sorta his m.o.

Hate me ‘cuz I don’t like religion forced down my throat, just don’t hate me ‘cuz — as a baseball fan and as a US American — I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

Good Friday? Try Great!

easter_bunny.jpgIt’s a little strange. Here we are, late Friday afternoon, and despite the Tigers playing their home opener during “holy hours,” the city of Detroit did not burst into flame nor did the world end. It’s almost like, well, maybe the whole thing was a minor incident blown way out of proportion by a vocal minority.

You know what’s even more strange, though? We’re five games into the season and the Tigers have won 40% of those games. I know, I know, it’s not great. But considering the all-but-certain World Series contenders were 0-5 at the same point last year despite opening the season with four games against the Royals, well, you can see why I might be feeling all right. Not only that but Galarraga showed that his decent outings last season were no fluke.

But, this being Good Friday and all, I think a little sacrilege and blasphemy are in order. After all, why else do you keep coming back to RSBS unless it’s to be alternately offended and amazed?

I’ll start with the Pope. Now, he hasn’t had an easy go of it so far but it really doesn’t help when he continuously manages to make GWB look like a model of reservedness and diplomacy. Exhorting the words of early church bigots? Denigrating the one thing that has brought a killer epidemic under control? Is this really how he wants to be remembered? There’s a lot to be said for the rapprochement that John Paul II effected between Catholics and the rest of the religious world but Benedict seems determined to make a hash of it.

Now, I’m not saying that Catholics have some sort of monopoly on ignorance. Lord knows the Protestants, the Jews, the Muslims, the atheists and every other religious (or anti-religious) groups have their fair share of moments, too.

That’s why I think it’s important to bring things full circle to something we can all agree on. And today the thing that we can all get behind is the continued brilliance of Tracy Morgan:

A Little Thursday Afternoon Theology

Christus_Ravenna_Mosaic.jpgIn life there are two topics one should never discuss in polite company: Politics and religion. Well, I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone willing to refer to the blogosphere (god I hate that word) as polite company so it seems kind of odd that this is the first time that RSBS has managed to stray into such contentious territory. Apparently there are quite a few baseball loving Catholics out there.

Now, I don’t think that either Jeff or myself have attempted to hide our obvious political and religious leanings. Even our nonstop chatter during last year’s election season didn’t bring about quite the same amount of vehement commentary as did my friend’s entry yesterday.

But, despite the risk involved with wading back into that fray, I have to say that I think he hit it right on the head. Why should the Tigers not play their home opener on Good Friday at 1:05? As one commenter noted, there’s basketball on Christmas Day and some sort of sporting event pretty much every other day of the year. Why not Good Friday, too?

Here’s how it breaks down. I used to live in New York City and on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, half the city didn’t show up for work. But you know what, they all took personal days. The hundreds of thousands of Muslims who live in this country receive no preferential treatment during Ramadan when they are fasting from sun-up to sun-down. Have you gone 12 hours without eating or drinking while trying to work a full day? For a month? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Why should it matter if the Tigers play their game at noon or 7PM? If you want to go to church, do like the millions of people in this country who aren’t Christian and make that choice and the accompanying sacrifice.

Here’s the theology part of it. The Jesus of the Bible took almost sinful delight in ridiculing the Pharisees and their incredibly strict interpretation of Abrahamic law. At every possible opportunity he poked holes in their ostentatious piety and continuously pointed out that he had come to show a new way to god. It was no longer about rigid doctrine and observance of the law. Instead, Jesus focused on a personal relationship that also prescribed personal choice. It wasn’t about showing up for services. It was about showing who you were in your daily life. The freedom from orthodoxy meant that religion became a personal choice and free will took over from blind observance of laws and traditions.

And that leads us right back to the decision that Tigers fans will have to make in a little over a week. Do they go to Good Friday services or go to the game? For some people, that might be a really tough choice. But you know what, you’re going to have to make that decision for yourself. And that probably also means you’re going to have to make a sacrifice. But when you think about it, that should sound kind of familiar.

-A

I Will Stop Just Short of Saying “All Catholics Are Crazy”

cute nun.jpgJesus was a cool dude.  He talked to anyone and everyone, from hookers to farmers to gladiators to fisherman.  I bet he’d even talk to Cub fans. 

He had long hair.  He had no earthly possessions.  He was nice to everyone.  He was compassionate, well-spoken and he didn’t judge others based on their ideas or actions; he left that up to his daddy.

So after two thousand years I have to ask: where did all those ideals go?

Catholic church, I think it’s about time you get over yourself.

The Tigers’ home opener is on a Good Friday, during holy hours?  This offends you, Catholics?  Whaa whaa whaa!  Cry me a river so I can walk on it and impress my friends with my mad Jesus skillz.  What!?! 

Exactly.

Your hardline is just as insane.

Take it easy on the Tigers, will ya, Catholics.  They’re in terrible shape and the last thing they need right now is a religious scandal scarring their opening day attendance.  Besides, have you taken a look at the empty industrial shell known as the city of Detroit?  Do you think the city or the team actually cares about what offends you and what doesn’t?  The Tigers organization (and I can’t believe I’m defending them here) is a business. Business.  How many other businesses will close during your precious holy hours just because you think they should and you will be offended if they don’t?  Will McDonald’s close its doors?  How about the crack dealers?  Will there be a moratorium on rock sales during the holy hours?  Will you police that if they don’t?  And what about Little Caesars?  Do you think they’ll shut down shop during your holy hours?  No, sir, not while there are $5 pizzas that taste like crap to sell in order to pay off Gary Sheffield’s walking papers to the tune of some 14 million bucks! 

But the story doesn’t end there, does it?  You’re always in a tiff about something.  Whaa whaa whaa, we don’t want Barack Obama, the leader of the free world, to give a commencement day speech at Notre Dame because he supports stem cell research — an effort that only aims to help people, heal people, give people hope.  You don’t want Obama on your campus because he promotes progressive thinking, the freedom to choose, the American dream… and I guess all those awful, terrible ideals just don’t have a place in the rigid backwardness of the Catholic church, do they?

No, not as long as your higher-ups continue to challenge the existence of the Holocaust; not as long as your bishops suggest more Catholics died during the Holocaust than did the Jews; not as long as your elders continue to diddle little boys and get away with it.

Ask yourselves this, Catholics: What would Jesus do?

I’m pretty sure Jesus would say: Play Ball!

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeffy

Cards Must Embrace Occam’s Razor

To be whole, you must be broken.

When the British imprisoned Gandhi, did he give up his string of peaceful protests?  When Judas ratted out Jesus, did J.C. stop spreading the gospel?  When Hillary blasted Obama for being associated with a hifalutin crazy-talkin’ preacher, did he cede the race, kill the birth of hope politics or spit on the dreams of US Americans to see real change

No.  They didn’t.

Now, as the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves in a similar predicament, the task is at hand: persevere, stay the course, rise from the dead if need be, but most importantly: keep on doing what you’ve been doing.  Keep winning.  

Without question, Albert Pujols’ injury is a devastating blow to a team who has already overcome an onslaught of adversity.  Losing three seasoned veterans to other clubs, losing an ace starter, losing a key utility man to the evils of addiction, these are just a few of the obstacles they’ve been forced to overcome — not to mention the fact that no one — NO ONE — even gave them a fighting chance before the season started. 

Yet despite all of the above, the Cards sit just 2 1/2 games behind the Cubs (as I write this), and they’ve gotten there with hard work, solid pitching, timely hitting and gutsy performances.  Pujols is and always will be the catalyst, but they wouldn’t be competing in the NL Central if it weren’t for the blue collar efforts of a mostly unheard of supporting cast.

Ludwick, Ankiel, Schumaker, Molina, Miles, Franklin and Lohse = Guts, guts, guts, guts, guts, guts and guts.

occam3A.jpgoccam2A.jpg

So why change anything now?  Put Duncan at first base, adjust the batting order, put on that jockstrap and let’s grow a pair!  Don’t lose a step!  Do NOT panic!  Do not get crazy, give up hope, make a stupid move or cede the race!

In other words, keep the same, simple attitude and forget about the baseball pundits that are now saying the Cards haven’t a chance in the world.  According to them, we never did (see 2008 current standings, 2006 final standings for evidence of how this has been overcome before).

It’s only June.  It’s far from over.  And I’m right.  Don’t hate me for it.

Peace,

Jeffy

albert-pujols-wallpaper-1.jpg

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