In Which I Make An Argument In Favor of (Sports) Atheism

January 31, 2014 — 2 Comments

imagesAmerican-Football-lover

Over at the Christ and Pop Culture website, I got an article published on cultivating sports atheism:

Football, more so than other sport, cultivates the idea of a sold-out, totally dedicated fan base (e.g., those Bud Light commercials about superstitions). Perhaps it is because unlike the eternal season of baseball that spans spring, summer, and fall, football takes place more or less through a single season (fall) with teams playing once a week. That makes each game loaded with significance in a way that other sports cannot match. Couple this with the fact that the games are either Saturday (college) or Sunday (pro), and you have the makings of a substitute religious service each week where you can worship with the team of your particular denominational affiliation.

On close inspection, the “liturgy” of a football game is hauntingly similar to a worship service. You put on the garments that identify you with worshipers of the same deity (mascot). You gather at a temple (stadium, or couch in front a big screen) where priests (refs) mediate the festivities where the most devoted worshipers (players) lay it all on the altar (field). The resulting spectacle delivers an intensity that can easily translate into a worship experience for some fans.

Read the rest and find out why you might want to pursue sports atheism.

Nate

Posts Twitter Facebook

I'm an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let's connect!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Do You Struggle with Sports Idolatry? Cultivate Sports Atheism | Constant streams... - January 31, 2014

    […] Nate Clairborne  has an interesting article on sports and worship up at Patheos. He compares, very convincingly, I must say, sports fandom to Church and as a potential point of worship. The crux of his point is to advocate for a love of sport, rather than a love of a particular team (or ‘deity’), rather like “atheists do not affiliate themselves with a particular religion, but they are still interested in living the good life.“ […]

  2. Do You Struggle with Sports Idolatry? Cultivate Sports Atheism | Constant streams... - February 10, 2014

    […] Nate Claiborne  has an interesting article on sports and worship up at Patheos. He compares, very convincingly, I must say, sports fandom to Church and as a potential point of worship. The crux of his point is to advocate for a love of sport, rather than a love of a particular team (or ‘deity’), rather like “atheists do not affiliate themselves with a particular religion, but they are still interested in living the good life.“ […]

Want To Add Your Thoughts?