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The Olympics: Religious Glory to National Pride

The Olympics: Religious Glory to National Pride

By Alec Degnats….
Recently the British newspaper The Telegraph reported on a growing scandal involving the Olympics and religion. At the 2012 games (as with every Olympics) a “faith badge” was designed and given to religious leaders of different faiths as a means of official credentials. This year though the London Olympic committee decided to remove all religious symbols from the badges in a move to be politically correct. This exclusion of religious symbols from the “faith badge” has become a bit satirical as religious leaders have become outraged over the committee’s decision. The Olympic committee contends that “not all religious believers would feel “comfortable” wearing symbols of other faiths.”

LINSANITY IN NEW YORK

LINSANITY IN NEW YORK

By Louis A. Ruprecht Jr., Georgia State University….
Enter David Brooks who, in a column drafted after the Knicks’ VaLINtine victory, curiously referred to “the Jeremy Lin Problem”. Brooks refers to “a religious person in professional sports” as an “anomaly,” which seems rather odd to anyone who has witnessed the prayer circles before and after most professional football games, or the finger-to-the-sky salute after most home runs in baseball, but let that lie. It is the reasons Brooks finds the marriage of religion and sport “anomalous” that are worthy of consideration. For Brooks, there is an inescapable moral tension between what he calls “the ethos of sport” and “the ethos of faith.”

No Sport For Old Men

No Sport For Old Men

Louis A. Ruprecht Jr., Georgia State University….
The Super Bowl continues to be one of the most visible and influential cultural events in the United States. For that very reason, it always warrants a closer look. This year was no exception, but what the look reveals is unexpected. Two years ago, the big story was not about the game, but rather about the advertising. The family of Tim Tebow was alleged to be involved in an anti-abortion advertisement that would suggest that they had considered aborting Tebow, in order to put a face on the loss of potential represented by abortion. The ad proved to be pretty benign, but the controversy lingered. The whole debate was shot through with religion.

Mercy Rule Rules: When Catechism Loses the Religious and Spiritual Battle to Soccer

Mercy Rule Rules: When Catechism Loses the Religious and Spiritual Battle to Soccer

By Michel Camille Bordeau….
There is an ever-increasing body of research in psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and religious studies that question the often assumed connection between theistic religiosity and spirituality. What’s gravely missing from traditional theistic assumptions is that spirituality as much as religiosity are matters of external influences. Were we ‘ingodtrinated’ and or taught spiritual practices early enough in life to internalize them? And, as much as they are matters of personal choices—did we have a choice early in life? Do we still have a choice now that environment is less of an influence? Do we always have a choice? Determinism is not as self-evident as we traditionally believe…..

What happens when athletes bump into God's rules?

What happens when athletes bump into God’s rules?

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY….
Playing by God’s rules seems quaint as an Amish buggy. We often look at believers, following codes of faith, like peculiar artifacts. So when an athlete — a big, powerful Brigham Young University basketball player or a tiny dynamo like a 7 year old Jewish gymnast — bumps into those rules, we seem surprised.

The Super Bowl As Epic

The Super Bowl As Epic

By Louis A. Ruprecht Jr., Georgia State University….
No, this year the story really was in the game. That seems relevant to anyone interested in the curious and complex trajectories of the sacred in contemporary American culture. As Gary Laderman has argued, in his book Sacred Matters, professional sports, to the degree that they contribute to our contemporary cult of celebrity, are bearers of profound spiritual resonance. But they are also highly complex choreographed events, what the student of religion is trained to see as ritual.