27 thoughts on “So God gave up those runs?”

  1. As someone who takes his religion very seriously, I get seriously sick of these articles.

    I’ll admit this one isn’t so bad. Reitsma seems sincere and is trying to do good things.

    It’s not like the stuff Brett Butler used to spout. What was that great line from Brett, something about if Jesus had been a baseball player, he would have tried to take out the guy at second on the DP. Or Bob Knepper, who basically said it was God’s will that he gave up a HR to lose a game.

    Still, if we continue to see these types of articles, it would be nice to see more of them on Christian plumbers, Christian mailmen, and Christian homeless people.

  2. As someone very skeptical of all organized religion, I also get very tired of these types of stories. Who cares about Reggie White’s faith? He was an idiot and a racist. Who cares about Reitsma’s religion? I sure don’t. It’s just another excuse to get Jesus some face time in the newspapers. I wouldn’t at all be surprised to find that the author of the article is a strong Christian or someone who commissioned him/her to write the story is as well. Religion has no place in a secular activity like baseball, except inside each player’s own consciousness. It’s great that everyone has very personal beliefs about spirituality, but no one else has to or should care.

  3. First sign of the impending apocalypse – I think Raoul summed up things beautifully in those last two sentances.

  4. Well, since this article is from what appears to be a religious website, I don’t think it’s inappropriate.

  5. Amen, Spike. Also, even if it wasn’t a religious website, how was that article inappropriate? The guy is using baseball and the gifts and talents God has blessed him as a forum to reach out to people, and share the Gospel with people. You may have your religious beliefs, but why is it wrong for Chris Reitsma to tell people about Jesus? Is it wrong for Chris Reitsma to tell people about Christ, but it’s acceptable for you to make note that you don’t believe in the life, death, and ressurrection of Jesus Christ, the son of God?

  6. First of all, Rob, I didn’t say a word about what I believe in…that was my whole point right? Maybe you inferred that Iím not Christian, but thatís not my business now is it? Keep it to yourself; no one cares about your Christianity.

    Also, Rob, what your saying about the Gospel, the Son of God, the resurrection all sounds nice but it isn’t true. Spreading Christianity isn’t simply spreading love and understanding in the world. Throughout history, the spreading of Christianity and Islam has resulted in the some of the most horrible acts known to man. England, Spain, and the Middle East are just three of many historical examples of religion unnecessarily ruining the lives of the less fortunate. Death by religious differences, which still occur in Iraq and the Middle East, continue to flourish because of people who believe (or pretend to believe) in this garbage. If there is any kind of religion that people should subscribe to, it should rest upon the beliefs that differences in spirituality are normal and that all our conceptions of God are probably wrong. That is why Jesus Christ was slain, an unwillingness to accept an alternate spirituality. You think Jesus Christ, who wasn’t more the Son of God than I am, would advocate such a strict “Gospel” in his name? If you do, that probably says a lot about who you are and how intelligent you are. I’m sorry I had to write this, but I couldn’t stand anymore Christian arrogance. Now let’s keep our spirituality to ourselves…

  7. I apologize to everyone for that last post, usually I can keep my cool with respect to religion and politics. This time I didn’t, I’m sorry.

  8. While most of what you say is true, just cause you don’t care about a players religion doesn’t mean no one else does. Whether you agree with it or not, many people DO care and that makes it worth covering atleast in a fluff piece.

  9. A fluff piece though? That’s part of my point, why should we as humans feel the need to make a novelty out of spirituality? Why should we summarize and reduce our personal, intimate feelings about a higher power to fit some second-rate publication? So someone might be convinced to agree with us? The very nature of the article and the fact that people want to read it is sad and pathetic.

  10. Plus, who are the people who want to hear it? People already believing, so who is convinced? How is Gospel SPREAD?

  11. Well, it’s not like religion is the only aspect that they cover on players other than baseball. Would have objected just as much if they had an article about Smoltz golfing interests or something like that? Like I said, I agree with much of what you said, but I think your dislike of Christianity is causing you to apply a bit of a double standard.

  12. Again, I never said I didn’t like Christianity or that I don’t believe in Christ. I happen to come from strong Catholic and Lutheran backgrounds. I’m just wary of the way in which Christianity is instituted around the world, the tension between my two faiths being a great example.

    To demolish your Smoltz point: I also don’t give a damn about Smoltz’s golfing or golf in general, but I don’t see how his golfing could lead to deaths around the world. Christians, on the other hand, can’t say that their beliefs haven’t hurt other people around the world. Obviously an article about golf doesn’t bother me as much, it’s not about it bothering me really. It’s about the potential damage certain beliefs have. Another example of religious damage: there is this homeless shelter in my town that only assists those who pledge allegiance to Christ. The assumption is either Christians are only worth saving or let’s take advantage of the weak and make them Christians. What disgusting arrogance. Obviously not all Christians are like this, but the point is that spreading Christianity isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes it’s a sick and pathetic attempt to control individuals.

  13. Whoa, Raoul is very testy. You should read a book by Dr. Jack Higgs that explores sports as religion. Many people of different kinds of faiths practically worship specific sports much more than they practice their professed religion. Anyway, look what you opened up Mac.

  14. Sports as religion, interesting idea… albeit a very shallow and frightening prospect. I don’t doubt that many Americans do this. I blame people’s inability to turn off the TV.

    Still, your offering adds no insight into the discussion of whether’s Reitsma’s religion is germaine for public discourse.

    Also, I’m not testy, just sensitive to religious destruction. I think the people who keep prodding me are the ones with anger. I perfectly happy with my beliefs and have spent a great deal of time contructing and cultivating them. I’m opinated yes, very much so, but to call me testy is very insulting. Honestly, it reveals more about your disposition towards me than my own attitude.

  15. Mac, you’ve opened up an important issue. When ESPN of FSN treats “religion and sports,” it’s really just a story about a religious athlete, like Reitsma’s article. To include this on your BLOG is a intelligent move, because we have now been able to explore the different views of readers. It’s important to explore whether a player’s religion matters, because we all need to realize that it doesn’t… =)

    (Obviously a joke if you didn’t catch it)

  16. Raoul, to go back to your response to my post:

    People do care about “my Christianity”. That’s why we have churches, youth groups, companies that are in business selling Bibles, and even prayer in school and before sporting events. You are right that spreading Christianity is not spreading love and understanding in the world, only in the way you are referring to it as. There are people all over the world that follow Christ, yet do things in the name of Christ that are in no way supported in His Word. Just the same as bombing an abortion clinic “in the name of Christ,” God’s Word does not tell us to murder our neighbor if he doesn’t share our beliefs. Instead, He teaches us to love that person, bless our enemies, and share with them the love that God gives us so that they may understand.

    Also, how can you say that people don’t want to read that article? Are you saying basic economics aren’t true either, that something is supplied even though it isn’t demanded? Someone wants to read about it, and people continue to write it. If people didn’t want to read it, it wouldn’t continue to be written.

    If you think that I, as a Christian, am “prodding you”, and that I am full of anger, then you obviously aren’t listening. As a Christian, I want to share with you the love of Christ, the fact that God loves you and I so much that He gave His only Son to pay for our transgressions so that we may experience eternal life in heaven. I’ll tell you what I’m full of. I’m full of juice, the same juice Julio Franco is full of: the juice of Jesus Christ.

    http://www.ajc.com/braves/content/sports/braves/0304/04franco2.html?UrAuth=%60NbNUOaNYUbTTUWUXUTUZTYU%5DUWUcUcUZU%5DUcUcTYWVVZV

  17. Rob, you’re confusing your Christianity with Christ. People care about Christ, not you, which is another social failure of Christianity in general.

    Also, I never said people didn’t WANT to read about Chrisitians. I just said that it is PATETHIC.

    It’s absolutely pathetic to use an athlete, an actor, or a political leader to spread Christianity. If Christianity was the right religion for all people, then we would all be Christian. If Christianity was strong enougtht without recruitment and persuasion, then sharing and spreading Christianity would take care of itself. Fortunately, Americans get to decide
    for themselves. People get to decide whether a 7-day creation of the Universe by God makes any sense whatsoever.

    Rob, another point, I don’t want to share Christianity with you. I don’t want to share in a religion that uses stories like that of Judith to convince Christians that other relgions and races (like Assyrians) are evil. And don’t try to give me another interpretation of Judith, so many scholars have proven social and political similarities between the Judea-Assyrian fiction and the English-Danish reality. Beowulf is another great exmaple of Anglo-Christians posturing themselves above other races and religions.

    Also, the bit about misuing Christ’s “word” doesn’t make any sense. It’s the hyprocrisy within Christianity that allows abortion-clinic bombing. It’s ignorant Christians strictly following some archaic and useless dialogue to a present-day matter.

    If you’re not angry Rob, why do you keep provoking me? Wasn’t my original point to keep your religion to yourself? If you didn’t keep prodding my logic, you wouldn’t get these grandiose responses. But this is great, not often are we given the chance to debate religion with people we don’t have to worry about offending.

  18. I also don’t think it is a coincidence that studies show people with college education are less likely to derive their morals strictly from religion.

    A lot of religious people will argue this correlation exists because college professors influence atheism, but those of us who went to college know this is crap. Most of my professors were Christian and they cultivated objective discussions on religion, or at least tried to. It is obvsiouly the uneducated Christians who start these defensive arguments about Christianty that contain little or no logic. Rememeber, my original point was keep your religion to yourself.

    Rob, also I see your mistake. When I said who cares about White’s or Reitma’s faith I was being rhetorical. I was asserting the insignificance of their personal faith. No matter how many people care about White’s and Reitsma’s Christianity, it is of little consequence to the real world. What did it change about our society?

  19. I’m sorry, Rob, but there is ABSOLUTELY NO PROOF that Jesus Christ, a mortal man from Nazareth, is or was the only Son of God!

    This is precisely the danger of organized religion. People start going around saying things about God, things they have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA about.

    Rob, please spare me your Christian fairy-tales. If you could accept the fact that Jesus could function as a great symbolic hero for humans (even though his actions are GREATLY exaggerated), that would be one thing. But your insistence on this Son of God crap as truth is precisely the reason you can’t argue with an ignorant Christian.

    Christ is not the only Son of God, if there is even ONE being we can refer to as a God. Where is your proof of that even Rob? This is why devout Christians get slammed among the educated populations, your inablitity to let go of things that are obviously untrue.

  20. Seriously, though – it’s a big world, with lots o’ people with lots o’ differing opinions. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions (beliefs, if you will), and those beliefs will dictate their attitude, words & actions. I know this is elementary and I’m not trying to lecture, but what I’m getting at is this – there are those who profess one thing who are an embarassment to others who profess the same thing. Most liberals are embarassed by Ward Churchill. Most conservatives are embarassed by David Duke. And many liberals and conservatives would argue that Ward Churchill & David Duke don’t even “really” belong in their respective camps. And that’s without getting into libertarians, Naderites, constitution party members & anarchists (to name a few other ‘groups’ out there).
    But this is the important part – each group (and, more importantly, the individuals in the group) should be able to put forth their ideas as part of the public debate, in the forums available to them, to try to make their case.
    And, Raoul Duke, it sounds like you say that Chris Reitsma and those who believe like him should not be able to make that case. To me, that is chilling.
    Read Nat Henthoff’s book “Free speech for me but not for thee – how the left & right relentlessly censor each other in America”. I don’t agree with all the stuff he says (who ever agrees with ‘everything’ anyone says? he asked rhetorically), but he makes good, thought-provoking points. Don’t know if you’re familiar with him, but he’s just your typical pro-life atheist writer for The Nation
    And, I know, you did not specifically say “Chris Reitsma should not be able to talk about Christ”. I went back through your posts to be sure of what you did say. And, you did say “Religion has no place in a secular activity like baseball, except inside each player’s own consciousness.” And “Now let’s keep our spirituality to ourselves…”
    So, thankfully, Chris Reitsma has as much right to proclaim Christ in whatever manner he sees fit (just as you have the right to advocate whatever you wish to advocate). To paraphrase a quote heard once or twice this week “better to err on the side of free speech”.
    And, yes, a million examples and counter-examples can be brought forward how each side agitates for free speech when it is their speech they want to have heard while at the same time supporting measures to quash free speech for the other side. I know! That’s not my point! What is my point? I guess just to let Reitsma be Reitsma and let Mac be Mac and Rauol Duke be Rauol Duke be Rauol Duke, and work together to make a better world (if only it were that easy :-)

  21. Rob has done a good job saying much of what I wanted to say about Christians. I am also a Christian, and I love Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Today we celebrate his willingly taking the punishment for our sins. Sunday we will celebrate his victory over death & hell and the finished work of the cross.
    Raoul, apparently you posted several more times while I was writing my post. There is a lot that can be said about much of what you said. But I will not take up Mac’s forum to try to reply to all of it. Just to make one final point: you’re free to believe what you want. For all of the talk about respecting others’ beliefs and opinions (not that I’m saying you espouse that view), when translated into action, too many people take actions that try to enforce conformity & impose their own viewpoint on those who disagree with them. Tolerance for those who already agree with you, basically. And yes, both sides do it.
    But we should be aware when people are trying to do that, and resist it (and resist the urge to do so in ourselves).

  22. No, Jonathan, again quit putting words into my mouth because it fits you argument. Spread the many UNTRUTHS of Christianity to your heart’s content. My only point is that it’s pathetic. It’s pathetic that Christians look to spread their word, patethic when they solicit me at home and work (yes, this has happened a lot).

    If Christianity was really the best belief system in the world, then we would all be Christians. In truth, it’s not and were not all Christian.

    Jonathan, you said “but he’s just your typical pro-life atheist writer for The Nation.” This is why we can’t work together, you’re ignorant and insulting. This generalization about the thinker you’ve cited is proof of your anger. I think I’m the one being objective here, citing ACTUAL EVIDENCE. Your points don’t even intersect mine. I am HAPPY for freedom of religion and speech just like you are, it’s how I’m able to ultimately reject Christianity. This is basic stuff here. I just personally don’t care about the religion of other people, and history has proven over and over again those who do care about others’ religion only cause trouble. A true Christian would let individuals decide for themselves, not write an article that uses an athlete as leverage to convince people to become Christian or stay Christian.

    Spare me the advice as well, Jonathan, I’m obviously being Raoul Duke.

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