Religion and the NFL
Posted: 21 January 2009 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15772
Joined  2006-02-14

From a blog post by journalist Stephen Dubner, of Freakonomics fame. (Read it HERE):

January 20, 2009, 2:38 PM
Should Atheists Target the N.F.L. Next?
By STEPHEN J. DUBNER

<snip>

Here’s Mike Pereira, the N.F.L.’s outgoing head of officials, with an explanation from earlier this year:

“The whole issue is, you can’t go to the ground on your knees or with your hand or anything. There’s only one time that you’re going to be allowed to go on your knee after you score like this, and that’s when you want to praise the Lord. If you do that, then I’m going to allow that, because I do not want to be struck by lightning, I promise you that. We will allow that.” ...

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 January 2009 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2901
Joined  2007-04-26

This is an interesting topic. Obviously private organizations have some freedom to enforce religious beliefs within their organization. The Catholic Church can insist that its priests and nuns believe in god. But I don’t believe that they have complete freedom to do so in all circumstances. Perhaps someone who knows more about the supreme court decisions in this area can enlighten us.

If Wallmart started refusing to hire Muslims the employment laws would prevent that. If Ford started putting up posters that ridiculed Jews in the work place I believe they would also be in violation of the law. I believe the court sided against the catholic church recently when they fought a law requiring them to provide their employees with insurance coverage that offered certain services related to birth control. Allowing a football player to express his religious beliefs in a public setting but not allowing another to express something of a similar, but non-religious nature, or holding a prayer service on the field creates a more subtle but still real level of intimidation towards those who are non believers.

Maybe they should set up a small room at each end of the field and players who feel the need to “give thanks” or express their joy over their success can go in there and have their moment in private. I would be curious how many of these players who claim the prayer is not meant to bring attention would do so if the moment was purely a private one with no opportunity for public display.

[ Edited: 21 January 2009 08:36 AM by macgyver ]
 Signature 

For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 January 2009 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1995
Joined  2008-09-18

Well, if religious displays are permissible in such situations, then the NFL should also smile upon a player who, under similar circumstances, raises his middle finger skyward and shouts, “Take that, God!”

Do you think they’d permit that?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 January 2009 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Moderator
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5508
Joined  2006-10-22

One more reason I’m glad I know and care nothing about sports.  Now, if only all non-believers just stopped attending, it would be great.

Occam

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  339
Joined  2008-02-27

Let me put his in some perspective.  The NFL has always managed its image very closely.  There are strict dress code regulations for the uniform and accoutriments.  For example, in the 1980s, Chicago Bears QB Jim McMahon was forced to stop wearing headbands with various usually inoffensive statements on them.  If you watch the Super Bowl, note that you will see very little in the way of personalization outside of a name on the back of the jersey and a number.  Additionally note even the socks are all the same—rarely are they even down around the ankle and shirt tails are rarely untucked.  The only variation you may see are in the shoes.

As for celebrations, the NFL stricty manages those too.  Group celebrations other than hugging or some other “spontaneous” act of celebration is prohibited.  For example, some here might recall the Funky Bunch, a group of Wahington Redskins backs and receivers from the 80’s, who would circle up and do a group high five after a TD. 

There are some specifc gestures such as running one’s finger/thumb across one’s neck making a gesture for slitting one’s throat or taking off one’s helmet to celebrate a play that are banned.  Th NFL has banned any celebration that involves a prop such as Terrell Owens pulling a Sharpie pen out of his sock to autograpgh the ball he just caught for a TD or Joe Horn pulling a cellphone out of the upright pads to make a fake phone call.  The NFL will allow celebrations that appear to be fun loving and punish “hotdogging” (which includes excessive aggrandizement, excessive celebration or taunting) and obscenity.  Obviously there is a standard that will vary somewhat according to the situation, but rarey could someone dropping to a kneor pointing up to the sky as excessive or taunting. 

Pointing one’s middle finger at the sky could potentially be banned as obscene, what atheistic gesture could one make after scoring a TD? 

Political and religous demonstrations can be regulated or banned by a pivate organization if it interferes with their business purpose.  Walmart may not be able to hire/fire people based on their religious views and they may not be ableto fire someone for wearing a cross under thr uniform but they can prohibit a muslim from dropping his rug in the middle of sporting goods to pray to Mecca.  They can also fire an athiest employee for shouting “there is no God” to the flat screen tv customers.  The rules have to be reasonable to business purposes and evenly enforced.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 January 2010 08:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  350
Joined  2008-12-11

Fundamentalist group plans antichoice Super Bowl TV ad

By DAVID CRARY
The Associated Press
Monday, January 25, 2010; 6:25 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/25/AR2010012503140_2.html

NEW YORK—A national coalition of women’s groups called on CBS on Monday to scrap its plan to broadcast an ad during the Super Bowl featuring college
football star Tim Tebow and his mother, which critics say is likely to convey an anti-abortion message. . . .

The ad—paid for by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family—is expected to recount the story of Pam Tebow’s pregnancy in 1987 with a theme of “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.” After getting sick during a mission trip to the Philippines, she ignored a recommendation by doctors to abort her fifth child and gave birth to Tim, who went on to win the 2007 Heisman Trophy while helping his Florida team to two BCS championships. . . .

The idea for the ad came from an employee in Focus on the Family’s film department . . . and the Tebows “were thrilled” when it was proposed to them. The Tebows, including Tim, have been outspoken in discussing their Christian faith and their missionary work. All the national networks, including CBS, have policies that rule out the broadcast of certain types of contentious advocacy ads. In 2004, CBS cited such a policy in rejecting an ad by the liberal-leaning United Church of Christ highlighting the UCC’s welcoming stance toward gays and others who might feel shunned by more conservative churches. . . .

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 January 2010 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7716
Joined  2008-04-11

I wonder what would happen if players were to put references to offensive biblical verses on the blacking under their eyes.Such as: “You shall not let a sorceress live.” (Exodus 22:18)or “Happy those who seize your children and smash them against a rock.” (Psalm 137:9) or perhaps“When the men would not listen to his host, the husband seized his concubine and thrust her outside to them. They had relations with her and abused her all night until the following dawn, when they let her go. Then at daybreak the woman came and collapsed at the entrance of the house in which her husband was a guest, where she lay until the morning. When her husband rose that day and opened the door of the house to start out again on his journey, there lay the woman, his concubine, at the entrance of the house with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, ‘Come, let us go’; but there was no answer. So the man placed her on an ass and started out again for home.” (Judges 19:25-28)

I would imagine this would bring the ‘fad’ to a screeching halt.

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 February 2010 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  441
Joined  2009-12-17

It makes me cringe asanta .... :(

I suggest there is a difference between a momentary display of a religious kind when a player scores, and a fixed religious statement on a piece of clothing or an official expression by the NFL of a religious nature.  We can’t be limiting a player’s right to express himself in such a situation in a free country imho.

Chris: I would suggest that there is also a difference between a positive and negative display of religious emotion. An expression of thanks when compared with an expression of insult. I can live with someone blessing themselves briefly. But I would object to anyone insulting a religion gratuitously despite my atheism.

Note on this topic the recent revelations about religious quotations found on US munitions in Iraq….

Profile