Praying for Jocks

The Trib has a fascinating take on religion and sports with a feature on the athletes at Principia College, a school run by Christian Scientists.

Just the facts reporting and lots of great detail of the interaction of the student's belief in faith healing and common injuries in games.

Sprain an anke? You'll get no ice here--instead you'll get a prescription for prayer.

Dave Motzer, a trainer, is brought in to care for members of visiting teams during games.

"I haven't seen too many sick athletes up here, to be honest," he said. "I've seen athletes from Principia injured, and they get in a meditative state. No whining or yelling. They're very calm, quiet, almost reverential. You may see someone put a hand on them, pray with them. It's very individual and quiet."

There are some exceptions, like women's soccer player Devon Neale, who had reconstructive knee surgery after blowing out her knee in a game.

She's got the best quote of all.

"We don't practice Christian Science to make us better soccer players," she said. "We practice soccer to make us better Christian Scientists."


Open Debate

Pop Quiz.

Where are you most likely to see a double feature of the competing documentaries "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "FahrenHype 9/11":

a) The local community college
b) The public library
c) A church

If you lived in McHenry County, Illinois, you'd be going to church. Faith Community United Church of Christ of Prairie Grove is showing the films after the college and library dropped out.

Rev. Lindsey Halpern-Givens told the Tribune that the church hopes "to be a community that listens to each other and that engages in careful listening."

A coin toss will decide which film goes first.



Two Creeds

Greg Horton over at the Parish been posting for sometime about Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston, which is spending 70 million to renovate the Compaq Center as a church.

Osteen leads his congregation in this confession before every sermon:

This is my Bible.
I am what it says I am.
I have what it says I have.
I can do what it says I can do.
Today I will be taught the Word of God.
I boldly confess my mind is alert, my heart is receptive.
I will never be the same.
I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living seed of the Word of God.
I will never be the same.
Never, never, never.
I will never be the same. In Jesus name.

Contrast that for a moment with one of the older confessions of the church, like the Apostle's Creed.

I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:
Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:
The third day he rose again from the dead:
He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:
I believe in the Holy Ghost:
I believe in the holy catholic church: the communion of saints:
The forgiveness of sins:
The resurrection of the body:
And the life everlasting. Amen.

The big difference? One is all about God. One is all about me. I'll let you decide which one is which.


Last Red Sox Post

This is my last Red Sox post. Promise. At least for a while.

A friend sent it to me--and it's online here.

If you are easily offended, overt your eyes. If not, skip down the page.

Our Papi, Who art in Fenway
Hallowed by thy team.
Thou kicketh ass,
On Yankee grass,
And at home, as you did in the Bronx.

Give us this year our shiny rings,
And forgive us our talk of curses,
As we forgive those who talk of curses against us.

And lead us not into extra innings,
But deliver us from errors.

For thou art the Schilling,
And the Pedro,
And the D-Lowe,
For ever and ever.



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