Does “God” Really Care Who Wins?
Last night I was treated (along with several million of my closest friends) to a dramatic Super Bowl that was at times very exciting, at other times very sloppy, but interesting throughout. Though I’m not a Ravens fan I spent nearly a decade living in Baltimore and I was happy for the joy all of my Maryland friends would be experiencing as time ticked away. In the interests of full disclosure, I should also say that I am a huge football fan and I will watch as much of it as they put on television.
As I watched last night’s postgame coverage (and, to be honest, much of the coverage in the weeks leading up to the big game) my interest was continually piqued by statements about “God,” and the role of faith in the outcome of events. Even more interesting to me was the continued quoting of biblical passages by Ravens’ personnel, including, “If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31),” and “No weapon that is fashioned against us will prosper” (Isaiah 54:17). At every turn the Ravens’ players and even their head coach would have us believe that the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible was in their corner as they overcame that threat to humanity known as the San Francisco 49ers.
Last night all over the world and even here in the United States, thousands of people went to bed hungry and some of those suffering even succumbed to death as a result of their searing hunger. As time ran off the clock and secured a Ravens’ victory, human trafficking still remained one of the most pressing global concerns. And, of course, there’s the global AIDS pandemic that, as far as I know, God refused to make a dent in while we were sleeping. In the light of this evidence, it’s extraordinarily difficult for me to believe that “God” (however one defines that term) cares one iota about a game played by millionaires who are paid by billionaires in the wealthiest country in the world. Or, to say it another way, if there’s a God who cares about football when much of the world is suffering, that deity is only to be held in the highest of disregard.
So today, let’s just say we enjoyed the game and (if our team won) that we are happy about the outcome. Let’s not invoke the God of the Bible as a talisman or lucky rabbbit’s foot. I don’t think “God” really cares who won.