God and Sports

Teresa, of  Anomalous Data fame, has a post up about her take on being raised a Christian. She also points to a rather disturbed (um – disturbing?) article comparing faith and sports. Something along the lines that Satan is the Pittsburgh Steelers (reading this made me wonder if this person a Broncos fan), we are on a small local team and Satan will win because he’s better. Wait no. Um… The whole thing was viserally upsetting.

Trees sums up her response on this idea with,

You don’t need God sitting on your shoulder with a harp every minute, day in and day out to be a good person.  The ability is within you.  In you mind and your heart.  Just do it.  Quit blaming your human nature, as if it only had one side, the bad one with the base urges.  Quit blaming your connection to God, as if somehow your God Pipeline got clogged that day.

It’s in you.  Everything that you are capable of is in you.  What you do is your decision.

I happen to believe that God gave us everything we need.  But you don’t have to believe that to use it.  However you got it, you have it.  You have love, power, reason, discernment, judgment, ability, drive, and resiliency.   Use it.

Her post is excellent and I strongly recommend reading it.

But on the other hand, some people are losers, others are made into losers. Not by a God, but by the very system put into place to help. The LA Times is reporting about poor people being ‘dumped’ on skid row after being released from the hospital.

The LAPD says it has opened its first criminal investigation into the dumping of homeless people on skid row after documenting five cases in which ambulances dropped off patients there Sunday. Police said the patients, who had been discharged from a Los Angeles hospital, told them they did not want to be taken downtown.

Los Angeles Police Department officials, who photographed and videotaped the five alleged dumping cases, called it a major break in their yearlong effort to reduce the number of people left on skid row by hospitals, police departments and other institutions.

Though police have documented other cases of hospitals dropping off recently discharged patients in the district, “this is the most blatant effort yet by a hospital to dump their patients on skid row against their will,” LAPD Capt. Andrew Smith said.

The article continues by pointing out that these people weren’t necessary indigent. Some not only had somewhere to go but asked to be taken there.

One patient the LAPD interviewed on videotape, 62-year-old Marcus Joe Licon, told officers that he “never wanted to go” to skid row and asked that he be dropped off at his son’s house. According to LAPD records, Licon said he was at the hospital because of problems with his knee and was released after they gave him “some painkillers and some medication.”

The real losers here aren’t the patients being dumped on skid row. They are victims – not losers. The real losers are the people doing the dumping. Those people who think that life is something that can be tossed aside, like a soda can out of a moving car. Just like the can, these people should be someone else’s problem, something for someone else to pick up. The real losers here are the hospital administrators who would define each of those dumped as ‘losers.’

So, maybe, just maybe, some people do need a God to become better. Not Trees. And probably not Brad Locke our misguided God/Sports fan. And God knows, Marcus Joe Licon probably isn’t a natural born loser.

But those motherfucking hospital administrators are losers. And I very and truly doubt that they have any love, power, reason, discernment, judgment, ability, drive, or resiliency – they are simply scum. Natural born scum.

And maybe a dose of God would do those administrators some good. Maybe a baseball bat would be better. And maybe, I can make God/Sports comparisons too.

8 comments so far

  1. Teresa on

    Maybe they have what they need to be good, but have willfully ignored and neglected it for so long that it is stunted and shrivled, like the testicles of a sports “juicer” who wants to win so much he’s forgotten what the game is about.

    Hey! Sports/morals analogies are FUN! Who knew?

  2. blc303 on

    God – The celestial debate coach.

    But back to the evil doers. Does it make a difference whether one has the capacity for good and it remains unused and not having that capacity at all? In my opinion the answer is no. As a matter of fact, the former is probably worse.

    I do believe in there are people who lack the ability to do good. Many become serial killers – some become kitten shooting school principals (Sorry). Actually my belief in evil outdoes my belief in God.

    Not all people are created – um – designed – um – evolved (yeah, that’s it) equal. The differences in the characteristics you listed and other things (ability, intelligence, wealth) aren’t equally distributed. I don’t expect that. I only want to see people handled equally in front of the law. I don’t think that’s happening here.

  3. Teresa on

    I would say there IS a difference, because someone who has the capacity for good, but doesn’t use it can change, whereas a person who has no capacity for good cannot change.

    In the here and now, the world as it is, for all practical purposes: No, it doesn’t matter. In the immediate present, there is no difference between the actions of someone who could do good, and does evil instead, and someone who is doing evil because they can do nothing else.

    But for the future, and for our decisions on how to deal with them going forward into the future, and for our expectations and outlook on the world, it is a very important distinction, I think.

    And because people SHOULD be handled equally under that law, I think it is more useful to grant everyone the assumption that they are capable of denying evil and doing good; even as we try to justly address their current actions.

  4. blc303 on

    I’d agree with that.

    But you do mention trying to justly address peoples actions based on the assumtion that they could do good. Perhaps that’s the crux. What is more important – the plan, good vibes or the result?

    If you want to justify actions based on good intentions, you would almost have to give people like Rumsfeld, Feith and Wolfowitz a pass because they really thought democracy just appears – poof (think Barbara Eden in ‘I Dream of Jeanne’).

    Do you think Dick Cheney has the capacity for good? Do you think he occationally uses it or has it been completely suppressed by the Dark Side?

  5. Teresa on

    OH no, you misunderstand me (not without reason).

    You don’t get a pass for good intentions or for the abscence of bad intentions…but the nature of the redress is modified by it.

    Take the degrees of murder, for instance. We exact a higher price of redress for premeditation than for a crime of passion, which is still higher than for a death that results from negligence or carelessness, which in turn is higher than if you acted in self-defense.

    If you assume that a person is capable of learning and improving themselves, you are going to make different decisions in each of those cases.

    Intent matters, but it is not sufficient for clemancy.

    In the case of the kitten-shooting pricipal, for instance, he should face the required charges for bringing a gun onto school property and discharging it. It should not matter that his intent was a mission of mercy, because there were better and legal ways to accomplish that goal, and as an education professional, he should have known better.

    Still, if he is found guilty and a sentance is imposed, it should be taken into consideration wether or not he has a history of such behavior, if he is incapable of learning that the behavior is inappropriate, if he has a condition that impares his judgement, if that can be treated, etc.

    Should he get off because his stated intentions were “good”? No. But should he be treated as though his intentions were to go into the school and slaughter students? No.

  6. blc303 on

    I think we will just have to disagree here. Isn’t willingly suppressing good the same or worse than evil?

    Let’s start with your example of killings. For me, while the result is the same in all three cases, the act (or more crassly put, the action) was much different. Murder vs. death through self-defense or negligence are different because the physical state of mind of the person doing the killing was completely different. Causing a death through negligence could be as simple as speeding through a school zone and sneezing at an unfortunate moment. It is a case of not understanding or thinking about the consequences of incorrect actions. Killing someone in self-defense is more likely to be caused by instinctive physical fear and the accompanying adrenaline rush. Murder, either intentionally or ‘by mistake’ during some other crime, is always accompanied by a willingness to do someone else harm. Therefore the difference in sentencing in all three cases is different. The murder, inherently ‘evil’ or suppressed ‘goody,’ should be treated the same. Society doesn’t have the resources to do differently and suppressing the good side is almost worse then not having one.

    Still, if he is found guilty and a sentence is imposed, it should be taken into consideration whether or not he has a history of such behavior, if he is incapable of learning that the behavior is inappropriate, if he has a condition that impairs his judgement, if that can be treated, etc.

    I would argue that the sentence should be more severe if someone overlooks training. I also have a hard time finding a large number of illnesses where I would reduce the sentence. Do you consider alcoholism sufficient? Paranoia? Psychosis? Indeed, in the case of many mental illnesses, the sufferer is aware of the problem. Wouldn’t a responsible school administrator have to remove themselves from their post if they knew they had a problem.

    When I follow research in brain structure and chemistry, I wonder just how many ‘illnesses’* are treatable. Although there are temporary chemical imbalances, many mental conditions have an accompanying physical change in the structure of the brain. Especially long term illnesses. You mentioned in your post that he acted in a fairly ‘normal’ manner for someone from rural Minnesota (or probably any non-urban area worldwide). I think he is hard wired to think that way. His training didn’t overcome that. For me aggravates and doesn’t reduce the crime, even if he wanted to do good as opposed to just having a judgement fart.

    *Note: I put illness in quotes not because I think these people are faking (most aren’t). I think the illness has deeper evolutionary reasons. Humankind is going through ‘growing pains.’ Our brain is trying to rewire from kill-eat to think-build-eat. Many reactions and many problems are caused by that. We only define these as sicknesses because our intellect has progressed faster than our bodies.

  7. Teresa on


    Sorry its been so long without a reply. Things got a little hairy over there in the house and I havn’t had time to formulate a response.

    One is on the way, though.



  8. nyambane on

    god and sport

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