Football…a sacred ritual in America
January 2, 2011 by Bill
The college football BCS Championship is followed by the SUPER BOWL for the Professional Football Championship. On January 10th, in the Fiesta Bowl at Glendale, Arizona, the Tigers of Auburn will meet the Ducks of Oregon for the BCS Championship.
The HALLELUJAH CHORUS will fill the galaxies of the universe with praises to the gods of the United States on the planet Earth. The great cosmic rhythms flow through the universe night and day, summer and winter, spring and fall equinox, into the winter solstice and the football championships for BCS and Super Bowl.
It is a celebration and ritual of Henotheism in America. You have heard about atheism… pantheism… monotheism… and polytheism, but Henotheism is probably a new one for you. Henotheism is everywhere in the study of religions and the bible is saturated with it.
What it means is this: The worship of your God without denying the existence and validity of other Gods. A culture, city or state might have their own Pantheon (the gods of a people) and sacred symbols that have significance for them, but they accept the fact that different cultures have other gods that are equally valid and sacred. Two examples: Each city along the Nile in Egypt had its own pantheon and sacred symbols but they did not deny the validity of the Gods of other cities. Or the Old Testament story of Ruth and Naomi. Ruth said to her “where you go I will go, and your people shall be my people, and your God shall be my God.” When you changed countries you also CHANGED GODS.
Today, we in the United States are impregnated with Henotheism. This became clear to me a number of years ago when the Vatican in Rome announced that they were changing the date of an important event with the Pope out of deference to the Super Bowl football game in the United States (for television considerations). I heard this announcement on my car radio. It left me in such a state of shock that I almost ran a red light… hit two cars… and let my pipe fall out of my mouth.
Can you imagine the Super Bowl rescheduling for the Pope? I thought “thank God we finally have our priorities in the proper and most realistic order.”
Henotheism and sacred symbols. Our athletic teams and the television are our sacred symbols for a new Henotheism. Each city has its own pantheon and it worships before that altar while, at the same time, accepting the sacredness and validity of the gods of all the other cities.
The 49ers are the chief god in San Francisco’s pantheon. Atlanta has her Falcons. Oregon has her Ducks and Auburn her Tigers, and the great cosmic football god in the sky will be bombarded with prayers for victory. The super cosmic bellhop up there in the sky will be flooded with requests for favors.
Winning becomes divine and a great gift from the super football god in the sky who watches over his/her/its flock shoving a pigskin up and down a 100 yard field. Players will catch a pass, or make a touchdown and then drop to their knees, cross themselves and bow their head in prayer. They never, though, offer a prayer after missing a pass.
The sky god is associated with “winning” and “success.” If you know God, or Jesus who also loves football, you win. Otherwise you lose. Anyone with an I.Q. above 3 blushes with embarrassment for those caught up in this superstitious stupidity.
The football team of Tulsa University could pray all day for 24 hours around the clock while wearing “I love Jesus” T-shirts and they are NEVER…I repeat NEVER…going to beat Philadelphia, or Nebraska, or Oregon and Auburn even if those teams are all dedicated 100% atheists.
Some will say, in their pathetic way, “you should never pray to win… only to do your best.” Well, suppose the great sky god took part in that prayer. This would obviously mean that the great sky god plays favorites, for the superior person, or team, would ALWAYS win. The “best” effort of a superior person, or superior team is ALWAYS going to be better than the “best” effort of an inferior person or team
Steve Benson is a Pulitzer prize winning political cartoonist for the Arizona Republic of Phoenix. We go back a long way and have been friends for years. When we were together in Tacoma, Washington, he often drew one of his cartoons based on one of my columns. After a column on this same subject, Steve’s cartoon showed the cheer leaders with mega phones shouting up to the crowd in the stands. They said: “Gimmmmmmme a G” and “G,” the crowd roared back. “Gimmmmme an O” filled the air. “Gimmmmme a D” and the crowd roared “G…O…D.” “GOD…GOD…GOD” roared the cheerleaders… the air was saturated… the stands shook… and the football team dropped to their knees in orgasmic ecstasy.
Soon now the gods who won the cosmic battles will meet. The football gods will collide, to decide who has the greatest and most virile pantheon in the nation, college and professional. The Pope trembles.
Joyful… Joyful… We Adore Thee… HALLELUJAH… HALLELUJAH…