My Old Kentucky Homesite

But Will They Be Sane in April?

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 03/06/2010

The U.K. Wildcats will be involved in “March Madness,” a yearly religious event in Kentucky. So today’s “Life + Faith” pages of our local rag asked the question: Is It OK to Pray to Win? Eight charlatans weighed in on this earth-shaking question.

Their answers are too stupid to dignify by quoting in full, but I’ll give you a quick summary.

Reverend Kory Wilcoxson says that praying for the Wildcats isn’t exactly wrong per se, obviously because it’s not covered in the Ten Commandments. But it’s one of those supplications that “God doesn’t like much.”

Reverend. Myron Williams disagrees. He’s content to pray for anything that will “bring honor to God through skills and sportsmanship.” Clearly, basketball is one of the primary ways to do that.

Reverend Bob Evely writes: “I do not think God takes sides. …I don’t believe he has preferences in our leisure activity.” That sounds reasonable in a Christian-y kind of way — until Evely expands on his thinking. He worries that Lexingtonians will make the team “our idol.” Hey, we all know how pissed off the Big Guy would get about that.

Reverend Joseph N. Greenfield starts off cutely. “Does God choose sides?” he asks, and answers “Absolutely.” Huh? But maybe, just maybe, he’s talking about whether or not humans are fer Jesus or agin’ him, not what their basketball preferences are. To be sure everybody understands this, Greenfield sprinkles in a few bible quotes, just so the reader will know he’s not making this shit up. However, he cleverly contrives to leave the question unanswered.

Reverend Roger Bruner, not to be outdone, also cites the good book, but he doesn’t approve of making book. He thinks the outcome of a basketball game is not God’s “business,” and he has the courage to tell March-Mad numnuts that “Prayer is not for this purpose.”

Sharon Donahue, a religious blogger who writes under the name Angela Merici O’Donoghue, compares the biblical story of Jericho’s fall to a college basketball tournament. “Joshua clinched a spot in the Final Four, defeating No. 1-ranked Jericho.” That’s either fucking brilliant or incredibly dumb, I haven’t decided. But the analogy provides enough razzle-dazzle for her to avoid answering the question.

Reverend Jim Sichko relates an entertaining story that allegedly occurred when he and his brother saw a prize-fighter praying before a match. (Will he win? Yes, if he can box.) We’ve all heard variants of this anecdote dozens of times, so it must be printed in the preacher’s handbook. The reverend adds: “God always answers my prayers, but sometimes, God’s answer will be ‘no.’” Nice! Although he ends his response by saying that “God has much larger issues to tackle than who wins,” Sichko makes sure to mention that he, himself, is a Wildcats fan. There’s no point in alienating the congregation, eh?

Reverend David Head assures readers that God is responsible for everything we enjoy in life, including, obviously, basketball. But “God does not take a side in athletic competition. He only has one side: his.” It’s not clear from the article whether Head actually wears a cheerleader outfit or not, but he can’t resist shaking those pom-poms as he mentions Jesus by name.

Augggh. What an incredibly stupid article, with “answers” that are even dumber than the premise. The Herald-Leader is beneath contempt for wasting valuable “newshole” on its ridiculous “Life + Faith” features, but this one really takes the (devil’s food) cake.

It’s no wonder that the very mention of Kentucky makes people in the rest of the country burst out laughing.

21 Responses to “But Will They Be Sane in April?”

  1. Good grief. God’s junk mail. I marveled recently when some crowd did a ranking of the US state’s for their religiosity and the weeping and gnashing from the media in those down the list and the most unchristian gloating by those up it.

  2. J-Co:
    Yes, most Kentuckians are proud to live in one of the most religious states in the country. But, alas, it’s also one of the least educated. Check this out.

  3. Fantastic news article you found, but then you showed just the other day that you have nothing but Mayberry-ish news anyway, so wtf are these people supposed to fill the space with? Be happy they don’t just print Christian bible stories.

  4. Little known secret: if experts don’t agree on the canon, the canon is bullshit.

    Also, Larry, most religious = least educated.

  5. Philly:
    Be happy they don’t just print Christian bible stories.
    If they could find passages in the bible about basketball, about coal-mining, about bourbon, and about horse-breeding, I’m sure the paper would be all-bible, all the time. Oh, wait. They’d probably also have to check the New Testament for a mention of Johnny Depp.

    … if experts don’t agree on the canon, the canon is bullshit.
    That’s not true for religious “experts” — whatever the hell they are. The Christian bible has room for many interpretations, because it’s a big tent, written thousands of years ago by small-minded tentmakers.

  6. Maybe Tim Burton could do some Christian bible tales, then you’d get your Depp. Of course those tales may be too weird for even Burton.

  7. Larry:

    That’s my point. I’m reading Battle Cry of Freedom right now. Each side of the slavery issue selectively used verses from the same holy book to either defend or decry slavery. That’s why their bible is every bit as useful as the Nostradamus.

    Try developing diametrically opposed conclusions with a book not based entirely on early Iron Age fairy tales (many of which were recycled Bronze Age fairy tales).

  8. Philly:
    Maybe Tim Burton could do some Christian bible tales…
    It would have to be in 3D, so when Johnny Depp walks on water, you can imagine your own feet getting wet. I can envision the last few scenes, filmed with a Christ’s-eye view; you’d feel as if those nails were being hammered right into you. Helena Bonham Carter would co-star as a big-headed God.

    Well, I guess you’ve never read any literary criticism by English professors trying to write their way toward tenure. There are more stupid interpretations of Shakespeare’s plays than there are of the New Testament. Of course, nobody in Kentucky wants to produce a license plate saying “In Hamlet We Trust,” and I doubt that any Lexingtonian thinks you’ll go to hell if you don’t believe in Titus Andronicus.

  9. I doubt there are many people who claim to live their lives according to the complete works of William Shakespeare. Besides, if you mention Shakespeare in your current environs, a lot of people will think you are talking about fishing.

  10. Des:
    Some people here think I’m talking about fishing no matter what I say.

  11. the chaplain said

    If it makes you feel any better, I know five people living in Kentucky (besides you and Mrs. Larry) who are cheering for the Wildcats to win, but definitely not praying about it. So, that makes at least seven non-prayers in the state (excluding the ones you met at your delightful atheist bash the other week).

  12. Chappy:
    Actually, I’m praying that they lose. If they do, then all the people who prayed that they’d win will have some explaining to do. Maybe Pat Robertson will be able to find a homosexual, an atheist, or a liberal on the team.

  13. the chaplain said

    To whom are you praying, may I ask?

  14. Chappy:
    To the air. And its son. And its son’s mother.

  15. the chaplain said

    OK. If you start praying to the air’s ghost, I’ll be coming after you with a nice white jacket.

  16. Chappy:
    Hey, you just came up with a great name for the holy jet that takes people to heaven.
    Christians could call it Ghost Air.
    Atheists could call it: Go Stare.
    New Yawkers could call it: Goes Dere.

    (I guess I’m still in puzzle mode.)

  17. Helena Bonham Carter would co-star as a big-headed God.

    While Jehovah would likely possess an enormous melon, arguably the single most important aspect of this god is his maleness. See this.

  18. Link tease!

    Haven’t you seen the film Dogma? Anyway, if there was a god I could picture it strung out and odd like most of Helena Bonham Carter’s characters tend to be.

  19. Des:
    Your link didn’t come through. Or maybe you just wanted readers to look at nothing — which would be a pretty accurate visual for god, big-headed or not.

    Yeah, I don’t see why most people picture their god this way. Why not like this?

  20. I must have screwed that up somehow. I hope this link works.

  21. Des:
    Yeah, that works. Nice post, but you shouldn’t be so afraid of your wife.
    (If that doesn’t get people to click the link, I don’t know what will.)

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