This commentary is available as both text and video; enjoy both or either. To see past FaceTime commentaries, go to the MNB Channel on YouTube.
Hi, I'm Kevin Coupe and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.
Last weekend's Super Bowl, and indeed the entire playoffs season, featured something that we are used to at American sporting events - athletes who seem to believe that they succeeded because of divine intervention. This always makes me a little crazy, because God is not a Patriots fan, or a Yankee fan, or a Lakers fan. (I think we know for sure that he or she is not a Jets or a Mets fan, but that's a different story...)
I have no problem with people making the most of what they believe are their God-given talents and then giving thanks to whatever deity they believe in. There's something actually humble about players of opposing teams gathering in a circle to pray at the conclusion of a football game. Though, to be honest, I wonder how people would react if Muslim players engaged in a public display of their religious beliefs after a game.
I do think there is a line that probably should not be crossed, mostly because I think there is a certain arrogance in thinking that God has a stake in - or even cares - how a sporting event turns out. Just not that important. (Though my kids did advance the theory that if God is a Patriots fan, maybe we can blame God for deflating the balls...)
I've been thinking about this subject in part because of a story that was reported out of Blue Ridge, Georgia, about a Walmart greeter there who got into trouble because he'd say to people entering the store, "Have a blessed day." Apparently somebody complained, and Walmart told him to stop. Then there was a public backlash, and Walmart reversed itself. James Philips is now allowed to say, "Have a blessed day," and not get into trouble.
Here's what I think about this.
I'm far from being a particularly spiritual guy, but it wouldn't bother me at all if someone said that to me in a Walmart. I'd probably say, "You have a blessed day, too!" Quite frankly, I have a problem with people who are so intolerant that they'd complain about such a thing. Life's way too short...
The guy wasn't saying, "Have a blessed day, but only if you worship my God at my church, using my rules." And it doesn't sound like there was fire and brimstone in his voice .... the guy sounds like a reasonably pleasant individual. Quite frankly, it seems to me that even atheists and agnostics could find something to like in his greeting, which also could be interpreted as "have a day blessed by good luck."
I mean, come on. Can't we all just relax a little bit about this stuff? Who complains about things like this? Again, I think there probably are lines that should not be crossed, especially in a work environment ... but I also think that if I want people to be tolerant about whatever my beliefs happen to be, I need to be tolerant about theirs. Most of time, I want to be the guy erring on the side of being too tolerant. It is easier to make and keep friends that way, easier to get things done, and a better way of avoiding agita.
From my perspective, there's way too much agita in the world, most of it caused by people who are sure their way is the only way.
That's what is on my mind this Thursday morning .... I hope you have a blessed day or a happy day ... or whatever kind of day you'd like to have. As always, I'd like to hear what is on your mind.
- KC's View: