Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Where does faith end, and proselytizing begin?

Jon Kitna told the media yesterday that the reason he recovered so quickly from a concussion was thanks to a "Miracle," and being touched by "The hand of God." It was in thanks to Him, that Kitna so quickly recovered, and led the lions to victory.

"That's really what it is. You can call it whatever it is, whatever the official diagnosis of it, whatever it was. But I've never felt anything like that, and then for it to clear up and go right back to as normal as I can be, is nothing short of a miracle in my life. I just definitely feel the hand of God."

So it wasn't a just slight concussion, a minor injury that only a takes short amount of time on the bench to recover fully from the effects? Rather, it was a full blown, a feeding the masses with a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread, miracle? I think Kitna is using the term "Miracle" somewhat lightly...

If Kitna believes that's so, and his faith helps him win games, that's fine by me. More power to him, as I'm sure his faith is one of the reasons why he is such a good leader. I'm also quite aware that he's a born again Christian, and born again Christians are expected to preach to, and attempt to convert, non-believers. I, and many others, either have no interest in being converted, or have their own reasons as to why we question religion.

Personally, I'd advise Kitna to keep further "Miracles" to himself.

He's opening up a HUGE can of worms in bringing his faith to the forefront. Kitna saying God cured him has me, someone who was raised in the Catholic church, saw the church's hypocrisies as an adult, and now questions religion in general, asking some hard faith based questions...

Why did He "Cure" Kitna? Why not me? Because he's a Christian, and I'm not? He's a believer, so that gives him a leg up on being healed? Aren't there millions of people in the world who need to be cured of much more dire afflictions than a minor concussion?

As someone afflicted with a life altering disease, a disease I didn't ask for, has no medical cure, totally changed my life for the worse, and wouldn't wish upon anyone else, the thought of Kitna saying his concussion recovery was due to being touched by God, when that God leaves me, and countless others, in a great deal of pain every day, pisses me off to no end.

I'm not sure if I really have the right to be pissed, and realize that I'm treading into very sensitive waters, but pissed I am. I can't help it. That's how divisive religion can be.

I still have reservations, but I'm beginning to warm up to the fact that Jon Kitna is the Lions QB. He showed more, as much as I HATE to use this term, heart, in the Vikings game than Scott Mitchell did in his entire Lions career.

Kitna plays with a verve and guts that enables him to produce at a level higher than his average talent would normally allow. He's the most effective leader the Lions have had under center since...Since...Since...That I have to think, and think hard, and still can't name a Detroit QB who was the unquestioned leader of the team, says volumes about Kitna, past Lions teams, and their long history of mediocre quarterbacks.

But the fact that Kitna is the driving force behind the Lions should not allow him to use that stature with the team, or the fanbase, to drive his religious agenda. Considering that he wears a cap with the cross prominently displayed on the front at every opportunity, will thank God at the drop of said hat, and will proselytize in the presence of the media (Such as the "Touched by God" quote), it's obvious that Kitna does have a agenda.

I'm also concerned that his religious fervor will ultimately divide the locker room, between the "God squad" types, and the non-believers. All is well and good now, with the Lions winning. But what happens when the inevitable losing streak comes along? Will they blame God? Blame those who don't believe in their God, or in any God? Will the losses just be God's will?

Then there is the question of team bonding. Terry Foster wrote today it was hard to find players to talk to on Mondays, because many of them were at a Kitna led bible study group. But what if a player doesn't go to bible study? Will he be, or at least feel as he's being, ostracized? Does that make him an outsider? Since he's not in the clique, will that player not to be trusted on the gridiron? It's a slippery slope.

We've already seen much the same happen in MLB, specifically with the Colorado Rockies. Players and front office types claimed that they don't push their faith on anyone, but wouldn't you think that it would be damn uncomfortable to play on that team if you didn't share their intense beliefs? Would an atheist or a Muslim fit in, or even want to play there?

I have problems with those who take their religious beliefs, and the same goes for those who lack them, and throw their beliefs back in my face. That goes for sports, entertainment, politics, the media, in any walk of life.

If religion works for you, wonderful! If it doesn't, great! Believer or non-believer, we should just try to be the best person we can be, and treat others as we would want to be treated. I just believe religion is an intensely personal thing, and it should remain that way.

Now I'm going to head off, and pray to God, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Zeus, Allah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and to any other convenient deity, that the Lions beat the Eagles this weekend.

Hey, if it helps...


  1. If something 'works' it isn't necessarily true. If something is true, it isn't supposed to 'work'.

    Relativity in social customs is nice, but when it comes to truth, i.e.- "Christians are supposed to share their faith...", one ought to be damn sure, right?

    Why do Christians share their faith, have Bible studies and generally make non-believer's, er, 'uncomfortable'?

    Don't you think you ought to find out?

  2. Al, although this probably isn't the right word to use following this post, Amen. A-fucking-men.

  3. Anon, I appreciate your comment. But I've done the religion thing. I grew up in the Catholic church. Did it all, baptized, first communion, confirmed, catechism, mass every Sunday. I was even married in a full mass.

    The older I got, the more I learned, and the more I realized that organized religion is not for me. I've gone through more than most people, specifically healthwise, as I'm now disabled, and have basically said, if there was God, why did he decide to shit all over me? Am I bitter? Damn straight I am.

    'eff, I always appreciate your comments. Actually, that "Word" made me laugh. Thanks!