There was a time when it was considered poor form to discuss religion, money and politics in social settings, in the workplace, at parties. That was then. This is now. We live in a world where no topic is off limits and every private thought or feeling is considered fair game to the media and to the world at large.
That’s why the question Sports Illustrated poses on its cover this week — “Does God Care Who Wins the Super Bowl?” — might offend some, but should surprise no one. The cover features Baltimore’s Ray Lewis, hands clasped as if in prayer, in a body of water. Is he in a baptismal font or a whirlpool? Is there a difference these days?
Laugh if you will — but some of you won’t. A survey by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 27 percent of Americans believe that “God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event.” And more surprisingly, a majority of Americans — 53 percent — believe that God is more interested in protecting and helping those athletes who profusely thank their Maker after the game.