Monday, January 23, 2006

Power of Steelers Prayer?

There were more than a few believers saying silent prayers during yesterday’s Steelers game, but with the team’s performance, there weren’t many nervous moments for fans wearing the Black and Gold.

Some fans have heard of the religiosity of particular Steelers, but the strong faith of others on the team is not necessarily widely known.

Center Jeff Hartings is unquestionably one of the most devout Christians on the team, and a voluntary prayer meeting always is held in his room on the night before a game. He has been called the “Christian Giant,” but he is not alone in professing his faith publicly.

Antwan Randle El, despite having a Muslim-sounding surname, also is a strong Christian who is not afraid of showing his faith.

These players are some of those who have been positively influenced by the team’s chaplain, Rev. Jay Wilson.

For more religious Steelers tidbits, check out this profile about Wilson that I had in yesterday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Steelers nation

Some of the Steelers nation who were present at yesterday’s trouncing of the Broncos are likely world travelers. For those world travelers in the Pittsburgh area who are interested in meeting other well-traveled people, a new club is being formed. I had a story about it in the Post-Gazette yesterday.

But it’s not broken, Mayor

Architecture critic Patricia Lowry has a story today in the Post-Gazette that is right on. She argues against messing with Market Square, as new Mayor Bob O’Connor would like to do.

O’Connor wants to eliminate the streets running through Market Square, though the street layout is one of the most historic in Downtown Pittsburgh. He’d also like to give Market Square a makeover, though the park was beautifully renovated a few years back.

Lowry agrees with O’Connor that buses should be banned from the Square, and I agree. But getting rid of vehicle traffic and the grid of streets is nonsense.

Let’s just hope that O’Connor’s idea of re-making Market Square is one of those hot-air sort of things that a newly elected mayor is liable to say, and nothing that he really plans to do.

The idea of revamping Market Square and removing streets there is a perfect example of an attempt to fix what isn’t broken.


Sherry P said...

i don't think there are many christians that are afraid of showing their faith. i think that's a good thing and i wish the same for those of other faiths as well. no one should be afraid for any reason to worship or not as they see fit as long as no laws are broken.
i think it's wonderful to pray before a game that no one be injured, that each person plays the best that they are able. i don't think that God, however you see the Divine, roots for one team or the other ,tho if that were true, i'm sure it would be the steelers. ; )

Jonathan Barnes said...

Sherry, I think a lot of young men who are professional athletes and also are Christians catch a bit of guff from their teammates for it, and I'm sure that can be tough. The lockeroom is full of machismo and BS, and I'm sure there's a bit of peer pressure there, too (not unlike any office environment).
Also, for such young men to resist all of the temptations that could be offered to a star football player/millionare who's 25 or 30, is no small feat.

Sherry P said...

i don't think so. i see quite a few christian athletes as well as muslim etc. and i just don't see it, really. i'm sure the temptations thrown at them, no matter their faith, are many, but it matters not if they are christian, muslim, buddhist or atheist. morals are morals, and not exculsive to christians. it's much easier to stand and say "i am a christian and i don't feel i should do this or that" just due to the fact that there ARE many christian atheletes and just regular folk that are as well, than to say i am an atheist or a wiccan or such and feel that i can not and should not do those things.
it isn't hard to be a christian in this country no matter what the televangelists or bill o'reilly say.
it is hard to have morals and ethics in this culture.

Jonathan Barnes said...

I wonder how many pro athletes you've known who are not only open about their faith, but faithful to that faith, as well.
Maybe you don't think that's a big thing, but I do.
There's a huge lack of honesty and genuineness in this country. A lot of people talk a good game, but few really live it.
I find O'Reily distasteful and I find most televangelists to be charlatans, so I don't appreciate the comparison.
I wasn't suggesting that non-christians can't act morally, but it seems I hit a nerve with my post.

Sherry P said...

oh, no, i'm not angry, and i'd never compare you to a televangelist. but they are the ones in the forefront of this so called war on christianity.
i can't see that there is a war on the predominant faith in this country is my point.
my point is that i think there is much less macho peer pressure when one declares themselve a christian and tries to live their faith because there is peer support out there. there are quite a few christian youth groups, athletic groups etc. that help to make a person not feel all alone if they are tempted or if they feel that to keep their standards they are "whoosy"
it is hard for anyone to keep morals and values these days, i certainly fail tho i try.
if i offended you i am sorry, i didn't mean to, it is just that i have friends of different faiths and those that are atheists and the atheists especially are constantly questioned (some times well meaningly) on how or even why should they have morals or ethics since they do not believe in heaven or hell or divine punishment. i have really had an education on what it is like to be a minority faith thorough my friends and aquaintances.

my whole thing was, it isn't an embarassement for a christian to proclaim their faith, but there are faiths in this country, especially nowdays where it is harder.
i enjoy talking with you, i hope i haven't upset you.

Jonathan Barnes said...

I enjoy talking with you too, Sherry. And the more I do, the more I think you should use your prose talents on your blog. It is clear in your comments here and elsewhere that you are a good prose writer and I think that you have a lot to say. A particular coversation you had with Jonathan Potts online a while back just blew me away. You need to use your talents wherever they take you, regardless of genre.
Now back to the issue...
Sorry if I sounded pissed, but I felt like you took me all wrong.
First off, a war on Christianity is not happening in this country, and I know that. The idea is a load of crap perpetuated by such free-thinkers as Jay Sekulow and Pat Robertson.
I'm aware that it easier to profess one's christian faith than it is to be a wiccan, but I don't hear a lot of wiccans or anybody else for that matter, taking much of a stand on many issues of great importance.
Also, when a guy like Jeff Hartings says he's a christian, some people put a target on his back. They're waiting for him to screw up, so they can say, see, he's a jagoff like everybody else who doesn't believe.
Taking a stand, putting yourself out there as a muslim or wiccan, I'm sure is tough in this country. But the majority in this country come from a christian background. So they know the ground rules, and they will judge the guy who says he's a christian by the rule-book that they know.
And some will hate that guy and call him holier than thou, even if he aint.

Sherry P said...

hi, thank you for the compliments.
there will always be people ready to knock someone down, especially if they take a stand. that really shouldn't be much of a bother to one, especially over being a christian. life is too short for things like that. it ranks up there with nasty gossips that delight in spreading bad things true or not. i remember reading a survey taken with people in hospices asking what they regreted doing in their lives.
the surprises came in that they did not regret their actions, they regreted the things they DIDN'T do, out of fear of things just like gossips and ridicule. THAT really made me think. i'm not a brave soul in many areas but when i was diagnosed with NF1 a few years back and had the disease explained to me and then researched it more, i had about a 3 day pity party for myself wallowing in the "why mees, haven't i been through enough, blah, blah...)then i decided to really try to do a few things that i had always wanted to. i had been writing for most of my life, quit for a good while and had been writing again but not with the determination that i have had for the last 8 years. i write my poetry as i want to, i never really liked rules, i can admire certain forms, i love haiku, but i can not do it justice, as to all the others, i take elements of whatever i care to and try to make it mine. i have written many times that i'd much rather br a first class me, than a 4th rate poet laureate. it is a passion. i do not recall the conversations you wrote of, i yak a lot via the computer.
back to religions tho,i have and do have friends of all beliefs but athiests are easy targets and find it offensive that people would think they have no moral code. they are like every other group, some good, some bad, most just regular folk. wiccans, well, no matter what one may think of their beliefs, our president actually went on record to state that he didn't consider it a religion. i think that was in response to the fact that there are wiccan prison chaplains and there are wiccan chaplains in the services. now,if the president had said that about native american spirituality there would have been a real backlash,( we screwed the native americans more than enough already!) but people laughed for the most part because it was wicca. there are also other sects as well, but wicca is the largest from my readings. he wouldn't have said that about buddhists or hindus, he shouldn't have said it about any religion as he is the president of everyone in this country so it doesn't surprise me that the neopagan community keeps it's head down.
robertson lumps feminists and pagans and Lord only knows together all the time.
me, i figure no one really knows for sure about GOD, we have faith, belief but we do not know and so i respect everyone and whatever they believe or don't as long as they don't break the law and don't hurt anyone else is fine by me. everyone has to walk their own path.
enough of the soap box, i'll climb down now. thanks, sherry