25 January 2010
Christianity Can't Cut It Like Baseball, That's for Sure
"A single religion never will bring the peace and cooperation to the world that reason will, but an appreciation of a great team sport can help."
-- A Product of Ten Years of Catholic Schooling
The quote above was pulled from a delightfully inane, weird-yet-typical, letter to the editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. My wonderful wife Sharon found this letter and called it to my attention. The photo at the above left shows the wonderful peace and cooperation brought about by the rule of Reason in 1793. And mass executions, like baseball, are a crowd-pleasing "team sport".
But, to the point: the letter in question is ostensibly to protest the so-called "Christian Family Day" at the ballpark that had been put on by a coalition of evangelical groups but this year has been taken over by the Cardinals. The groups previously involved in CFD worry that the Cardinals will water down the focus of the day.
Luckily, someone with his own ideas was able to write this letter:
Why promote one religion over another?
Regarding "Christian Family Day group calls foul on Cardinals" (Jan. 16): I was raised by a devout worshipper of Jesus Christ and attended 10 years of Catholic school, including four years at a reputable West Coast college. I also have been a fan of Major League Baseball since 1958, when the Giants and Dodgers moved west. I can assure you that baseball has done a lot more than Christianity over the past 50 years to nourish my joy in life and appreciation of other human beings.
I cannot fathom why the Cards would want to continue with Christian Family Day.
So much has happened over the last 20 years to demonstrate how ill-conceived it is to either publicize or honor one faith over others.
The largest and fastest growing faith in the world, reportedly, is Islam. Would the Cards even consider an Islamic Family Day?
The bottom line is, let the youth of St. Louis experience the joy of the game and a remarkable local tradition and forget about trying to show favor to one religious group. A single religion will never bring the peace and cooperation to the world that reason will, but an appreciation of a great team sport can help.
Bring a child [to] the ballpark and let the magic of that experience work by itself, without myth or superstition.
D. J. Richards, St. Louis
My mind struggles to take it all in; I think the best approach is just to let the entire letter settle in to your consciousness, slowly, like a fine wine or a good book. Glory in it. Embrace it.
I just want to thank the Post for publishing this, and Catholic schools of the sixties and seventies for producing the mind that authored it.