"WHEN FASCISM COMES TO AMERICA IT WILL BE WRAPPED IN THE FLAG
AND CARRYING A CROSS." -SINCLAIR LEWIS

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I Don't Think God Likes Colt McCoy...

I just got finished watching the Texas Longhorns and the Alabama Crimson Tide play for the BCS college football national championship. It was a great game between the top two teams in the country (I took the day off from work to watch it and yes, as a graduate of Texas A&M I might have been rooting against Texas just a bit) and although Alabama ultimately won the night I thought that both teams put forth a valiant effort.

So I was watching the obligatory post-game interviews of coaches and players when Texas' starting quarterback Colt McCoy (yes, people in Texas give their kids names like "Colt"; have you met my twins: Smith and Wesson?), who got injured on the fifth play of the Longhorns' first offensive drive of the first quarter and had to sit out pretty much the entire game, was asked, "What was it like for you to watch this game, your last game in a Longhorn uniform, from the sideline?" As he tried multiple times to answer this obvious yet pointless question, choking up more than once in the process, after one of the most devastating disappointments of his life on national television I was really feeling bad for the kid. He finally squeezed out some words about loving the game of football, wishing he could have played tonight and gave praise to his backup quarterback and the skills displayed by the other team. Classy. And then he said something that made me feel a little more sorry for him:

I always give God the glory. I never question why things happen the way they do. God is in control of my life, and I know if nothing else I'm standing on the rock.
Really? So let me get this straight: You've been playing football pretty much your entire life. You obviously love the game and it is among your great passions. You spent every summer you can remember running through two-a-day practices in the brutal Texas heat. You won all kinds of awards and distinctions as one of the best high school quarterbacks in the state, and you went on to do the same in college. After your team won a national championship when you were red-shirted your freshman year, you led them to four winning regular seasons leading up to this: the last game of your college career and it's for the national championship. This game was the culmination of everything you've fought and worked for your entire life... and five plays in, God decided He didn't want to let you play. And you're cool with that?

This is one of many reasons why not only can I not believe in a god, but also why I don't want to. I fail to understand the satisfaction or comfort derived from believing that there is an all-powerful being out there who has the ability to take something this important away from a person, without any apparent reason and seemingly on a whim. And yes, I've heard: "He works in mysterious ways". So do ninjas, but I would never willingly cede them control of my life. Of course, McCoy is going to move on to a career in the NFL where he'll make tens of millions of dollars and have his pick from a Tiger Woods-sized bevy of hot chicks so perhaps there is something to his faith but personally, I'd still need more proof than that. But I'm a cynic, so there you go.

18 comments:

AnonymousGirl said...

I think it's not so much that Colt wasn't able to play during the final game of his college career as it was how he responded to that. He could have easily cursed God out and been really angry and completely lost his faith right then and there, but instead, he used the opportunity to share his belief in Christ on national television. Despite the fact that his team lost. To me, that was really inspiring.

There's a line from a Hillsong United song that might apply here: "I know I'm filled to be emptied again; this seed I've received I will sow." McCoy was probably feeling emptied tonight, but instead of getting burned out, he chose to "sow the seed."

I know it can seem like God is all about taking things away from us (as a victim of Hurricane Katrina and losing a relative to cancer, I can vouch for this), but He really does have a bigger plan in place that we can't always see. That's where faith comes in. Bad stuff happens - hurricanes, cancer, all kinds of hardships - but I believe everything does happen for a reason and we can either step out of the fire even stronger in our faith or let it completely burn us out. Once we get over the initial feeling of, "Why me?" we start to realize that we are still so blessed. If nothing else, we still have God and His love never fails. If you're still not following me, try the book of Job in the Bible. Or Daniel. Both are about people who faced loads of trial but still had faith because they knew that God loved them and they knew that God would never lead them through something that they couldn't handle.

I'm not trying to come across as some "holy roller" or "holier than thou" type. I'm just speaking as a human, complete with flaws and regrets, who has been forgiven. I firmly believe there is a God who created and loves every single person on this earth and if Colt McCoy helped at least one person realize that tonight, I'd say that's worth more than a national championship.

Thank you for taking time to read this.

6p00e55021c9568834 said...

you're an idiot. your words show that you're lazy and foolish to understand gods plans. you're life is probably miserable because it keeps going through same problems because you never change. you're scapegoating god because nothing ever good happens to you, and it wont be good because you're too lazy and foolish to believe in god or commit to god.

JBW said...

Anongirl, you sound like a good person and I wish you well. I realize that you feel strength believing that God has a plan for you but I just can't understand that.

God supposedly destroyed Job's life just to make a point to Satan, and if He did the same to McCoy (I personally don't believe that, of course) then I would have nothing but contempt for him.

I can't believe that everything happens for a reason because there is no scientific proof for that hypothesis other than wishful thinking. I understand the allure of wishes, I just don't think that there is anyone listening or making them come true.

But as I said, take heart in what you believe. Being a good person is more important than being right, and it's something that we can both agree on.

JBW said...

String of random letters and numbers, you sound like the type of "intellectual" Christian I've come to expect to hear from when I speak out against a belief in a god.

Your clever insult of "idiot" is obviously well thought out and I can't think of a suitable riposte to employ against it other than to state that "I'm not". Please forgive me if I used to many big words in my former statement.

My life is indeed miserable at times and I do indeed seem to have the same problems, perhaps even because I'm slow to change. I can even be lazy and foolish at times but life has taught me that rather than attributing these particular shortcomings to a lack of belief in your god that they could result from my merely being human.

I know, I know, my obviously scintillating personality and god-like intellect seem to go against this hypothesis but I assure you, I'm only human just like you. Well, not just like you: I skipped bible school to study correct spelling and grammar, but we all have our own priorities.

Good luck hating everyone who doesn't agree with you. You have a long road before you.

To God be the Glory said...

JBW,

Thank you for such an honest post! There does appear to be a huge gulf between Colt's situation ("let me get this straight: You've been playing football pretty much your entire life. You obviously love the game and it is among your great passions. You spent every summer you can remember running through two-a-day practices in the brutal Texas heat. You won all kinds of awards and distinctions as one of the best high school quarterbacks in the state, and you went on to do the same in college. After your team won a national championship when you were red-shirted your freshman year, you led them to four winning regular seasons leading up to this: the last game of your college career and it's for the national championship. This game was the culmination of everything you've fought and worked for your entire life.")and Colt's interpretation of what has happened.

I am wondering a couple things:

-Though you do not understand, "the satisfaction or comfort derived from believing that there is an all-powerful being out there who has the ability to take something this important away from a person, without any apparent reason and seemingly on a whim" would you deny that Colt does indeed find satisfaction and comfort in that belief?

-When you describe who Colt believes god to be, you write that that god has, "the ability to take something this important away from a person, without any apparent reason and seemingly on a whim." Would you say that your intellect is so advanced that because you cannot think of an apparent reason or because you perceive something to be "seemingly on a whim" that therefore it has no reason and is indeed on a whim? Or could you entertain the idea that the human mind is limited and therefore unable to perceive the reasons and "apparent whims" of a being infinite in wisdom (as the Christian God is described to be)?

JBW said...

TGBTG, thank you for your compliment. I pride myself on honesty in such matters.

As to your questions, Colt certainly says that he finds satisfaction and comfort in his beliefs but it sure looked to me like he was less than satisfied or comfortable after that game. I don't think most human beings would be in his situation but if he says that he was I'll take him at his word. His life, his beliefs.

I don't attribute my lack of faith solely to my intellect but I think it helps. I also don't attribute his injury to anyone's whim because I don't believe that anyone decreed that he be hurt. As to the reason, I'd say that it had something to do with his being tackled by a bunch of huge Southern guys who eat a lot of beef, but that's more of a cause.

I agree that the human mind is limited and perhaps therefore unable to perceive the reasons and apparent whims of a being supposedly infinite in wisdom but I also think that the human mind is sufficiantly advanced enough to determine whether there is any proof that such a being exists and to date I've seen none.

Again, I'm not ruling out the possibility but based on what I know of the natural world and the universe I'd say that the odds favor God being a product of wishful thinking on the part of human beings more than they favor an all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing intelligence that created the entire universe out of nothing, essentially violating every inviolable law of thermodynamics that he supposedly created for that universe.

I understand that you like to believe in your god and I'm not trying to take that away from you, I'm just saying that "he works in mysterious ways" seems like a catch-all excuse that I'd use to explain the clockwork of the universe if I badly wanted to believe that it was being intelligently controlled. Thanks for stopping by.

TRUTH 101 said...

As one of the few left leaning bloggers that also doesn't hide from his Christianity, I find it blasphemous, stupid and perhaps intelectually lazy to blame God for stuff. Good or bad. JBW is the best blogger I've read because he's smart and creative. He's smart and creative because he chose to be smart and creative. Not because God bestowed these talents upon him.


You don't achieve success at anythingby kneeling all day long in prayer. You achieve it through dedication and work. If prayer helps keep you focused that's great. I've prayed for focus and direction myself. But in the end, sometmes shit happens. Sometimes things fall into place. Neither time is God's fault.

Matthew said...

I ran across your blog tonight, and though highly unusual for me to respond to someones blog, I just couldn't help myself. But don't worry, I'm not going to try to convert you, just give some brief thoughts that might let you view events in a different light.

First I have to say, I'm a UT fan that lives in College Station, so I'm around plenty of Aggies. In one of your responses, you make the point that everyone believes he was hurt. In most circles, that is true. Unfortunately, some of your fellow Aggies claim he faked the injury to better his NFL draft status. Others are just trash talking him and calling him........'soft', to put it nicely. You don't have to take my word for it, you can read it at TexAgs.com. I'm not trying to lump you into this category, but pointing out that their are groups who are extremely disrespectful about what happened to Colt. Its a shame that it is primarily the cross-state rivals.

On to the points that I really wanted to make. In your response to "AnonymousGirl" you mention how "God supposedly destroyed Job's life just to make a point to Satan". In reality, the story tells us that Satan was trying to prove a point to God, that if everything was taken from Job, he would curse God and his faith would fail. Satan offered up the challenge and God allowed it, imparting only a few boundaries. The Bible tells us that God will allow us to be tempted, bu He will not do the tempting. In fact, the Bible tells us that Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit to be tempted. It was Satan who did the tempting, but God allowed it. The same was true for Job, and in the case of Job, upon remaining faithful throughout the temptations, Job's life was restored to an even better state than before all the horrific events that plagued his life.

There are many other stories in the Bible where bad things were allowed to happen to good people, but those bad things didn't come from God.

Bill Little is a commentator for UT and is his recent story makes a good Biblical comparison between Colt and Moses. Moses was a very holy man and led Gods people to the promise land, but was not allowed to enter himself. That duty was given the Joshua. Now this was punishment for Moses and I'm not going to say Colt was being punished, but there are some similarities in that Colt worked for several years to led his team to a title game, got them their, and really wasn't given the chance to play; that job was for Gilbert.

Now I'm not trying to get on my soapbox, but just trying to point out that bad things happen to good people and God is not the one bring those bad things to our lives. We are just asked to continue believing in Him to guide us through the bad times.

To address your point that we have no empirical data of God. I will say that we do have a lot of archeological data agrees with parts of the Bible. There is little debate on the history that the Israelite people were in Canaan, a man named Jesus did exist, and so on. Past the historical evidence, there is not much else except for faith. For me, as a Chemist, I find that science most often encourages my faith rather than sidelining it. Lets put in these terms. What is your chance of winning the lottery? For the Texas lottery, it is something like 1 in 25 million. Not very good odds is it? Well, if you start thinking about all the intricate details of how our universe works, from the biochemical process in our bodies to the perfect positioning of the Earth from the Sun and all the billions and billions of other details that I haven't mentioned. Well suddenly my odds at the lottery look really, really good. As a scientist, I cannot possibly imagine our world was an accident.

Again, I'm not responding to convert you. Instead a few minor corrections and maybe a different viewpoint to look at the next time you ponder Christianity. Maybe you never think about it again, but then maybe this viewpoint gives you reason to reconsider, and I like those odds even more.

Nicole said...

"So do ninjas, but I would never willingly cede them control of my life." That line made me laugh so hard I scared my kids!

JBW said...

Thanks, Nicole. Making people laugh and scaring kids are two of my favorite things in the world.

JBW said...

Thank you for not trying to convert me, Matthew. I fear that it would indeed be an exercise in futility.

First off, those Texas Aggies who claim that McCoy faked his injury are classless meatheads who are wholly unrepresentative of my alma mater. Living in College Station you must know this. I'm not one of those rabid, "I bleed maroon" Ags (I even make fun of A&M sometimes when I think it deserves it) but I do believe that most Aggies are good sports and good people.

While I admittedly was pulling for Bama I was quite upset to see McCoy leave the game. Not only is he a class guy as I said in my post but I wanted to see a world-class game and for that you need two world-class quarterbacks. Your freshman performed quite well given the circumstances but it obviously wasn't the same match up after that.

You're correct in that it was supposedly Satan who destroyed Job's life; I clearly misspoke on that count (I didn't have these stories pounded into my head every weekend as a kid; I had to read them on my own, mostly so I could perform better in the "Bible" category whilst watching Jeopardy).

But by giving His tacit approval for Satan to destroy Job's life I would argue that God was at least complicit in that act (in a court of law I'd at least charge Him with conspiracy to commit murder, as His omniscience would have surely made Him aware of what Satan had planned for Job's children).

And the only boundary God seems to have insisted upon was that Satan couldn't take Job's life, which by extension gives Satan permission to torture Job physically to within an inch of that life if he so chose (I don't know how painful boils can get but they sound pretty awful). And is it just me or does all of this sound suspiciously like the Bush administration's policy on torture?

So God lets Job witness the death of every one of his children. Now I don't have any kids (that I know of *wink*wink*) but I've heard that this is one of the worst things that can happen to a person and that most parents would gladly give their own life to save those of their own children. Yet God specifically forbids this from happening so that the pain of Job's loss has the maximum devastating effect on his psyche (and one would presume his wife's as well).

But as you say, by dint of his faith Job's life is restored to an even better state than before except of course that every one of his children were slaughtered so that God could be proven right. And again I'm not a father but Job's second round of daughters were reportedly the hottest in the land so I suppose that makes up for the deaths of the former group. Although I think you'd be hard pressed to find many parents who would agree with you that their lives would be better if their offspring were murdered and replaced with better looking kids (Ozzy Osborne might take you up on that one).

I agree with you that bad things happen to good people but I seem to lack the ability you possess to be able to attribute the cause of those bad things to anybody or thing besides God. How do you know this? Yeah, it says it in the Bible but didn't God supposedly write that book? I don't believe most of the things Sarah Palin says in her book and she's not even invisible and doesn't have any superpowers. [continued below]

JBW said...

[continued from above] I contend that if God didn't have thousands of years of constant PR about what a great guy He is very few people would actually believe the things you're telling me. God supposedly has limitless power, can control the entire universe and knows everything that's going to happen yet He does nothing to keep people from suffering and insists that we all know how great He is and tell Him this on a constant basis. Based on that description He comes off as a narcissistic psychopath who requires constant attention while not giving a damn about helping anyone but Himself (and no, that wasn't another Sarah Palin comparison).

As to empirical data, I majored in Archaeology in college and even took Archeology in the land of the Bible so I agree with you that the historical record does back up certain people and events in that book but as you say, all of the magic tricks must be taken on faith and since God seems to be mostly composed of magic I think my point still holds.

As to the creation of the Earth, I think you're misunderstanding the difference between "accident" and "chance". There are no accidents, everything in the universe happens according to chance, or probability, and our own evolution is no different. The anthropic principal states that the reason our universe just happens to have all of the correct physical laws and biological processes that have allowed for the existence of life is because if it didn't, then we wouldn't be here to ask why. To use your lottery analogy, it would be as if the guy with the winning ticket was the only person who was playing and his numbers were the only ones that could be chosen. The odds are still the same but his perception of them would be very different. As a scientist, I'm surprised that you view probability theory through such a partisan lens.

I appreciate your taking the time to respond to my post considering your professed manner of not usually doing so and I always welcome the airing of view points which differ from my own here at Brain Rage as I think that it keeps life interesting. I'm afraid that your insistence that magic is real and that you claim to know the will and personality of a supreme being who most likely doesn't exist weakens the logic of your arguments but I've enjoyed it just the same. Go Aggies, beat TU!

one L said...

"God supposedly has limitless power, can control the entire universe and knows everything that's going to happen yet He does nothing to keep people from suffering and insists that we all know how great He is and tell Him this on a constant basis."

I have a serious question that sounds like a fake one:

So you think that God - being all powerful and omniscient that He is - should a be a micro-manager?

Even in protecting us from ourselves, there is still great value and merit in learning and experiencing things for yourself... even if it brings pain and suffering. Knowing you, I imagine you agree with that. So I don't get why an all-powerful God can't sit back and let the kids take the wheel; being proud of them when things go well and hurting for them when they choose poorly.

JBW said...

T101, I neglected to acknowledge and shamelessly encourage another of your "best blogger ever" compliments that I enjoy so well. Gracias amigo, and keep the faith.

JBW said...

You know me all too well, one L. This is precisely why I've said on numerous occasions that I would most definitely not want an all-powerful overseer encroaching on and interfering with my life and I think I said pretty much the same thing in my post.

I would hate to think that God was acting as a micro-manager and controlling everything we say and do but many Christians seem to think that this is the case while at the same time espousing the counter belief that all men have free will.

If there is a god up there I would hope that He's the type you describe, kicking back with some chicken and beer and watching the rest of us idiots doing our thing. But that flies directly in the face of people like McCoy who claim that God is controlling their lives and think that they can get cool things if they just pray long and hard enough for them.

On a personal note (this is also a serious question that sounds like a fake one), do you pray? I assume that you do (I can't recall you specifically mentioning it but I have a strong suspicion that you have) and if so why do you do it?

If you say that you do so to make yourself or even God feel better, like a therapeutic kind of thing, then I understand (sort of) but if not and God is just chillin' as you seem to be saying, then what's the point? Why do it at all or why not use that time to take the wheel and learn and/or experience something? Again, I only ask because I've never been able to reconcile these things in my own head.

one L said...

We do pray.

While I don't think God is so hands-on as some people might, I do think He's in control. I mean, if you read that bible - or even lumps of it - you can see that a lot of it is stories about people, their own decisions or circumstances and then what happens next.

I believe He knows everything that's going to happen, but I don't believe that means he's caused all those things to happen. Did he cause Satan to dump his angelship in favor of the underworld or was it Satan's decision? He gave us all free will. We can make our own decisions.

You could compare God to the captain of a boat. He's sitting at the wheel and has to steer every now and again, but He lets us be and pays attention the rest of the time. I'm not sure if that's the best analogy or not; it was spur of the moment.

We pray for a lot of things. We pray for our friends, our family, difficult situations, feelings, healing, so on, etc. I do believe those prayers get answered - no matter how much later - but not always as I anticipate or hope. Sometimes we find ourselves on the other end of what seems to be a "harsh reality" that turns out to be one of the greatest gifts we've ever been given.

Did God allow that game to be taken away from Colt? Did God Himself take it? Was it a fluke of nature? Was Colt posturing for the NFL draft? Nobody could ever know. I won't rule out the chance that his absence from that game could one day turn out to be a far greater gift for him than playing and winning could have been. It all depends on what happens next.

...and for the record, those who say he sat out to improve his draft stock are dolts. The NFL does not like hurt players. Furthermore, 4 years ago Colt watched as Vince Young's Rose Bowl performance catapulted him from a mid-to-late 1st round pick to the 3rd pick in the draft. I can't think of a better reason for Colt to fight back into that game even at the possible expense of an NFL career.

JBW said...

Thanks for your perspective one L, but it's still all hopeful magic to me.

one L said...

If there's no hope in it then I'd wonder what the point was.