Disclaimer: The following is what happens when someone gets a theological education who was raised to be a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket, whose brother, father, and grandfather all graduated from Tech, and who was unable to see a live football game until deemed old enough to hear his father scream "to hell with Georgia." Scripture taken completely out of context, bile spewed at U(sic)GA, and anyone fighting against Georgia portrayed as the eschatalogical hope of the world. And I didn't even have to call Mark Richt the whore of Babylon. Enjoy.
Acts 17:16 - While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.
Athens was once the center of the Greek world, a center of knowledge and wisdom. Even as the Greek empire fell and the Roman Empire replaced it, Athens maintained its cultural influence. That influence, however, faded into mere imitation as brighter minds saw that there were far better places to live, leaving only the ignorant and the incompetent behind. Since then, other places have taken the name Athens, but like their namesake, they too are simply poor imitations of outdated modes of thought, where anyone sensible will simply move to a better locale.
Athens, Greece had the crime and moral deficiencies of many cities, so when it completely lost any intellectual capital it once had, it became a place to see strange architecture and leave. Thus, it is entirely appropriate that this weekend, when the Georgia Bulldogs meet the Alabama Crimson Tide in the city which like its namesake remains a den of idolatry, debauchery, and moral depravity, that the home team will be wearing black. Confronting sinfulness and moral failures is one of the duties of a Christian, those who follow the "Great Light of the World." As noted by C.S. Lewis in his Screwtape Letters, one of the most common tactics of evil is to mask itself as good, so it is in some ways surprising to see U(sic)GA embracing the dark side. This darkness seems to be embraced not only by the seniors, but by the entire fan base as well. For those who have watched the program, however, it is only the latest in a long line of decisions to walk away from the light.
This is a team whose proudest moment in recent memory was a thuggish team-wide celebration penalty. A quarterback whose greatest achievement is a keg stand in Talladega. A team who is highly rated simply because Atlanta sportswriters have children too dumb to get into Georgia Tech, so they take their HOPE scholarships and go to U(sic)GA, where they can get four more years of high school education and a faux college degree out of the deal. Now that their team has beaten Georgia Southern and Arizona State, these writers are hoping to help their children feel some semblance of pride at this glorified high school.
Perhaps they're hoping their flea-ridden mascot will attempt to bite one of our receivers. Or maybe pass on hookworms to them (as a newspaper once reported that its ancestor had done to former quarterback Quincy Carter). They worship an inbred dog, a redneck quarterback, and a thuggish team. This over-hyped group of thugs and rednecks should enjoy the darkness they so enjoy while they can, because a new day is dawning. I look forward to Saturday.
Because on Saturday, a team in white will show up. A team of light. And, as we are reminded in scripture, "the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it" (John 1:5). It will be on that day when the powers of darkness will be met by the crimson perpetual tide, and all will be made right. The darkness will not overtake the light. It cannot. So be it.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
hate-blogging, UGA week
Note: In my continual effort to find new and various ways to explore varying degrees of popular sports stories, I asked my buddy Peter — born a Tech fan, bred an Alabama grad, now a practicing United Methodist minister — to list all the reasons everyone should hate the University (sic) of Georgia. Be warned: it gets a little apocalyptic in here for a moment. If this entry makes you crave more from Peter (or his wife), check out their blog. Many thanks to Peter for taking time out of his ... whatever it is pastors do during the week to write this up for us.