I would not do well as an American.
It’s not the gun control debate, or the politicizing of the American Church, or the law-and-order mentality, or the idea that Americans are more capitalist and entrepreneurial, or that I prefer French to Spanish as a second language, or the pronunciation of the 26th letter of the alphabet. No, none of those.
It’s the preoccupation with sports.
It seems that if you live in The States you can’t mention the city or state you’re from without saying, “Go ___________ [name of local team]” Your support for the local baseball/football/basketball team is taken as a given. To do otherwise would be less than patriotic, perhaps even less than Christian. A “good citizen” is one who supports the home team. Dissent would be traitorous.
Don’t get me wrong, we have our hockey fans here; a rather rabid bunch who live and breathe the sport. We also have cable/satellite sports networks, send teams to the summer and winter Olympics, and enjoy all manner of activity on our abundance of fresh water lakes.
But canceling a Sunday morning church service to accommodate game day? It’s not unheard of here in the frozen north, but it does take courage. So when Pete Wilson tweeted that the weekend schedule at Cross Point was being adjusted so the church could “support our Titans as they take on the San Diego Chargers;” I have to say it still caught me off guard. (Or perhaps, to use a sports term, off side.)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Pete and have given his books glowing reviews here. Any visit I made to Nashville would have to include a visit to Cross Point. I’m not saying that this is universally a bad move; it’s quite probably the right move for their church culture. It just amazes me, that’s all. I also recognize that there are other weekend services that are intact, but let’s face it, you’re canceling a church service because of a sporting event. It is somewhat incredible.
Like I said, I have heard of similar things here, particularly on the west coast, where east coast sporting events conflict because of the 3-hour time difference. it’s just that you have to roll your eyes when you think of where we — and I’ll remove the self-righteous stance and say ‘we’ here — have placed our priorities as a society.
But as I noted the other day, even UK-export Sheila Walsh keeps tweeting about football, which is most surprising because in England and her native Scotland, they actually play real football, not the pale imitation for which we use the word for in the U.S. and Canada. It’s like watching a scene from Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
I wonder if they have to cancel church services there when the hometown club has a Sunday match?
Graphic source with interesting article: Yahoo Sports Blog
Sentence that got cut from the above: Personally, however, I was never really on a lot of teams, so when it comes to sports, I’m more of an athletic supporter.