Feb 20 2012

Reflections of Super Bowl XLVI


Super Bowl XLVI was played between the New York Football Giants and the New England Patriots. The Giants won because Tom Brady can’t throw and catch at the same time. (Yes, Gisele, you were not the only one that noticed.) Towards the end of the game, Wes Welker dropping a flying in the air, over the back shoulder catch. It would have been an extraordinary catch, but I think most people believed Welker incapable of dropping passes. Cris Collinsworth pointed out from the NBC broadcast booth, “Welker makes that catch 100 percent of the time,” which he does, because he is such an extraordinary talent. Maybe he should be absolved. Gronkowski didn’t have a good game, obviously, hobbled from his high ankle sprain. But he had a shot at the buzzer, Hail Mary to pick off a tipped football, and win the game. It didn’t happen. But that other guy—may his name be banished from memory—had the ball hit him in the hands in the middle of the field! That catch would have been for a first down and yardage!  However much I wanted the Pats to win, my motive to watch the game was to see—if he lost—how Bill Belichick held up under the “test of adversity.” I watched closely at the end of the game to see how long he would remain on the field. My goal was to measure Bill’s humility by his commitment to remain for the whole game until time had ran out and the field was mobbed. To my great pleasure, Bill ignored the security team’s efforts to rush him towards the locker room and braved the onslaught of cameramen and the gauntlet of New York well wishers to hug Tom Coughlin, his longtime friend and former coaching mate. Never mind that no one knew the outcome of the game until the final tick of the clock. I am moralizing! Never mind that leaving a field before a game finishes could have a half dozen reasons that have little or nothing to do with humility. I am trying to impress you, dear reader, with my moral compass, biblical mastery, and spiritual discernment. So you just never mind those details. I watched Bill endure every agonizing second and remain on the field to take his public lumps. With each passing second I became secure in my impartation of Grace to perceive the manifest knowledge of his character to pass the “test of adversity.” Bill Belichick stayed on the field long after the game was over, soaking up the public humiliation, risking life and limb to defy the paparazzi mob. I am here to declare Bill Belichick the most humble man EVER! How am I qualified to make such a claim? Hmmm… Good question. OK, we’ll go with the tried and true: “I’m the greatest sinner I know.” Therefore, I can judge Bill Belichick’s character. Right? That is how Christian ethics work, right? This is the moral standard of Christianity: I proclaim myself a moral reprobate to qualify for the right to evaluate the ethical substance of human action, right? I willfully denounce my moral value as a prerequisite to offering moral judgment, right? Self-depreciation, self-abnegation, self-denigration is the hallmark of truly righteous, truly humble man, right? The highest ethical standard is manifest in the purest expression of altruism, right? Therefore, “I’m the greatest sinner I know” = my right to render moral judgment = my qualification to manufacture ethical standards = Bill Belichick as the most humble man ever. Case closed! No? That logic worked four years ago. Why shouldn’t that logic work now?

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    1. 171
      John Immel

      “But you cannot possibly be used by God to bring Truth to bear into any area as you have been taught that you are a depraved sinner (eye roll). Yikes! — people like this running governments is a very scary thought!”

      Amen Bridget!  Flat out terrifying that such vacant men would ever find the regins of civil power.

    2. 172

      Here is bit of profound humor to brighten your day. Totally off topic as usual. Rated PG-13. And it just so happens to be about my favorite heresy.

    3. 173

      I perceive Kant was correct in his analysis of altruism being the highest good. Where the error arises is in human beings believing they are capable of any altruistic action. Only a Perfect Man can act altruistically, and He did, once and for all. For the rest of us, our ONLY POSSIBLE claim to altruism is the delusion that we are capable of perfection. I.e. that we are “gods.”
      It is in pride that we go to our destruction. To “be like Jesus” is interpreted precisely this way by Kantian Christians.
      Indeed, Jesus tells us we “cannot enter the kingdom of heaven unless we become like little children.” Little children sacrifice themselves for no one. They simply enjoy the life bountifully provided to them by their parents. Jesus bought for us the ability to become like little children by being the Altruistic Perfect Sacrifice. We throw away our birthright when we suppose that we can “become like God,” and attempt to “lay down our lives” for others.
      We should certainly love others, but we should do so like little children, simply enjoying one another. Self-sacrifice is an act of God, not Man. Certainly not His Redeemed.
      Jesus said that if you have two coats and you see your brother, give him one. He did NOT say that if you have a coat and you see your brother with none, give it to him.

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    1. 174
      Credo #38.1: Doubt is not humility «

      […] Edit: One again John Immel does my work for me, expressing my idea in much better fashion. Take the time to slow through this and chew on it. It’s that good, and it’s that […]

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