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A father’s dilemma: Is watching football immoral?
Two Carolina Panthers tackle Tennessee Titans' Justin McCareins. Injuries from hits like these have caused some to question the morality of watching football.
February 1st, 2014
08:56 PM ET

A father’s dilemma: Is watching football immoral?

Opinion by Patton Dodd, special to CNN

(CNN) - Three weeks ago, I sat down with my family to root for the Denver Broncos against the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the NFL playoffs. The Broncos were winning and it was all going swimmingly - until Henry, my 7-year-old son, started with the questions:

"Dad, have you decided that it's OK to watch football?"

"Dad, didn't you say were you worried about all the injured players?"

"Dad? What percentage of you thinks it's OK to watch football, and what percentage of you thinks it's wrong?"

Little kid wouldn't shut up.

It was our first football game since late October, when, after two years of wrestling with my conscience, I had decided to stop watching the sport I've loved all my life.

My childhood bedroom was a shrine to John Elway and the Broncos, so it was with special poignancy that right in the middle of Denver's most successful season ever, I opted to spend Sunday autumn afternoons raking leaves instead of cheering Peyton Manning's powerhouse performances.

If you've been paying even scant attention in recent years, you know football has been under the ethical microscope. The problems go beyond the bodily harm caused by the game (see Gregg Easterbrook on how the NFL abuses tax policies and the NCAA cheats student athletes). But the news on injuries has pricked our consciences in a special way.

As well it should. Thanks to the work of several dogged journalists, and despite the NFL's best efforts to subvert the truth, we now know that repeated blows to the head experienced in the normal course of football play can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a type of brain damage resulting in early onset dementia and severe (and, in the worst cases, suicidal) depression.

And thanks to accounts like Nate Jackson's riveting football memoir “Slow Getting Up,” we know that the game we love depends on legions of no-name guys who quietly sacrifice their bodies to the NFL's culture of constant pain, only to exit to a road to nowhere.

Jackson's memoir and other recent books don't just deliver the hard facts on football-induced brain and body damage. Crucially, they also acquaint us more intimately with the people who play the game.

The stories of players in these accounts challenge our moral imagination by forcing us to recognize that the uniformed men on the field are not just Football Players, but Persons - brothers, fathers, husbands, and sons like me.

One of my earliest football memories is watching the Dallas Cowboys' Tony Dorsett break off a 99.5-yard touchdown run against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football. I fell in love with Dorsett during that play. As a kid, I had a book called “The NFL's Greatest Plays,” and I read the chapter on Dorsett's long touchdown again and again.

A few months ago, Dorsett reported that he is experiencing symptoms associated with CTE. He has become prone to outbursts of anger, and he sometimes loses his way while taking his daughters to a familiar soccer practice field. His children admit to feeling nervous around their father these days.

When I read those stories, I realized anew that Dorsett is not just a well-compensated celebrity athlete whose skills I enjoyed. He is a father like me, and his kids are kids like mine. If I have a share in Dorsett's humanity, I have a vested interest in his well-being.

When I watch football now, I no longer just see dramatic rivalries, fascinating offensive and defensive strategies, and feats of physical genius. I no longer see my favorite players pitted against some other players. I see a bunch of individual human beings subjecting themselves to an intoxicating harm that could one day be their undoing.

By their wounds, we are entertained.

Sure, they do it willingly. Sure, many of them are handsomely paid. But will can be constrained by culture, and finances can be fleeting.

Last week, an ESPN poll found that 85% of NFL players said they would willingly play in the Super Bowl with a concussion. But how would they reflect on that choice a few years from now if, like Dorsett, they can't run simple errands with their children? How would they feel about that choice if, like Junior Seau or Dave Duerson, thoughts of suicide dominate their days? Will football glory have been worth it?

And do I want to cheer them into that future?

The Broncos' Wes Welker is playing in the Super Bowl after a season of multiple concussions. Can I root for him in good conscience knowing that the very plays I'm cheering - across-the-middle catches and countless hard blocks and collisions - could give him a condition that one day might lead him to take his own life?

Can I root for Football Players every week without caring one whit what happens to them as Persons away from football?

These are the questions football fans ought to be asking. Knowing what we know, are we still ready for some football?

My son Henry was asking me for morality clarity, but I admit I don't have it yet on football. What I have is deep ambivalence about a game I love.

On this Super Bowl Sunday, before we watch the game (Go Broncos!), my family will go to church together and worship a God who, as our tradition teaches, once had a body.

In large part because of the Incarnation, Christian theology emphasizes that bodies are sacred and that their sacredness requires us to treat every single body as an end, never as a mean.

Every person is a subject; no person is an object. I have total moral clarity on that score, as all Christians (and all people) should.

Can we rightly weigh football's risks as a society? Can football, especially commercialized football, be a sport that honors human bodies? Can we cheer the men who play this game without dehumanizing them? Can we support the afterlives of football players?

I sure hope so. If not, Henry's questions will force me to accept, and to teach him, that the only proper response is to give up football for good.

Patton Dodd is editor-in-chief of OnFaith. The views expressed in this column belong to Dodd.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Health • Opinion • Sports • Violence

soundoff (388 Responses)
  1. Rynomite

    A church-goer is concerned that football is immoral, yet does not flinch at the murders committed by his "loving" god in his "good" book. He does not flinch at the defacto approval of slavery. He does not flinch at the treatment of women. He does not flinch at the idea that punishing someone for your own transgressions. Head scratching.

    February 3, 2014 at 10:09 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Rynomite : yet does not flinch at the murders committed by his "loving" god in his "good"
      book.

      The difference is a matter of one's perspective – Do you see this life as 'all there is' or do you see life in eternity? If it is the secular viewpoint, then yes, this would be unloving. However, if it is from the Christian viewpoint, then all that happens in a 'murder' is one graduating from this life into their eternal life. And what does 100 years in this life mean when compared against eternity?

         <><

      February 3, 2014 at 10:53 am |
      • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

        So we should legalize the murder of theists? Obama, Boehner: Get on it!!

        February 3, 2014 at 10:58 am |
      • Doc Vestibule

        So from the Christian perspective, murderers do their victims a favour by bringing them to their eternal reward?

        February 3, 2014 at 10:59 am |
      • tallulah13

        That's really messed up, liver. But at least you're honest about your disrespect for the lives of others.

        February 3, 2014 at 11:13 am |
      • Saraswati

        Exactly the reason why in the Christian wolrd view aborting a fetus is the most noble act. In no other way can you give a sould a free ride to eternal salvation with no work on their part.

        February 3, 2014 at 11:14 am |
        • Dez

          I guess we can expect L to shut her unknowedgeable mouth about abortion then?

          February 3, 2014 at 11:27 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Saraswati : Exactly the reason why in the Christian wolrd view aborting a fetus is the most noble act.

          Well, it may work out for the baby, but it doesn't for the mother. Another sinful act that can weigh down her soul into hell.

             <><

          February 3, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          Jesus H Quintana!

          February 3, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • Pete

          Perhaps god won't mind a mother sacrificing her eternal life for that of her child's.

          February 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm |
        • No Evidence

          "Another sinful act that can weigh down her soul into hell."

          Big load of mythological krap...

          February 3, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          "Another sinful act that can weigh down her soul into hell."

          And yet as you sit here judging you yourself are sinning. The hypocrisy within your group is astounding.
          Nowhere in the bible does it speak of abortion and thankfully your bible has no pertinence outside of your home or church, so even if it did it doesn't matter. Abortion is not a crime and it is not your business.

          February 3, 2014 at 1:32 pm |
      • ME II

        @Live4Him,
        "However, if it is from the Christian viewpoint, then all that happens in a 'murder' is one graduating from this life into their eternal life. And what does 100 years in this life mean when compared against eternity?"

        That seems contrary to all the press from the "pro-life" proponents.

        February 3, 2014 at 11:34 am |
        • Live4Him

          @ME II : That seems contrary to all the press from the "pro-life" proponents

          The pro-life position on this is that only God should take life. So, why would you consider it contrary to their position?

             <><

          February 3, 2014 at 11:49 am |
        • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

          ME II

          Yeah stupid. Yahweh is allowed to murder, r@pe and torture. Yahweh is allowed to massacre babies and commit genocide. Why don't you read your Bible sometime dingus? 😉

          February 3, 2014 at 11:54 am |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,
          "The pro-life position on this is that only God should take life"

          I thought that it was that all life is sacred. Why does your supposed God get a pass?

          February 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          L$H: Excuses excuses...anything to keep the fantasy that your god is 'good' alive in that closed mind of yours. Read your bible fully instead of just listening to what is being read to you, you might actually see that your god is the furthest thing from good and in turn join our side.

          February 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          L4H
          "The pro-life position on this is that only God should take life."

          Then why do they not accept god's will and why only in the case of abortion?

          February 3, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @ME II : I thought that it was that all life is sacred. Why does your supposed God get a pass?

          Life is sacred because of the choice to serve the Lord. Once that decision is finalized, it is less so because the only real issue is 'Will you serve the Lord in eternity". Since only God knows when the decision is finalized, then only he can decide when to 'graduate' that person into the next life.

             <><

          February 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,
          Interesting. I don't think I've heard it in quite that way before.

          Some issues with that.
          1) How do you know that the so-called murderer isn't doing the alleged God's will, a la Abraham?
          2) Wouldn't that make extension of life via medicine or technology counter to the alleged God's will?
          3) What about the alleged God's commands to "multiply" and "spread the word", are those not also serving God (alleged)?

          February 3, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          And yet the Bible is teeming with instances of God commanding people to slaughter each other, including women, children and livestock.
          Why would God engage humans to do such slaughter when He could easily rain down fiery vengeance as He did to Sodom?

          February 3, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @ME II : How do you know that the so-called murderer isn't doing the alleged God's will, a la Abraham?

          How have they demonstrated that they are serving God? When one is God's spokesperson, they can provide supernatural evidence (i.e. parting the river, prophecy, etc.).

          @ME II : Wouldn't that make extension of life via medicine or technology counter to the alleged God's will?

          This assumes that God didn't enable the use of this technology. I would argue against that position.

          @ME II : What about the alleged God's commands to "multiply" and "spread the word"

          Not all are called to 'spread the word'. Some are called to teach, some are called to edify, some are called to heal, and some are called to evangelize (i.e. spread the word). However, this work in a fallen world is only for a limited time – much like going to school.

             <><

          February 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,
          "How have they demonstrated that they are serving God? When one is God's spokesperson, they can provide supernatural evidence (i.e. parting the river, prophecy, etc.)."

          What, test God? I thought that was not allowed.

          "This assumes that God didn't enable the use of this technology. I would argue against that position."

          And this supposed God didn't enable the use of guns, knives, etc. for killing others?

          "Not all are called to 'spread the word'. Some are called to teach, some are called to edify, some are called to heal, and some are called to evangelize (i.e. spread the word). However, this work in a fallen world is only for a limited time – much like going to school."

          That seems like obfuscation. Is not God's supposed work here on Earth just as important as service in heaven?

          February 3, 2014 at 2:38 pm |
  2. Trent

    7 year old nephew was once concerned that his little baby brother Nate(4 years) was still not baptized. Sometimes, seven year olds love the Lord more than adults do.

    February 3, 2014 at 9:50 am |
    • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

      They also love Santa and eating boogers.

      February 3, 2014 at 9:52 am |
    • Trent

      Train up a child in the way he should go,
      And when he is old he will not depart from it.

      Proverbs

      February 3, 2014 at 9:53 am |
      • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

        Don't indoctrinate your kids.

        Contemporary proverb.

        February 3, 2014 at 9:56 am |
      • Andy

        That refers to training up a child in scriptures and does not refer to your like or dislike or opinion of football.

        February 3, 2014 at 9:58 am |
        • Trent

          That's right. Was going over this article and read about a 7 year old asking questions, the immediate thought that came to mind was that of my 7 year old nephew who loves the Lord with all his heart and soul and mind.

          February 3, 2014 at 10:03 am |
        • tallulah13

          Actually, it sounds like your child loves his brother more than he loves Jesus and is scared that he will be punished for all eternity if you don't pour water over his head and chant a few spells. Sad.

          February 3, 2014 at 10:08 am |
      • truthprevails1

        There's a book based off of that. That same book has been found in the home of many many abused children.

        February 3, 2014 at 11:44 am |
      • OTOH

        Trent,
        "Train up a child in the way he should go,
        And when he is old he will not depart from it.
        Proverbs"

        Do you know who supposedly wrote those Proverbs? Solomon. Do you know how his son turned out? Son, Rehoboam said:
        "My little finger shall be thicker than my father's loins [ahem!].

        11 And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions." – 1 Kings

        And the brat, Rehoboam, then proceeded to lose half of the kingdom.

        February 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm |
      • No Evidence

        Brainwash a child in the ways of mythology,
        And when he is old he will not depart from it.

        (an accurate translation)

        February 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
    • tallulah13

      When we were kids, my sisters and I would to "baptize" each other almost every time we went swimming. It was really just an excuse to dunk each other. So if you take your kids swimming, keep an eye on them.

      February 3, 2014 at 10:03 am |
    • Saraswati

      Seven year olds don't yet have the cognitive development to understand that a good and powerful being wouldn't punish a child for not having the appropriate rituals performed on him.

      February 3, 2014 at 11:24 am |
    • OC

      That's really cute.

      It's amazing how well kids are spiritually grounded!

      February 3, 2014 at 11:38 am |
      • Somebody's Attractive Cousin

        Spiritually grounded = Mentally undeveloped.

        February 3, 2014 at 11:41 am |
    • truthprevails1

      Those poor children...being brainwashed at such an early age.

      February 3, 2014 at 11:41 am |
  3. Somebody's Attractive Cousin

    Absolutely ridiculous article. If a bunch of millionaires want to run around a big field and bump into each other occasionally, no religion (or government) should dictate otherwise.

    February 3, 2014 at 9:31 am |
  4. Doc Vestibule

    SUPER BOWL

    In the United States more women are battered on the day of the American football championship than on any other day of the year.
    This should not be taken as a characteristic of football itself, which has been an important and agreeable factor in stabilizing the gonadal energy of young men for more than a century.

    The Super Bowl is relatively typical of competi.tion used as a social value. Everyone, except the few who are best at the game, is reduced to the disembodied role of a spectator. Spectators do participate through some of their senses. Eyes, ears, mouths and emotions can be used to worship their substi.tutes. But in this process the seated are deprived of their existence as individuals capable of action. Instead, they become passive participants in the mythology of gladiatorial Heroism.

    The aim in football is to move the pigskin across the goal-line.
    This positive skill is unfortunately little more than the exotic spi.ce of the game. The central characteristic, involving most of the players on the field, is that the movement of the football is halted in each play by a physical assault on its carrier.
    Spectators may well get excited about these repeated demonstrations of basic masculinity. The more excited they become through passive participation, the more their own active manhood may be put into doubt.
    In the final analysis, a guy’s got to prove his own worth by hitting someone himself.

    Or it may be that American women are unbearably slow fetchers of beer.

    – John Ralston Saul
    (The Doubter’s Companion:A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense)

    February 3, 2014 at 8:23 am |
  5. u c?

    killers philosophizing over morality of football.

    if i laugh a bit 2 fast, 4give me

    February 3, 2014 at 7:58 am |
    • bobo

      b And c 1 Now it came to pass a 1 At that season b that he a Jesus went {b was going} on the {c a} b sabbath day through the grainfields; a and his disciples were hungry and began b as they went, to pluck the ears. a and to eat, c and his disciples plucked the ears, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

      February 3, 2014 at 8:05 am |
    • bobo

      guess who aint happy?

      c 2 But {b 24 And} c certain of the Pharisees a when they saw it, said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath. b why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? c Why do ye that which it is not lawful to do on the sabbath day?

      February 3, 2014 at 8:06 am |
    • bobo

      a 3 But {b 25 And} c Jesus answering them a said unto them, Have ye not read {b Did ye never read} c even this [There is a touch of irony here. The Pharisees prided themselves upon their knowledge of Scriptures, but they had not read (so as to understand them) even its most common incidents], what David did, b when he had need, and was hungry, he, and they that were with him?

      February 3, 2014 at 8:08 am |
    • bobo

      6 But I say [asserting his own authority] unto you, that one greater than the temple is here. [The word "greater" is in the neuter gender, and the literal meaning is therefore "a greater thing than the temple." 7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless 8 For the Son of man is Lord of the sabbath.
      b 27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

      February 3, 2014 at 8:12 am |
    • bobo

      horus buddhist

      February 3, 2014 at 8:14 am |
  6. Sam Yaza

    no more immoral then, any other distraction from the real world.

    February 2, 2014 at 10:57 pm |
    • Icahn

      Or from the unreal world. But there they play quidditch, with no helmets or padding. Viktor Krum is my hero.

      February 2, 2014 at 11:23 pm |
  7. Dandintac

    WOOHOO HAWKS!!!!!!

    February 2, 2014 at 10:41 pm |
  8. Irrational Exuberance

    I share some of the same concerns. However my concern is not so much for the adults, true I do have some thoughts about is it a "good" thing for me to be entertained by adults doing their level best to hurt one another. To me the greater concern is is where these players come from.
    And not so much the college players. But before them.
    High School and younger. Is it ethical to have these kids being groomed to play a violent sport. We know that just playing is inflicting broken bones, concussions, spinal injuries, on kids as 9 and younger. We know that at this age their bodies are still growing. Yet we risk injury not as a by product, but a direct result of the method of play.

    I am not comfortable with gaining entertainment from something which only exists at the expense of children. Because if those kids didn't play where would the college players come from, and then where would the NFL be?

    February 2, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
  9. Sports widow

    So...incredibly...bored right now...
    !!!

    February 2, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
    • Moe

      To those of you who have replied with some ridiculous answer...have you been playing too much football? Or were you born without a thinking brain to respond appropriately...?

      February 3, 2014 at 1:27 am |
      • Sports widow

        Give my regards to Larry and Curley.

        February 3, 2014 at 6:46 pm |
  10. MadeFromDirt

    Papa Patton, why all the drama? Your child probably was more impacted by your over-reactions to football than he ever would have been by the sport if you had never turned it off. Evil can be found in everything on this earth, so why expect football to be pure?

    February 2, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
  11. Matthew 5:29

    f your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

    February 2, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
    • Good advice

      If you've managed to stumble over your right eye it was probably pretty far gone already.

      February 2, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
  12. angienobake

    every sport carries with it a risk to the "soul" and the body. Any moving projectile can cause injury and some are just as bad as football (hockey anyone? ) but of course no one is giving that up or even talking about it. Nor do they mention all the good that comes out of football. How many donations have been made to help others? How many hospitals have been built. Would it have happened without the game and players? maybe. People have been competing and fighting/dying since days of old. Gladiators remember? They DIED! And still the people cheered and rooted. We've got the govt telling us where we can go, what we have to pay and when, and prob soon what we eat. Do we really need people telling us we can't watch/participate in sports as well? I feel very sad for the players who come away injured even long after the game ends. I also know that some of those players, that's all they got in life. I'm sure some wouldn't have had schooling without the scholarships involved too. We only have one life, we should be able to live it as we choose and tho i believe in God, i don't think a religion should have input into whether we get football or not. Some die heroes on the battlefield, and some die or linger on as heroes, mentors to those who come after. I don't want my son growing up without the option of saying, "hey mom, that QB is my hero, i wanna grow up strong, fast, and big just like him" who will replace that? Bieber?????

    February 2, 2014 at 5:10 pm |
    • jill

      angienobake, don't obfuscate the primary prenuptials with rasberries. Often, the pertinent cat presents fabled necessities in the parking chamfer. Realize your net precedent. Triangulate! Save the best for the alligators. Ever the bastille notches the orchestra but Wendy is not green and horses will capitulate. Filter out the log from the turnstile and cry prevalently. So there brown stare. Feed your inner walnut and resolve. Subject your lemon to the ingenious door in the presence of snow and animals. Aisle 7 is for the monetary cheese whiz. Faced with the kitchen, you may wish to prolong the sailboat in the cliff. Otherwise, rabbits may descend on your left nostril. Think about how you can stripe the sea.
      Regale the storm to those who (6) would thump the parrot with the armband. Corner the market on vestiges of the apparent closure but seek not the evidential circumstance. Therein you can find indignant mountains of pigs and apples. Descend eloquently as you debate the ceiling of your warning fulcrum. Vacate the corncob profusely and and don’t dote on the pancreas. Next up, control your wood. Have at the cat with your watch on the fore. Aft! Smarties (12)! Rome wasn’t kevetched in an autumn nightie. (42) See yourself for the turntable on the escalator. Really peruse the garage spider definitely again again with brown. Now we have an apparent congestion, so be it here. Just a moment is not a pod of beef for the ink well nor can it be (4) said that Karen was there in the millpond.Garbage out just like the candle in the kitty so. Go, go, go until the vacuum meets the upward vacation. Sell the yellow. Then trim the bus before the ten cheese please Louise. Segregate from the koan and stew the ship vigorously.

      And remember, never pass up an opportunity to watch an elephant paint Mozart.

      February 2, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
      • tony

        I think you justified the playing American Football pretty well. And don't forget to lick the bowl when you've finished.

        February 2, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
        • cough

          When people come home tonight and bow to their respective porcelain gods, I hope no one licks the bowl.

          February 2, 2014 at 8:33 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          I think 'jill' has that comment saved, it is the only thing she ever says and it is usually done to Rainer.

          February 2, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
  13. Betty

    Everyone knows NFL stands for Not For Long!

    February 2, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
  14. Guy Smiley

    I just switched leagues. Goodbye NFL...This is the way football is supposed to be.

    February 2, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
  15. Reality #2

    An the most "immoral" sport to watch? Cycling !! http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/32/3/220.full.pdf

    Based on Table 1 in the above reference, golf is the only moral sport to play or to watch. Fore you all !!!! 🙂

    February 2, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
    • igaftr

      I don't know about immoral, but check out the Legends Football league.

      Gotta love the Minnesota Valkyrie....

      February 2, 2014 at 3:55 pm |
      • Guy Smiley

        Guy Smiley

        I just switched leagues. Goodbye NFL...This is the way football is supposed to be.

        accidentally posted as new line, not reply...thanks igaftr for the heads up.

        February 2, 2014 at 4:53 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      NASCAR is where it's at...3 weeks until the 500. 🙂

      February 2, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
      • tallulah13

        Drive fast, turn left? Whatever. If it ain't open-wheel, it ain't racing.

        February 2, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Oh but it's not just turning left...there are road courses.

          February 2, 2014 at 4:27 pm |
        • igaftr

          TP1
          But with each lap, they do 360 degrees more left than right to get back and do it again, so they still turn left 360 degrees , just like the ovals.

          February 2, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          True enough.

          February 2, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        • AtheistSteve

          "Drive fast, turn left? Whatever. If it ain't open-wheel, it ain't racing."

          Sorry tallulah but I gotta disagree. Just look at top open wheel racers that transitioned to Nascar but didn't fare as well.
          Open wheel = light cars, massive wide tires , literally tons of aero downforce and push-to-pass. Meh!
          Now in Nascar the cars are heavy, the aero is wayyy less effective and the tires are narrower such that at top speeds the cars are barely maintaining grip. To be up front means flirting with the edge of control. Plus with fenders the beatin' and bangin' can get pretty lively. And there's more wreckin'...gotta love the wreckin'. 🙂

          February 2, 2014 at 5:33 pm |
        • tallulah13

          I'm curious, Steve. How many NASCAR drivers have successfully transitioned to F1? I can only think of one: Mario Andretti.

          February 2, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
        • Jorge

          Not, sports car endurance racing encompasses all that is extreme engineering and wheelmanship prowess, give me Le Mans, Daytona or Nurburgring. NASCAR machines are just clone billboards going 'round and 'round nowadays and F1 cars are upside-down airplanes that go blooey when their tires touch on the track.

          February 2, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
      • sam stone

        North American Sport Centered Around Rednecks?

        February 3, 2014 at 6:26 am |
        • truthprevails1

          Sure Sam, that does sum it. It most definitely was Rednecks who started it and in so many cases Rednecks who run it. I watch for the fast cars.

          February 3, 2014 at 6:31 am |
  16. devin

    Very interesting article in the March 7, 2013 Vol.368 No. 10 issue of the NEJM, Research is now showing a direct correlation between those individuals who have experienced head trauma and those who embrace atheism.

    February 2, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
    • Akira

      Couldn't find it. What's the name of the article?

      February 2, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
    • igaftr

      I couldn't find it either...article name?

      February 2, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
    • tallulah13

      http://www.nejm.org/toc/nejm/368/10/

      This is a link to the volume in question. It is also proof that Devin is nothing but another liar for Jesus.

      February 2, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
      • devin

        It is "also proof" that detecting the fine art of sarcasm is not one of your stronger suites.

        February 2, 2014 at 3:49 pm |
        • igaftr

          not very good sarcasm when three people who normally show a high degree of critical thinking don't spot it.

          Please, explain the sarcasm.

          February 2, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
      • devin

        Please tell me you didn't actually look for the article?

        February 2, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • igaftr

          you posted a source, and made a claim. Not sarcasm...trolling.

          February 2, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          What did you expect Devin?? All this does is prove that nothing you claim can be trusted.

          February 2, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
        • Akira

          What childish behavior, devin. I will now feel free to ignore your name and anything you say as being irrelevant.

          If that is what you wanted to achieve, well done. You succeeded.

          February 2, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • devin

          I'm about to literally roll on the floor I'm laughing so hard.

          February 2, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Devin: You find lying and deception funny? Most find it immature and immoral.

          February 2, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • Akira

          I'm so glad that you think that you think people taking you seriously is amusing. I assure you, it will not happen again, on my part.

          February 2, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • devin

          truth

          A recent article in SciAm stated, " researches have discovered that Richard Dawkin's great grandfather was a Sasquatch."

          If you fail to differentiate sarcasm from lying in this statement, as in my OP, that is on you.

          I find it exceedingly interesting how when a christian injects a little biting sarcasm, and people get caught with their pants down, all of a sudden the atheist moral police come out of the woodwork.

          February 2, 2014 at 5:16 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Devin: It is not sarcasm when you misdirect people to a web page/potential source of information, making the FALSE claim that quote you are using comes from said page. It is deceiving people and it is seriously wrong.

          February 2, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • devin

          " A recent article in SciAm , Jan. 1, 2014. Vol. 666 stated that " Richard Dawkin's great grandfather was a Sasquatch,"

          You see, referencing a source does not give credibility when the obvious intent was sarcasm.

          February 2, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          The difference is that with the recent one you didn't direct people to a website. Geez, use some common sense. You purposely misdirected people. Your concept of sarcasm is a poor one and I truly feel sorry for you that you can't see it for what it is. You asked Cpt not to comment any more on your posts, why? Does being questioned when you make claims that are disagreed with bother you that much? Does lying serve a purpose other than to prove how untrustworthy your opinion is?
          There is zero excuse for what you have done and no matter how you try to excuse it, you can't. It is horribly immoral to do what you did.

          February 2, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • devin

          " Horribly immoral"

          Nice try.

          February 2, 2014 at 6:05 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          devin, Not only is the subject clearly bogus in the second "example" so is the issue number. In the first, you cited a valid source but lied about its content. Do look up what sarcasm means.

          February 2, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          devin: You don't find purposely deceiving and lying immoral? Wow, we teach our children not to deceive or lie due to how wrong it is...why do you think you get a free pass?

          February 2, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
        • devin

          truth

          My previous apology still stands in that I thought the intended sarcasm was obvious

          I've tried to be cordial in explaining my intent, but now it's simply time to "take off the gloves". If you, et al, do not have the ability to discern that ' STUDIES HAVE SHOWN A DIRECT CORRELATION BETWEEN THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED HEAD TRAUMA AND THOSE WHO EMBRACE ATHEISM" was pure sarcasm, then I have GREATLY over estimated your intellectual capacity. That you now attempt to portray this playful humor as some GREAT MORAL TRAGEDY only amplifies said "over estimation".

          February 2, 2014 at 6:27 pm |
        • Lawrence of Arabia

          devin, is that me?

          February 2, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          devin, What a burden it must be having an intellectual capacity greater than anyone you ever meet or communicate with.

          February 2, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          devin: You fail to comprehend. There are numerous studies out there that point to things being related to or in direct correlation to other things (beliefs/disbelief), so when you quote something and give reference to what is supposed to be from a website showing that quote and in turn it is sending people on a wild goose chase without justification, it is immoral. No matter how you try to excuse your behavior, you can't....you lied and deceived people on purpose, both of which are immoral and in turn leave you as being untrustworthy.

          February 2, 2014 at 9:09 pm |
        • devin

          truth

          Then by all means, consider me "untru stworthy". I have explained my original intent, it is entirely up to you as to whether you choose to refrain from future dialogue or continue your tir ades. Your choice.

          I will give you a little analogy to help you better understand my perspective, although I realize that is of no interest to you.

          I come onto this blog and read a post by an atheist poster who frequents this site. He states, " Very interesting article in the March 7, 2013 Vol. 368 No 10 issue of the NEJM. Research is now showing a direct correlation between those individuals who have experienced head trauma and those who have embraced the Christian faith. I can assure you with absolute certainty, I would not be off cros s chec king the reference. What I would be doing is thinking to myself, " Ah, another smart a r s e atheist spo uting off at the mouth."

          February 2, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Oh but devin, you keep twisting it to make it look like you're not in the wrong. If we had done the same thing christians would have been fuming and you would be thinking the same things we are.
          You told tal to grow up, might we suggest you do the same?
          (as for not responding to you, this is a public blog and if you want to start dictating who should and shouldn't comment you might wish to find a blog where you have such control...until then deal with it...no-one forced you to lie)

          February 3, 2014 at 3:12 am |
        • devin

          truth

          I won't beat this dead horse any longer, I'll leave you to finish licking your wounds from the inability to pick up on rye humor

          " this is a public blog...start dictating who should and shouldn't comment..." Nope, not gonna let this one go. Nowhere did I state or imply this, you simply made it up to serve your purpose. What I did state was, " It's ENTIRELY UP TO YOU whether or not you choose to continue to dialogue". Perhaps detection of sarcasm is just an ancillary problem with you and the real issue is reading comprehension.

          February 3, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
    • igaftr

      I checked every article in the post as listed...nothing.

      Bearing false witness devin?

      February 2, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
      • devin

        You're kidding, right?

        February 2, 2014 at 3:53 pm |
        • igaftr

          you cited a legitimate source and made a claim...I took it at face value and still don't see any sarcasm...just you trolling false information.

          you have no credibility.

          February 2, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • tallulah13

          You should leave sarcasm to the experts, Devin.

          When someone claims a source, I do my due diligence and check it. You were very specific, even had the correct date to match the volume. Therefore, I anticipated finding at least something related to your claim. I respected you enough to not immediately think that you are a liar. That respect is gone.

          February 2, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
        • Akira

          I am in complete agreement with you, t-13.

          February 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
    • devin

      Please oh please, my other atheist friends and dialogue partners out there, restore my faith in your usual superior intellectual acuity and tell me that you instantly recognized my post as humor.

      February 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm |
      • Akira

        Your post was devoid of humor. You deliberately lied, and you are unapologetic about it.

        You went through great lengths to be an ass. You've succeeded admirably.

        February 2, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
      • igaftr

        Don't quit the day job.

        February 2, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
        • devin

          Come on ig, seriously, all differences aside, that was some funny stuff.

          February 2, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
        • igaftr

          In what way was trolling funny? Please, by all means, explain it.

          February 2, 2014 at 4:11 pm |
        • tallulah13

          You have a very strange sense of humor, Devin. I love a good joke, and I sure don't mind laughing at myself, but bald-faced lies and insults just aren't funny to me. Go figure.

          February 2, 2014 at 4:13 pm |
        • devin

          " a direct correlation between those individuals who have experienced head trauma and those who have embraced atheism" SERIOUSLY?

          February 2, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
        • Akira

          Since devin has proven he is a troll, certainly he will not mind that fact being pointed out in his future posts.

          February 2, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Devin: Do you even care that after this you'll never be taken at your word again by us? There is nothing humorous in lying and deceiving people.

          February 2, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
        • igaftr

          devin
          First rule of comedy...if you have to explain, it wasn't funny.

          February 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • devin

          truth " do you even care that after this your word will never e taken at your word...."

          No, not even in the slightest. I have been called every name in the book on these posts, for simply stating an ideology that involves the supernatural. My words have been twisted and contorted, I've been labeled a liar, and at times the hate directed at me has been palpable. I say this not out of any martyr complex, but simply to acknowledge the fact that the approval or disapproval of my credibility by posters on a CNN blog is, to me, unequivocally meaningless.

          Having said that, in all sincerity, I apologize to those of you who took this wrong and were offended. That was not my intent. I made the assumption that even a cursory reading of my statement would reveal its nature. Perhaps my bent on sarcasm is a little more twisted than I imagined.

          February 2, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          Wow Devin, that doesn't show a very moral side.
          People calling you names and people calling you out for false claims does not equate to lying on purpose on your behalf. I'm surprised you'd even continue coming here after so many have called you out for being a LIAR here. You'll never be taken seriously again.
          Please don't raise your child to think that lying under any circumstance is okay because it isn't.

          February 2, 2014 at 5:02 pm |
        • devin

          Sorry, put my response in the wrong place a few lines up.

          February 2, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I find this thread of devin's to have as much good, reasonable argumentation and logic as any of this other threads. And as I do of most of devin's bvllsh!t, I heartily approve of such ridiculousness. As long as he and the other silly christards stay preaching loudly and absurdly for their invisible, undetectable, and irrelevant god.

      Thanks, devin, great work!

      February 2, 2014 at 5:00 pm |
      • devin

        And yet, you keep reading.

        Little hint: there's a username (devin) that sits in front of every new thread i start. In the future, when you see this appear, simply pass over it and move on.

        February 2, 2014 at 5:23 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          No, devin. I approve of your stupid ideas and your silly attempts. I hope to see and read many, many more. Keep up the great work, d! 🙂

          February 2, 2014 at 5:26 pm |
        • devin

          Capt.

          No. Seriously. I think a pass on my threads would do us both good. This way you won't get your pride wounded, and I will be able to spend my time with those who have the capability to discuss the issues. I have a thick skin, I can take sarcasm and I have the ability to laugh at myself, but your constant barrage of animosity ( I'm not even referring to that which you send my way) is just becoming too OBVIOUS, Capt.

          But, do keep up the good work. 🙂

          February 2, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          No, devin. I enjoy your posts immensely for the reasons I have state, but since you use faith to believe in all sorts of stupid sh!t that's invisible, undetectable, and irrelevant, I highly suggest you use faith to believe whatever weird sh!t you want to believe about why I enjoy reading your posts---in fact, feel free to lie-–you're going to anyway, but I like encouraging your current behavior. Keep up your normal. I appreciate it.

          February 2, 2014 at 5:46 pm |
        • In Santa we trust

          Based upon your original post devin, I doubt that you know what sarcasm is.

          February 2, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • devin

          Thanks Santa, I'll take your input under serious consideration. ( Sarcasm).

          February 2, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • Akira

          "...I’ve been labeled a liar,..."

          And now you have earned the sobriquet.

          February 2, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • devin

          Capt.

          Well, okay. Actually, I'm rather glad we will continue to dialogue. I always enjoy the opportunity to show that christians need not be a Casper Milktoast, and when need be, have the ability to verbally sp a nk those whose only interest is vi t riolic dribble.

          Til next time.

          February 2, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
        • Akira

          You have not verbally spanaked anyone; all you have exhibited here was your propensity to lie unapologetically.

          Do you think Jesus would approve? I don't.

          February 2, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
        • Akira

          Lol. Verbally spanked.

          February 2, 2014 at 6:32 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          And I will continue to enjoy your lies and the other fvck ups that so often come from christards without any ability to make a salient point. As I have said so many times before: do carry on exactly as you have so far.

          February 3, 2014 at 6:42 am |
    • Dandintac

      Poe's law strikes again.

      February 2, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
    • devin

      Well, must go. Time to engage in my once a year tradition of watching enormously large, grown men trod back and forth on grass in an attempt to move an inflatable hunk of pig skin. Perhaps you all can carry on the conversation with quips such as, " Hopefully Devin will choke on a chicken wing while watching the game." What I'M hoping for, is a little bit brighter collection of posters the next time I feel the need for humor.

      c'est la vie.

      February 2, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
      • Austin

        devin, is that me?

        February 2, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • Austin

          can't be, not bright enuf

          February 2, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
      • Wait!

        What about an inflatable hunk? Oh, of pig skin, never mind..

        February 2, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
      • tallulah13

        It's sad that Devin was simply to proud to admit that his "joke" was lame and that he was being pointlessly offensive. But a guy who doesn't think that lying is a sin probably won't be bothered to even consider the sin of his own pride.

        February 2, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
        • Akira

          Add a soupçon of arrogance and condescension, and I believe you will have nailed it.

          The Gandhi quote comes to mind.

          February 2, 2014 at 11:14 pm |
        • devin

          You have brought a tear to my eye, and I do think I hear the sound of violins wafting in the background.

          tal. Time to grow up. You got blind sided by a joke and now you are spinning your wheels trying to hide your embarrassment. Sorry to be so blunt, but I've had enough of the double standard from the nogodders.

          February 3, 2014 at 12:34 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Ah poor you devin, you got caught in a blatant lie and now you're trying to make the fault of everyone else. The only thing I wish for is that you don't ever teach your child that the type of behavior you have displayed here is okay.

        February 3, 2014 at 6:50 am |
        • devin

          "Caught" is the operative word here. It's what you did not "catch" that is the source of your embarrassment, and in turn the motive behind your feeble attempt to change my intent. Same old same old with you.

          February 3, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
  17. milehifan

    Come on now folks, we are not questioning the morality of rugby or other full contact sports. Professional athletes CHOOSE to play these sports knowing full and well the potential for injury. They CHOOSE the financial bounty over their health.

    February 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
    • Agreed

      It isn't immoral it's just mind numbing.

      February 2, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
    • sam stone

      yet most are bankrupt within 3 years of retirement

      February 2, 2014 at 3:08 pm |
    • Saraswati

      How many professional footballers do you think started playing after they turned 18? Just a guess as to the percent?

      February 2, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Rugby has limited protection and deliberate attempts to injure are punished.
      Part of the problem is using the helmet as a weapon – I think prohibiting that would go a long way to reducing the long-term brain injuries.

      February 2, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
    • tallulah13

      In the end, we should respect the decisions a person makes about their own body. If people choose to ignore the dangers of violent sports they play, who are we to complain? If violent sports offend you, then don't watch.

      That said, I don't believe that children's sports should be full-contact, nor should they be forced to participate by their parents. The choice to participate at the level of violence in pro and college sports should be made by fully-informed adults.

      February 2, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
      • Saraswati

        Agreed. So we are essentially saying that no one should be playing american football until age 18. Which will ultimately kill the sport.

        February 3, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Yep, which is why the NFL is fighting so hard to hide the facts.

          February 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      It isn't just football. Hockey is also seeing increased severe and long term injury. Innovations in protective gear technology has given the players a false sense of invulnerability. As a result the hits are harder and the potential for damaging injury far greater especially if the target doesn't see it coming. Back when football helmets were just leather caps and pads were minimal and hockey players played bareheaded they wouldn't dare collide with the force they use today.

      February 2, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
      • tallulah13

        I accidentally hit abuse on this comment. It was not intended and I hope that it doesn't result in the culling of the entire thread.

        February 3, 2014 at 10:09 am |
  18. Ah football

    Sure keeps people's mind off of aliens and government doesn't it?

    February 2, 2014 at 1:56 pm |
  19. MdM

    I think the solution here is to spend more money and effort to educate the kids (and parents of the kids) on the dangers involved before they make a decision to start playing football. I'd be willing to bet that most of them were already past the point of no return for football becoming their life, by the time they really fathom (and care) how it will affect them later in life. What's been occurring over the past few years is a good start, and hopefully it will continue and grow. Then, things will work out naturally. If, when properly educated, enough good players still want to be a part of the violence-for-money program, then the NFL will survive.

    February 2, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
    • sam stone

      i think the solution here is to eliminate college football

      if the NFL had to support a minor league system, the NFL would go bye bye

      February 2, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
      • sam stone

        while they are at it, let 18 year olds try out

        February 2, 2014 at 1:46 pm |
    • Saraswati

      It would be good to have parents sign a waver before their kids play listing the odds of getting a concussion and the impact on onset of dementia of 1, 2, 3 etc. concussions.

      February 2, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
    • Akira

      Aliens?

      February 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.