Sports, Politics and the Heat of Battle

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Politics, to some, is sport. And what some do in the heat of battle is beneath most and beyond many. That’s why some say that politics is a “blood sport.” But that’s nothing new and that’s no new news.  So since we’re right in between the Republican National Convention (which I did not watch) and the upcoming Democratic National Convention (which I will not watch), it’s fitting that we give this rejoinder and get this reminder.

Regardless of who wins the 2016 Presidential election and regardless of who wins the White House and regardless of which political party has the majority, God is still in charge. Case closed. End of discussion. So that’s why I can’t and won’t get all wound up about who wins. Especially this year. Because in the end, God wins. And because God wins, we win.

Sports is a give-it-all-you’ve got, last man standing, winner take all endeavor that we love and enjoy.  But when it becomes gory and gruesome, brutal and bloody, we shake our heads and turn our heads, and scratch our heads in wonder of how far and how low one will go just to get a “W.”

Politics to some is “sport.” It’s the hunt they enjoy.  It’s the kill that is the thrill. The modern idiom we use to describe this blood sport is to “play politics.”  To play politics means “to engage in political intrigue, take advantage of a political situation or issue, resort to partisan politics, and to exploit a political system or political relationships.” 

To play politics means “to deal with people in an opportunistic, manipulative, or devious way, as for job advancement.”  After Watergate and Iran Contra-Gate and all of the other political scandals we’ve seen over the years, this sounds all too familiar.  Surely, Machiavelli was right: “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Playing politics is not like playing patty-cake or shooting marbles.  When you are dealing with people’s lives, and the life of those closest to you, that’s something else altogether. Biblical David was, among many things, a politician.  Yet he got in over his head and his family suffered for it. He sank to deep and went too far and stopped too short by not acknowledging his sin, and the rest is, well, history. 

So let’s learn some lessons here. Sports are supposed to be clean and fun and pure and natural. And it’s only “natural” because we are all born in sin and shaped in iniquity. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. And His name is Jesus.

And one more lesson needs to be learned: let’s not judge; let’s forgive, but let’s not forget the high price and the soaring cost of playing dirty and living loosely and the ill effect it has on us and on the “game.”

The Republican Party: United They Stand, Divided They Fall

Chris Christie

This is a sports blog.  A God and sports blog, that is. This is not a political blog or a partisan politics blog or party policy blog. It’s a sports blog. That being said, politics is a sport. It’s a blood sport. And the principles and practices that apply to all sports in general apply to any sport in specific. And the sport in question today is Republican politics.

Blue or red, liberal or conservative, right wing or left flank, when you talk victory, you must talk unity and harmony. Any and all teams must come together and gel in order to make a serious late season surge and a powerful playoff push to the title. No sports team in the history of sports has ever won with discord and disagreement and conflict and controversy on the team all the time. It just doesn’t happen. Dysfunction and malfunction and compunction have no place on a winning team, but are always found in the loser’s locker room. Negativity and insensitivity don’t t make for a winner or a champion or a victor or an overcomer at any level. Not at all.

The Republican’s are fighting amongst themselves. To say that the Republican Party — or at least the Republican elite, that is — are divided, is an understatement. There’s infighting and finger pointing and lambasting and backstabbing like you wouldn’t believe. While Chris Christie has endorsed Trump (Really?), most of the other establishment elite can’t agree on anything other than to say that Donald Trump is “unfit to be president.” This coming from Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney?  It would appear that the Grand Ole Party is so split and so torn that the prospect of unity is bleak at best.

The Republican Party has fractures and fissures and cracks and creaks that they just can’t seem to fix. The main problem is this: The Republican establishment’s got a front runner that they all hate and they’ve got wanna be presidential hopefuls that not all of them love. The Old Republican guard has a presumptive nominee that they don’t like and also rans that are riding a one wheel bike. Trump has taken off the gloves and the three other hopefuls still in the race don’t seem like they can collect all of the delegates necessary to be nominated. At least not before the convention and not without a fight.

According to one political strategist, “if there is a contested convention the chances of chaos are high.” And so the lesson is this: without unity, we have nothing.  No Super Bowl rings and no NBA Championship banners and no World Series victory parades. Nada. We have nothing without unity. And according to one party insider, J.M. Stipanovich, ”the Republican Party is not going to come out of this in one piece., and I think whoever the Republican Nominee would be isn’t going to win in November.” Ouch.

So what’s the Republican Party to do? They need to take a page from the playbook for all teams: United we stand and divided we fall. It’s that simple. We don’t have to be uniform but we do have to be unified. And the “we” here is every team and faction and party and couple and church and congregation, everywhere. We must come together and we must stick together. Or else we won’t make it.

And so this is a cry to Christians everywhere. Let’s stop fighting each other and fight our common enemy – Satan. The devil wins when we war within. It’s that simple.

Trump Is The Goliath Of Our Day

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Trump is the Goliath of present politics. And just like in sports, when the bad guy looks mean and mad and menacing, and the underdog looks lean and lanky and listless, it may seem like all hope is lost. And Trump is just like Goliath. He’s big, he’s loud, he’s brash, and he’s brazen, and it looks like he’s going to win. And if he does, God help us.

Yes we’ve all hated the “Goliaths” of sports: the New York Yankees or the Boston Celtics or the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons or the dastardly Duke Blue Devils. We’ve hated the favored first place team anywhere all the time. But you have to admit that when they whipped and walloped and worn down and beat up the opposition (including our hometown team, for that matter) they most certainly had energy. The question is, was it positive energy or negative energy? Either way, it was energy.

So the question is no longer “Can Trump win?” The Question is “WILL Trump win?” And for all those of you out there that say it can’t happen and it won’t happen and it better not happen and there’s no way it could or should happen, I urge you to think again. I urge you to reach out and run out and race out right now and require every relative and resident you know to register to vote and ensure that he does NOT. Does not win the 2016 general election, that is. Because he’s all but got the GOP nomination locked up. It’s that serious.

Like him or lump him, Trump is an attraction. Like him or not — like it or not, Trump has traction. And he has energy. It might be negative energy, but it’s still energy. Hoping and wishing and wanting him to lose is not going to cut it. It works the same way with you and me, too. Wanting to win and wishing that we win does not ensure that we will win. It’s a good start, but it’s not enough. David is needed to cancel and counter and contradict Goliath.

So, to continue the Biblical analogy, if Trump is Goliath, who’s David? More importantly, where’s David? Maybe we don’t know who he is or where she is because he or she hasn’t been released and revealed to the battle field just yet. If that’s the case, I sure hope that  he or she’s on the way. You will remember that David came off the sideline and out of the shade and out of the shadows and burst into the light and onto center stage after God providentially arranged for the soon to be shepherd king to be sent to save the day.

So . . . ? Where does that leave us? What does that leave us? Who does that leave us? Instead of believing God, Saul and his army were fumbling and mumbling and crumbling away in dens and caves. They did this for forty days. And they would have done it longer had not David arrived on the scene.

So let’s not bemoan and bewail our political situation. Let’s not belittle and bad mouth Trump or any other candidate either. Let’s put our trust in God. In all of our situations, let’s pray that God will send us a deliverer. When our team is down and our winters’ are brown and our face wears a frown, let’s continue to hope and to pray that God will turn it around, and send David, or send US to be the David. Because He did it before, and He can do it again!

“The Donald” May Trump Them All

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Donald Trump is running for president. Of the United States. Of America. And in case you haven’t thought this through, as volatile and visceral as he’s been in the past, the fact that he’s running is not the big news. The fact — and it is a fact — that Trump could actually WIN the White House is even more jolting and jarring, at least for some of us. Coming out of the recent Republican Candidates Debate, he’s the front-runner. That’s right. Trump has actually taken the lead and leads the pack — and it’s certainly a pitiful pack of possibles at that —  with 25% of the vote, according to some sources.

“Bloomberg Politics Managing Editor Mark Halperin stated that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has ‘reached a turning point’ where the ‘establishment candidates’ think he can win Iowa; ‘most’ believe he can win the nomination, and ‘a significant number think he could win the White House.’ ” Of all the paltry possibles running, Trump may in fact trump them all.

 And “The Donald” may well trump us all.  He’s pulling no punches and taking no prisoners.  And since politics is a blood sport, we will certainly see much more of his brash, brazen, bravado until the final whistle sounds and the fat lady sings after the last ballot is tallied next Fall. 

So what does all of this mean? Well, for starters, it’s important to know that sports and politics are similar and the same. Politics is like baseball because the season is long and the race is not given to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Politics is like football because the ball, or the focus of the “game,” has an uncanny tendency to bounce in a funny way. Politics is like basketball because you need to play all four quarters; winning the first half doesn’t necessarily mean that you will win the game, which can be won and lost in the last two minutes. And politics is like hockey; you have to be strong and be able to take a hit.

Politics is like sports and sports are like politics. You don’t know who is going to win, so that’s why you play the games and keep score.  Anything can happen to change the race between now and Election Day, 2016.  And so the lesson is this: if the believers who still believe that God’s got the whole world in his hands will just believe and stop telling Heaven who should be in the White House, then our faith in Him will carry us through.