Sports, Politics and the Heat of Battle

trump hillary

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.

Politics and Sports or Sports and Politics?

 Ali and King

Sports and politics and politics and sports. They’re not exactly the same, but they’re not that much different either. So, are you more Super Bowl or Super Tuesday? No matter how you answer, if you are like most Americans, you probably think the two—sports and politics—are unrelated. You might even object to the suggestion of a tie on principle alone.[1] As the now famous photo of Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King Jr. shows, sports and politics can and do get into bed together and produce.

Sports and politics. Yes they’re strange bedfellows, but the similarities are startling. In both, to the victor goes the spoils; in both, it’s a fight to the finish; and in both, you give it all you’ve got and then some, and then, after all that, you usually don’t control your own fate, because you could win when you should lose, or you could lose what you should have won. Sometimes you know you’re going to win, and other times you just know you’re going to lose, and then it turns out just the other way around. Such is the case with the 2014 mid-term elections.

Sports analogies abound in the latest not so surprising 2014 election results. The GOP, Government of the People, a.k.a., the Republican Party, won the majority in the U.S. Senate. It was a warranted win for the Republicans, and deserved loss for the Democrats. I mean, the Dems brought the loss on themselves, and the conservatives were poised to pounce on the deflated, demoralized and disconsolate Democrats.

Sports is like politics and politics is like sports in a very spiritual way. If believers in general, and Christians in particular, would be as fierce and focused, as ardent and aggressive, and as zealous and jealous for God as the average Joe politician is for Office or the even the most average athlete is to win the championship, the Devil wouldn’t stand a chance. And so we fail and we flounder, just like the Dems – at least this time around – or we’re overly optimistic or carelessly confident – like the GOP, and we lose what we should win in the process.

Some victories you can sense long before game time, and other defeats you can see coming a mile away. Such is the case here as the Republicans took advantage of and exploited the Dem’s weaknesses, got out in front, and held on for a close win they desperately wanted. The result was disappointing only to the extent that the Republicans think they have the answer, and the Dems seem to have lost the key to the solution.

Some victories are spirited, and some loses are merited. On the other hand, some wins are simply unjustifiable, and some loses are actually tolerable. Such is the case with GOP takeover of the Senate. They say you learn more from your defeats than from your loses anyway, right?

Sometimes you win by default, and other times you lose but it’s no fault of your own. Such is the case with our Divine victory over the principalities and spiritual powers of wickedness and wanton evil. We did not and do not deserve to win; yet we did and do deserve to lose. And lose we would if it had not been for the Lord on our side. Theologically speaking, it’s called G.R.A.C.E.; God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. It’s God’s unmerited favor. It’s what we get when we come to God; and in return, He comes to us.

[1] http://thesocietypages.org/papers/politics-and-sport/