Silly American cultural phenomenon in which athletes give thanks to Jesus for each victory. It is especially common in American football and NASCAR auto racing. It seems to have been co-opted from politicians, who are fond of claiming that their victories are the Will of God. While one could imagine the possibility of divine intervention when the fate of nations is at stake, it seems unlikely that the supreme being would take sides in athletic contests. In football, it can get especially ridiculous, with players praising the Lord for every point scored. Assuming that Jesus exists and is in the habit of fixing games, it would seem wiser to wait until the match is over, to see which side he is on, before giving thanks. It would seem logical that the losing team should then blame Jesus for their misfortune, but, as comedian George Carlin has pointed out, this never happens.

The phenomenon also stretches over to entertainment awards shows. It amuses me to no end whenever I hear gangsta rap artists thanking God for their award. While I certainly do not pretend to speak for a higher power, I kind of figure that God doesn't spend His time listening to Dr. Dre muse about bitches and hoes and the joys of smoking chronic and making sure that his victory is assured.

Then you get people like Barbra Streisand who doesn't thank God but thanks the Democratic Party. There's a power struggle for you...the Democrats versus God for the control of awards shows everywhere.

No, God is not going to favor one team over another, but that does not mean that it is wrong to give praise for being blessed with the ability to score that touchdown or sing that song.

Thanking Jesus publicly for their gifts, as these athletes/actors/musicians do, is a way of proclaiming their beliefs. It says, "I am successful and I praise God so it must not be hokey and maybe those who consider me a role model will give praise as well."

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Belief in Jesus (and God) gives you strength.

It gives you a sense of security, a sense of being loved, and a sense of morality.

Thanking Jesus because his teachings (yes, he was a real person, and he did teach some nice stuff, even for those of us who aren't Christians) and those teachings have affected their lives in a positive way. Whether you thank him as a Savior or simply as a groovy guy with groovy ideas, thank him if you feel his teachings have helped you.

Disclamer: General Wesc is not a Christian. He's an atheistic agnostic.

In the 1991 Super Bowl, as the Buffalo Bills' Scott Norwood attempted to kick the potential game-winning field goal, members of the opposing New York Giants could be seen praying on the sideline. Obviously (and I believe they admitted as much after the game), they were praying for Norwood to miss. God answered their prayers, I suppose, and Norwood barely missed the kick, and the Giants won.

This shows the inherent selfishness of thanking Jesus for victory -- because it's the same as thanking Jesus for making the other team lose. To me, prayer isn't ethical in zero-sum games.

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