Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I am ashamed

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I just wish my mouth had a backspace key. ~Author Unknown

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Today is Maggies Birthday

There are times when groups that call themselves Christian do or say things that make me ,as one who claims to follow Christ, want to crawl into a hole and hide. Their actions give ammunition to all those people out there who think all Christians are alike. It lets them say things like “ You people. Think you are so much better than the rest of us but look at what you did.” It is horrible because usually there is no way to defend whatever it was the individual or group did. We just have to suffer with it and from it.
Last week I read about one of those groups on Russel’s blog ( A blog well worth visiting by the way). He told of a girls basketball game between The Covenant School of Dallas and the Dallas Academy. The final score of that game was 100 to 0. That’s right 100 to 0. Wow!
The Covenant school ( A Christian Academy) won over the Dallas Academy which is just a private school.
In the last quarter, already ahead 88 to 0 the coach had his team run a full court press. The local student crowd cheered for Covenant to make 100. What a marvelous time for the Academy.
There are a few other things you need to know.
1.The girls from the Dallas Academy haven’t won a game in four years.
2. Dallas Academy offers a structured multisensory program for students with diagnosed learning differences in grades 3-12.
3. Dallas Academy only has 20 girls in the high school program. Only eight play basketball.
On this team a Christian Academy choose to run up the score.
I am ashamed.
One would expect a Christian Academy to teach the Christian values of kindness, mercy, and compassion. There was none of that shown in this game.
Instead they demonstrated the secular values of win at all costs and humiliate your opponent if possible.
I am ashamed.
I looked up the website of the Covenant academy . I read with care its statement of beliefs. Nowhere does it say that it believes in the traditional Christian values of mercy, kindness, or compassion. No where does it say it tries to instill these in its students.
Why am I not surprised?
But without them we are left with a heartless , Christless Christianity.
They demonstrated that very well.
They also demonstrated they understood the value of good PR and apologized to the Dallas Academy and offered to forfeit the game . The apology came ten days after the game and after CNN picked up and made an issue of the score.
I am so ashamed.
If you want to see how Christians should act you need to look to the Dallas Academy.
It has no Christian belief statement.
But its students acted like Christians should.
1. They played until the end of the game. They didn’t quit because of the score. The fact that they played the best they could is evidenced by the fact that Covenant Academy needed a full court press to reach 100.
2. They didn’t become angry.
3. They refused to be humiliated by the loss. They choose not to feel bad.
4. When interviewed by CNN they choose to accent the positive. They learned from the game. They worked together as a team.
In them I rejoice. Somebody has to say to the win crazy world there are other important values that are being lost.
I would nominate them as my team of the year.

News from Pigeon Falls
The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal
Yesterday Herman had arrived and Pastor Joan was ready to go to the office when the doorbell rang. In truth it can no longer really be called a doorbell. Since Oops came it just hasn’t been the same. Once it sounded like a canon going off. Once like a marching band. Yesterday it sounded like trumpets playing some kind of victory song.
Pastor Joan opened the door and there were three people and a cameraman. Two of them held up this great big check and one held a bouquet of flowers. It seems Pastor Joan had won a regional Publisher’s clearing House Award of ten thousand dollars. WLUC out of Marquette was there to record the event.
Pastor Joan started to cry. She wouldn’t have to worry about finances for the rest of this year. Last Lutheran could use the thousand two hundred she would give the Church. She always gave a tithe plus. The bad economy had cut into the offerings a little.
She thanked Publisher’s Clearing House profusely. It was only after they left that she realized that she couldn’t remember sending in an entry. She usually threw them directly into the garbage. She must have slipped up and entered once. But she just couldn’t remember.
Wrap UP
My oxygen was up a little more today. The temperature got up to twelve degrees.I spent a lot of the day visiting links and visited all of those on my list. It took a long time as some had very long entries. My sister Dawn called and we talked dogs and grand kids. Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA
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19 Comments:

Blogger Janvangogh said...

I smell trouble heading Pastor Joan's way.

4:34 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

I am ashamed too... If I had a child in that Christian school I would be taking them OUT! That is so sad...


Oh I just LOVE Oops! When I come back to Pigeon Falls I'm gonna hug that child til she POPS! (well... almost pops!)

8:18 AM  
Blogger Cherie said...

Happy Birthday Maggie! :D

9:18 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

I guess they had to do that to keep their game totals for the state championship matches. I hope they weren't proud of the win. For it wasn't a win - it was an unfortunate.

Back in HS our marching band dwindled to only 23 students. We voted to continue on field and marching competitions although we knew full well we looked and sounded like tiny wee tinker toys compared to the larger HS bands.

We lost every round that year but we kept tooting along.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

Dr. John, what a fabulous post! I was heartsick for the losing team, but in the long run they were the winners. Talk about sportsmanship! They lost graciously.

The coach of the "winning" team was fired.

10:25 AM  
Blogger juliana said...

i can but applaud dallas academy. they may have lost the match but showed real character.

however, i have mixed feelings about the other team. one can not succeed in sport unless they are completely dedicated to the cause and their mind set to winning. i doubt those girls benefited from the uneven match (to put it mildly) and i doubt they wanted to humiliate the opponents; they gave their best which is the only way to succeed. modern sport is a cruel game and there's little room for chivalry. acting as a good samaritan has never won anyone the olimpics.

now,this may sound harsh but i used to play basketball and was good at it so i know a great deal about what goes on in a player's mind during a match. it is true that i've never had that 'killer instinct' so important to make a sporting career but i still i can't blame those girls for wanting to score as high as possible. the coach had options, though, and should have used them.

you will have noticed i have never mentioned religion in what i have written and that is for a reason. believing may help a person make the right decisions but does not make somebody good or bad.

i hope you don't mind my slightly different opinion - it was not meant to offend anybody in any way, i just wanted to show the other side of the medal

11:33 AM  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

About 25 years ago, my son played football at a small Christian high school that played only other Christian high schools. There was one game so lopsided that my son's team (he told me this afterwards) purposely fumbled a few times and didn't tackle quite as hard as they might have, in hopes that the other team would score a few points or at least get some first downs.

Alas, they did not. The final score was 66-0.

At least the boys' hearts were in the right place. They felt really bad for the other team, who were doing their best.

11:49 AM  
Blogger PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

A coach need not tell the players to play poorly, because that isn't right either. But they don't need to purposely play only the best players or their hardest strategy. But would it be right to say, "Don't do your best?" I don't think so.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Akelamalu said...

The object may be to win, but not to win at all costs! Shame on the Covenent Academy. :(

1:15 PM  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

I don't think the coach said any such thing. It was the boys' idea.
They knew the other team was outclassed and didn't want to rub their noses in it.

1:53 PM  
Blogger The Crazy Object B. said...

happy birthday meggie!!!!!!!!!!

2:09 PM  
Blogger Caution Flag said...

Oh, Dr. John, you have such a gift as a thinker! How I would love to hear you preach. This post summarizes all my discordant thoughts, but it articulates everything much more beautifully.

3:40 PM  
Blogger jane said...

Again you have such a voice....showing grace would have taught those young people so much more, than just winning.

Karrington, my daughter plays baseball in a league here in Neenah that accepts all children...some in wheelchairs, some with more abilities than others, however everyone gets to play in the field and everyone gets a chance to hit the ball. There are only 2 innings but there are more smiles and loud clapping for everyone. Karrington doesn't know the difference between winning and losing, she just knows that she and her teammates did the best that they can do and had a great time. She even gets mad a real baseball games, because not everyone gets to play to the best of their ability in her mind, because they don't get to hit or play in the field.

Hope to see you this Sunday!

Jane Hartley

7:05 PM  
Blogger Alpha Dude said...

Good post Dr. John.

I have heard that there are two reasons why most people do not attend church or come to Christ.
1. They have not yet met a Christian, and
2. They HAVE met a Christian.

Sad, but true.

Blessings to you.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Alpha Dude said...

Oh yeah.....

Happy Birthday to Maggie!

7:38 PM  
Anonymous quilly said...

I cheer for the "non-Christian" school. They could offer lessons in charitable behavior to the "Christian-school."

If you visited all of your links today, why didn't I get a comment? I answered your questions.

9:13 PM  
Blogger jmb said...

As you say, what are those so called Christians teaching those children. You have to admire the losers who kept their dignity.

9:29 PM  
Blogger loisontheweb said...

WINNING THE PRIZE: My first thought was that someone entered FOR her ... perhaps, maybe, even someone who wanted to give to the Church, but had no other way to do so.

THE BASKETBALL GAME: Things happen for a purpose. This was to spotlight LESSONS.

No, I don't think that the winning team did wrong. Actually, "fixing/manipulating" the score would have been cheating/dishonest in a way. The fact that they made friends with the losing team later was a good LESSON for both teams & the country.

LESSON: Playing sports should be honest effort. As in life, as long as you are satisfied that YOU DID YOUR BEST ( there are only TWO that you must please, yourself & God) ... you needn't feel ashamed!

TODAY'S KIDS ARE NOT BEING ALLOWED TO LEARN THAT ... WHETHER IN SCHOOL, SPORTS, REAL LIFE. You & I learned things the hard way ... that's the way to be prepared for an adult IN THE REAL WORLD!

6:30 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Sounds to me like the losers were the true winners. I hope those kids who beat them scorewise learned a valuable lesson. I see times on my bus (and far too many of them) where the "non christians" show better and more Christlike character than the "christians" do.
Hope you are feeling better today.

10:40 AM  

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