Category Archives: sports

Soccer game in Turkey turns bad

This saddens me immensely. I’ve been to Turkey four times, love the country and its people, and, until recentlyat least, saw the country as inhabited by moderate Muslims living under a largely secular government (Ataturk is one of my heroes). And yet the Erdoğan government is turning the country back into a theocracy, and many inhabitants are […]

Does God take sides?

A strip from Pearls before Swine by Stephan Pastis: Remember that 27% of Americans—and 38% of white evangelical Protestants—believe that God plays a role in determining who wins sporting events. And 50% of Americans approve when athletes publicly thank God during a sporting event (only 8% disapprove). This strip merely shows what happens when you […]

Some success from the FFRF campaign to get public universities to stop paying football chaplains

UPDATE: Just in from PuffHo, an unbelievable occurrence. Praying coach Joe Kennedy, mentioned at the end of the piece below, has been placed on leave for refusing to obey the directive not to pray on the field—after a student asked a Satanist to given an invocation on the field. “The school district needs to create religious opportunity […]

Praying for your team to win: how does it work?

In January of last year I reported a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute showing that a sizable percentage of American sports fans think that supernatural intervention occurs in sporting contests (50%), pray to God to help their team (26%), think that their favorite team has sometimes been cursed (25%), and perform rituals (like […]

“Pray to Play”: Jesus-loving coaches and the pervasive religiosity of American college football

I’ve posted from time to time about the growing incursion of religion into American sports: especially football. And it’s often an illegal incursion, for in public universities and high schools, it’s a violation of the First Amendment—the one mandating separation of church and state—for a coach to enforce religion on his/her players, or to act […]

Today’s Google Doodle honors the Father of Surfing

We’ll skip readers’ photos for one day as, including this post, there are already three light items for this morning (and be sure to watch Matthew’s video of the World’s Greatest Cat Toy two posts down). When I saw today’s Google Doodle, I knew instantly who the honoree was. Yes, that handsome dude on the surfboard is […]

A funny email

A reader who will remain unnamed sent me an email that made me chuckle: I’m currently about half way through your Faith vs. Fact and finding it a most pleasurable experience to read something which is at once so authoritative and so totally in accord with everything I already believe about the relationship between science and religion. All the […]

Kudos to Arian Foster: the first active professional athlete in the U.S. to admit he’s an atheist

Two years ago I wrote about Arian Foster, a star running back for the Houston Texans football team, and discussed some advice he had written (and published) for his daughter. The telling item in “Six things I’ll try to teach my daughter” was the last: 6. The flying spaghetti monster. There are billions of people on Earth with hundreds of religions […]

Anglo-American forces defeat Germany, Japan

by Greg Mayer No, it’s not a headline from the summer of 1945, but this weekend’s soccer news: the U.S. women’s national team beat Japan 5-2 to win the World Cup, while England bested Germany 1-0 to finish third in the tournament standings. The U.S., the sport’s traditional powerhouse, reasserted itself against Japan and, earlier […]

Squirrel dives into dugout at Phillies game

Speaking of baseball and squirrels, here’s a hapless squirrel diving from a wire into the dugout of the Philadelphia Phillies during a recent game. I hope the little guy wasn’t hurt. What’s funny is how crazy these big professional baseball players go, running for the hills, when the rodent lands among them. It’s just a […]


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