I know I subject you to a bunch of random, insane groups. This one, called “Christians Against Nike,” might just take the cake.
Okay. This has to be a joke, right? Right? No. It exists, and it gets worse. The very first page of this site is little more than a ramble about how Nike is a Pagan Goddess created by Satan. It uses big, bold, colored letters, multiple sized and rapidly changing fonts, and…I suppose a lot of hallucinogenics. I can’t really be sure. It condemns Nike the sports company for being named in honor of a Greco-Roman mythological figure, Nike; the Goddess of Victory and the source of most people named “Nicholas” or “Nicole”‘s names. The Roman name for her is, of course, Victoria. So there’s Victor and Victoria, for ya.
Apparently being named after this deity means you worship Satan;
“Satan came up with the goddess of victory named NIKE in order to take honor away from God. Thegoddess NIKE, which is actually a demon, has been worshipped, honored and sacrificed to in the false religion of Paganism”
- Christians Against Nike.
And cue me going into a long tirade about what kind of crazy this guy is, and why he is dangerous.
Ya gotta have faith – of some sort, I guess.
First of all, I’d like to provide the tiniest little bit of clarification, here: There is pretty much no such thing as a “false religion,” and if there was a way to determine such a thing, it would not be from the lips of another faith. That kind of argument can only be made when someone is a believer in a very, very nuanced form of religion and believes that any teaching which does not coincide with their belief is some form of deception and lie. Paganism, I assure you, is not a “false religion.” Oh, it isn’t a very popular one these days, with Neo-Paganism having (according to Wikipedia) about one million self-reported adherents – though that number is probably a bit low, held down due to fears of religious persecution. But “false?” Folks, dating at least as far back as to a 2007 New York Sun article, the VA has been allowing Pentacles to be on military graves. So at least the Federal Government recognizes that just because a religion isn’t widespread doesn’t make it not a religion.
Still…That whole “false religion” thing is just the beginning of my concern with this group’s page. It goes on to specifically harp about New York Jets Quarterback Tim Tebow. He says a lot of stuff about how Tebow’s play is literally determined by his endorsement deals – completely ignoring the argument that God endowed mankind with this thing called “Free Will” and that we rise and fall under our own devices, mind you. But then the creator of this site says this rather unsettling bit of BS…
“His bad play was an outward sign of God’s discipline for Tebow’s disobedience… and his injury was evidence of God lifting His hand of protection from Tebow for insulting Him.”
- Christians Against Nike
So now you have God deciding whether or not players should be injured? And you have this whack-a-mole Charles Hubbard, what, interpreting God’s will? I can swear the Bible says something about the folly of men trying to speak for the Divine…But that could just be my Paganism acting up again. In fact, I feel like making fun of the “About” page of this guy’s site…
Seriously, I can’t believe “Christians Against Nike” Exists.
Alrighty, guy, you wanna trash-talk Paganism and that “evil” Goddess Nike? You got it. Lets play. Your “About” page features an Eagle. According to Wikipedia, as well as just plain-old-historical-fact, Eagles were heavily involved in Native American Animistic rituals (I.E. Paganism). Does this, Mr. Hubbard, mean you are a Native American Shaman?
You talk about how you uttered a prayer for guidance from God. You state, “God led me to go to His Word [The Bible] without looking, and place my pen down without looking. When I looked, it was touching one word…CHOOSING.” Correct me if I am wrong, but whispering prayers while performing some sort of divine ritual of divination is very much like a Witch’s spell-craft, no? It sounds to me as if you are casting a spell, sir! Surely you know that is forbidden!
Sir, I believe I’ve identified the Pagan in your virtual lecture hall. The enemy is among us, Mr. Hubbard, and it was a very clever ruse, indeed! I believe you’ve been seduced into believing God is whispering in your ear, especially as you talk about the revelations he’s given you. Honestly? I would laugh this off and perhaps recommend psychiatric care for your burgeoning case of schizophrenia, save for one very serious problem…
Religious Zealotry has Real-World Consequences
In his webpage about “God teaches Greece,” our psychiatric-care-candidate invokes the idea that God is punishing Greece for its maintaining of historical sites such as the Temple of Nike in…Well he isn’t exactly clear where it is, or which Temple in particular we’re talking about, but he knows that God is concerned because he was “guided” – I.E. Cast another spell – to the word “pure.” He believes that this ancient temple should be torn down. He believes that God, and not catastrophically bad economic policy, is responsible for Greece’s problems. This is just like how God is mean to Tim Tebow because he accepted money from a profitable company named after a mythological figure. He even shows a picture of his “Love” shoe stomping out the old Temple and replacing it with a gigantic statue of Jesus – an idol of the Savior, but an idol nonetheless. So much for the Ten Commandments.
This sort of lunacy excuses any action. Murdered your brother? God made you do it. Got injured playing a sport? God did it. Went broke? God did it. He did it because you didn’t love him. This reeks of some sort of special protection that, if we’d read our Bible, falls apart. See, we’d have read this little ditty about how God can also control one’s emotions. Exodus 9:12 – “God Hardened Pharaoh’s Heart.” And now you’ve excused even the lack of love of God – if you don’t love God, its because God didn’t want you to, so he wanted you to suffer! Because he loves you! So buy my “Love” Merchandise! Go God!
…I apologize. I believe I’ve delved into the madness of this website too long, for my own argument is starting to come apart in the maelstrom.
Why Religion and Sports Don’t Mix
I’ve never really been a big fan of praying before a sporting event, or thanking the divine forces of the universe for a victory. Its an old ethical question – why would God want one team to win and the other to lose? In defeat, we blame ourselves; in victory, we thank God? That makes no sense.
Mr. Hubbard’s arguments are reminiscent of the recent Pat Robertson statements about Peyton Manning. ”In my opinion,” Robertson says, “it would serve them [the Denver Broncos] right.” What would? ”If that injury comes right, Denver would find themselves without a Quarterback.” Hubbard’s statements basically justify this sort of mentality – its all God’s will. Its God’s will that a person trying to do his best to make a living (Manning) be injured so that a corporation (The Broncos) can learn a valuable lesson about…Trading Tim Tebow?
Why aren’t we mad about how the Jets have screwed over Mark Sanchez? Or Drew Stanton?
I think the answer is that Tebow’s faith, unfortunately, shares a name with that of Mr. Robertson and Mr. Hubbard. They are not the same faith, thank God! But, this serves as a reminder that we can’t ever let our guard down against the wolves hiding in lamb’s clothing.