Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Packers vs Vikings vs God

Care to see some Catholic hyperbole? I don't know why this stuff amuses me to no end but it does.

When the Rev. David Pleier of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Green Bay, Wis., announced that his church was eliminating its 4 p.m. mass on Christmas Eve because it conflicts with the 2 p.m. start of Friday's Vikings-Packers game, one congregant commented, "You mean to say you're putting football ahead of the birth of Christ?"

"If we had a 4 o'clock service, we'd have family members saying, 'You go to church, but I'm not missing the second half," Pleier said. "At a time when we hope families will be together, to pray together, this game threatens to drive them apart."

..."The NFL's expression of commercial arrogance and fundamental disregard for things that do really matter is astounding," said the Rev. Eugene Tiffany of St. Olaf Catholic Church in downtown Minneapolis, not far from the Metrodome, where the game will be played.

"It makes no difference to the NFL if [the league] marginalizes the lives of people who place great value in faith and the prayer life of the church to which they belong. The people who run the NFL feel they're not accountable to anyone other than their sponsors and stockholders."

Exactly what is commercial arrogance? Fundamental disregard for things that do matter? Matter to whom? Rev Eugene Tiffany of course, whatever matters to him, should matter to us all. Hey Eugene, the NFL does not require anyone to stay home and watch the game, are you afraid that they will choose to? Maybe you'll find out that you aren't as important as you pretend to be? It gets worse.

"It's unconscionable that the NFL would do this -- presenting the kind of conflict that destroys families," said the Rev. Ken De Groot, of Green Bay's St. Willebrord Catholic Church, where coach Vince Lombardi attended mass each morning during the Packers' glory years of the 1960s.

Destroys families?!? I can think of lots of ways the Catholic church has destroyed families over the years, but it's hard to come with any examples of a football game being televised on a Friday afternoon doing so.

First Covenant Church, less than a block from the Metrodome, will not hold its traditional 4 p.m. Christmas Eve service, allowing the church to sell its 200 parking spots to football fans at $20 per car. Long after the Vikings crowd disperses, First Covenant will hold an 11 p.m. candlelight service, said the Rev. Tom Noble.

...Tiffany, of St. Olaf Church in Minneapolis, suggests that in the spirit of giving, the NFL offer the Vikings-Packers game free.

"Take away the commercials, and they'd be done in an hour and a half, plenty of time for fans to get to early mass," he said.

Okay but don't pass your donation basket around during Christmas Eve Mass, in the spirit of giving. Deal?

"Frankly, I can't believe how insensitive the NFL is," Demuth said. But he's aware of the lure of the almighty dollar. "There's money to be made. And for the NFL, what could be more important than that?"

Maybe selling church parking spaces for $20 each?

Merry Christmas. Go Packers.


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