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Baseball and Christianity

Baseball and Christianity

Kerby Anderson



            Is there a place for Christianity in Major League Baseball? You wouldn't even think that would be an issue. But apparently it is for one sportswriter for The New York Times.


            Murray Chass has been crusading against voluntary baseball chapels. These are the chapel services held in major league locker rooms on Sunday mornings. And that's not all. He is also upset with the various "faith nights" that eight of the major league teams hold in which a Christian music concert is held following the game.


            This sportswriter complains: "Just what baseball needs-peanuts, popcorn and proselytizing." His solution is simple: separate Christianity from baseball. He argues that since the U.S. Constitution "provide for separation of church and state," baseball executives should institute a "separation of church and baseball."


            Let me emphasize that these are voluntary chapels for baseball players who would never have an opportunity to attend church on game day. Usually they are held in one of the stadium rooms, so a player has to know where it is taking place and has to leave the locker room and find the room where chapel is held. You could hardly call these chapels intrusive or disruptive.


            So what about the Christian concerts? Major League teams do all they can to get fans in seats. They give out caps, bats, and baseballs. They bring in special singers and even schedule concerts. When a concert is scheduled, it doesn't begin until 30 minutes after the game is over. Have you ever been in a baseball stadium even ten minutes after the last out? The fans have cleared out long before the first note of music is played at that Christian concert.


            I guess I supposed that the sports pages would be the last place you would see a bias against Christianity. Apparently I was wrong. At least one sportswriter at The New York Times feels we need to have a separation of church and baseball. I disagree. I'm Kerby Anderson, and that's my point of view.