Religious education

25th June 2004 at 01:00
The Olympics and other classical games were held in honour of the gods, but now the churches and other faith communities have to adjust their worship times around major international TV coverage of sporting events. RE can raise the question, has sport become a substitute religion? Religion and sport both arouse intense "devotion". In both the tradition is usually maintained by men. Sport has its saints and its ruling patriarchs, its high councils and its scribes to report it. Like religion, sport has shrines - Halls of Fame and the like - and distinctive symbols. Both sport and religion are the subject of merchandising. They use a common language of dedication, sacrifice and commitment. They impose a discipline and claim to lead, among other things, to self-discovery. American winners sometimes thank God and their "Mom" - who do our winners thank and why? In whose honour are fixtures held now - and what does sport show about our values?.

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