american football

Weekly Wrap 10.2.15: The 10 Best Stories You Missed This Week

1. 9 Ways We Can Make Social Justice Movements Less Elitist and More Accessible

"After a few weeks of feeling confused and invisible, I decided that I just wasn't smart enough to be an activist."

2. WATCH: Obama Condemns 'Routine' of Mass Shootings, Says U.S. Has Become Numb

"As I said just a few months ago, and I said a few months before that, and I said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough."

3. French Catholics Take in Refugee Family Seeking a 'Normal Life'

"The local effort is part of a national Catholic network that connects homeless asylum seekers with families willing to take them in."

The Super Bowl and the Church in a Culture of Dominance

Photo via Eugene Onischenko / Shutterstock.com

Americans enjoy football because, to a degree, football reflects the values of strength, courage, strategy, self-discipline, teamwork, and celebrity that American culture holds dear. It’s also refreshing to watch someone else get crushed by a 260-pound linebacker after you’ve had a lousy week at work.

The problem develops when we let football (or other sports, or a military, or corporations, or other forces) define strength in terms of dominance.

I’m not trying to dump on football. I’m noting that it’s a game largely devoted to imposing one’s will on another. That competitive value can be fine on a field, but when it seeps into our society, neighborhoods, and families we should be wary.

Because when dominance is the name of the game, there will be victims.

The Super Bowl might prompt us to consider the hazards of an ethos in which rewards go to those who say “We take what we want” and follow through on it.

VIDEO: Proud To Be

"Proud To Be" is a compelling video by changethemascot.org that features a series of short clips and one-word descriptors to emphasize who Native Americans are—mother, Indian, Navajo, survivor, etc.—and what they are not (a mascot.) Like Peggy Flanagan’s article "Sacking the 'Redsk*ns'" (Sojourners, February 2014), the video advocates for a change in the Washington-based football team’s mascot because, as she so eloquently states, “I am not a mascot. My daughter is not a mascot. My people are not mascots. We are human beings. We are still here.”

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