August 26, 2015

"I hate that Jordy got hurt, but in my beliefs and the way that I believe, it was God had meant for Jordy to get hurt."

Said the Detroit Lion Glover Quin about the Green Bay Packer Jordy Nelson. Not everyone appreciated Quin's religious musing. The actor Brian Baumgartner (AKA Kevin on "The Office") tweeted "Players who have the audacity to believe God decides who gets injured/ wins games completely minimize God. God had it out for Jordy? Absurd" and Aaron Rodgers retweeted.

Quin is defending himself.
"Some guy from somewhere called me a moron, called me an idiot.... A lot of people said that, which I don’t understand what gives somebody else the right to call me a moron or an idiot because I said what I believe. But if he feels like I’m a moron or an idiot, that’s fine. I love Aaron Rodgers. He’s a great player. I have nothing bad to say about Aaron Rodgers. What is meant to be will be, that’s what I believe, that’s the way I live my life.... Things happen to me, good or bad, and I say, OK, you know what, what does God want me to learn from this? What does he want me to learn from this? I’ve been in bad situations, I’ve had serious injuries, I’ve had all types of stuff happen to me. And I believe, ‘Hey, what is meant to be will be. God is in control.’ That’s what I believe. That doesn’t have to be your belief, that doesn’t have to be nobody else’s belief. I’m not saying that, so I don’t understand why everybody just jump on everybody for what they believe.... I don’t mean that God particularly said, ‘Hey, I want to take Jordy Nelson out'... I’m not saying all that. I just believe what is meant to be, will be, regardless, and that’s just how I feel about it."
Take the strongest defensible position on Glover Quin's statements about God and Jordy Nelson.
 
pollcode.com free polls

76 comments:

Nichevo said...

Why is this interesting?

Scott said...

I was looking for the vote that said simply "He's a moron" without bringing God into it, but it wasn't there.

Scott said...

America didn't invent magic thinking, but it elevated it to a popular art.

MadisonMan said...

God had meant this Detroit Lion twit to play football. Why did he have to practice then?

Matthew Sablan said...

Whenever I see people react like this to someone saying "It's God's plan," it makes me realize how religiously illiterate a lot of people are -- and how proud of it they are.

I'm not Jewish or Muslim, but I have a working understanding of their faith and understand that there are different sects within them with competing beliefs. I may not be fluent in the language, but I can understand the complex ideas they present.

Sometimes, I think, people are deliberately obtuse about what a religious person is saying just to try and score some points.

JAORE said...

Is it too much to ask that we say, "That's what he believes, good on him". Whether you agree or not, and I don't, what the heck harm has he done? Why the anger over a simple expression of belief?

Get the wad outta your panties and the bunch outta your boxers.

pdug said...

And so of the good things of this life: if God did not by a very visible liberality confer these on some of those persons who ask for them, we should say that these good things were not at His disposal; and if He gave them to all who sought them, we should suppose that such were the only rewards of His service; and such a service would make us not godly, but greedy rather, and covetous. Wherefore, though good and bad men suffer alike, we must not suppose that there is no difference between the men themselves, because there is no difference in what they both suffer. For even in the likeness of the sufferings, there remains an unlikeness in the sufferers; and though exposed to the same anguish, virtue and vice are not the same thing. For as the same fire causes gold to glow brightly, and chaff to smoke; and under the same flail the straw is beaten small, while the grain is cleansed; and as the lees are not mixed with the oil, though squeezed out of the vat by the same pressure, so the same violence of affliction proves, purges, clarifies the good, but damns, ruins, exterminates the wicked. And thus it is that in the same affliction the wicked detest God and blaspheme, while the good pray and praise. So material a difference does it make, not what ills are suffered, but what kind of man suffers them. For, stirred up with the same movement, mud exhales a horrible stench, and ointment emits a fragrant odor.

- City of God, St. Augustine.

Original Mike said...

Why does God hate the Detroit Lions?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Matthew 10:29-31New International Version (NIV)

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.[a] 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

So yeah, God took him out.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

MadisonMan said...

God had meant this Detroit Lion twit to play football. Why did he have to practice then?

Because God meant for him to.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I think the phenomenon is best described, as follows: "There is a line between right and wrong and people are very good at moving that line so they are always on the right side of it."

Got that many years ago from a college instructor named Laurie Wing, IIRC.

Carter Wood said...

Glover Quin is a strict Calvinist.

Gusty Winds said...

I heard on the Radio this morning that One Direction had a moment of silence for Jordy Nelson at the Miller Park concert last night.

MayBee said...

Oh geez. If he hadn't said "God", but said "the universe" instead, would people be going crazy?

People believe in horoscopes, tarot cards, astrology, religion, God, karma, the power of the universe, and "everything happens for a reason". Why pile up on this guy?

TCR James said...

I think he's basically right about God having a plan for everybody. But it begs the question: why does God let Ndamakong Suh go around kicking everybody in the nuts? Is that part of God's plan?

I'll hang up now and listen to what the teleologists have to say.

Henry said...

(*) He's a Calvinist.

Or is he?

Misinforminimalism said...

I think he's just guilty of saying "there but for the grace of God go I" in a kinda d-baggy way.

jr565 said...

Que sera sera
Whatever will be will be
The futures not ours to see
Que sera sera.

Or, put another way, it's fate. I don't see how what he said is all that extreme.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I consider myself agnostic.

To the extent I believe that there is a God, I also believe that he is a fucking asshole.

But then again, I'm not a professional athlete.

walter said...

"Everything happens for a reason". It's amazing how twisted we get over what those are. I wish folks who make their living crashing into each other would be more eloquent about it all.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Oops.

I should have capitalized the "h" in "he."

To show proper respect.

dbp said...

If he was a follower of an Eastern faith, he would have said it was karma and nobody would have said boo.

Tank said...

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I consider myself agnostic.

To the extent I believe that there is a God, I also believe that he is a fucking asshole.


To the extent you believe that there is a God, is it not likely that you would not understand how and why he does things or allows things to happen?

jimbino said...

Maybe God enlisted Satan to do the dirty work, just as he did with Job.

Grackle said...

God is a one badass motherfucker, as anyone knows who has paid cursory attention to the Pentateuch.

Behave accordingly.

False Grackle

Jim said...

It's also very Stoic. Marcus Aurelius nodded in agreement.

lgv said...

God hates the Packers. But, alas, the Lions won't even beat the Vikings. They will have to make a pact with Satan in order to make the playoffs.

After 48 years of watching football as a Packer fan and 12 credit hours of systematic theology, that's all I can come with.

Curious George said...

Jordy Nelson looks like a grown up version of the banjo player from Deliverance. No loving God would do that and an ACL tear to the same person.

Original Mike said...

"...how and why he does things or allows things to happen?"

I've always loved the "allowed things to happen" line. Giving God a pass.

dbp said...

Let us try this simple theology lesson.

God knows everything that will happen.

God could intervene in any situation.

Is it crazy to think that whatever happens, is in some sense willed by God?

roesch/voltaire said...

Given the millions of innocent people who have been killed in the last 100 years, it makes no sense to say G-D intervenes to hurt or save people. There are natural consequences in life. For example how did the hip operation affect the leg? Interventions or miracles are extremely rare, but by faith and love alone do we find strength to deal with our existence.

Tank said...

Original Mike said...

"...how and why he does things or allows things to happen?"

I've always loved the "allowed things to happen" line. Giving God a pass.


If God only allowed good things to happen, what effect would that have on your freedom or free will?

Original Mike said...

Apparently, I don't have free will Tank. God already knows everything I will do. It is preordained.

Matthew Sablan said...

"God already knows everything I will do. It is preordained."

-- Knowing something will happen and MAKING something happen are two different things.

Bryan C said...

"Apparently, I don't have free will Tank. God already knows everything I will do. It is preordained."

There some some schools of thought that believe exactly that. I don't.

But, yeah, if God exists then he knows everything you will do. Or not do. Or might do. Or did do in one universe but didn't do in another.

Gusty Winds said...

What it means is that God is going to make this year's Packer Superbowl victory even more incredible.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

That lecturer on Greek myths said that their concept of "fate" is congruent with our modern idea of "tendency." For example, Oedipus had personality traits/talents that merely inclined him to make certain decisions.

Evidencing that view is the ambiguous nature of prophesy. The dramatic device of over-determination. The anthropomorphic nature of their gods, who were basically humans only more so.

Sounded plausible enough to me.

Bryan C said...

"America didn't invent magic thinking, but it elevated it to a popular art."

Insha'Allah.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

I remember some other lecture series where scientists put electrodes on people and figured out that the part of the brain that makes you do something kicks in before the part of your brain that knows you're doing it.

Free Will in our rearview mirror, getting smaller and smaller.

Best not to think about things like that, if you can.

lgv said...

God knows everything that will happen.

God could intervene in any situation.


God already knows if he is going to intervene because he already knows what will happen. If he already knows, then will he then change based on the prayers of others? But, he must already know how much prayer he will receive for something, which helps him decide if he will intervene. Pre-ordination and being omniscient can make your head spin.

That whole Calvinism vs. Arminism thing.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"Sometimes, I think, people are deliberately obtuse about what a religious person is saying just to try and score some points."


Absolutely. Most of the discussion about religion is about politics and not about God.


"God already knows everything I will do. It is preordained."

-- Knowing something will happen and MAKING something happen are two different things."

Absolutely, again. People need to stop blaming God for the horroriffic shit that people do. You're supposed to be an agent of God's will but 99.9999% of people aren't up to it. Myself included, certainly.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

My understanding of Christian doctrine regarding bad things happening to people is that God doesn't cause bad things to happen, but, due to the fact that we live in a fallen world and God wants us to have free will so that we can choose to turn to him, he allows bad things to happen. However, he can and does use those bad things to create good outcomes.

A standard example of this in the Old Testament is Joseph being sold into slavery. It is standard because Joseph himself tells his brothers that what they meant for evil God has used for good.

Genesis 50:20

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives."

But then you get into some serious weeds when you start considering predestination, God's sovereignty, etc.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Sometimes it feels like I'm the only person in the world who believes that God is some kind of a poultry farmer and we're all chickens.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Oh, by the way, telling people that have suffered a terrible tragedy that God allows bad things to happen because of free will is stupid. People who have suffered a loss don't want or need a lecture on theology. They need sympathy. Offer that to them.

Original Mike said...

"People need to stop blaming God for the horroriffic shit that people do."

You think that's what I did?

Fernandinande said...

The tea leaves and sheep entrails agree that Detroit Lion Glover Quin is correct.

William said...

There are quite a lot of random events in a person's life, and, on occasion, they are malign. This is a way of subsuming those events to a pattern and maintaining control of our insignificance. There are dumber ways of comprehending the indifference of the universe........The guy in question had a knee injury. It was career ending, but ultimately it was a knee injury. Maybe it was God's way of keeping him from developing a traumatic brain injury that would cause him to drool and vote for Hillary. . You can have a full, rich life after a knee injury. I would rather mock a knee injury than a person's religious faith.

Curious George said...

"Gusty Winds said...
What it means is that God is going to make this year's Packer Superbowl victory even more incredible."

God didn't spite the Seahawks.

Richard Dolan said...

There is an interesting post, available today at Real Clear, by Fr. Robert Barron on this same idea. He quotes Steven Colbert, quoting Tolkien, "what punishments of God are not gifts?" For Colbert, the turning point was the death of his father and brothers in a plane crash when he was 10; for Tolkien, it was being left as a destitute orphan with a younger brother when he was an adolescent. Not many would seen in those events any kind of "gift," but Colbert (and Tolkien) nevertheless came to do so. No doubt, it took a while. Barron's piece explains that seemingly bizarre point of view, and puts it in the context of traditional Catholic theology (the "gift" was that, by working through their own grief and loss, they became better able to comfort and empathize with others). It's not a matter of predestination, but instead a willingness to accept God's grace even in the most difficult times. Barron ends up paraphrasing Pope (now Saint) JP2, saying in substance that, for a believer, there are no coincidences, but only the working out of a divine plan that we will never be able to grasp.

None of that is likely to make sense to anyone who is not a religious believer. That's another way of saying that people of faith view the world, and all that happens to them in it, differently. Glover Quin is in good company.

I Callahan said...

There should have been another voice for the poll: "Packers fans get agita because a Detroit Lion said something about one of the Packers". This would have won the poll is anyone was being honest...

I Callahan said...

iPhones. That should be "choice " for the poll, and "if" anyone was being honest.

Brando said...

"Sometimes it feels like I'm the only person in the world who believes that God is some kind of a poultry farmer and we're all chickens."

I don't think you're alone in thinking that!

I remember someone telling me once that the best way to understand God is to think of Him as an all-powerful being with the mind of a typical toddler. He can be very sweet and loving and then completely turn on you with no warning.

Louis said...

Hm. Nothing happens outside of His will but that does not mean that everything that happens is His will because He wills that we exercise our own volition.

Scott said...

I've always loved the "allowed things to happen" line. Giving God a pass.

Yeah, me too. It's always a hoot when self-styled Christians justify the death penalty because Christ allowed his crucifixion to happen, ergo He endorsed the practice.

You can claim any repugnant thing has God's blessing because it was allowed to happen.

Richard Taylor said...

"Sometimes, I think, people are deliberately obtuse about what a religious person is saying just to try and score some points."

^ THIS. Calling him a moron is a bit over the top. Anybody with half an understanding of, well, anything would realize that his statements were in the "God's plan" way, and not in "yea, Jordy's hurt!" way.

Full disclosure: Long-suffering Lions fan (hey, grew up in Michigan - what am I to do?). Can't stand the Packers OR Vikings (can barely stomach the Bears). There, I said it. :-)

Rick said...

How about "The nature of his belief in god is his business, Since his comments have zero impact on anything quit whining about them".

Bay Area Guy said...

Jordy Nelson is a stud, and I love football. But I don't know if God played any role in Jordy's injury. If God were all just & merciful, perhaps he would direct his wrath at Russell Wilson for withholding sex from his hot girlfriend. Just kiddin'!


Buried in this Lion-Packer dust-up is an important philosophical/theoretical question: Does God (a) stand passively by while terrible unfair painful events happen or (b) does He direct those terrible unfair painful events to happen (for some unknown purpose)?


It's a great question. However, inartful, the dude on the Lions is grappling with the question, siding with the latter viewpoint. So, I would give him some slack, and the Lions too for, well, being from Detroit and losing all these seasons to the Packers:)

damikesc said...

I remember someone telling me once that the best way to understand God is to think of Him as an all-powerful being with the mind of a typical toddler. He can be very sweet and loving and then completely turn on you with no warning.

No. God has told you the way to live. He gives you the choice to follow or not.

He just won't always protect you from your hubris.

Think of it like a parent with a child who keeps trying to touch a hot stove. You can tell them to stop repeatedly. The only way they LEARN, though, is the one time they touch it.

damikesc said...

Buried in this Lion-Packer dust-up is an important philosophical/theoretical question: Does God (a) stand passively by while terrible unfair painful events happen or (b) does He direct those terrible unfair painful events to happen (for some unknown purpose)?

He doesn't just stand by. If you do the wrong thing but ask Him to help, He will do so. If you do the wrong thing and don't ask for help, He might just let you learn a valuable lesson.

How many times in your life has something that was horrible when it happened to you ended up being better? How many people have lost jobs --- which is traumatic --- but found something far more rewarding for them to do instead?

People don't look at their lives with a look at the future because we cannot foresee the future. He can.

Steven said...

People who claim it "minimizes" God for God to take an interest and hand in every event have a strange definition of "minimize". It's not like the orthodox theist interpretation of God has limited attention, knowledge, caring, or power. Which is why it was perfectly standard in both Judaism and Christianity until very recently, and is still standard in Islam, to believe that God regularly expresses his will in things such as the "wager of battle" and the casting of lots.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Anybody with half an understanding of, well, anything would realize that his statements were in the "God's plan" way, and not in "yea, Jordy's hurt!" way.

Unfortunately, these days a lot of people have a "prosperity gospel" view of God. If something bad happens to you it must be because God wanted it to happen. Thus, saying something is in God's plan when something bad happens to someone is seen as equivalent to saying God is on your side and wanted that bad thing to happen to someone else. So, yea, their hurt!

Kyzernick said...

What if God exists but He ISN'T omniscient or omnipotent? What if He has very limited control over things, and can only exert it in situations that the physics and natural laws of the Universe permit?

Quaestor said...

Some of the thoughts of Einstein on the matter and nature of God are cogent to this subject.

Raffiniert ist der Herrgott, aber boshaft ist er nicht. Subtle is the Lord, but he is not malicious.

Later, after contemplating some baffling experimental observations, Einstein revised his opinion "God is indeed malicious in that He leads people to believe they understand things that they are actually far from understanding."

Later still in a 1926 letter to Max Born Einstein wrote, "[Quantum mechanics] says a lot, but does not really bring us any closer to the secret of the 'old one.' I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice." (translated by Irene Born)

As things turned out quantum mechanics has been the most successful theory in the history of science, which implies that God is a malicious dice player, which further implies He is unconcerned with the fate of Jordy Nelson's ligaments.

J. Farmer said...

I don't myself happen to believe in god, but I find it particularly hard to believe, considering the scale of unimaginable human suffering that occurs on a daily basis, that there exists a being with the ability to alleviate such suffering but not the inclination. On the other hand, I suppose it would be hubris of me to imagine that I could even comprehend the will and intention of such a powerful entity. What I have always found most puzzling about the religious worldview is not the belief in a deity but the high degree of certainty people have that they understand what it is this deity wants.

Steven said...

Kyzernick said . . . What if God exists but He ISN'T omniscient or omnipotent? What if He has very limited control over things, and can only exert it in situations that the physics and natural laws of the Universe permit?

Well, if the being isn't both omniscient and omnipotent, then the being isn't the God of theist religions.

Quaestor said . . . As things turned out quantum mechanics has been the most successful theory in the history of science, which implies that God is a malicious dice player, which further implies He is unconcerned with the fate of Jordy Nelson's ligaments.

Your "further implies" does not follow. If God's malicious, then he very well could be concerned to the point that He maliciously caused the injury. And, of course, the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics would give such a deity an open and standing means of performing interventions, simply by loading the dice whenever it wants a particular outcome.

Quaestor said...

And, of course, the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics would give such a deity an open and standing means of performing interventions, simply by loading the dice whenever it wants a particular outcome.

Divine malice at work.

damikesc said...

I have no idea what God wants for others and only an inkling what He wants from me. But a lot of folks look at death as a curse and I don't feel God does.

damikesc said...

I will say if God was malicious, we would not exist.

The Godfather said...

I really look forward to the opportunity in the after life (if God grants that to me) to sit in the audience while all the so wise commenters in this thread explain God to God. That should be a hoot!

Steven said...

I will say if God was malicious, we would not exist.

That does not follow. Imagine an actively sadistic supernatural being, a deity of Satanic mindset; how much pleasure would it get out of noncreation? Or simply making and smashing rocks? Bacteria are barely better, and insects only a bit more so. Certainly one can torture a mouse, but only within certain limits.

How much more fully does a complete human society allow for the expression of cruelty, where you inflict insecurities on children, driving them to bully one of their fellows, until the bullied child in despair commits suicide, thus breaking the heart of his mother? There's a complex and elegant chain of torture to be savored by the palate of a truly sophisticated, diabolic maliciousness, one that cannot be satisfied without creating creatures with the capacity to hope and the intellect to understand their own suffering.

No, our existence and condition does not prove a lack of malice on the part of a deity or deities.

hombre said...

"I will say if God was malicious, we would not exist."

More accurately, "If God were merely just and not also merciful, we would cease to exist."

Anonymous said...

Not liking any of the poll options, but of the ones presented, the most defensible is the first, though like many people, Quin's conception of free will versus divine intent is a bit muddled.

Assuming the existence of an omnipotent and omniscient being, then it can rightly be said that everything that happens is at least permitted to happen, as God could intervene to stop any particular thing from happening.

So yes, Quin could say that this is in accord with God's will in so far that God knew it would happen and also let it happen, but it's not the same thing as saying that God snapped Nelson's ACL. In this case, the ACL snapped according to the laws of physics - also established by God - which God opted not to dispense with.

It's certainly possible for divine intervention in sports as anything else, but the rule of thumb is to go with the laws of physics unless there's a very good reason to the contrary (surviving the skate blade to the carotid is a more plausible example of such).

Phil 3:14 said...

" People who have suffered a loss don't want or need a lecture on theology. They need sympathy. Offer that to them."


"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn."
Romans 12:15

The Cracker Emcee said...

"What I have always found most puzzling about the religious worldview is not the belief in a deity but the high degree of certainty people have that they understand what it is this deity wants."

I wouldn't say they grant "a high degree of certainty" as that particular quest is literally the work of a lifetime, but God did provide us with copious notes. That so many choose to ignore or willfully misinterpret them is not a knock on God.

J. Farmer said...

@TheCrackerEmcee:

I grew up in an unbelieving household, but I suppose you could call my parents secular Christians. We celebrated holidays like Easter and Christmas, just without any of the religious undertones. My parents certainly weren't what you might call militant atheism. I certainly interacted with Christians and had friends who were Christians in school and in the community, and I understood what Christianity was, but I always felt the same way towards practicing Christians as I did towards Hindus or Jews or Buddhists or Muslims. It seems to me that throughout history human beings in all sorts of civilizational arrangements have constructed belief systems that claimed knowledge of divine will and proscribed behavior in accordance with this will. I will concede that Christianity has unique attributes and has, probably, in balance been a more positive force in human development than a detriment. The development of monotheism by the Hebrews was certainly a major event in human history. However, for me, I simply cannot accept the notion that the Creator of the world we find ourselves in today chose to intervene in the physical world at specific points in history as part of a special covenant with the Hebrew people. I no more believe that than I believe the Hindu claim that supernatural beings intervened in their physical world in the ancient past.

Steven said...

God did provide us with copious notes.

Yes, but the Koran and the Vedas contradict each other so many times; which should we take as authoritative?