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post #166 of 218 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2013, 07:24 AM
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Re: What are the religious inclinations of the top wta players?

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I never meant to suggest that it was a gesture against the opponent.

It's not that big a deal to me, and I guess if I have any issue with it at all it's because I think religious belief should be, as you say, a very personal something, whereas the way it usually happens it is very much for public consumption. When a player crosses him/herself after scoring the winning point in a match, they must be aware that the camera is zooming in to catch the moment in hi-definition detail. If it was really such a personal thing they could better do it in the locker room or when they get back to their hotel room.

As an atheist that bothers me a little bit, because I think religions already get a free ride from politicians, prominent media figures and such, not to mention religious leaders, and when high-profile athletes make such a public gesture, it's just one more bit of indoctrination drip-drip-dripping into the brains of young impressionable kids (and adults for that matter). There is no such comparable forum for an atheist world view, for the simple reason that it is defined by nothing other than the absence of religious belief. There is no gesture for that.

Btw, I don't think the parents/graduation thing really works at all as a comparison. In that case it's important that the thanking takes place in public, because the whole point is that the parents know that others know that the kids are grateful for all the parents have sacrificed (e.g. by paying their way through college, not (usually) by bribing their professors). God is presumably omniescient, so shouldn't require any such reassurances.
The fact that something is personal, doesn't mean that you shouldn't or can't demonstrate it.
Religion is a matter both personal and public. Religious people are required to demonstrate their religion in the world. We are to be a sign to other people. Bible says so explicitly.
People who want religion to be shown only in closed rooms don't understand that it would be against freedom of religion and against the laws of most of religions. Truly religious people simply can't hide their beliefs.
Also you can't use an argmuent that atheist can't do anything like it, so religious people also shouldn't. It's like single person who wants to ban people in love holding hands in public, because he/she can't do it and feels more alone seeing it.
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post #167 of 218 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2013, 08:17 AM
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Re: What are the religious inclinations of the top wta players?

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The fact that something is personal, doesn't mean that you shouldn't or can't demonstrate it.
Religion is a matter both personal and public. Religious people are required to demonstrate their religion in the world. We are to be a sign to other people. Bible says so explicitly.
People who want religion to be shown only in closed rooms don't understand that it would be against freedom of religion and against the laws of most of religions. Truly religious people simply can't hide their beliefs.
Also you can't use an argmuent that atheist can't do anything like it, so religious people also shouldn't. It's like single person who wants to ban people in love holding hands in public, because he/she can't do it and feels more alone seeing it.
You misunderstand me, I'm not suggesting that they should be banned from doing this. I'm not even suggesting that by doing this they are consciously making religious propaganda. But I do wish they would exercise some restraint.

I think it is important to make a distinction between public with a small p and Public with a capital P here. I have gotten into arguments with some of my atheist friends when I defended the right of religious people to wear crosses, headscarves, wigs etc. (even burkhas) in public (the small p). When we start trying to ban stuff like this we infringe basic human rights.

It would be also wrong to try to legally prevent famous people from publicly proclaiming their faith in front of millions of viewers (the capital P), but I don't feel any qualms about saying that I wish they would exercise some restraint in this. The reason being, as I've already said, that non-religious people (who by the way are seriously disadvantaged and even persecuted in large parts of the world) usually don't have access to the same opportunity to express their world view. Accordingly (to use just one example) an openly atheist candidate for the US presidency would have about as much chance of getting elected as I would.

The comparison of atheists with envious single people is beside the point, and frankly a bit insulting, to both atheists and singles.

Last edited by stromatolite; Feb 15th, 2013 at 08:30 AM.
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post #168 of 218 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2013, 08:58 AM
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Re: What are the religious inclinations of the top wta players?

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You misunderstand me, I'm not suggesting that they should be banned from doing this. I'm not even suggesting that by doing this they are consciously making religious propaganda. But I do wish they would exercise some restraint.

I think it is important to make a distinction between public with a small p and Public with a capital P here. I have gotten into arguments with some of my atheist friends when I defended the right of religious people to wear crosses, headscarves, wigs etc. (even burkhas) in public (the small p). When we start trying to ban stuff like this we infringe basic human rights.

It would be also wrong to try to legally prevent famous people from publicly proclaiming their faith in front of millions of viewers (the capital P), but I don't feel any qualms about saying that I wish they would exercise some restraint in this. The reason being, as I've already said, that non-religious people (who by the way are seriously disadvantaged and even persecuted in large parts of the world) usually don't have access to the same opportunity to express their world view. Accordingly (to use just one example) an openly atheist candidate for the US presidency would have about as much chance of getting elected as I would.

The comparison of atheists with envious single people is beside the point, and frankly a bit insulting, to both atheists and singles.
I would very much like to discuss it further (for instance about who and in what parts of the world is more and less persecuted/disadvantaged), but we are seriously derailing this thread
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post #169 of 218 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2013, 09:16 AM
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Re: What are the religious inclinations of the top wta players?

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I would very much like to discuss it further (for instance about who and in what parts of the world is more and less persecuted/disadvantaged), but we are seriously derailing this thread
You're right of course

Sometimes I get so carried away
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post #170 of 218 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2013, 02:38 PM
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Re: What are the religious inclinations of the top wta players?

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I'm fairly certain that Shahar Peer is Jewish . Whether she's devout or not I don't know.
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post #171 of 218 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2013, 03:38 PM
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Re: What are the religious inclinations of the top wta players?

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This is what religious people don't understand about atheism. It's not a belief system. It's the absence of a belief system. People don't identify themselves by characteristics they don't have. If someone asks me to describe myself I don't say "I'm a non-Chinese person". Because that would be stupid.

Calling someone an atheist only makes sense when you are distinguishing them from religious people, same as calling someone non-Chinese only makes sense when you are distinguishing them from Chinese people.

'Atheists' aren't a homogeneous group any more than 'non-Chinese people' are. They are just people who, out of all the millions of gods and other fictional creatures invented by the human race, believe in one less than you do.
I don't even try to understand atheism. Why should I? However the atheists seem addicted into the problems of believers and are very keen to enlighten them about their wrong perception. And even if they don't, they call them idiots and morons instead

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post #172 of 218 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2013, 06:18 PM
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Re: What are the religious inclinations of the top wta players?

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And then, at the mention of regaining the No.1 ranking on Monday, that's when the walls came down - the year-long battle with injury and illness, all the hard work, all the emotions - it all came out.

"I'm so sensitive nowadays, I'm always crying!" Williams said as she fought back tears. "I never thought I would be here again. I've just been through so much and never thought I'd be here again.

"Thank you Jehovah for giving me another chance."
For those who claim that the WS are JWs in name only.

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post #173 of 218 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2013, 06:27 PM
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Re: What are the religious inclinations of the top wta players?

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For those who claim that the WS are JWs in name only.
Who made that claim?

They do practice it. You can see that in things like the lack of Christmas celebrations (not even "merry Xmas" wishes) and many other small stuff which give you an indication that at least Serena is an observing JW.
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post #174 of 218 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2013, 06:36 PM
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Re: What are the religious inclinations of the top wta players?

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Who made that claim?
Read through the thread.

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post #175 of 218 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2013, 10:08 AM
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Re: What are the religious inclinations of the top wta players?

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I don't believe in any god. I find organized religion repugnant and the root of most evils (war, murder, persecution, intolerance, among other things) -- but I would never call myself an atheist. Why?

Because atheists share something in common with the religious, whom they decry: Atheists think they know for sure, without any doubt, that there is no god. Yet it is hypocritical for atheists to deride people with religious beliefs for having faith in a god when atheists are as certain in their belief that there is not a god as religious people are that there is a god.
No one can know for sure either way: You have to be dead to know. As an agnostic, I don't believe in a god, but I can't be 100% certain. No one (living) can.
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post #176 of 218 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2013, 10:20 AM
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Re: What are the religious inclinations of the top wta players?

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I don't even try to understand atheism. Why should I? However the atheists seem addicted into the problems of believers and are very keen to enlighten them about their wrong perception. And even if they don't, they call them idiots and morons instead
That's because religious people try to shove their moral system in the lives of people who are not religious
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post #177 of 218 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2013, 05:22 PM
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Re: What are the religious inclinations of the top wta players?

I'm not keen on religion.
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post #178 of 218 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2013, 05:26 PM
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Re: What are the religious inclinations of the top wta players?

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I think Sharapova is a Christian coz I have often seen her kiss the cross she wears around her neck and also when she wins, after she has thanked the crowd, she always kisses her hand and raises it to the sky aswell as her head - thanking God.
THIS.
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post #179 of 218 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 2013, 01:00 AM
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Re: What are the religious inclinations of the top wta players?

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Are you sure? Because I wouldn't be surprised if, for instance, Lisicki belonged to Lutheran Church. After all her father has some German roots. I just speculate here, but it's not like 100% Poles are Catholic. We even had a Lutheran prime-minister, remember?

I know only of Agnieszka declaring herself as a practicing Catholic:

Sabs has described herself as "a good Catholic girl" and claims she is a regular churchgoer, fwiw.

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post #180 of 218 (permalink) Old Mar 18th, 2013, 06:20 AM
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Re: What are the religious inclinations of the top wta players?

It's funny because I find Chrisian athletes so inspiring (as a Christian myself). It's the reason Tim Tebow is my favorite athlete in the history of sports!

I'm very liberal but I also have a lot of faith in God & Jesus. So when a tennis player says "thank you God" I understand where they're coming from. It isn't saying that God had something to do with the results, but that he allowed that person to live & be part of a great moment. As well as knowing all the hard work paid off. It's like an old Christian tale my mom use to say:

"A man was praying, and God responded you have to first help yourself before I can help you."


Also I don't see why any atheist would have an issue with a believers expression of faith. If there was an atheist sign or language I wouldn't care if he or she expressed it to the public. I guest I'm just very liberal and go by the rule live & let live. As a Chrisian myself I want to be able to spread my faith, & thank God for my all my blessings.

Also does anyone know what's Andy Murray belief? He always point at the sky when he wins a match.
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