Fundamentalist Christianity, has had, for as long as I can remember, a deeply-felt inferiority complex. It's as if, no matter how much the fundys insist that only they have god's Truth, they're still afraid someone might prove them wrong.
You can check this out yourself. If you're confronted by one of these deluded individuals, force-feed them facts about the bible, its history, its meaning, its contradictions, the craziness of their theology ... often they'll slip away into the night mumbling about how hot you will find it in hell!
Cradled as I was, in the arms of the fundys, I caught on to their tactics at an early age. One of the most humorous and most obvious attempts to counter their deeply felt inferiority, was to glom on to some sports star who had found Jesus, and parade him around the tent or chancel at revival meetings. I thought that was pretty stupid from the get-go. What did a super sports hero have to do with me? And why would his religious experience be any more meaningful that Joe the Plumber's. (I'm sorry, I couldn't stop myself!)
This charade continues. Charisma magazine, whose editor hails from the same religious holy roller hocus-pocus as does Sarah Palin, reports that "Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, affectionately known around the world as 'Kaka,' recently shared his faith with millions of prime time TV viewers in Brazil."
To be truthful, I've never heard of Kaka, not that it matters. Obviously a lot of other people have and "adore" him. What's important is that he was paraded in front of whole bunches of people at the beginning of "My Hope Brazil -- a three-night, TV-based outreach sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and reportedly one of the largest evangelistic crusades ever."
Kaka did good, too! "I truly cannot imagine my life without Christ," he said. "Everything I've accomplished, everything that God has done in my life ... was because God has a plan and purpose for my life. The Bible says that he will do more than we ever thought or imagined, and this is truly how it has been. If God wasn't in my life, then my life certainly would not be like this."
Kaka can believe anything he so desires, of course. And that's fine. But his story is a crock! Why would anyone believe that? Did god seek him out and give him a special plan and special gifts so he could be a soccer star? What kind of god is imagined here?
And what about all those people -- many with lesser abilities than Kaka -- that have accomplished a lot of stuff, in and out of a sporting arena, without knowing about god's plan for their lives?
More importantly, what about all those people who have struggled their entire lives just to earn a decent living but never quite made it? What about our veterans sleeping on the streets? What about the single mom who's trying to put food on the table? What about the elderly couple that has to choose between breakfast and medicine? What about the eight-year old girl dying of cancer? What about all the millions of people dying at this moment from disease, famine, or war? What's god's "plan" for their lives?
Or does god care mostly about soccer stars, and football players, and hockey moms who would be prezident?
Please! This kind of theology stinks. And to hold up someone like Kaka as if to say, "Look what god did for him and he can do that for you, too" also stinks because it is phony and false and is nothing more than a play for the pocketbook of the religiously gullible and theologically naive.
I wonder if Pele wore a T-shirt that said, "I Belong to Jesus." Wasn't Pele sorta successful?