Religion and Politics...and Sports?

Paul Morrone |

It is somewhat understood that there are two topics that should not be discussed; Religion and Politics. Though these topics are supposed to be avoided, I have been involved in conversations where tempers and emotions bounce around like ping pong balls. Being passionate about something can be extremely rewarding and enjoyable. When your passion directly conflicts with someone else on the same topic but in a different direction, that is when the “fun” begins. I was having a conversation with someone about these two topics and how the topics should be avoided (ironic or what) and another topic was added to the mix. I was curious what could be more emotional and passionate than Religion and Politics? Come to find out that the other topic was sports. Let’s talk about these topics that you are supposed to avoid.

Religion is very sensitive. I respect those individuals with strong religious faith and their faith is larger than anything I can comprehend and maybe never will. Some people tend to get turned off when they are preached to about religion. This was my experience when I was younger and I always felt like I was going to burn in hell every other day. Religion of whatever form and faith can be beautiful, rewarding, comforting and provide guidance and clarity in life. It is sad that in the world that we live in there are isolated minorities of religious fanatics that use their faith in extreme ways and feel that causing harm to others is supporting their religious beliefs. Let me quickly move away from Religion.

Then there is politics that can be extremely volatile. There will always be the aisle in the center with the Democrats and Republicans on opposing sides. The volatility in politics tends to have peaks and valleys. As the race for the White House and the nominations for the ballot are hot and heavy, volatility could not be any higher. I tend to be very neutral on expressing political opinions and quietly pull the lever for my candidate in the privacy of the voting booth. What happens before and after that moment is totally out of my control. It is time to move on to the next topic.

Let us talk about sports? Talk about volatility. If you have ever been to a professional sporting event and arrived early for some tailgating, you see it all. Better yet, if you go to such an event and support the visiting team you can be potentially putting yourself in harm’s way. Several years ago I went to a NY Giants game in Philadelphia. I was surrounded by fans dressed in green and white supporting their Eagles. Stupid me who wears a blue shirt to support my Giants and wore a Yankee’s hat (did not have a Giants hat) to proudly show my support for the NY team. The term fan comes from the word fanatic. Let me tell you, sports fans get crazy but for the most part express their craziness in support of their team.

In reflection what topics should be avoided, Religion, Politics or Sports? There is no correct answer so depending on where you stand on one of these topics will sway your opinion one way or another. For me, I am learning to be like Switzerland, neutral.

Until the Next Tom’s Take…