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Corvus_corax

Faith and the Ravens

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My first thread on here so go easy. :P

Something that has become very apparent to me over the last few weeks is just how much of a role faith in God plays in the Ravens locker room. I have watched numerous interviews with John Harbaugh, and several of the players, over the last few weeks and it is something that has been referred to often.

Ray Lewis wears his heart on his sleeve and makes no secret of the fact that faith is part of what is driving him on. John Harbaugh made a comment recently in a press conference about this team having a faith in God(in whichever form is applicable to each individual) so it's clearly something that he openly encourages within the locker room. I guess the situations with Chuck Pagano, OJ and Ty Strong have all helped to feed into this too. When you watch people going through the ordeals that those 3 people are going through it does make you think a lot about life etc and puts the importance of a game of football into some sort of perspective.

I am a member of an UK based NFL forum and the Ravens, Ray Lewis in particular, have been attracting a fair bit of criticism for being so open about faith being a part of this team. Some of the comments about Ray Lewis have been disgusting actually.

So I was wondering how you guys felt about it. Does it in any way bother you that guys like John Harbaugh and Ray Lewis make references to this and make faith so much a part of what the Ravens are doing?



PS. I'm not looking for this thread to be a discussion on religion in general(those rarely end well), I just wanted to get an idea of how people feel about this within the context of football and the Ravens in particular.
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I love it. They're proud and thankful for the blessings in their lives and success on the field. Nothing wrong with giving praise imo
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I'm not the overly religious type, but I am spiritual and I think that matters more. It's cool that the Ravens have a spiritual side because it makes their brotherhood stronger.

But I also feel that they don't use religion or piety as a crutch on the field. They don't just assume they are the best team, and the breaks are going their way because of a higher power; but rather they feel empowered by these bonds that tie them together.

At least that's the way I see it...
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[quote name='Ravens<3' timestamp='1358753414' post='1323580']
I love it. They're proud and thankful for the blessings in their lives and success on the field. Nothing wrong with giving praise imo
[/quote]

I agree man.
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There is nothing wrong with Faith, be it in God, Supreme Being, Nature or each other. They don't shove it down your throat and are genuine about it. It seems natural with Tebow, Ray, Tucker and his sign of the cross and even the Gramatica brothers and Stover did the same thing, Some player not so comfortable or genuine. Faith is extremely personal


This discussion is fine as long as it stays into how it pertains to the team and not individuals trying to trash other faith or testifying.
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Faith is an intangible to me and whatever makes the team play better works. I try not to judge anyone or force my views onto them . we are going to the superbowl and faith has allot to do with that .
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I don't see how anybody can have a real problem with it. The only thing they could say is that it gets annoying to hear the same things over and over, but I'd counter that by saying you can just put it on the list of "One week at a time," and "60 minutes," and 53 men," etc. Speaking as an atheist, I'm envious of anybody who can find motivation so strong in any such thing. Ride it for as long as you can. If the Ravens are riding that faith all the way to the Super Bowl, I'd say don't change a thing.
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I like the faith they have. I think it makes them better. It helps them believe when they can't go on or don't want to go on.
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They say God helps those who help themselves and while I'm not religious I appreciate how this works, we don't pray for miracles we go out there and make them happen.
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[quote name='Ravens<3' timestamp='1358753414' post='1323580']
I love it. They're proud and thankful for the blessings in their lives and success on the field. Nothing wrong with giving praise imo
[/quote]
[quote name='Corvus_corax' timestamp='1358753937' post='1323592']
I agree man.
[/quote]
[quote name='Moderator 2' timestamp='1358760627' post='1323692']
There is nothing wrong with Faith, be it in God, Supreme Being, Nature or each other. They don't shove it down your throat and are genuine about it. It seems natural with Tebow, Ray, Tucker and his sign of the cross and even the Gramatica brothers and Stover did the same thing, Some player not so comfortable or genuine. Faith is extremely personal


This discussion is fine as long as it stays into how it pertains to the team and not individuals trying to trash other faith or testifying.
[/quote]

i agree with what you all said. the Ravens are rallying behind their faith and one another and it is a beautiful thing to see!

~Mili
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I like that the Ravens are not afraid to express their faith. I think it goes hand in hand with everything else that this organization believes should be qualities of its members. Maintaining strong convictions while remaining humble is very admirable and in my opinion strengthens the Team in a way that allows them to overcome deficiencies.
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[quote name='Dudeman' timestamp='1358753886' post='1323591']
[b]I'm not the overly religious type, but I am spiritual and I think that matters more.[/b] It's cool that the Ravens have a spiritual side because it makes their brotherhood stronger.
[/quote]

I agree about the spiritual part. Its working for the team. Ray's spiritiual side and faith is rubbing off on the other players and fortifying the team.

But I will say this. I am not going to just come out and say that it's awesome because then I would be a hypocrite. I've seen threads on this board lambasting Tebow for being along the same line (and I've probably taken part). God has little to do with the actual football game itself. But if the players want to accept god's will for them (win or lose) then I have no issue.

With that I apologize to Tebow.
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I think Ray or John did not cross the line of making our god; instead of, they went on referring to Faith or each individual god who has integrated these group of men together and accomplish one ultimate goal which is to win a championship. Therefore, everyone in the locker group have a special kind of instinct of believing each other to accomplish the task. I think it is a very powerful spiritual motivation that helps Ravens players overcome any obstacle. It's hard to insert the religious motivation into a group of religious diversity; however, Ray and John use it very well and carefully...
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I think the belief and faith in God in the Ravens organization is wonderful, especially since I'm a Christian, and I love seeing people wear their own faith so openly.

I will also say this, for people who might not be Christians and see it the way I do. It's not always the faith in itself; it's the approach to life that having faith reveals. Humility, appreciation, respect. Those types of attitudes and behaviors are all over the Ravens organization; from the top to the bottom. Now I think, as a Christian, that their faith plays a huge role in those philosophies. They are the way they are because of faith, most of them probably. They are a humble and appreciative organization, full of humble and appreciative players and coaches. The way they present and carry themselves reflects their beliefs. I have no doubt that after the Super Bowl, win or lose, the Ravens will still be a class act organization. They will still have humble hearts, whether they have a faith in God or not. The team reflects its leadership, and they have humble, gracious, and well spoken leaders! :)
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The Ravens believe in not just themselves but stand united as a TEAM! That plays an important part of what they have accomplished throughout the entire season. They have determination, resolve, patience and it shows. There are those that have faith in God (myself included) and I believe that it helps them become a better person. Instead of being a self-centered person, they are thinking beyond themselves and believing in something more. That is a great thing no matter how you look at it!

Faith in each other, Faith in the team, Faith in God (no matter your beliefs), Faith in the organization, and Faith in overcoming the impossible!
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I've noticed it too. It pleases me because I am a person of faith and know what that means to Ray Lewis and his teammates. You have to look at it from OJ Brigance's position. What that man is enduring with ALS is some of the worst health obstacles you can endure. Faith in the impossible is what is giving this team hope and the resiliency to keep competing. It was most apparent in the Denver game when they'd played in impossibly cold temps and had a slingfest for offense/defense. By all rights they should have lost that game. Only reason they won is because they refused to give up. They had that much faith in themselves and each other and fate to keep trying. That's what faith has meant to them.

I compared that to how Houston played against Boston the next day. Texans are down by two scores and have two minutes to go. They didn't even try to score. You could tell they'd just resigned themselves to the loss. They didn't believe in the impossible.

I am a bit surprised to hear Ray and Harbough talk about it so openly just because I know that sort of thing is ripe for mockery these days. It's not right to mock anyone for their beliefs. I didn't approve of it when Tebow was mocked either. But when one is moved by faith one doesn't care what others say.
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I absolutely do not think it is wrong that Ray Lewis speaks about his beliefs publically. It is simply his world view (answers to the questions: where we came from, why are we here, where are we going). It is well within the bounds of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Separation of church and state is not applicable here because football is nothing more than entertainment, it does not govern the livelihood of whole civilizations.

From listening to Ray Lewis talk about God, it seems that he is really reflecting on his 14 year career and he is realizing how blessed he is. It seems that it has all come in perspective to him. He is not shoving his beliefs down anyone's throats, he just saying what is on his mind and on his heart, not holding anything back. He may even think it is God's will that the Ravens win the Superbowl. It doesn't mean that God is directly interceding "Angels in the Outfield" style, or that God even cares about football, no one knows the mind of God, it is all speculation, it means that God has blessed him and his teammates with gifts to be in the position they are in. To me, Ray is just saying that he is thankful for that.

For the people who think it is ironic that Ray Lewis was charged with murder and now is "God's best friend", there is such thing as forgiveness. In my opinion, no one is in a position to judge. Everyone does wrong. There is nothing you can do or say in this world that God can't forgive if you truly repent and change. To me, after that dark period of his life, Ray Lewis has demonstrated through his actions and words that he has changed for the better.
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I'm atheist. When someone starts off on a god-rant, I tune-out, including athletes...someone's faith doesn't affect me at all...If it works for them, then great. I tend to believe that skill and preparation has more to do with game-outcomes rather than one's faith.
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[quote name='Uncle Dready' timestamp='1358806981' post='1324745']
I'm atheist. When someone starts off on a god-rant, I tune-out, including athletes...someone's faith doesn't affect me at all...If it works for them, then great. I tend to believe that skill and preparation has more to do with game-outcomes rather than one's faith.
[/quote]

Completely agree.

[size=4][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Used rationally, religion can be a great way to motivate the message hope, instead of despair and sorrow. Take last year's AFC championship game as the prime example of this, the belief that a higher being "controls" everything and that our fates have already been determined led to a humble end to the Ravens' season. Without the message that Ray's brought to the locker room, we may have acted like a Belichick or a Wes Welker's wife. Now, r[color=#333333]eligion can bring hope to everyone; they can use something to believe in and to help them through the dark times in life. People often fear the unknown and questions the future - the greatest unknown. However, the most simple answer is that it was a higher being's "will" or "plan," that this higher being has a plan for everyone and everything happens for a reason. Since this belief system - let's call it faith - gives people hope, optimism of a better life, and a shinning light at the end of a dark tunnel, the Ravens have used it to their advantage in times of losses, injuries, and missed opportunities throughout the end of last season until now. Using biblical verses as a forum to communicate to fellow teammates has worked for Ray and rest of the pious Ravens, especially if they are truly faithful - that their higher being will provide them a boost on Sundays.[/color][/font][/size]


[font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][size=4]To answer your question, no it doesn't bother me as long as religion is a positive aspect of their lives and, in some cases, provides them hope in rough times... although I hope Ray doesn't turn into the Tebow level of religious. In other words, keep your faith off camera as much as possible, Ray.. it's getting a bit too much.[/size][/font]

[font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][size=4][color=#333333]Before I offend anyone anymore, I'll step off my one inch podium.[/color][/size][/font]
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..Having lived through Tebow-mania last season here in CO I can attest to the levels of instensity this topic can cultivate....
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It is refeshing to see a professional athlete publicly witness to his faith whether it be Tim Tebow or Ray Lewis. Anyone can question someone else's motivations but I do not question Ray's or Tim's. I know they are both profoundly sincere in their belief system. If you do not believe that God can affect the outcome of a battle, just look up the true story of David and Goliath in the Valley of Elah at 1 Samuel 17: 32 in the bible. Ray's life has been turned around by his faith and it is evident. It can be difficult to understand for someone who is not a Christian but it is as real as rain. Ray has learned not to take life for granted. For anyone who does not know what faith is, look up Hebrews 11: 1 in the bible. One of the more poignant stories I heard while viewing the game last night was that Muhammed Ali expressed his faith in the Ravens by telephoning them before the game. Keep it up, Ray, and never lose sight of the ultimate prize which is heaven, not the Super Bowl.

As a footnote, I led a bible study in church on Sunday and I prayed for our beloved Ravens. Yes, there were God fearing men on both teams of last night's game but that does not mean that God does not stand behind those who publicly proclaim his name. God uses ordinary people like Ray Lewis to accomplish extraordinary things and with His help impossible things become possible as Ray knows (see Philippians 4:13). Godspeed to the Ravens and to Ray and, if God wills it, win the Super Bowl!!!! He has already given our players the strength, endurance and will to do it.
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[quote name='frozen joe flacco fan' timestamp='1358816158' post='1324975']
It is refeshing to see a professional athlete publicly witness to his faith whether it be Tim Tebow or Ray Lewis. Anyone can question someone else's motivations but I do not question Ray's or Tim's. I know they are both profoundly sincere in their belief system. If you do not believe that God can affect the outcome of a battle, just look up the true story of David and Goliath in the Valley of Elah at 1 Samuel 17: 32 in the bible. Ray's life has been turned around by his faith and it is evident. It can be difficult to understand for someone who is not a Christian but it is as real as rain. Ray has learned not to take life for granted. For anyone who does not know what faith is, look up Hebrews 11: 1 in the bible. One of the more poignant stories I heard while viewing the game last night was that Muhammed Ali expressed his faith in the Ravens by telephoning them before the game. Keep it up, Ray, and never lose sight of the ultimate prize which is heaven, not the Super Bowl.

As a footnote, I led a bible study in church on Sunday and I prayed for our beloved Ravens. Yes, there were God fearing men on both teams of last night's game but that does not mean that God does not stand behind those who publicly proclaim his name. God uses ordinary people like Ray Lewis to accomplish extraordinary things and with His help impossible things become possible as Ray knows (see Philippians 4:13). Godspeed to the Ravens and to Ray and, if God wills it, win the Super Bowl!!!! He has already given our players the strength, endurance and will to do it.
[/quote]

I agree that it is refreshing. I normally do not comment on religion in open forums like this, but I felt compelled to. One thing we all have to look at, is the road Lewis has walked to this point. From his murder charges, and enduring everything that accompanies that as an "innocent man", but yet his faith did not waiver, and traveling to visiting stadiums for years to come, and come face to face with unimaginable vulgarities and personal attacks. Through years and years of a team without an offense that would give some assistance, but yet his passion drove him to be iconic, and polarizing. But not only polarizing on the football field, but polarizing in the lives of many of his followers who believe in him, and fellow teammates and players across the entire NFL who turn to him for guidance. Iconic as a man.. on and off the football field.
If there is fans other than myself, who feel what I feel, then you know and understand what Ray Lewis and his beliefs, and his perspective on life, and his appreciation of situations and opportunities.. to uplift people around him, including myself, In some of the toughest times in my life. Ray is a vessel, an extremely talented football player, will go down as one of the greatest ever, but an even more extraordinary man.
His messages, his outlook, his vision, his drive and passion, his faith, are all passed on to the ones around him. A faith that "God makes no mistakes", that we need to understand who we are as "men". This is a story of faith, that through all trials and tribulations, through every stepping stone in life, those times mold us into the person we are supposed to become. So that we may show a greater appreciation for health:, (OJ dealing with ALS, the young boy dealing with cancer), life: (having this opportunity) on this stage, to share a message that may help someone get through one of their toughest times in life, family: (Torrey's little bro, and I believe Mcphee had some deaths in his family as well).
I am a firm believer, that this story is already written, and that it will be his will. His message will be revealed, and it will touch many lives, who have been a fan of Ray's, will touch many lives who may have always disliked Lewis, or thought of him as a murdered, will touch the lives of New Orleans residents, who still may be dealing with trials and tribulations in their lives.. and great personal losses. I think its wonderful, that we have some athletes (in our case, one who when he talks... everyone listens, and coaches, who are not afraid to speak about what they believe in.. it just may change someones life who needs changing.
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[quote name='BallHawker' timestamp='1358811958' post='1324880']
[font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]To answer your question, no it doesn't bother me as long as religion is a positive aspect of their lives and, in some cases, provides them hope in rough times... although I hope Ray doesn't turn into the Tebow level of religious. In other words, keep your faith off camera as much as possible, Ray.. it's getting a bit too much.[/font]

[/quote]
I'm inclined to agree here. Last year I wrote a column article about sports players expressing religious beliefs, and my thing is that provided they keep it a personal thing, I don't have an issue with it. Justin Tucker crossing himself and all that as part of his warmup is a great example of what I mean, but there are plenty of examples in other sports. Kaka had an undershirt that read "God is good" that he'd show after he scored, and a favourite example of mine is a rugby player called Chester Williams. He was a devout Christian who used to pray a fair bit, but never did so for the cameras - every now and again you'd see him looking to the sky with his eyes closed and no-one ever made a big deal out of it.

Personally, I'm getting a bit sick of hearing about God's plan for Ray Lewis and how we only won because of his will. This is supposed to be the same God that's created the universe, watched entire civilisations rise and fall and allows all kinds of suffering in the world. Do you care about Super Bowl XIV? If he exists, I just don't see why God cares about this one more than any other. Millions of people pray every day to get out of poverty, but God cares more about Ray Lewis getting one last SB ring before he retires? Sorry, but I don't buy that and exceptionalism like that kinda sinks my battleship.

For someone like Chester Williams, it's a personal ritual that I don't think is any different to kissing a photo of your kid in the lockerroom before a game. Talking about your beliefs with the media is fine, but I think Ray's really beginning to overdo it and some of his post-game interviews are getting pretty preachy.

[b]That said[/b], there are positives as others have said. If it helped the team better find peace after last year, that's great. And if it gives them more confidence and inspiration to play well every week, that's great too. They don't seem to think God will provide everything for them, which means they have to go out and get wins themselves and that's an attitude I love. Our own Terrell Suggs said last year that we can win without God. I also think it's great that Ray's been able to turn his life around after getting involved with the murders (whether he did it or not isn't the point here) and if God's been a big part of that, I can't really complain.

I'm also interested to see how people who don't share the majority beliefs in the lockerroom are treated or even if they feel they can be open about them. I remember a John Harbaugh presser in which he said the players have different opinions on almost everything and that's cool as long as everyone respects everyone else, so if that's the case it's not really my place to talk about what works off the pitch.

All in all, it's really a complex balancing act and that perfect balance will always be subjective. Personally I think Ray's started erring on the side of being kinda pushy with his beliefs but there'll be others who think he could stand to make a bigger deal out of everything.
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[quote name='Grendelwulf21' timestamp='1358820466' post='1325086']
I love that they talk freely about it, if people don't like it, they don't have to listen to it, end of story
[/quote]
I don't think it's that simple. On another thread, someone brought up how great the next two weeks will be for us because the media networks will be celebrating what both sides have done and I really want to enjoy that with the other Ravens fans around the world. But like I just said, when Ray Lewis talks about how God willed the Ravens win and it gets put in with that celebration, you can't really switch it off.

ED: Anyway, I'm done here. This kind of topic can get really heated and I don't want to contribute to spoiling the great feeling of our SB run. We've all got too much in common to be split by a very personal topic like this. It felt really good to have expressed my opinion (especially since it sometimes feels like there's a pretty solid religious majority here so it can feel like one side gets a lot more exposure whether right or wrong), and while I tried to keep my thoughts respectful I do apologise if I've offended anyone.
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Brian Dawkins, Deion Sanders, Reggie White .. all three of those legends are a few more examples of those that publicly showed and expressed their faith.. Ravens are not the first
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...Just more athlete-babble when they are given the spotlight...they might as well be talking about Amway or Mary Kay pyramid schemes....just babble...listen if you want or watch the highlites of the game...
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[quote name='Inqui' timestamp='1358822074' post='1325129']
I don't think it's that simple. On another thread, someone brought up how great the next two weeks will be for us because the media networks will be celebrating what both sides have done and I really want to enjoy that with the other Ravens fans around the world. But like I just said, when Ray Lewis talks about how God willed the Ravens win and it gets put in with that celebration, you can't really switch it off.

ED: Anyway, I'm done here. This kind of topic can get really heated and I don't want to contribute to spoiling the great feeling of our SB run. It felt really good to have expressed my opinion (especially since it sometimes feels like there's a pretty solid religious majority here so it can feel like one side gets a lot more exposure whether right or wrong), and while I tried to keep it respectful I apologise if I've offended anyone.
[/quote]
Don't apologize if you say what you believe man, it's okay :) it's just freedom,[size=4] it's okay to believe or not to believe, if you think it helps you in whatever way then good, they're free to express their beliefs, if people get mad about it, then ... well.. there isn't anything they can do about it, so why even complain? I have Atheist friends and they talk about certain stuff sometimes but I just ignore it because I respect their decision to do and believe whatever they want.. So all in all just gotta respect what they believe and be glad that we all have the freedom to do that[/size]
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I have no problem with it, and Ray is a good guy so it makes it seem a lot nicer that he believes so much is God. That being said anyone can have the same belief that God is on their side, but unfortunately the outcome wont be what they want. Frank Gore was giving praise to God, and I'm sure he believes his team will win. Either way, it's nice to see famous atheletes such as Ray, and Frank, meeting one another literally in the Super Bowl, and having strong faith in the right way from what I've seen. They weren't overbearing just giving praise at a time in their lives when things are going well as they can be at that moment.

Adrian Peterson is another athelete who's stated his strong belief, and to be honest I'm sure he praising him still even after he got his injury. Probably thinking it's just part of life in the NFL, and God puts challenges in front of everyone (my speculation of course) and that could have helped him come back as an even stronger player as we saw him break 2,000 and nearly the all time record.

To note some other posters it can get annoying though to always see it being preached though seeing Ray doing it all the time is a little much, but if he Wins a Super Bowl then I wont hold it against the man or anyone for that matter. Just hope it's not a horrible Evander Holyfield type of thing if you ever saw his Mike Tyson fight victory interview.

[url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgNq5RCCvn8"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgNq5RCCvn8[/url]
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Lewis and others are sincere about their beliefs.
It's not about being promised victory, as said already, there are devout players on both sidelines and their God isn't picking sides.
More to do with being grateful for the gifts they have and the opportunities to use those gifts.
For all the abuse Tebow took he wasn't demanding victory, just displaying gratitude

Which is all fine


What is I do roll my eyes at are golfers who play a fantastic round on the final day of a championship and then declare they don't realy remember their round, it was if a higher power was with them that day.
Oh please......
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As Norman Swartzkopf once said about men in battle, "its not about wondering whose side God is on; its about hoping you are on God's side". The important thing about Ray and other men of faith is that they have and will continue to affect the lives of others in a positive way through their public proclamations. If you have a gift but never share it, what good is it? Even atheists pray in foxholes. As Ray "preached" to his teammates after a painful loss last year in Foxboro, God is always good and never makes mistakes. People like Lee Evans and Billy Cundiff make mistakes but God never does. I remember Terrell Suggs' statement last year about winning w/o God and I can also remember thinking I hope he hasn't cursed us in the playoffs. It was in response to Tim Tebow's praying on the field and was a part of his running debate with Skip Bayless. At a time when some athletes are apparently duped by imaginary girlfriends and all sports fans are duped by a 7 time winner of the Tour de France, it is refreshing to see such strong men as Ray and Tim express their faith in God in the pubic arena. Keep the faith, Ravens fans!
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Ray believes "God makes no mistakes" I don't think Ray is saying God is making it a point for us to win, and using divine intervention for us too do so (even though, I admit, it could sound like that, sometimes). It's all on how you interpret it, based off your beliefs.

If you believe there's a bigger plan already set up, and that all things are possible through Christ who strengthens you, then I think theres no problem with saying what Ray says. God helps those who helps themselves. Ray believes, and he wears his heart of his sleeve. I admire him for that. He's proud at where he's at right now, and he believes in a much bigger picture then football.

Alot of people look up to him, [u]ALOT[/u]... If he can help just one persons life get saved, by his beliefs, by taking 20 seconds in a interview on TV about how he feels after a game, by simply praising his Lord & Saviour, then he'll do so. And there shouldn't be a problem with that.

It's not like he's trying to force you to do anything either, if you take it that way, I don't know what to tell ya.
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Some faith along with a whole lot of practice and film study can win a lot of games!
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If it inspires them to play to their maximum potential, whatever floats their boat. That being said, it definitely bothers me to some extent...

As an antitheist, I certainly get tired of them praising and giving credit to a god whom I don't believe exists. I feel like they're taking away from their own accomplishments. I get tired of hearing how "God is so amazing for bringing us back here". Tell the starving, poverty-stricken children all across the globe how "amazing" your god is. I don't think a celestial dictator brought you guys back to the AFCCG; I think your hard work and dedication to the game brought you back there.

It seems to be providing a sense of unity across the locker room, which I'm all for. However, can you imagine what it would be like to be a closet atheist on the team? A nonbeliever who is forced to hide his beliefs and openly pray to a deity he doesn't believe in? Granted, this likely isn't the case but it's still a definite possibility, given how atheists are often forced to hide their true beliefs (or lack thereof).

I pose this question to you religious folk: what if Ray was a member of an Abrahamic religion other than Christianity? For example, say instead of thanking God after every game, Ray, Harbaugh, & company praised and credited Allah while spewing quotes from the Qur'an? Would that change your perspective on this issue?

If that doesn't change your perspective, what if instead of believing in the God of the Abrahamic religions, he believed in the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Invisible Pink Unicorn? "The Flying Spaghetti Monster is amazing man. He's so great for putting us back here". I'm not posing this question to belittle you believers, but rather to get your hypothetical perspective on the team praising and crediting a deity that you [i]know[/i] doesn't exist.
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My take is that especially Ray (while a spiritual and religious guys) is also using this as a way of motivating the team, as strange as that may sound. I think he uses his faith in believing that God has this all planned as a way of getting his team to keep their head up at all times, not get down and show resilliency. For example, the Holliday punt and kick returns, it didnt seem to phase this team because they knew "no weapon.....". I think this could be part of the reason Ray uses his faith to motivate the team.
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Eddy G -
as an anti-theist, you [i]know [/i]a higher power doesn't exist? and you know this because your infallible human brain tells you so???
As a student of neuroscience at Hopkins, I would call that incredibly presumptuous. The limitations of our human ability to [i]conceive and perceive [/i]the reality around us is vast. Go spend some time in an Alzheimer's unit if you doubt me. The more we know, the more we know we don't know...

I come from a tradition that believes each person's conception of, and relationship with, their higher power is extremely personal, and I respect your right to your beliefs, and welcome intelligent discussion. It doesn't matter if your faith is Christian, or Muslim, or if you believe in the Tooth Fairy or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but as an empiricist, to deny the existence of [i]any [/i]sort of higher power, to assert that the individual human being is the pinnacle of intelligence in creation, seems a bit foolish to me.

Without Faith there is only Ego. We've all seen the spectacular implosion of football teams created out of talented egomaniacs.

For some, a higher power is simply created when a group of humans come together in love and brotherhood to work towards a common goal, and you don't have to believe in "God" to be a part of that. Call it Fellowship, Family, Religion, Collective Unconscious, whatever you want; the power of the group is simply greater than the sum of its' parts.

These Ravens call it TEAM. And it's built on values that go beyond winning - humility, loyalty, and courage. That comes from our leadership, and why I'm so proud to be a part of Ravensnation.

In the end, it's only a game. But wasn't it sweet to stick it to Belichick who epitomizes everything we're not?
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Ray's faith in particular was highlighted on A Football Life - Ray Lewis. I think its awesome to see how passionate Ray is about his faith, and how important it is to him. It definitely shows his maturity as a man, and he obviously has his priorities in line.

God blesses his children, and Ray is turning those blessings into praise for his Savior. Good for him.
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I am not a Christian but I do admire people who let their faith speak through their words and actions (and yes that goes even for Tim Tebow).

I do not mind at all the team's expressions of faith. They have obviously served as a uniting force through all the adversity. I have zero problem with that.
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As long as they act the way they should off the field then I care less about what their personal beliefs are or that they choose to express them in front of the camera. Some people find comfort and strength in faith, others don't - bottom line is as long as nobody preaches either way and tries to convert others to their way of thinking, I don't have a problem with it. Where I do have a problem is people trying to force their religious ideas down everyone else's throats - and I have an equal problem with anyone who openly criticizes someone for publicly expressing their belief or lack of belief in a higher power in a public forum. My question would be what possible significance Ray Lewis' faith has to any football fan, whether from here or overseas. He's not paid to think a certain way, he's paid to play football, and he's done that better than all but a select few in the history of the game. If faith carried the Ravens here, then I want them to be more devoted to that faith for the next 2 weeks than they ever have in their lives - I want them to win the Superbowl and use everything in their power to do so. If that means having faith that God has a plan and it might be destiny for us to win, then all the better.
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[quote name='Moderator 2' timestamp='1358760627' post='1323692']
There is nothing wrong with Faith, be it in God, Supreme Being, Nature or each other. They don't shove it down your throat and are genuine about it. It seems natural with Tebow, Ray, Tucker and his sign of the cross and even the Gramatica brothers and Stover did the same thing, Some player not so comfortable or genuine. Faith is extremely personal


This discussion is fine as long as it stays into how it pertains to the team and not individuals trying to trash other faith or testifying.
[/quote]
I agree totally, it doesn't matter how YOU personally get motivation or whatever... how you get ready for the game, for me personally I believe and have a lot in Faith. Thy shall be done. its just part of who I am as a person and over the course the season(s) I have been giving a silent prayer, coupled with the Silver cross necklace my mom got me a while ago, i silently give thanks to the higher power...everyday.. for the opportunity each and every day to be all i can be, for the Ravens to be all they can be.
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[quote name='MTRavensFan' timestamp='1358878329' post='1326013']
Eddy G -
as an anti-theist, you [i]know [/i]a higher power doesn't exist? and you know this because your infallible human brain tells you so???
As a student of neuroscience at Hopkins, I would call that incredibly presumptuous.
[/quote]



Wait a second, I'm the one being incredibly presumptuous here? Please show me where I claim to [i]know[/i] that a higher power doesn't exist. Also, no need for the condescending tone. I was referring to a hypothetical situation involving the Flying Spaghetti Monster and Invisible Pink Unicorn in the last sentence of my previous post. Yes, I made the mistake of assuming that most people would [i]know[/i] that the FSM and IPU do not exist. Personally, I would never make such an assertion given my inability to disprove their existence.

Back to your original question: 'as an anti-theist, you know a higher power doesn't exist?'
No, antitheism is merely outspoken opposition to theism and religion - no claim is made regarding the existence of a higher power. I'm also an atheist but again that doesn't mean I claim to know whether or not a higher power exists - it simply means I personally do not believe in the existence of supernatural deities. I happen to believe that the truth value (man do I miss truth tables) regarding the existence of a higher power is unknown and AFAIK unknowable, hence my agnosticism regarding the anthropomorphic Judeo-Christian god.


In hindsight, I probably should have mentioned from the get-go that I'm an agnostic atheist/antitheist/naturalistic pantheist. And if anyone was wondering, atheism and naturalistic pantheism are not [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Pantheist_Movement"]mutually exclusive[/url].

I'll stop now since this is derailing the initial discussion.
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My bad.
Misunderstood the meaning of "anti-theist"
Did not mean to sound condescending, sorry if I came off that way.
As pertaining to organized religion, our views are probably more similar than different.

As pertaining to football, I love how this team encourages its' members to express their personal points of view, while maintaining the family atmosphere (witness the Ayanbedejo/Birk dialogue). I find the discussion refreshing, Thanks for setting me straight.

Peace, Annie
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You know what's different about the Ravens and their handling of faith?

While every team has athletes and coaches who preach faith and use it as a motivational tool, the Ravens handle it in such a way so as not to alienate within their team.

How do we know? Because they've united around [i]one man's [/i]unwavering spirituality, regardless of their own beliefs. Anyone can use faith (or the absence of it) as motivation, but it's the Ravens' respect of everyone's differences that allows them to unite under a common cause.
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I dunno, it's difficult for me to feel whole heartedly about this, but I find it to be kind annoying. Ray crying before the game during the national anthem? I know that he's emotional but man, c'mon. And that prayer at the end of the game at midfield, that kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Everyone is well aware that Ray and other players on the team are religious guys, but it seems to be going into overdrive now that we're on a bigger stage. Something about this has just been rubbing me the wrong the way in the past few weeks, perhaps it's media or perhaps it's more motivation and that's what they're using it for, but something rubs me the wrong way. I'm not willing to say i'm overly bothered by it to the point of being mad, but rather it's when your kid keeps asking "why" for everything. You find it annoying, but you also love that little nugget so you deal with it.
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I have been finding it annoying as well, as of late. I'm just not a fan of putting faith into the athlete you become. You worked hard to get where you're at. I'm getting rather annoyed of Ray Lewis thanking God everytime they win a game. A greater power doesn't predict games and help win them. That's put soley on the players. You may wake up and be thankful for living another day, but for going to the Super Bowl? Give me a break. That's hard work put in by the players, coaches, and organization. Sorry.
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...RayRay is a drama-king...and he[i] loves [/i]all the attention he gets with his hystrionics....[i]if he wasn't such an attention-grabber he'd perhaps be less demonstrative about his faith[/i]...but hey if that helps players 'get their game-on' then go for it...I agree with many others in this discussion his behavior can become tiresome and annying....I like how Joe Flacco handles himself pre-game...no drama...no crying or speaking in tongues.....just cold-blooded preparation. Far more cool to me than Lewis' religulous-dances....
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I'm not a Ravens fan so I will speak in general terms when it comes to any place of employment, which the Ravens are.

I'm all about freedom of religion, but in certain situations one should always be mindful about putting pressure on others who are of a different faith or no faith at all. Such examples would be the boss saying, "I hope to see you in church on Sunday", or something as simple as peer pressure.

I don't believe in any particular religion, but I'm also not a pure atheist. There are many Christians who view non-believers with disdain and contempt. I think that's why so many people get defensive with people like Tebow and Lewis.
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I am not a particularly religious guy, but I applaud the Ravens for using faith as the big motivator! If that helps them get to the Lombardi, I am all for it! Go Ravens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Mod note: this thread is for discussing the role of "faith" with the Ravens. It is not to be used for any other religious discussion as that violates our forums rules.
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