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Corvus_corax

Faith and the Ravens

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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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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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Posted · Hidden by Moderator 3, January 23, 2013 - Over the top · Report post

I love how God is getting his glory through the Ravens. At a time where America entertains and welcomes, sexual perversion, vampires, werewolves, witches, black magic, divination, pride, and zombies on tv, it is great to see Ray, Suggs, Reed, Boldin and Harbaugh and Tucker standing for righteousness thru Jesus.
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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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[quote name='RavenaS' timestamp='1358797295' post='1324417']
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.

[u][b]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.[/b][/u]
[/quote]

IMO, this is just further testament to the fact that they are [b]genuine[/b] about their faith. So many celebrities (in sports, movies, or whatever) are so quick to "Thank God" but then you see them living their lives in ways that don't reflect that faith. I am very proud of the Ravens for staying true to their faith, whether it be in God or each other, and having the courage to speak openly about it.

Critics are always bashing Ray for his past and yes, he was involved in things/with people he shouldn't have been. But he has turned his life around and gives God the credit for his transformation. Personally, I don't think God is too terribly concerned with football, but I believe He [u][b]IS[/b][/u] concerned with people's hearts. Unabashedly, the Ravens make it very clear that [i]their hearts [/i]are filled with faith and I love that about them.
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[quote name='SpiderWebb21' timestamp='1358895274' post='1326503']
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. [b]A greater power doesn't predict games and help win them. That's put soley on the players.[/b] 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.
[/quote]

I agree with you in the strict sense of this. But, here's another angle to think about...

Most people who believe in a higher power feel that as believers, they should be open about their faith, set a good example, and that in doing so, maybe they will inspire even just one person to follow suit. Anyone in the spotlight is in a unique position to have an impact on others. The Ravens, use their celebrity to make a difference in all kinds of good causes - cancer, bullying, etc. If seeing their faith leads just one person away from some bad choices and into a better life, I think that's a pretty good cause. And while I don't think God makes the wind blow the ball right into Torrey's hands, I do think that he puts people in a position to help others.

So maybe it's not that God is helping the Ravens win but instead, that He is using them, their celebrity, and their vocalness about their faith to reach someone that might not otherwise be reached.
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This thread has been interesting to read through and I have enjoyed the adult manner in which it has been discussed. You guys are either a credit to this forum or very scared of breaking the rules. :lol:

My own view is, I personally have no problem with seeing guys like Ray Lewis referring to their faith in interviews and press conferences. I don't see why anybody should have a problem with it in all honesty. I sometimes wonder if the people who have a major problem with it are perhaps themselves holding on to some sort of prejudice against religion in general.

I am pretty sure that Ray Lewis follows a different religion to the one I personally regard as the true version of Christianity but that really does not bother me or enter into my mind when I listen to him talk. When I listen to him my thoughts are more along the lines of how inspiring he is to listen to and how fantastic it is that he has found God and turned his life around from where he was in his younger days. As many others have already said in this thread, if faith helps Ray Lewis to motivate the rest of the players in that locker room, and helps the Ravens to win football games, then that can only be a good thing. The Ravens winning ball games is after all the thing that we all want to see and the reason why we are all here on this very forum.

In a nutshell, I don't think there is any preaching going on. I just think the Ravens, and Ray Lewis in particular, are making a public proclamation that faith is a part of who and what they are. They are not ashamed and neither they should be.
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Faith is a powerful motivator. One can see that in Muhammad Ali, Desmond Tutu, Bob Marley, etc. Having a strong set of beliefs and ideals helps to forge greatness.

Out of curiosity: are all 53 team members of Christian background?
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It's great to hear that the Ravens have the spiritual faith that they do had a "great week" working out and am sure they are motivated but can't help wonder if the 49ers will be even more so. Visiting their websites the past few days I see they have had several motivational speakers and words uttered to them by former NFL greats, including Steve Young and John Madden, people who have been there and what to expect and how to focus. It's a sure bet that four-time Super Bowl champion Joe Montana will speak to calm their nerves before game time. Not to mention the 49ers have a legacy to protect and motivation to try to tie Pittsburgh in SB wins - with no losses. So we'll see. Keep the faith Ravens!
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I myself will not state my own beliefs here. However, I have no problem with others " players, coaches or fans" doing so. As americans it is our birth right. I am with others here, if it helps make them better ballplayers or better men then "Whats the down side" IMO Peoples reaction to it says more about them than it does about the message.
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Since you asked for opinions, and I haven't seen any post that reflect mine I'll chime in, and be the "black sheep" of this thread. More wars have been started over religion and politics than anyone would care to mention. I didn't care for the Tebow kneel, nor Polamalu, and our own Tucker making the sign of the cross after a successfull play. Consider this; Is it appropriate for Troy to miss a tackle, or Justin a field goal and have the opposition make a sign of the cross on the sidelines? I watch football for skill and strategy and don't care for any team or player that makes it an NFL traveling salvation show. Football is a sport and should not be a springboard for promoting controversial subjects such as your faith, or your beliefs in gay rights (most of you know where that came from). I have no problem with a person being inspired by their faith, or beliefs, but feel it should kept out of the limelight.



I have and always will admire Ray Lewis, I still remember our 2000 run when interviewers questioned his off the field controversial incident and Ray replied: "Football, lets talk football". Fast forward to 2013, I wish Ray would tone it down in his spiritual beliefs in interviews and talk football.

I'll probably get the "tar and feather" treatment for this post, so please use black feathers to make me look like a raven, and paint 52 on my chest....never could afford a #52 jersey anyway.
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[quote name='RavensXTC2' timestamp='1359290101' post='1331959']
Since you asked for opinions, and I haven't seen any post that reflect mine I'll chime in, and be the "black sheep" of this thread. More wars have been started over religion and politics than anyone would care to mention. I didn't care for the Tebow kneel, nor Polamalu, and our own Tucker making the sign of the cross after a successfull play. Consider this; Is it appropriate for Troy to miss a tackle, or Justin a field goal and have the opposition make a sign of the cross on the sidelines? I watch football for skill and strategy and don't care for any team or player that makes it an NFL traveling salvation show. Football is a sport and should not be a springboard for promoting controversial subjects such as your faith, or your beliefs in gay rights (most of you know where that came from). I have no problem with a person being inspired by their faith, or beliefs, but feel it should kept out of the limelight.



I have and always will admire Ray Lewis, I still remember our 2000 run when interviewers questioned his off the field controversial incident and Ray replied: "Football, lets talk football". Fast forward to 2013, I wish Ray would tone it down in his spiritual beliefs in interviews and talk football.

I'll probably get the "tar and feather" treatment for this post, so please use black feathers to make me look like a raven, and paint 52 on my chest....never could afford a #52 jersey anyway.
[/quote]
I don't agree with your insight however I am a big supporter of your right to say it. If it can help people/players and doesn't hurt anyone Whats the harm.
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