I like to write about the hot-button topics of the day, hoping that I can bring a Christian perspective to the discussion. Today, low and behold, my beloved St. Louis Cardinals are in the news for a reason other than winning baseball games.
It seems that members of the ground crew have been scratching a cross into the dirt on the back side of the pitcher’s mound. Another symbol has also been added. Some say it is a number “6” in honor of Stan Musial, while others see it as a “Jesus Fish.”
One man, Michael Vines, contacted several newspapers, complaining about the symbols, causing the Cardinals’ general manager, John Mozeliak, to tell the ground crew to stop putting the symbols on the field. (He apparently didn’t realize it was being done.)
Now the Christian community is all hot and bothered, implying that the Cardinals are cowardly at best, and anti-Christian at worst. One national commentator said that if Mozeliak is going to remove the symbols, then he should also start referring to his team as the “Louis Cardinals.” (Dropping the “Saint.” Get it?)
I admit, that’s pretty clever.
However, I am with Mozeliak on this one.
The Cardinals are not a Christian organization, and don’t pretend to be. They have many members of the team and organization that are Christians, but that’s true of many secular organizations. To their credit, they do have a “Christian Day” at the ball park that features testimonies from players and celebrities.
But to start carving Christian symbols into the dirt invites controversy that leads to just what we’re seeing: petty barbs being thrown back and forth between people of different beliefs. What good does that do? It always amazes me how easily we Christians become embroiled in arguments of no significance whatsoever while the world is going to hell in a handbasket.
I’m willing to bet that not one person was saved because that little cross was scratched into the dirt. Nor will one be lost because it was removed.
Further, I’m guessing that if some zealous Muslim ground crew member etched a Muslim symbol into the dirt, more than a few Christians would flip their wigs and scream bloody murder.
What I like is not seeing a Christian cross on the pitcher’s mound, but seeing a Christian man on the pitcher’s mound…like Cardinals’ pitcher, Adam Wainwright. Now there’s something that will make a difference and that no one can argue or complain about.