Chariots Of Fire 2008

I’m saddened to see that one of our local schools have withdrawn a team from competing in a football final because it will be played on a Sunday.

The team withdrawn because some parents do not want their children to play football on a Sunday as to do so would contradict their religious beliefs.

One parent has stated that it is “unfair” that the competition is taking place on a Sunday. And, of course, he’s wrong, it is not unfair that the competition is being held on a Sunday. It seems that the organisers have made attempts to change the date of the competition to a Saturday but have been unable to do so. What is actually unfair is that a team of school-children are being denied the chance to compete in finals they have qualified for because they come from an island where many cling foolishly to the strict observance of superstitious belief.

Our local MSP is supposed to have made representations to the organisers to change the date because the competition should be open to all irrespective of their religious beliefs. What a buffoon! The competition is open to all. No one is being denied the chance to compete because of their religious belief. Neither is anyone being “disqualified simply because of religious traditions of the families from which they come”. It is the school that has made the decision to withdraw from the competition because of the religious convictions of the families involved. They have chosen not to take part in a 21st century show of Liddellian martyrdom.

Talk about cutting your nose off to spite your face!

I may be an atheist but I’m pretty sure that, if there was a god, he/she/it surely wouldn’t be so callous as to condem a group of teenage girls to an eternity in limbo just for playing a few games of football on a Sunday. If he/she/it could be that callous then I wonder why would you want to worship such a deity?

Surely a forgiving god would consider the whole of a person’s life and how they have lived it rather than demanding strict observance of a narrow set of commandments? Would he/she/it really say: “You’ve led a good life and had faith in me throughout but you once played football on a Sunday. So even though you and your team were successful on that occasion the rules are the rules, the gateway to hell is that way.”?

Of course not!

Which makes this decision not to participate all the sadder.

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