The Super Bowl is one of sport’s and television events of the year. According to the Public Religion Research Institute, nearly ⅔ of Americans are likely or somewhat likely to watch the game this year. That shouldn’t be surprising to anyone. What is surprising is the number of people who believe God will influence the outcome, although it’s not as many who believe that God rewards religious athletes.
While only about 3-in-10 (27%) Americans, believe that God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event, a majority (53%) believe that God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success, compared to 42% who disagree.
As with most surveys around religion, there are differences depending upon religious affiliation and region.
- Roughly 4-in-10 minority Christians (40%) and white evangelical Protestants (38%) agree that God does play a role in the outcome of a sporting event, compared to less than 3-in-10 (29%) Catholics, less than 1-in-5 (19%) white mainline Protestants, and approximately 1-in-10 (12%) religiously unaffiliated Americans.
- More than one-third (36%) of Americans who live in the South agree that God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event, compared to nearly 3-in-10 (28%) Americans who live in the Midwest, 1-in-5 (20%) Americans who live in the Northeast, and 15% of Americans who live in the West.
- Republicans (25%) are, however, equally as likely as Democrats (28%) and independents (26%) to agree that God plays a role in determining which team wins a sporting event.
The numbers are higher for belief in the success of religious athletes.
More than 7-in-10 (72%) minority Christians and two-thirds (67%) of white evangelical Protestants agree that God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success, as do a majority (56%) of Catholics. White mainline Protestants are divided (49% agree, 48% disagree). More than 6-in-10 (62%) religiously unaffiliated Americans disagree, saying that God does not reward athletes who have faith with good health and success. However, more than one-third (34%) of religiously unaffiliated Americans agree that God rewards religious athletes.
Related to this is that approximately 50% approve of athletes who publicly express their religion, 4% disapprove and the the rest really don’t give a fuck.
Let em see if I understand this. The omnipotent god who created the universe rewards athletes who worship him publicly and is out there cheating at football and other sports.
Those who claim to know what God wants should be able to clean up at the bookies.