Thursday, March 26, 2009

Baseball and Good Friday

Although Easter weekend is a couple weeks away, this year, several religious leaders are upset that some baseball teams are holding baseball games during sacred time on Good Friday:
In a profound conflict of sacred and secular traditions, thousands of Christians who are urged to solemnly commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus on Good Friday (April 10) afternoon are being tempted by an alternative spring ritual: the cry of “Play ball.”

Four Major League Baseball teams—the Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers—have scheduled games during the midday time window that’s considered by many the most solemn period of the Christian calendar.

Religious leaders say they don’t expect Americans to return to an age of shuttered shops and businesses on Good Friday, but they question whether baseball teams could not have been more respectful of religious sensitivities.

I wonder if these same religious leaders get upset that NBA, NCAA football, and NFL games are played on Christmas.


Alicia said...

Drew-great point about the NBA, NCAA and NFL.

aznew said...

Not sure they are quite comparable. There is a secular aspect to Christmas that frequently overwhelms the religious observance, whereas Good Friday seems solely a religious observance. I would also point out another obvious difference -- Christmas is something of a celebration, while Good Friday is somewhat somber and introspective. At least, that is how it looks from the outside.

Sandy Kofax famously refused to pitch in a World Series game scheduled for Yom Kippur. Hank Greenberg refused to play on Yom Kippur as well.

Put me down in the "Did they really need to schedule games this particular day" camp. Honestly, why not avoid offending if you can?