Editor’s Note: An opening day tradition!

Sorry Phanatic, you're going to hell.

Sorry Phanatic, you’re going to hell.

I have read this article ever year on Opening Day for the past five seasons. It might be, and I quote, the single greatest thing I have ever read involving Christianity and Philadelphia baseball. Every single time I read it, I marvel at how much joy I’m able to garner from someone that has a vastly different worldview than I do.

Please, before reading the horrible things I have to say, go read it for yourself. It’s acceptable to be a Phillies Phanatic but a fanatic about Jesus? Not so much. by Lisa Small. 

Published on Oct. 9, 2009, on Examiner.com, it was written by Lisa Small, who said in the comments section of the article that she practices “real Christianity,” not “mainstream feel good, can-do-what-I-want-because-I-said-prayer-and-I’m-saved Christianity.”

To set the stage, this was written when the Phillies were starting off their second straight playoff run against the Colorado Rockies in the NLDS. I’ll give you a bit of a hint as to what Lisa took away from her experience. Her husband received two free tickets from work and neither had attended a baseball game before.

I witnessed adults and children alike dressed in Phillies shirts and Phillies baseball caps, men approaching people in their vehicles in an effort to buy their tickets, street vendors selling t-shirts and soft pretzels, a man dressed in a red suit with a cane and karaoke machine singing on the street corner, tailgaters in the parking lots grilling food and drinking, police directing traffic and many people walking down the street with an open bottle of beer in their hands. I even saw one man set a beer bottle, empty no doubt, on the corner as he walked across the street.

Ok, so far, so good. Sounds like a typical game, kids having fun, adults making food, drinking a few beers. Sure, one sat his bottle down on the ground and walked away, but nothing too horrible, am I right, Lisa?

Thoughts went racing through my head as I tried to imagine all these people taking four, yes four, hours off plus driving time, to sit in traffic and pay for parking to go watch a game. This is in addition to purchasing tickets, food, drinks, programs, t-shirts, and other Phillies merchandise. These fans were spending more money than I thought most people had in our “recession”. What recession? Just go to a professional sporting event and chances are you won’t see any signs of one. Is this a sign that the recession is over or is it a sign of our mixed up priorities?

Oh boy, the wheels are starting to come off. FOUR HOURS? Yes Lisa, it’s a baseball game. Four hours is typically the time it takes to attend a game.

And the recession? Mixed up priorities? IT’S A FUCKING BASEBALL GAME. Be a financial adviser if you want to help people save money, don’t harp on a dad buying his kid a Philly Phanatic shirt.

Ok, ok, still nothing too horrible. Sure she was a bit shocked, but there’s no way this could turn into a religious thing, right?

My mind was being flooded with thoughts about how fanatical these fans were about the Phillies and I wondered how fanatical they are about our God and Creator. Given what I saw, I thought this was a legitimate question. My intention wasn’t to criticize or judge anyone but to simply question how long would these fans sit and get excited over a discussion about our Lord? How much money would they give to help those in need – their neighbor who lost their job or someone out of work because of an illness, not to mention the millions of babies and children who are starving throughout the world through no fault of their own.  How much money would they give to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ? 

Hey, I was proved wrong! How DARE someone spend money on anything but Jesus Christ, am I correct Lisa? It’s at this point I feel compelled to mentioned that Lisa is a fan of cats, according to her bio. Personally, I wonder how much money she spends on Fancy Feast each week when she could be using it to spread the word of the lord. Obviously, Lisa is going to hell because she has a cat.

And it goes on…and on…and on. Thousands of words detailing the sinful things fans were doing in the stands. This is a great one.

Also, is there anything better than someone saying, “I didn’t want to criticize or judge,” and then do EXACTLY that for 2,000 words after? Never change Lisa, never change.

Even if the Rockies were our enemies, we are to love them. Jesus tells us to love our enemies, not hate them. I know that hate is a strong word and that many would say they don’t hate the opposing team, they are just rooting for theirs. I understand the difference, however, does God differentiate?

I hope he does. Because if he doesn’t than EVERY SINGLE SPORTS FAN in the world is going to hell. You’re killing me Lisa!

So much judging. With one paragraph, she summarily casts 50,000 Phillies fans to hell because they booed the 10 Rockies fans in attendance. Isn’t that like rule number 1 in the Bible, don’t judge people? As Roy Munson once said, “It says it’s against it.”

Oh well, nothing too horrible though. I’m sure the comments are even keeled and fair, am I right?

Andy: Wait, this article isn’t about David DeJesus?

Judas: I love the Rockies!

Hell, even Jesus Christ read the article and had something to say.

Jesus Christ: Lighten up lady. You know nothing of my work.

So go ahead, read the entire article before every baseball season starts, you fucking heathens. Maybe you’ll end up in Heaven with Lisa Small when you all go and meet your maker.

Just don’t show up wearing an expensive Phillies shirt.

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