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NFL Star Talks Flying Spaghetti Monster

Arian Foster is one of the best running backs in the NFL. He’s also one of the smartest and most unusual, not exactly the dumb jock type. He majored in philosophy at the University of Tennessee and, in a recent piece he wrote for Yahoo on the six things he wants to teach his daughter, he included this:

6. The flying spaghetti monster. There are billions of people on Earth with hundreds of religions and sects that trickle off each other. I will never tell her what to believe in. I know parents are very influential on kids’ spiritual beliefs and that can be a positive or negative thing. I can give her a basic understanding of religions when she starts showing interest and asking questions. But I will remain silent otherwise. How can I make a young mind believe this is the truth for them when they don’t yet have the capacity nor the cognitive desire to delve into something like this? If she shows interest I would advise her to fully investigate a religion and see if it fits her. And if she chooses none of the above, I’ll be fine with that as well. The values I instill in her should guide her to her decision. What’s most important, I believe, is to support her decision no matter what.

I think this is exactly how it should be handled. Teach your kids about all of the religious traditions and about humanism and other philosophies and let them figure out whether they think any of them is valid. Teach them to think for themselves and to ask questions. And that includes asking questions of themselves: Why do I believe what I believe? Is it reasonable? Is it supported by the evidence? And to ask those same questions about every claim and belief. That’s what my father did with me, exposed me to a wide range of ideas, nurtured my curiosity, taught me to love books and libraries and then let me figure it all out for myself.

Comments

  1. zero6ix says

    A very well thought out message that reaches on topics that are deeper than they appear at first glance, and made me a better person just for having read it. Seriously. This is good stuff and makes me pleased to share a species with the guy.

    But since he’s not Tebow screaming about his invisible boyfriend, no one will care tomorrow.

  2. says

    Someone will mention Foster in next time they whine about Tebow being discriminated against for being a Christian and not for being a shitty quarterback. You can count on it.

  3. says

    Just me, but I’d rather watch an athlete daddy hold his child or other person whom he loves after a game than kneel in the endzone and thank JESUS for helping him to embarrass or hurt other people.

  4. eric says

    @4 – The Tebow comparison is made all the more ironic since he just refused a deal that would let him play running back.

  5. lldayo says

    No, I just got the Adrian/Arian mixed up. Not the first time I’ve made that mistake with those two.

  6. exdrone says

    I can give her a basic understanding of religions when she starts showing interest and asking questions.

    Explaining each religion’s founding myth, one after another, would be sufficiently instructive to set her on the right path. It would also be a good bonding experience – like sharing a comedy marathon on Netflix.

  7. ianeymeaney says

    As a long-time Pats fan (who has a Bledsoe jersey hanging in his closet, don’t hate!), it makes me so sad that I will be rooting against this guy when we face off against him. This dude is awesome!
    Long live Emperor Belichick and Darth Brady!

  8. says

    @4 – The Tebow comparison is made all the more ironic since he just refused a deal that would let him play running back.

    One does begin to wonder whether someone Tebow trusts has “prophesied” to him that it is God’s will that he be a successful NFL quarterback one day, and has resulted in his stubbornness to refuse all offers that don’t get him there.

    While I suspect most believing Christians don’t bank as much on “words of prophesy” as they would claim, it’s certainly possible that we’re seeing something like that in action with Tebow today. Either way, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that Tebow believes that his current setbacks are a test of his faith of some kind.

  9. Pieter B, FCD says

    Am I the only one a little disturbed by #5? I understand teaching self-respect, but there’s a bit of the old-fashioned idea of a daughter’s sexuality belonging to Daddy there that isn’t exactly as enlightened as the part about the FSM.

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