Religious people are always fighting the inroads made by secular modern culture. One example is the Super Bowl that is coming up this Sunday and which is expected to drawn an audience of around 100 million. Some religious groups are worried that the halftime shows are not appropriate for their flock because the performances can be somewhat raunchy. Ever since the entire nation was traumatized in 2004 by briefly seeing one of Janet Jackson’s nipples, religious groups have felt the need to protect believers from such dangerous threats to their holiness.
So they have been providing religious alternatives online for the faithful who like football but still want to remain pure in their hearts. The idea seems to be that at halftime, viewers will switch off their TVs and fire up their computers to get some spiritual nourishment.
So what has been in the past that might give us some idea of what might be on offer this year??
A Catholic channel has featured Christian athletes speaking about how faith can inspire an athlete. Seems a bit unimaginative to me.
Yeshiva University is more ambitious and will offer up something called the ‘Torah Super Bowl Halftime Show’ that has some NFL-style glitz and in the past has featured a rabbi who moonlights as a comedian offering some mini-lessons from the Torah, another rabbi comparing football heroes to biblical heroes, and a trivia contest with questions like “Who was the only Jewish football player to win four Super Bowls?” Alas, despite this irresistible program, last year they only got around 3,000 hits.
I expect them to do much better this year. Surely people will prefer that to watching Beyonce lip-sync again when they saw her do it just two weeks earlier at the inauguration?