I watched the entire New York Jets football game yesterday. Thanks to my “Magical Jets cap,” the men in green won handily and moved into a tie for first place.

I was impressed by the play of third-year quarterback Mark Sanchez. He made mistakes early, but rallied from them and led the team well, with on-target passing, deft play-calling, and smart reading of the Bills’ defense.

I was surprised, then, to read a scathing review of Sanchez’ performance in The Times. The paper’s columnist said the Jets won in spite of Sanchez. Was he even watching the same game?

Thus the problem of opinions and the reason so many people love sports. It’s probably the same impulse that drives many to faith. In the end, we can believe whatever we want about God. Oh, I know some heavy-handed religionists insist there is just one way – their way, as it happens – but I think most Christians are content to believe what they want and discard the rest.

I don’t think God objects. As long as our minds remain open to further discovery, God seems pleased to have us draw near, no matter how flawed our understandings. Along the way, we will learn more, and in the end, God will love us no matter what. That is vexing to vendors of certainty, of course.


Q: Can one have a fulfilling life in the 21st century living in poverty? The teaching of Christ would seem to indicate yes.

A: Sounds unlikely to me. Poverty includes inadequate nutrition, inadequate health care, probably inadequate access to potable water, education and electric power. Certainly people can love each other under any circumstance. But poverty promises a bleak existence, likely to be marked by violence, oppression and constrained opportunities. I don’t see that Jesus considered poverty a noble or necessary condition. He told the rich to share what they have in order to alleviate poverty.