Professor Media Matters

I am a media professional with 6 years as a TV producer and reporter, and college professor in the field of Communications. I am also a Conservative with a passion for pop culture. This will be my attempt to put the "me" in media. It will be my take on movies, TV, books, magazines, newspapers, the Internet and all that is the worldwide media.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

RACING ON A PRAYER

“Oh say can you see?” In the United States, amateur and professional sporting events usually begin with those words, the first lines of the National Anthem. It seems perfectly fitting and appropriate to me to pay patriotic tribute to our nation before boxing, basketball and baseball. But there is one professional sporting event in America that does more than just the Star Spangled Banner. NASCAR begins their pre-race event with a prayer. A Christian prayer. They pray to God. They say “in Jesus name, Amen.” I love it. The televised prayer comes just before the anthem and the four most important words in racing, “Gentleman (or Drivers) start your engines.” Why don’t more sporting events start with prayer? Why is only NASCAR willing to honor the Almighty? A couple of quick thoughts as to why: 1) NASCAR is very big in the South, known as the “Bible Belt.” The people of the Southern United States seem more predisposed to accepting Christian tradition. 2) Auto racing is a very dangerous sport and the prayer almost always requests that the Creator keep the cars and their drivers safe from harm. When you have large objects made of metal hurling around a circle at 200 mph, praying for safety seems wise. Regardless of why NASCAR does it, I am grateful they do. My son loves to watch NASCAR. And every week he sees the drivers and their pit crews praying on national TV. The prayer is always offered by a pastor, usually one from the local area of the race track. For those at the venue who are looking for a home church or some spiritual guidance, they now have a name and a face to look up in their region. And to the national TV audience watching at home, often on a Sunday, praying in Jesus name reminds them of God, maybe even convicts them of sin. Praying before the race is a win-win for everyone involved. Let’s pray that more of the sports world will follow NASCAR’s lead.

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