I have found that people get annoyed when star athletes start off with a word of thanks to the Lord when they're interviewed after games (Tim Tebow being the latest high-profile example of this much reviled type - but it's fairly routine among athletes). But I find it very understandable and actually quite endearing. Think of it from their point of view. After spending their entire lives dominating all their peers in their athletic pursuits, they're now competing at the highest levels against the best of the best, and still doing amazing things. How can one explain such mind-boggling talent? Why, of all the people you ever knew, are you so uniquely gifted? How is it that you were the one so chosen? The Lord's grace would seem to provide the most plausible answer. What are they supposed to say - "Yeah, I'm awesome - on your knees, bitch!"?
But when Warren Buffet is interviewed on CNBC, say, he doesn't start off the first answer with "First off Becky I'd like to thank the good Lord for giving me the opportunity to..." Instead, if pressed on why he's so successful, he'll spout out some platitude about being 'fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful' which is clever but no more explanatory than thanking the good Lord. Nor have we ever heard Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Larry Ellison give heavenly thanks for their phenomenal success. Are there any among the rich-and-powerful who are not also famous for being religiously devout who give God credit for their success?
After I wrote this, Steve Sailer put up a post about Billionaires who actually earn
their fortune. The punch-line of his article is Oprah - she's probably the billionaire most personally responsible - from soup-to-nuts - for her fortune. I don't disagree. But even as her show and network promote spirituality, she never talked about her own beliefs much, apparently - until her last show, when she gave a nod to Jesus himself:
"People often ask me what is the secret to the success of the show," she said. "How have we lasted 25 years. I non-jokingly say, my team - and Jesus."
Labels: religion, sports, wealth