Karl Marx penned the saying that “Religion is the opiate of the masses“. He was not referring to the Latin Masses. He meant that religious people who lived in poverty were drugged by religious beliefs that after this life of poverty they would be happily rich in heaven. I apply this to men watching sports.
Sunday is the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. How many Catholics will go to Holy Mass this Sunday and find it more meaningful than watching the Superbowl?
I wonder if we had Jesus or Mary on the TV how many viewers would we have? Last year 111 million people watched the Superbowl. Tickets can cost up to $2700. If you want a ticket with transportation, hotel, meals and a party you can pay up to $25,000 per person.
This year the prices of the second time around tickets are going down. When asked why, a ticket broker said: “If this game was in San Diego or Miami, it would still not be a good ticket because the teams are not sexy. … You don’t have these huge fan bases that you would have if Washington or Dallas or New York or someone else was in it.” USA Today.
There it is, sex. Sex trafficking and prostitution are already revving up to take care of all the male partiers.
10 years ago I was invited to a Superbowl party at a home of a parishioner. I went to be together with other catholics. But I also saw a male streaker who had his private parts digitally covered up on one of the adds. The next year at all the Holy Masses I told people not to watch because of what was sexual on the Superbowl. Sure enough that was the year when Janet Jackson pulled off her brazier and showed the world her bare breast.
With 30 second adds costing 4 million dollars, with each ticket costing say $1000, and all the travel expenses, team salaries, I think we could really help a great deal of poor people and build a lot of beautiful traditional churches.
St. John Chrysostom said that the attending of the circus, horse races and theatre was immoral because it was a lot of excitement and cost for nothing with prostitutes running around.
“What shall I say? Or what explanation shall I give, if a visitor arrives from somewhere and challenges us and says: “Is this the city of the Apostles? Is this the city that received so great a teacher? Is this the people who love Christ, who is the genuine, spiritual, spectacle?” You have not even shown respect for the very day on which the sacraments of the salvation of mankind were celebrated. But on Good Friday, when your Lord  was being crucified on behalf of the world, and such a sacrifice was being offered, and paradise was being opened, and the robber was led back to his old country; when the curse was being undone and sin was made to vanish, and the ancient war was ended and God was reconciled towards men, and everything was being transformed – on that very day, when it was necessary to fast and give glory, and to raise prayers of thanksgiving for the good things in the world to the one who created them, instead you left the church and the spiritual eucharist, and the assembly of the brothers, and the solemnity of the fast, and as a prisoner of the devil were you dragged off to that spectacle? Can this be tolerated? Can this be accepted? I shall not stop saying these things constantly, and assuaging my pain that way, not by suppressing it with silence, but by bringing it out into public view and putting it in front of your eyes.”
“Why do I talk about the theatre? Often if we meet a woman in the marketplace, we are alarmed. But you sit in your upper seat, where there is such an invitation to outrageous behaviour, and see a woman, a prostitute, entering bareheaded and with a complete lack of shame, dressed in golden garments, flirting coquettishly and singing harlots’ songs with seductive tunes, and uttering disgraceful words. She behaves so shamelessly that if you watch her and give consideration, you will bow your head in shame. Do you dare to say you suffer no human reaction? Is your body made of stone? Or iron? I shall not refrain from saying the same things again. Surely you are not a better philosopher than those great and noble men, who were cast down merely by such a sight?  Have you not heard what Solomon says: “If someone walks onto a fire of coals, will he not burn his feet? If someone lights a fire in his lap, will he not burn his clothing? It is just the same for the man who goes to a woman that doesn’t belong to him.” For even if you did not have intimate relations with the prostitute, in your lust you coupled with her, and you committed the sin in your mind. And it was not only at that time, but also when the theatre has closed, and the woman has gone away, her image remains in your soul, along with her words, her figure, her looks, her movement, her rhythm, and her distinctive and meretricious tunes; and having suffered countless wounds you go home. Is it not this that leads to the disruption of households? Is it not this that leads to the destruction of temperance, and the break up of marriages? Is it not this that leads to wars and battles, and odious behaviour lacking any reason? For when, saturated with that woman, you return home as her captive, your wife appears more disagreeable, your children more burdensome, and your servants troublesome, and your house superfluous. Your customary concerns seem to annoy you when they relate to managing your necessary business, and everyone who visits is an irritating nuisance.” St. John Chrysostom
So while the world burns and the church is filled with modernist, men sit by “drugged” by the spectacle of SuperBowl. Not to say anything about the number of men going to use this as an excuse to get plastered on beer.
Today at St. Catherine catholic school, at lunch there were two big problems about SuperBowl sunday. One child was sad because other children had told him his team was going to loose. Another boy was really crying because three other boys were harassing him over his favorite team. I wonder how many other boys and men are fighting with each other right now over such a stupid thing as to which team will win the Superbowl.
I say we have much more important things than wasting money on a football game and sexy adds, along with bad mid-time entertainment.
Why not celebrate the purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. That is what we are going to do. Have a pot luck to celebrate Candlemas Day and the purification of Mary. It will cost nothing and we will enjoy saying the Holy Rosary by candlelight. I think this is a much better way of celebrating a Holy Lords Day.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.