I Would Like To Thank God...

Your Welcome

Praise The Lord!

I know you've all heard it before. Whether it's the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, or any of the many other sports leagues throughout the world. The scene is always the same. After winning it all there is always one player(usually more than one), that gets up on the podium and robotically recites these words..."First and foremost, I'd like to thank God."

I know you've heard it before. Whether it's the Oscars, Tony's, Grammy's, Emmy's, or any of the many other entertainment award shows from around the world. The scene is always the same. After winning the big award, almost every entertainer in every category (even comedy) gets up on the podium and creatively (remember their entertainers) recites these words..."I'd like to thank God!"

I know you've heard it before. A person has a near death experience or some good fortune comes their way. The scene is always the same. Someone is surrounded by anxious reporters who are all trying to get a sound bite. The reaction is usually one of these "sound bites."

1. Thank god...blah, blah, blah.

2. By the grace of God...blah, blah, blah.

3. God is good! Whoo!

4. If it wasn't for God...I wouldn't be here today...

I could go on forever but I'm pretty sure you get the point. It seems odd to me that so many people thank God when good things happen to them. At this point, I figure if you've read this far then you are either interested in this topic yourself or you're one of the people who thanks God for things all the time and you just want to read to the end so you can feel more comfortable about calling me an idiot or some other word. Hey, maybe it's both. Either way, If I just sparked your interest lets explore the question...why do people thank God?

Lebron James
Lebron James

It takes Two

The way I see it there's only two logical reasons why anyone would thank God after winning any type of award or contest.

1. They truly believe that an all powerful being has actually chosen them to lead their teams to the promise land of victory. If you need proof there's an athlete by the name of Lebron James (you may have heard of him), who actually has a tattoo that reads "Chosen 1" on his back.

2. Thanking God has somehow made its way into our society's book of manners. It's just what you do! When you ask someone for something you say 'please.' When someone does something for you, you say 'thank you.' When something good 'happens' to you, you THANK GOD.

Now we dissect these two.

You Are The One Neo

Jason Terry is a member of the 2011 Championship Dallas Mavericks, an NBA basketball team that showed great resilience and determination on their quest to win an NBA title. After leading his team (along with the great Dirk Nowitzki) through several comeback victories, Mr.Terry was sure to thank God for his teams victory. Hmmm, I'm guessing God didn't think they deserved to win 5 years ago when they played the same team (The Miami Heat) in the finals. Or all the other years in between when they just couldn't make it all the way to the end. Maybe he doesn't like the fact that Lebron James is flaunting his 'God given' talent by running around with "Chosen 1" on his back. Hey, I guess if God gave him the talent he can take it back right? Lebron even said after the game that, "The Greater Man upstairs knows when it's my time," James tweeted. "Right now isn't my time." Really, Lebron? And when will your time be oh chosen 1?

If God is selectively chosing when people win things, what's the requirement for being 'Chosen?'

1. Shaquille O'Neal won several NBA championships while admittedly committing adultery (sorry Shaq, but at least I'm not ratting like Kobe did, this is old news). Is cheating on your wife now punishable by #winning! as Charlie Sheen once said?

2. OJ Simpson allegedly cheated on, beat and murdered his wife, over the course of his marriage. I guess killing your wife (allegedly) is like the 11th commandment or something.

3. Mel Gibson a confirmed racist (have you heard the tapes?), enjoyed years of success throughout his movie career. He won Best Picture and best Director Oscars for Braveheart and at one point he was the highest paid actor in the world. Not only does this man thank God when he wins, he even made a movie about the big guy.

4. George W. Bush wins the presidential election not once but TWICE, the second time after being the Commander and Chief while the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil happened on his watch. The only 'Mission" he actually accomplished was ensuring that our economy is in a cataclysmic state from which it will never return. I guess God rewards people for lying (WMDs), cheating (Florida voting fiasco), and stealing (bailout, 2 failed wars with budget funds that disappeared).

5. President Obama...just read number 4, delete the 9/11 fact (for now), and add the fact that he's black.

You get the point yet? I could go on forever.

I just don't get it people!

Why the hell (pun intended) would people thank God when they're are obviously, as religious people say, living in sin? If you believe in God and you believe that he's giving you the necessary abilities to succeed at the highest level, how could you be doing things that are morally wrong and still think that Mr. Goody Two Shoes still has your back. Hmmm, maybe it's ego.

What if you kept doing things that were morally wrong and not only did you not get punished, but you were constantly rewarded. Now add in the fact that you have been brought up under some kind of religion that forgives you for all of your sins immediately (say 6 hail Mary's and go to work tomorrow as if nothing ever happened Dexter), how would it affect you? You may just believe that you are more important than anything or anyone else in the world, and if you did something wrong you could just pray for forgiveness and your criminal record would be expunged. Forget about all those innocent hurricane Katrina victims that needed help or the Tsunami victims that sadly had no chance in hell (again pun intended), God was helping your favorite athlete, movie star, or singer, win the top prize at the awards show.

Did I Dooo That!?

So you've been trained to believe that God is responsible for all your accomplishments. How demoralizing is that?

I think there are a lot of people who just thank God because, everyone else does. sometimes when I see a person win an award it appears that they don't even want to thank God but they feel like they have to. I wonder what this does to peoples Psyches. How would you feel if you busted your ass and practiced at your craft day in and day out. Then, when the time came your performance excelled beyond anyone's wildest imaginations and propelled you and or others to success. You're the 'man,' (so to say), everyone loves you, your at the top of your game. At some point you are honored for your accomplishments and presented with an award that you can hold dear to your heart until the day you die. You walk up to the podium and before you can even get a word out of your mouth, someone comes in and takes all the credit for everything you did. I guess you aren't the 'man' after all, the 'man upstairs' is. You suck! You're Milli Vanilli, your Lance Armstrong, you're Barry Bonds...You didn't do it on your own. God must have a trophy room the size of Earth right now, oh he already does...it is Earth.

Do you think God helps people win championships?

  • Yes
  • No
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Thanks But No Thanks

If God exists I don't think he takes time out of his day to make sure that Woody Allen wins an Oscar for best director and and Alfred Hitchcock goes to the grave win less. I don't think he helps one hit wonders win Emmy's while Susan Luci had to wait 19 times as a nominee. I don't think he keeps Barkley, Reggie, Ewing, Malone, and Stockton from winning championships while Jordan wins dos Threepeats (although there is some speculation that Jordan 'is' God or that he sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for basketball immortality). I don't think he keeps The Boston Red Sox from winning the World Series for 85 seasons (give or take) and then lets them win in 2004, although I would like to know who is responsible for my Yankees losing 4 games in a row after being up 0-3. Besides A-Rod.

People the truth here is plain and simple. If God exists and has the power to do whatever he wants to, why would he selfishly help certain people attain success while refusing to help others? Why would he give advantages to people who did not live morally favorable lifestyles? And why would he waste his time helping any of these people win awards when there are people dying of AIDS, starvation, acts of nature, etc? It does not make sense.

I am not judging anyone on there beliefs here, I am simply stating what I think are logical facts. So, when Jason Terry says he'd like to thank God for allowing him to win an NBA championship after he was the one who went out and busted his ass to get it done, fine. Whatever gives you the strength to go on, use it! What I am worried about is people like Lebron James. People who believe that they are put here to do things like win an NBA championship. What does this guy do if he never wins one? How is he going to feel about God when he looks into the mirror and sees that 'Chosen 1" Tattoo on his back, after retiring a wealthy, popular, loser? He might start to resent that same God that he thought was not only on his back, but had is back. And you might too.

To end these thoughts, naturally I have to ask myself a question. No matter how illogical it seems I have to realize the fact that so many people give thanks to God all the time, even those who claim to be non-believers have been known to beg God for help in the most dangerous or life threatening situations. I wonder if someone who was raised outside of society and blinded from any type of religion would 'naturally' pray to God as an uncontrolled stimulus response (Ivan Pavloc)? I guess that's another story, for another day.

"It is now life and not art, that requires the willing suspension of disbelief"- Lionel Trilling


Can We Get Some Credit?

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Comments 9 comments

ginjill ashberry profile image

ginjill ashberry 5 years ago

There's more to these than it is.. i'm sorry to put it as such..what you want and led to understand about something may not be the truth that is.


Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 5 years ago from Sacramento, California

Hello Red, So I may be able to elaborate a tad on what it is that defies your rational logic. The act of being grateful is in the most basic sense better than not being grateful, would you agree? Giving thanks to God, no matter how delusional or sinful a person is, they at least for a fleeting moment don’t claim they alone conquered all. It is interesting that you use this medium as a way to subtract God from sinners. I am grateful when bad things do not happen to me and my family, but I also ask for help when bad situations do arise. In the cases you highlight, these are high points in peoples life, we could easily site references people make to God when they feel he has led them through horrific tragedy. Does that not count for something? Certainly it would be all the less honorable if a big sports star got up on stage and announced, “first and foremost, I would like to thank myself for my awesomeness.” What a dupe he would be…


tHErEDpILL profile image

tHErEDpILL 5 years ago from New York Author

I understand your point of view Jason, thank you for understanding mine. I have a feeling that most will not, and automatically they will probably think I'm a bad person. The truth is I am just questioning...as well all should. I too have found myself thanking God after conquering a big obstacle and asking him to help me when faced with another. The point here? I don't have the answers...that is why I am asking the questions. Thanks again for the comment Jason.


jponiato profile image

jponiato 5 years ago from Mid-Michigan

I would never call you an idiot - I think you're an intelligent writer. The questions you're raising seem genuinely geared toward actual intellectual disourse, and not simply an opening for an argument wherein you spout your own point of view.

One of the phrases you quoted above, "there but for the grace of God go I" - I've used that one pretty often myself. I never really thought about the implication that God somehow chose to bring misfortune to the subject of observation. The intent was to thank God, or at least acknowledge Him, for the fact that I was not in as bad a predicament.

I'm not a deeply religious person. In fact, I'm taken to task sometimes by the more devout followers of organized religion. But I do feel a deep sense of gratitude to a higher power for my wife, children, our lives, and pretty much every good thing we have. I guess it's part and parcel to faith to be thankful for the blessings we enjoy.

Is God rewarding big stars for sinful lives? I'd guess not. Are they genuinely happy? Really thankful? Do they feel penitent or remorseful for their transgressions? Or is there emptiness for all their material success? Who knows - not I for sure. I do agree with Jason that I'm more comfortable with them showing some gratitude and giving some credit than I would be with a more egotistical stance. And that may be the real motivation behind their statements.


tHErEDpILL profile image

tHErEDpILL 5 years ago from New York Author

Damn good response jponiato! I like every last thing you said. When I get comments like this it kind of gives me the chills, because it means that you understood everything I was saying and the kind of questionable thoughts I am trying to provoke. Good comment man, really good.


newatthis 4 years ago

Not sure whether anyone is still looking at this particular post (I do realize it was posted a little more than a year ago), but there are three reasons I might thank God: 1) cultural convention (we hear it so much in the media and everywhere that to not say it would be very jarring for those of us who grew up in this culture); 2) I know I'm in a crowd of very religious Christians (the Buddhists and Jewish people I've met have never done this, and I don't have a lot of exposure into any other religion) who expressly believe that Atheists and Agnostics are evil/bad and will be very cold and hostile towards people who are Atheist or Agnostic (going thank God can really ease tensions in that case); and 3) I'm in a crowd of very religious but welcoming Christians, and they're so nice that I feel bad if I don't (like kicking a dog that's down).

None of these are particularly great reasons, but I'm pretty much indoctrinated by this particular society (or in an uncomfortable situation), and thanking God has become part of our vernacular.

I'll have to respectfully disagree with jponiato and Jason on thanking God as the alternative to thanking oneself. While it is an incredible douchey thing to thank oneself, big stars could always thank their families, their friends, their communities for the support that everyone provided. After all, it is not only their own hard work that brought them success. It is the combined hard work plus massive support from loved ones, communities and society itself that allowed them that success.

Of course, if one is religious, then it does make sense to thank God (and truly mean it unlike with our natural cultural inclination to thank God) because one truly believes that God helped. Even the folks who lived less than righteous lives probably had several good quality or two (just not fidelity to wife, apparently) and may be believing that God is encouraging them to be better.


tHErEDpILL profile image

tHErEDpILL 4 years ago from New York Author

I agree with people thanking friends and family who helped them out, but thanking God for say helping you win a million dollars is basically saying like saying "Me being rich is more important than curing cancer or feeding the hungry". Do you get me? I don't think God is picking and choosing as much as we may think. Thanks for commenting.


newatthis 4 years ago

Cool! You're still checking this and didn't take offense at my necroing it! :)

Yeah, as an agnostic, when I say I 'Thank God', it's usually out of cultural convention (unless I'm worried about getting treated negatively by the mean religious or am among really nice religious people and want to make them feel more at ease).

I think for many Americans, even marginally religious ones, thanking God has become an expected part of social convention that has absolutely nothing to do with actual gratitude (I think of the last time I heard someone say "Thank God we still have beer in the fridge").

For many other Americans, it seems that there's an element of wanting to appear as humble as possible, of abasing oneself so as to not appear a jackass. For some, I suspect there is a sense of superiority from that very desire to appear humble. That, by appearing humble, one is somehow better than one who is not (which may or may not be true).

Getting to your comment that I interpret to be aimed at my last paragraph regarding the religious...last time I asked my religious friends, they answered me thus: they don't thank God for every little thing (and when they do, it's social convention), but for big things. And when they do thank God, they are really thanking God for helping them and allowing them to have the opportunity to better the world.

A religious person by way of my religious friends, for example, might thank god for saving their life when their car skids on black ice and, by doing so, allowing them to stay alive and further their efforts in child welfare (as one of my Christian friends has dedicated herself to). Or, to use your winning a million dollars example, they may thank God that they now have the money to do more good than they previous thought they could before because they now have more resources.

Personally, I think that truly altruistic thanking of God is rare, but it happens (I am grateful to be friends with a particularly sweet and kind girl who truly gives her all to help better welfare for children...her chosen cause). Most likely, I suspect many people simply do it out of convention (this is me) or do it without considering the implications of what being rewarded repeatedly means in the face of continuous and soul-crushing suffering elsewhere (I suspect this is the majority of most well-meaning Christians who do Thank God).


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 9 months ago

Sure glad I found this hub. I'm glad you wrote it because I couldn't have said it any better. I don't think God worries about who won a silly game.

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