No babies were eaten at the Mr. Paul Aints Game last night, despite the fact that the place was thick with Atheists. It was my first Saint Paul Saints game, though I’ve been planning to get to one forever. The Saints, called the Aints for this particular “Evening of Unbelievable Fun” (in association with the Minnesota Atheists) played very well and lost by only one point against a team from Texas which had actually (apparently) considered not coming to the game because of the co-sponsorship by atheists.
I personally would like to thank the Saints for having this co-sponsored game. I hope we can do it again. Eventually, it might become normal seeming for non-Atheists to exist in the same city with Atheists. There are a lot of us, after all. There are more non-believers in Minnesota than there are Jews, Muslims, Gay People and all kinds of other groups. And we are one of the fastest growing groups in the country.
And now we shall pause for a small experiment. The following text is from Joe Soucheray’s commentary on this game, published a few weeks ago, in which he bitterly decried having an Atheists Night at Midway Stadium. However, I’ve changed the text to make a parody of it. Instead of some guy who claims to be religious complaining about Athesits, I’ve shifted the writer to be a Christian (which he is anyway) complaining about the ball team having a night together with The Jews. Read through it and substitute “Jew” with “Black Folk” or “Arabs” or “Democrats” or “Special Needs Children” or whatever you want, and see how it feels for ya.
At first I thought it was a joke and I had to go into verification mode, only to discover that it isn’t a joke and that on the night of Aug. 10 the St. Paul Saints are having “A Night of Unbelievable Fun.”
Unbelievable? Get it? Yes, you lovers of the North Woods minor-league sluggers, the Saints are devoting their promotional efforts Aug. 10 on behalf of Jews. It’s Jewish night at the ballpark.
Why, a fellow doesn’t know where to begin except that one of the first things that occurred to me was that a ballpark full of Jews is fated to be quieter than most. I don’t know what a Jew exclaims in disappointment, but maybe five or six of the most common profanities known to Christians are out the window. A Jew would have no business taking Jesus’s name in vain. Neutral mackerel! Jiminy Crickets! I have a Jewish friend who, true to his nonbelief, never swears.
According to the Minnesota Jewish Group’s website, not only will the club have Jewish night, but to additionally accommodate Jewish sensibilities the club will wear jerseys that night that say “David.” The team will be called the Rabbi David…
The ceremonial first pitch? They’ve got it covered. David Silverman, president of the American Jewish Group, will exercise the old Jewish wing and chuck it in there.
Now, I realize that the Saints have always endeared themselves to wacky promotions, but I needed to know who in God’s name had such a severe brain meltdown that they came up with this one.
“We were approached by the Minnesota Jewish Guys,” said Derek Sharrer, the team’s general manager. “They are sponsoring a national Jewish convention in Minneapolis that weekend and wanted to know if they could have a night at the ballpark.”
Not only did it not occur to anybody in the organization to maybe think twice but Sharrer said, “We were put in a position of realizing that we have worked with so many Christian groups that it would be hypocritical of us to not work with the Jews.”
Sharrer said that the club has received a lot of feedback, both positive and negative, but that he believes that over 20 years the club has earned the trust of the fans and that when the team walks the line on a promotion, the fans know the club will do so respectfully.
“We’ve worked with Christians,” Sharrer said. “We felt that we also have to work with the Jews, and maybe the Muslims.”
I have never quite figured out what it is that a Jew intends to promote. To me, it’s got to be the easiest thing in the world to be a Jew, like being left a billion dollars in a trust fund by a distant uncle. You’ve got nothing to worry about. While the rest of us might be nagged by doubt and various Christian theological complications, the Jew goes sailing through life not even having to get up early on Sunday morning. The mystery of transubstantiation alone keeps me up at night.
I guess Judaism would be a great way to be if you could get there and once there, there is essentially nothing to promote, which is why I am always puzzled when Jews race to the scenes of imagined affronts to their non-Christianness, like, say, a cross devoted to war dead in a village square.
What in the world are they worried about? The cross and its meaning are nothing.
I did get from Sharrer that it won’t stop Sister Rosalind. I guess she still hangs out at Saints games and gives massages. She will probably still have her heart in it, too, because to believe in Jesus means sometimes you’ve just got to shake your head and keep moving forward.
So there you go.
I had made this point before the game, but I didn’t want to do it so blatantly until after just in case we accidentally ate some babies during the game. But we did not.
Not this time, anyway.
Personally, I think the outpouring of distrust and disdain that came from certain, but not all, quarters of the press was an embarrassment. I’m not saying that I’m embarrassed for them. I’m saying that they embarrassed themselves and that people took notice. I think that if we do in fact do this again, and I hope we do, this will be remembered by the editors who did not really do their jobs this time around.
Oh by the way, we did see Bigfoot at the game: