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Afternoon Line

“I think being a Christian in NHL has come a long way. We had a guy [Larry] that led our chapel in Ottawa for years, and he was under so much scrutiny back in the ’80s because he was a believer. He was one of the first believers to kind of tell everyone about his faith and let people know and that was really kind of odd in the hockey world back then which is sad. He got a lot of grief from some of the owners and management. And hockey ministries, HMI, has done really good work and gotten chapels — I think it’s close to half of the teams right now that have optional chapels for guys that can go and learn with the Lord and so that’s exciting. So it has come a long way.”

—Mike Fisher of the Nashville Predators, discussing his book “Defending the Faith” coming out in September

Update August 30, 2011: Correction—According to Amazon.com the actual title is “Defender of Faith: The Mike Fisher Story”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: carrie+underwood, mike+fisher, religion

Comments

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I’m shocked frankly, that a sport like hockey has such a history of being a little biased against Christianity. I would have thought the opposite to be honest.

Posted by Tom on 08/29/11 at 05:38 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

I like the idea of Christianity, but I can’t find any Christians I like.  wink

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/29/11 at 05:52 PM ET

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Nice to see the open minded and judgemental are quick to post. I would say some people have the very same attitudes they attribute to christians.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 08/29/11 at 05:55 PM ET

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christian rutuu

Posted by callmedrw on 08/29/11 at 06:00 PM ET

Aron's avatar

L1, I thought you liked me.

Posted by Aron on 08/29/11 at 06:01 PM ET

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Hi! How are You all?  Me fine. At Linda1st, What You do not like about Christians, DO You see Your weaknesses on How We behave and Love and Care, because I am an avid Conservative Christian and I am not a bad Person, As this Society evolve more in Secularism Us Christian like me We have become Politically Incorrect, but We are following the Words of Our Creator God. I am a Reformer and here in a site to help You more to understand the dilemmas that Us Christian like me are face every day in this very Secular Society which everything goes. Here are two links                      
http://www.whitehorseinn.org/
http://issuesetc.org/
and another two why not:
http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/
http://www.afa.net/
Take good care You all and Mike Fisher I adore Your courage and strength and Integrity. Thank You to Alanah to posting this news. Blessings to You All.
P.S. Hockey with its sometime very severe violence and Christians seems very strange, but go to the site of HMI and You will see the quality Guys and Families those Players are all very articulate People.

Posted by caringman from Canada on 08/29/11 at 06:09 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

Before anyone takes anything said too personally—religion and politics are always a little risky to touch on in that respect—I would like to add that I don’t think the NHL attitude was ever particularly (or at all, really) “anti-Christian”.  I just think that Canadians in particular had typically always shied-away from discussing their religion in a public way, and that it was no different in hockey. 

As Fisher implies, the result was probably that some overtly-Christian NHLers didn’t feel too comfortable sharing their faith because of that.  But (and perhaps I’m wrong) I don’t think it was ever an anti-Christian view that existed. After all, I wouldn’t be surprised if a poll of all NHLers showed the vast majority being raised in Christian homes. 

The issue was more that they just didn’t/don’t talk about it in the same way that happens in MLB and NFL culture.

That’s my two-cents, anyway.

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 08/29/11 at 06:19 PM ET

Muero's avatar

Like I needed another reason to dislike the Predators….

Posted by Muero on 08/29/11 at 06:36 PM ET

awould's avatar

yuck.

Posted by awould on 08/29/11 at 06:47 PM ET

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Posted by caringman from Canada on 08/29/11 at 04:09 PM ET

Sigh…

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 08/29/11 at 06:48 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

religion and politics

Are 2 subjects that don’t fit in the goings on here. $0.02 donated.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 08/29/11 at 06:52 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Yeah, a bunch of white dudes from North American aren’t like, almost all Christian, or anything.

Everyone wants to the underdog, even when it comes to something like this.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 08/29/11 at 06:59 PM ET

Puck's avatar

Chalk up one more for the anti Christian side of the argument.

Matthew 6:5

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”

Keep your crazy in your own damn house and warped mind Fisher.

Posted by Puck from San Francisco, CA on 08/29/11 at 07:01 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

@Posted by caringman from Canada

It was a joke.
I hope all Christians don’t lack a sense of humor like you. That would be another reason not to li….oh forget it.
Also, I rather read people like Johannes Kepler and Carl Sagan as opposed to Maffeo Barberini and Pat Robertson. But that’s just me, to each his own.


——————————————————————————-

Aron my buddy, we’re in it to win it - together. grin

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/29/11 at 07:05 PM ET

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Posted by Puck from San Francisco, CA on 08/29/11 at 05:01 PM ET

Yeah, I guess Mike Fisher is forcing you to be Christian.

Posted by Garth on 08/29/11 at 08:00 PM ET

awould's avatar

Get out of my head Mike Fisher!

Posted by awould on 08/29/11 at 08:03 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Also, I rather read people like Johannes Kepler and Carl Sagan as opposed to Maffeo Barberini and Pat Robertson.

Woe to the person who reads Pat Robertson. But people like Giovanni Battista Morgagni, Louis Pasteur, Guglielmo Marconi, and Gregor Mendel wrote some very interesting things.

Oh, they were all Catholic, by the way.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 08/29/11 at 08:41 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

How terrible is it that there are now optional chapels for people to use or not to use at their own discretion.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/29/11 at 08:43 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

J.J., that was slightly less muddled than a Colin Campbell explanation.

Please, expound.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 08/29/11 at 08:51 PM ET

Puck's avatar

Yeah, I guess Mike Fisher is forcing you to be Christian.

Posted by Garth on 08/29/11 at 06:00 PM ET

You must be one of those real Christians. I can tell by the straw man you hoist up on that cross.

Posted by Puck from San Francisco, CA on 08/29/11 at 09:11 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

Oh, they were all Catholic, by the way.

Posted by Red Winger

So was I, but nobody’s perfect…wait a minute that Jesus dude was right? I stand corrected.

BTW, that’s twice today, Tony’s gone so I guess you have to do something to fill the void. Anywho, I was your summer? Ready for the new season?

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/29/11 at 09:19 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

J.J., that was slightly less muddled than a Colin Campbell explanation.

Please, expound.

Posted by Red Winger from oft-injured shitsacks and half-evolved apes on 08/29/11 at 06:51 PM ET

Just a generalized sarcastic comment.  Fisher isn’t being a hypocrite or actively trying to convert anybody in this quote. He’s talking about how there was pressure against it and that he’s happy that those who choose to believe what he believes have the ability to express that.

Every time the subject gets brought up, it seems as though there are plenty of the same kind of people who would say “if you don’t like it, don’t read it” come out to complain about a person’s individual choice on this specific matter.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/29/11 at 09:24 PM ET

UMFan's avatar

I think what Fisher is referring to is the evangelical christians, not christain faith in general. Why he doesn’t make that distinction, I don’t know. Not being a man of faith though, I have friends who are christians and a couple who are evangelical and there is a stark difference between them.

Posted by UMFan from Denver, Colorado on 08/29/11 at 09:36 PM ET

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Posted by Puck from San Francisco, CA on 08/29/11 at 07:11 PM ET

I don’t believe on God, but thanks for coming.

Posted by Garth on 08/29/11 at 09:43 PM ET

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So was I, but nobody’s perfect…wait a minute that Jesus dude was right? I stand corrected.

No, he wasn’t.  Good to know there’s nobody attacking religion from a place of ignorance though.

Posted by Garth on 08/29/11 at 09:45 PM ET

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What sort of burns me about evangelicals is that they construct these alternate-reality persecution narratives about what ‘all Christians’ (meaning Evangelicals) suffer to believe in God and it’s just hogwash most of the time.

Take this:

“We had a guy [Larry] that led our chapel in Ottawa for years, and he was under so much scrutiny back in the ’80s because he was a believer. He was one of the first believers to kind of tell everyone about his faith and let people know and that was really kind of odd in the hockey world back then which is sad.”

Am I really expected to believe a sport made up of majority WASPs in a majority-Christian Canada ostracized some guy ‘in the 80s because he was a believer?’ If I’m not mistaken some coaches in the 70s and 80s MADE their guys go to church a few mornings a week as a means to keep them out of bars the night before.

Posted by steviesteve on 08/29/11 at 10:00 PM ET

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While I’m an observant Protestant (not evangelical), it seems a bit odd to me to have a chapel at work. What’s more, there might be some reason to worry about the power imbalance between rookies and established players and coaches. If the captain were to invite you to a prayer meeting, would you feel comfortable turning him down?

Posted by Ken on 08/29/11 at 11:15 PM ET

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Mike Fisher is not hurting anyone by making the comment he made.  He is a very well liked player and a pillar in any community he plays in.  This is especially true in the bible belt market of Nashvile. With his smoking hot celebrity wife, work ethic, skill level, and religious attitude, this guy can do no wrong for the Preds.  And this is coming from one of the firmest atheists arround.

Posted by Eric from St. Louis on 08/29/11 at 11:49 PM ET

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“The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reasoning.”  -Voltaire

Posted by godblender on 08/30/11 at 12:01 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

The only thing quite so annoying and pretentious as a man trying to force his religion on another man is one who tries to force his lack thereof with the same veracity.

- J.J. from Kansas

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/30/11 at 12:13 AM ET

Muero's avatar

I bet Fisher isn’t promoting that teams have optional synagogues and Buddhist temples and Druid rituals. Notice he says, “the Lord,” not “whatever deity or deities or philosophies a player supports.”

Posted by Muero on 08/30/11 at 12:15 AM ET

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While I’m an observant Protestant (not evangelical), it seems a bit odd to me to have a chapel at work.

I totally agree, my faith has no business in the work place, nor do I want my employer providing a company approved “chapel”.  All Christians are not the same, nor are all versions of the faith consistent. Having one chapel implies it is the team sanctioned religion and thereby is totally inappropriate.

Posted by timbits on 08/30/11 at 12:22 AM ET

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The only thing quite so annoying and pretentious as a man trying to force his religion on another man is one who tries to force his lack thereof with the same veracity.

- J.J. from Kansas

“Converting” people to atheism, or “forcing a lack of religion” if you prefer, isn’t pretentious…or appropriate. I want nothing less than the total *#$%@& annihilation of religion and all those who participate in it.

Posted by godblender on 08/30/11 at 12:28 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I want nothing less than the total *#$%@& annihilation of religion and all those who participate in it.

Posted by godblender on 08/29/11 at 10:28 PM ET

Hey, that’s who you are.  I just think you’re annoying is all.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/30/11 at 12:43 AM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

“Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me” .
                         
~John Lennon

me too.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/30/11 at 12:48 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

And hockey ministries, HMI, has done really good work and gotten chapels — I think it’s close to half of the teams right now that have optional chapels for guys that can go and learn with the Lord and so that’s exciting. So it has come a long way.”

How long until we have team chaplains?  Seems ripe for a labor lawsuit.

————-

I’m actual surprised at how civil this discussion has remained for the most part.  Kudos. 

Anyway, I’m a non-believer, and I know we come off as abrasive at times.  People called the abolitionists, civil rights workers, gay rights workers, unionists, and suffragettes abrasive too, if you’ll remember (before you jump all over me, no I am not saying atheists are treated as slaves or denied the right to vote).  Those groups in our history understood that you have to continue shouting until others listen.  So sorry if you’re annoyed by our expectation of equal footing in the workplace and public sector.

That said, religious types often play the oppressed minority card, while using majoritarian pressure to get what they want.  Thats called having both ways, and thats what non-beliers take issue with.  Just keep it yourself please.  I’m sure Fisher has the best intentions in his own mind, but religious/false modestly rarely passes the smell test for the rest of us.

So thats my two cents as I climb out of the mire.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 08/30/11 at 01:48 AM ET

CMo44's avatar

“Defending The Faith”.  What do you have to defend your faith against?  Your right to your faith is the same as my right to not have that faith.  Many people have to “defend” their own beliefs against all sorts of gospel spreading, prosthelytizing, missions, crusades, and whatnot.  “Keep thine religion to thyself”.

(and I say this as someone who roots for the Preds [and Kings] out West).

Posted by CMo44 on 08/30/11 at 05:49 AM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

So sorry if you’re annoyed by our expectation of equal footing in the workplace and public sector.

I don’t think that most people who identify with being christian realize just how pervasive the assumption of shared faith is.  They also do not realize how grating it can be to face socially institutionalized prejudice regarding their beliefs, even when they mean well or are oblivious to their privilege.

Please know I am not trying to attack any one or their beliefs, but to illustrate my point, here is a question for you all. 

You are at work.  Someone sneezes.  What do you say?

If you are christian and say “god bless you”, do you even stop to consider if the person who sneezed shares your beliefs?

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 08/30/11 at 09:34 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

To set the record straight, I’m not a religious person. I just think it’s annoying when people who are antireligious want to turn every person’s discussion of his own beliefs into an argument as to whether we have to have religion at all.

I’m not annoyed by an expectation of equal footing in the workplace (as evidenced by the fact that I never said anything even remotely close to that); I’m annoyed when people use religious zeal to either imply or outright say that those with religious beliefs are somehow beneath them.

So save your strawmen and your sarcastic apologies. That wasn’t what I was saying at all.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/30/11 at 10:03 AM ET

TheFreak's avatar

God Bless America!

Posted by TheFreak on 08/30/11 at 10:38 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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