Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback for the Greenbay Packers, recently appeared on race car driver Danika Patrick’s podcast, Pretty Intense. It should be noted that Danika Patrick and Aaron Rodgers are a couple. On this podcast Aaron talked about his views concerning religion. He explains how he and many others grew up going to church because it was simply what you did. Aaron also expresses that going on a volunteer trip to help build homes for people was the time when he felt most positive about Christianity. However, becoming an adult, leaving home, and acquiring friends with different views ultimately aided in Aaron straying from Christianity and the God of the Bible. “I had some good friendships along the way that helped me to figure out exactly what I wanted to believe in.” He then went on to say, “Ultimately, it was that rules and regulations and binary systems don’t really resonate with me.” Personally, I find these two quotes to be very telling about his thought process. First, he has been searching for something that he wants to believe in, not something that is evidence based or that operates on a higher moral level, but simply something he wants. This way of thinking is far more likely to result in people believing in whatever makes them feel good rather than something that holds them accountable to a higher standard of conduct. Second, he claims that “it was the rules and regulations and binary systems…” within Christianity that he took issue with. This amused me because he plays a sport that is dominated by binary systems of thought, us vs. them, winner vs. loser, starter vs. backup, offense vs. defense, etc. The idea that “rules and regulations and binary systems don’t really resonate” with Aaron is laughable. What does he do when a defensive tackle hits him after the play is blown dead? Does he want a late-hit penalty enforced? What does he want when a referee makes the wrong call and rules a catch incomplete? I imagine he would desire a booth review of the play and the call to be reversed. Well, both of these scenarios are based in rules and regulations.
The first two flaws I found with his statements don’t even begin to compare with this next one. Just like a teenager rebelling against his parent’s beliefs, Aaron says the following, “I don’t know how you can believe in a God who wants to condemn most of the planet to a fiery hell,” he then went on to add, “What type of loving, sensitive, omnipresent, omnipotent being wants to condemn his beautiful creation to a fiery hell at the end of all this?” Now, some of you may think me harsh to describe these comments as being akin to those of a rebellious teenager, but I am genuine in my comparison. These were the types of things I said to my teacher in the seventh grade when my intention was to be deep, original, and thoughtful. Little did I know at the time that what I thought was deep, original, and thoughtful was actually painfully shallow, overused, and based in ignorance of the subject matter. However, I was merely a young teen in a small classroom, whereas Aaron Rodgers is a 36 year old man with an audience of millions. Therefore, I believe my comparison, and my stern tone, is appropriate. The very idea that God “wants to condemn most of the planet to a fiery hell” shows just how little Aaron has actually studied the Bible. The Bible is a deep book with many lessons and meanings spread throughout its pages, but the most basic of meanings is out there for anyone interested in knowing them. That God loves us, that Christ is His son, and that Christ died for our sins. John 3:16 is the most famous Bible verse and is extremely well-known even in secular circles, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Is that indicative of a God that wants most of His creation to burn in Hell? If God wanted us to burn, then why would He have ever sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins? Why would He have inspired the authors of the Bible to put quill to parchment? In my opinion, Aaron Rodgers not bothering to answer these questions attests to how badly he doesn’t want to believe in the God of the Bible.
“Religion can be a crutch, it can be something that people have to have to make themselves feel better,” Rodgers continued. “Because it’s set up binary, it’s us and them, saved and unsaved, heaven and hell, it’s enlightened and heathen, it’s holy and righteous … that makes a lot of people feel better about themselves.” I wonder, are his current spiritual beliefs not a crutch to use against that which he doesn’t want to believe? Does he see the irony of criticizing the binary nature of “enlightened and heathen” while he sits there expositing on how his beliefs are superior to what Christians believe? It seems to me that in this interview Aaron Rodgers has shown exactly why celebrities are not to be placed upon pedestals. Just like anyone else, they can be duped by flawed reasoning and the desire to feel like they are good people.