American Tragedy: A Human Sacrifice to the False God of Football Fame (Kent Johnson)

by Kent Johnson 04/03/2014 KentWallOfSeparationJohnson

A nineteen year old youth from my hometown was buried to today, a week after laying down his life in reckless pursuit of football glory. It was, said the boy, his parents, and the faith community that egged him on, all part of „God’s Perfect Plan“– implying that sound human judgment could not have prevented this glorious sacrifice ordered by the Almighty.

Sixteen months ago, Will McKamey was stricken by a brain hemorrhage while playing for the Grace Christian Academy team coached by his father Randy. It was Will’s second Traumatic Brain Injury of the 2012 season, coming a month after he had suffered a concussion during another game coached by his dad.

Will McKamey

A Leap of Faith onto a Bigger „Platform“

According to the neurology literature, only seven football players in any given year will suffer a catastrophic head injury, typically a brain bleed. Two will die; two will be disabled; three will regain all of their faculties. Whereas we know that the risk for a second concussion rises fourfold after the first one, the database of football brain bleed survivors is so small that predicting recurrence is statistically impossible. Suffice it to say that cases of players returning to football after a brain bleed are extremely rare. Most all victims are sufficiently afraid of re-injury that they give up the sport.

Yet even while Will McKamey lay fighting for his life in an intensive care unit back in November 2012, he told the Knoxville media that above all else, he feared losing the game of football.  Astonishingly, while Will was still in the hospital, his father the coach told local media that his highest hope was for Will to return to play for his high school team within a matter of weeks, during the all-important state playoffs.

The boy and his parents were convinced that Will’s rapid recovery — his blood clot had resolved without surgery– was a direct miracle from God. Moreover, all of the McKameys said they were certain that God had put Will on a higher „platform“ of fame to reach more people for Christ– an attitude that typifies the mass-marketing mindset of modern evangelicals.

The temptation to continue on this risky course and to ascribe this bold adventure to „God’s Plan“ was magnified  because Will already had a bigger platform awaiting him, having committed to play college football at the U.S. Naval Academy before his 2012 brain bleed.

The Mckameys were determined that it was part of „God’s Perfect Plan“ for Will to win souls for Christ as a major college football player by sharing the testimony of his miraculous recovery while taking a giant leap of faith in defiance of medical wisdom and common sense.

Medical clearance for Will did not come easily. Will saw four neurologists, had six brain scans, was withheld from contact drills for nine months, and according to the Annapolis Star his family was required by the USNA to waive their right to sue in case of another catastrophic head injury.

A Second Catastrophe

That recurrence happened nine days ago, at the start of spring football practice at the US  Naval  Academy, on the first day in full pads, during a fairly low-impact drill. Will collapsed and acquired the dubious distinction of being the first football player ever airlifted by medevac helicopter from two football fields to hospital critical care units.

Will’s dad tweeted from his own public platform, „I don’t think I have the strength to go through this again.“ One wonders why this family didn’t consider that possibility when they were so strongly urging Will back into football.

Blogging from the hospital, Will’s mother Kara went to great lengths to explain that Will’s second brain bleed was not the result of an unusually forceful hit. She went on, with 20-20 hindsight, to admit that „something obviously was going on in Will’s brain that we didn’t know about.“

Mrs. McKamey turned into a cheerleading prayer warrior as Will lay in his second coma, urging via FaceBook all of America to pray for a „Miracle for Will“. Anonymous mass prayer is assumed in this marketing- oriented neo- evangelical subculture to be extraordinarily effective, as if the Creator is swayed by popularity contests. Her son, by all accounts, was very popular, and for good reason. He was an obedient, faithful, charming, compassionate, academically gifted, and hard-working young man, who clearly could have been an excellent Christian role model in any field of endeavor.

As the days dragged on and Will remained unresponsive, the McKamey family grew eerily quiet, abandoned their virtual platform, and asked for privacy.When Will slipped away, his mother rationalized, „God just granted Will a miracle, receiving him into heaven.“ Betraying one last time the family’s warped sense of priorities, its blithe assumption that their values are God’s values, she said she was sure her boy was carrying the football for Jesus in Heaven.

I’ve caught some flak locally from those who say I shouldn’t hurt this family during their time of mourning. But I cannot add to or subtract from their grief. The McKameys have a large community of supporters lifting them onto ever higher platforms of Christian pop culture. Flags were lowered to half mast this week in his honor and  legislators are clamoring to name a section of state highway for Will.

It troubles me to speak out on this topic, but I’m doing it precisely because  Knoxvillians who agree with me have told me privately that they are afraid to take a stand, fearing that they’ll be shunned here in  America’s most Baptist city (57%, according to the Barna Group). The astigmatic, politically- motivated „Christian Worldview“ has become so deeply rooted here that sensible Christians are afraid to speak out against this Dominionist faith that is pitting itself against objective reality. I believe it’s a distorted faith that is vainglorious, crass…and deadly.

As his parents continue to feed off their son’s fame with their „Live Like Will“ campaign, I would simply like to caution other Christians against dying like Will.

God’s Perfect Plan

How do Christians derive this doctrine of predestined, uninterrupted fame and success from the Biblical God of Job, whose friends abandoned him to suffer his terrible losses with only his faith intact?

How does a Savior who was was driven to despair by his own fate- „My God. my God, why hast thou forsaken me?“ – inspire such happy -clappy assurance that our own carnal wishes are the very will of Heaven?

My investigation led me back to Bill Bright and Campus Crusade for Christ. Bright was the politically-motivated co- founder of Seven Mountains Mandate Dominionism, the former candy salesman who sugar-coated Christianity as a ticket to worldly fame and success with his Four Spiritual Laws tracts. Why would sober conservative businessmen like Bright push this muted version of the Prosperity Gospel? To put  Christian- style businessmen on a higher platform, to reach more people faster, to build a political base… to take Dominion.

One of the Seven Mountains of Culture that Bright hoped to capture is the Mountain of Entertainment. As an aspiring national sports star, Will McKamey was climbing that mountain with all his heart when he fell so far.

Defying Reason

It’s time to recognize that Dominionism is steering  modern evangelical subculture away from reason. In 2004 we heard a top  White House adviser to our most evangelical president dismiss „the reality-based community“ as irrelevant. America’s Religious Right no longer sees faith as a complement to common sense, an explanation of „things unseen“ but an alternative to experience, wisdom, and hard science. They no longer „see through a glass darkly“ but get  expect to hear Words directly from God during Quiet Time.

To promote authoritarianism inside and outside the church, Dominion theologists have defined a „Christian Worldview“ that ridicules knowledge gained by sensory perception, disciplined observation, and inductive reasoning. It’s obscurantism, plain and simple– a. tactic the Roman Catholic church used to build the power of the priesthood during the Dark Ages. When the TV preachers talk of fighting secular humanism, they’re not just targeting Julian Huxley– they’re going after Aristotle, too.

From the Coalition on Revival Documents, the constitution of the Dominionism that defined Worldview Christianity, consider carefully these frightening, reality-denying tenets:
All Truth
We affirm that all truth is God’s truth; that all truth is thoroughly consistently with Biblical revelation in its presuppositions, categories, methodology, conclusions, and application, all of which are related as a unified system; that all error derives from Satan; and that attempts to establish truth at the level of methodology, application, and conclusions without a direct correlation with underlying Biblical presuppositions are doomed to error.
We deny that truth can be established only at the level of methodology, application, and conclusions, without a direct correlation with the underlying presuppositions, which must be Biblical.

Scientific Method
We affirm that the scientific method is useful in carrying out the creation mandate of Genesis 1:28 to subdue and have dominion over creation when the investigators have Biblical presuppositions and when the Bible does not directly give us the answers we seek; that the use of the scientific method is entirely controlled by the presuppositions of the investigators and therefore the results are a pronouncement of faith rather than of scientific fact; and that the faith nature of the results of scientific investigation is evidenced by the investigators’ proselytizing intent, that is, their attempt to transform man into their idea of what man should be.

For Worldview Christians, the Bible is both uniquely and exclusively true: Scripture not only transcends but also eclipses all other sources of knowledge. This was the epistemological revolution–really a profound reaction, a cowering retreat from the modern world — that laid the foundation for 20th Century Dominion Theology. It comes from the Presuppositional  Apologetics of Cornelius Van Til, who was credited by Dominionist patriarch R.J. Rushdoony with creating building the wall of unreason and ignorance around the alternative mental universe inhabited by so many of today’s Christians.

posted by Siegfried Schad © Kent Johnson all rights reserved.

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