I’m a damn, dirty hypocrite. Thousands of hours of my life has been spent reflecting upon the nature of my own religious beliefs. I urge… downright demand… those that are close to me to have critically evaluated their religion and beliefs of all things spiritual. I urge them not to fall prey or victim to their internal biases and prejudices, and alert them to the fact that a lot of these beliefs are only prevalent because of the conditions of their birth and upbringing. Being born in a certain region to a certain family can materially affect your bottom-line principles and morals for the entire course of your life – and given the grand spectrum of great to absent to terrible role models in our own families, it is important to know what it is that you truly believe to be right, just, and fair.
This is the Taylor Doctrine. The BT Manifesto. The Bible of Ben. Unequivocally preached from a presumptuous soap box…
…but don’t question Papal Ben’s love of the Dallas Cowboys. His blood is silver and blue. He will debate the personnel, schemes, and superlatives with you for hours. If you dare claim an attachment to Dallas and a lack of an affinity for the Cowboys – well… time to update that last will and testament.
I grew up in Dallas, and attended school in Philadelphia. That brought a lot of opportunities to anger the natives with Super Bowl comparison jabs and a plethora of silver star emblazoned swag. I remember the conversations with Filthadelphians that claimed to be both Philly born and huge Cowboys fans. Blasphemy! Rebutted and cast aside like pigskin lepers. How dare you assault me with that lack of devotion and loyalty to your hometown team? Disgusted, I’d dismiss these sports heathens as terrible human beings and move along with my day – never questioning my intensely superficial and abrupt judgment.
Here’s the problem, though. I am only a Cowboys fan because I was born near Dallas and raised to be a Cowboys fan. There are pictures of me and my twin when we were two years old in our tighty whities and Dallas Cowboys jerseys. I grew up driving up 408 to Loop 12 into Irving and grabbing the parking spot of one of the food vendors that always left at the same time next to that ugly, worn down, patchwork roofed stadium where God could watch his football team through the hole in the roof. I got into verbal arguments with part-time Eagles and Niners fans that invaded our home turf with as much intimidation as a nine year old with a Bullwinkle hat (Mooooooooooooose) could muster. They were my team, and if you weren’t a Fedora-fearing man in the DFW metroplex, you had no place in my life.
I’m thankful for where I ended up, but I have more blind, unqualified faith in the Cowboys than I think anyone should have in anything. Critical evaluation is a necessary and very productive tool to help one grow internally to be a better person for any subject – even if you end up back at the same place (be that in religion or sports).
So… take a step back before the next time you lambaste some poor, misguided soul who isn’t automatically a fan of the “right” team. Sunday is a holy day to everyone for their own reasons – and religion or sports, stones or snow-covered batteries, we’re all entitled to our own beliefs.