Wednesday, February 13, 2008


A brief look in the dictionary reveals this word's meaning as excessive irrational zeal, excessive intolerance of opposing views, great enthusiasm especially about religion, wild extravagant notions on a subject.

The idea of fanaticism began its tour through my never sleeping mind last fall. Since moving to Colorado in 1996, I've developed a love for the Colorado Rockies. This past season, their ever patient fans were awarded the honor of experiencing them complete the most improbable winning streak in baseball history. Excitement buzzed throughout my family's house and I cherished the thought of being a fan. I was/am a Rockies fan. It is a beautiful thing. My zeal is sometimes irrational. I am intolerant to opposing views. I hate the Dodgers, Padres, and Diamondbacks. Fans of these teams hold views which I am intolerant of.

Recently, I've begun reading a book about violence in Mormon Fundamentalism. These fundamentalists are religious fanatics. Their zeal and intolerance has brought pain, suffering, and death to many. Naturally, as a Christian, I can't help but parallel these religious fanatics with my own experience in the Protestant church. While the mainline Protestant and even mainline Mormon churches may not subscribe to this irrational fanaticism held by fundamentalists, it is still odd that there is a sense of fanaticism.

As evangelicals, we are often guilty of this zeal and intolerance. Yes, we may choose to peacefully coexist, but there still seems to be a mental intolerance that takes place. Very few Christians seem to be willing to engage in rational dialog regarding theology, philosophy, and scripture. Yes, we will discuss it, but only its merits. This is one reason that I am thankful for a small handful of friends with which I can safely engage in true dialog on all subjects. Instead of arguing or refuting my basic questions on the existence of a supreme being or the complex history of scripture, they listen and engage with me.

I'm continually intrigued by the fact that even though most evangelicals don't engage in behavior that the average American would refer to as religiously fanatic, there still seems to be a negative element of fanaticism in the church. I understand that as a die hard Rockies fan, this may sound hypocritical. The truth is, most sports fans know how to compartmentalize that part of their life so that it does not have a negative impact on those around them. It is merely for fun and to be part of a community of fans. Religious fanaticism, however, consumes all aspects of life.

I realize as I'm writing this that I have not necessarily thought all of this through. I apologize for the rambling nature of this blog. I'm just getting some thoughts out and would appreciate comments. Let us engage in some health dialog.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I read this article the other day. It made me tingle in my jiblets. Enjoy...

Chat with Tim Kurkjian

Can the Rockies repeat at National League champions in 2008, or will they fall back to their non-contending status? Tim Kurkjian made the cases for and against the reigning NL champs and he stops by Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET to talk about this and more. The case for the Rockies They were stunningly good down the stretch and through the first two rounds of the playoffs, winning 21 of 22 games during one stretch. That was no fluke. During that stretch, they posted an ERA of 2.80. After finishing the first half of the season with an ERA 43 points above the league average, the Rockies led the league in ERA in the second half of the season, an amazing turnaround. And their pitching staff at least appears as if it should be better in '08. Jeff Francis (17 wins, tied for the most in a season ever by a Rockie) was terrific once he became the ace after Aaron Cook got injured. Now Cook is healthy. The Rockies have have Ubaldo Jimenez (''hardest throwing young pitcher we saw all year,'' one Dodger said) for the whole season, and they added veterans Josh Towers, Mark Redman and Kip Wells to compete with Franklin Morales (another hard thrower) for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. And maybe Greg Reynolds, their No. 1 selection in the 2006 draft, will be ready by late in 2008. Plus, Manny Corpas, who had 19 saves last year, will be the closer on Opening Day. The Rockies have a dynamic offensive team (''they won't have an out in the lineup, one through eight,'' one scout said), led by left fielder Matt Holliday, who finished second in the NL MVP voting last season. Holliday, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, third baseman Garrett Atkins and outfielder Brad Hawpe received multi-year contracts, another sign that this team plans on being together, and winning together, for a long time. But the biggest reason they can repeat is their defense, which set the NL record last year for the highest fielding percentage. It will miss second baseman Kaz Matsui, who signed with Houston, but it still has Tulowitzki, who was the best defensive shortstop in the league last year as a rookie. The case against the Rockies Seasons such as last year happen once in a lifetime. The Rockies were the fifth team ever to go from last place to the World Series, and the sixth team ever to go from nine games under .500 to the World Series. It was the first time in their history that they'd won more than 84 games in a season. Maybe 2007 was the start of something great, but they will miss Matsui's defense, and his speed at the top of the order. And is that rotation good enough to win again? The Diamondbacks, who finished in first place in the NL West last year, added Dan Haren to go along with Brandon Webb. If Randy Johnson makes a comeback, Arizona's rotation will be much better. The verdict The National League isn't very good right now, but it's also very hard to repeat these days. The Mets, with Johan Santana, are the best team in the league. The Rockies are a contender. They may not return to the World Series, but they're closer to getting there again than to falling back to the 75-win level.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Right now, just relaxing my legs after a day of skiing with people whose talent is vastly superior to my own. My lower half is numb, upper body is sore, and my mind is stoked to watch the Super Bowl. This first post serves the lone purpose of killing time before 4:00 Mountain Time.