Snowboarding with Jesus

Speaking of The Denver Post’s religious news, on January 25 the paper also published, on its front cover, a story about Christian snowboarders. The story, “X Games competitors ride with Jesus,” by Jason Blevins, contains the following line: “My best times worshiping the Lord are when I’m snowboarding.”

This is not straight news; it is closer to religious preaching. I have to wonder about some of the editorial decisions over at the Post. However, as I’ve noted, other papers also seem to be increasing their gratuitous mentions of religion. Whether or not this is intentional policy, the trend seems to reflect the general rise of evangelical Christianity in America.

Blevins’s story is interesting, though, in how it contrasts Christianity with its alleged opposite. Except for Christians, the article suggests, the “world of extreme sports” is “inherently hedonistic,” a “selfish sport” in the words of one snowboarder. Christians, though, “eschew the party scene.” Non-Christians, the article quotes other Christian snowboarders, are “empty inside” and “hollow.” Moreover, Christian snowboarders “have this added confidence.”

In the terms of Leonard Peikoff, then, Christianity, a form of religious “Misintegration” (or system-building based on supernaturalism and detached from the real world) is offered as the only alternative to nihilistic “Disintegration.” A non-religious morality of strong, life-supporting values — the alternative of “Integration” based on the facts of reality — is not considered.

In an advertisement for his book, Loving Life (which I’ve reviewed), Craig Biddle offers a succinct summary of this third alternative:

The Atheists’ Missing Link: Loving Life by Craig Biddle demonstrates that morality is a matter not of divine relevation or social convention or personal opinion — but, rather, of the factual requirements of human life and happiness.

Maybe someday the Post will consider such ideas to be worthy of attention.