This Sunday is Superbowl Sunday. What this means is that lots of otherwise devout Mormons will flippantly ignore the covenants they have made with the Lord, and instead of keeping his Sabbath day holy, they will plant themselves in front of the Boob Tube and imbibe unhealthy victuals, while watching pointless acts of violence on the screen and behaving like a rabid mob. Why do they do it? Why can’t they see how offensive this is to all right-thinking people? I have finally come to a belated, but obvious conclusion: It’s because they just aren’t as spiritual as people like me. Many are tempted by the wiles of Satan, but there are a few hardy souls like myself who are able to resist the buffetings of the Adversary and who are able to maintain an eternal perspective. For this, I think I deserve to be congratulated.
(Of course, it also happens that I have absolutely no interest in the outcome of the Superbowl. This, in turn, stems from my complete disinterest in professional sports generally. How does the game affect my life in any meaningful way? It doesn’t. I live in Seattle, so my indifference is somewhat heretical, but the fact remains that I would probably rather watch C-SPAN, or even QVC, than watch football.)
But while I could attribute my refusal to watch T.V. this Sunday on my personal disinterest in the game, I would rather cast it as an act of valiant righteousness. And so I do. Who are you to say otherwise?
Some would say that we all have “favorite commandments” whose relative importance we like to inflate because we happen to be good at keeping them. If we can focus on the importance of avoiding temptations that we really don’t experience that strongly, and downplay those that actually are a problem for us, we’ll end up feeling relatively good about ourselves and confident in our standing with the Lord. Thus, for example, many wealthy Church members extol the virtues of tithe-paying, and those fortunate enough not to have ever tried cigarrettes or alcohol are sure that their doing so would be the end of their relationship with God. Meanwhile, short shrift is given to injunctions to love thy neighbor, or to impart one’s substance to the poor.
I don’t know what to make of all those arguments, but I do know that they certainly don’t apply in my case. As for me and my house, we will avoid watching the Superbowl this Sunday because we are just incredibly righteous.