Thoughts on racing, religion

By Anthony Rhoads

A couple of weeks ago, I did a story on Thursday Thunder driver Scott Hicks.

Hicks' car features religious decals including one on the hood that reads ?Racing for Jesus.'

An individual pproached me about the story and wondered if it was appropriate for him to put the religious decals on his car. My answer was that if Hicks is sincere about it, then what would be the problem with his religious decals?

If Hicks' passion was animal rights, would it be appropriate for him to display animal rights decals? If his favorite charity was the American Cancer Society, would it be appropriate for him to put those kinds of decals on his car? If he wanted to put a decal that advertised a business, would that be appropriate? Of course, all of those instances would be appropriate.

But Hicks prefers to put religious decals on his racecar.

I honestly don't know him very well but he does seem to be a nice guy and he seems to be sincere about his beliefs.

In our society it seems like we are bent on removing any mention of God or religion from public life. We are programmed to think that people who publicly announce their religious beliefs are automatically judgmental and are hypocrites.

It is true that some Christians are judgmental and are hypocrites but that segment of Christianity doesn't represent the whole faith.

Yes, there are some pretty despicable people who do claim to be Christians but if you take a cross section of any group, there are going to be good and bad people. You can't lump all Christians into the same category; you can't judge all Christians just because of a few wackos.

The world would be a better place if more people would put into practice true Christian beliefs. It's not the kind of religion that is protrayed by televangelists and it's not a fire-and-brimstone religion that constantly condemns and judges.

What are some Christian beliefs?

Don't judge other people. Love your neighbor as yourself. Don't murder. Don't lie. Don't cheat. Don't steal. Provide for your family. Look out for the needs of others. Treat other people the way you want to be treated.

How can those precepts be bad? It is an ethical worldview focused on serving God and serving other people.

When I think of what Christians should be, my mind drifts back to a time when my father became ill and doctors told him to quit working.

If he continued to work, he risked not only his health but he was so sick, he could have died.

When my father lost his job, churches in the small community of Peterstown, W.Va., got together and helped my parents.

Without my parents asking them, various churches in the community (Church of Christ, Baptist, Methodist and Pentacostal Holiness) helped my parents in their time of need.

It was Christians who came to help my parents and I won't forget that.

Anthony Rhoads is a sports writer for The Daily. He can be reached at arhoads@news-daily.com or sports@news-daily.com. His column appears on Wednesdays.