God only knows how good he is in the pulpit, but there's no doubting Rev. Greg Barrette is a master of self-promotion. Several years ago, when he was a pastor in Delray Beach, he landed a gig performing the invocation at a Dolphins game:
In front of 80,000 fans, he asked God to watch over both teams but added, "Don't forget, our guys are in the aqua and orange."
Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune recounts that moment in a column about Barrette from this weekend . But now that Barrette has moved to the Chicago area, he's calling in religious favors for a new team, giving instructions to Bears fans about how to pray for their team without effectively bringing a curse upon the opposing team.
You can pray that the Bears' defensive end plays to his highest potential. I don't think you want to put a voodoo hex on the (Falcons') left tackle."
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With all due respect, pastor, I think the proper course is to pray for your favorite team's players to achieve their potential and for the opposing team to feel God's grace in coping with the devastation that comes with losing the contest, whether it's because that team failed to play to its potential or if a divinely inspired swine flu plowed through their locker room in the days before the game.