Scratch Rodgers from ’17 Christian football players who LOVE Jesus’

Scratch Rodgers from ’17 Christian football players who LOVE Jesus’ January 22, 2020

LAST September Bob Ditmer compiled a list of godly American US football players for the Church Leaders website. The heading was ’17 Christian football players who LOVE Jesus (and football).’

In his introduction, Ditmer wrote:

A new NFL season is about to begin and no matter which team you root for, there are several outspoken Christian football players in the NFL who you might want to follow.

Image via YouTube

He placed Aaron Rodgers, above, Green Bay Packers quarterback, at No 4, saying:

As one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, the Super Bowl MVP and two-time NFL MVP is a strong man of faith. He says he lets his actions talk about his beliefs. “My platform as a professional athlete gives me a tangible way to share my heart and faith.”

Rodgers grew up in a Christian home where his parents instilled faith in him at an early age. He asked Jesus to be his Savior when he was very young. When it comes to his upbringing, Rodgers said,

“I grew up knowing what a stable relationship was by my parents’ example and how it centered on Christ. When our family had its up and downs, I knew my parents relied on God for everything and He always got us through those rough spots.”

Although quiet about his faith, Rodgers says he wants his actions to speak loudly. “I feel like my stance and my desire has always been to follow a quote from St. Francis of Assisi, who said, ‘Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.’”

Unfortunately for Ditmer, who has connections with the anti-LGBT group, Focus on the Family, in the same month that his list was published, Rodgers told ESPN magazine:

I think organized religion can have a mind-debilitating effect, because there is an exclusivity that can shut you out from being open to the world, to people, and energy, and love and acceptance.

Later, he was more forthright in a podcast with his girlfriend Danica Patrick, saying:

I don’t know how you can believe in a God who wants to condemn most of the planet to a fiery hell. What type of loving, sensitive, omnipresent, omnipotent being wants to condemn his beautiful creation to a fiery hell at the end of all this.

So much for still being “a strong man of faith”.

According to Vinny Somma, writing yesterday for Heavy.com:

Born in Chico, California, Rodgers was raised in a devout Christian family under his parents Darla and Edward. In the interview, Rodgers claims he accepted Christ at a very young age. He would readily frequent church on Sundays, always looking forward to making it back home to catch the second slate of NFL games. It was during his time attending Church that Rodgers says he began to question his faith.

Rosen, left, and Foster. Images via YouTube and Facebook

Somma pointed out that Rodgers is by no means the only footballer who has ditched religion, and named Arian Foster and Josh Rosen. ESPN reported:

Moved by the testimonials of celebrity atheists like comedian Bill Maher and magicians Penn and Teller, Foster joined a national campaign by the nonprofit group Openly Secular, which plans to use his story to increase awareness and acceptance of nonbelievers, especially in sports.

As for Rosen, the Richard Dawkins Foundation reported back in 2018 that:

In 2014, when Rosen was still a senior at a Catholic high school, FOX Sports’ Gabe Kapler noted that the UCLA recruit didn’t believe in God– an anomaly in the football world.

Kapler also mentioned that Rosen’s atheism could be a liability when it comes to endorsement deals since he might ‘scare off some companies who wish to align themselves with more vanilla, easily marketable athletes less likely to offend the religious population.’

Ditmer needs to amend his list – and do it quickly!


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Tawreos

    It is so cute that you expect a christian to admit they were wrong about something

  • CoastalMaineBird

    I don’t get it.

    Sept. 2019: Bob Ditmer compiled a list
    Unknown time: “My platform as a professional athlete gives me a tangible way to share my heart and faith.
    As a child: “It was during his time attending Church that Rodgers says he began to question his faith.

    If he questioned his faith as a child, why did he claim it as an adult? In the closet, perhaps?

  • Chris Hogue

    Aaron had made several comments long before that article demonstrating his lack of belief. The only one I remember was a dig at a Russell Wilson comment referring to god being a football fan.

  • Old Harry

    So, did he reject all ties to Christianity, or just has a completely personal relationship in which he doesn’t believe in the nasty punishment bits and, like a lot of kids at the time, would rather not have missed a game on tv to sit and eat a jello mold made by the church ladies?

    The quotes, above, merely point to someone who cannot believe in a vicious, vindictive YHWH, Jesus, or Holy Ghost. I don’t see utter rejection. He could very well be spiritual but not organized-religion.

    Also, sounds like Strawmen R Us, unless there are other, unquoted opinions he has expressed?

    I am far more interested, which isn’t hard as this seems to be ‘important’ only because it has to do with Football, to know what he does think.

  • flexilis

    Xians have no problem with manufacturing deathbed “conversions” of well-known atheists. I am sure they can rationalize Rodger’s statements.

  • Congrats on escaping your bonds, brother. Welcome to freedom.

  • Brian Davis

    He’s just angry at God because of the Packer’s loss last weekend.

  • Brian Shanahan

    Possibly. American culture is virulently fundagelical, even if the American people themselves are more ambivalent.

    It’s all about the unearned privilege.

  • Jim Jones

    > Ditmer needs to amend his list

    Ditmer needs to burn his list – it adds nothing of value to anything.

  • Michael Neville

    Ditmer might take the same attitude as the Catholic Church. Once you’re on the list you remain on it until the age of 110 (no, I’m not making that up).

  • Raging Bee

    Or perhaps not wanting to upset his elders when he was younger? Or perhaps figuring it was pointless to argue with “grownups” who’d never take him seriously in the first place?

  • some bastard on the internet

    It was during his time attending Church that Rodgers says he began to question his faith.

    Once again, we see that the biggest blow to Christianity winds up coming from… Christianity.