When Hearing About The “War On Christians” Devil Mascots never come up
During the season you will hear many Christians talk about “the War on Christmas.” The underlying assumption is if you don’t constantly pay attention and give homage to Christian symbols then you are directly attacking Christians themselves. To those who make that argument I have one question.
How do you feel about the Blue Devils? Red Devils? Devils? Because there are numerous sports teams both professionally and for schools that have the devil as their team mascot. While some could be linked to local folklore or famed military units that do not explain them all nor their use. If you are angry about your Starbucks cup not saying Merry Christmas, why do you then use that caffeine to scream “Go Devils”?
The definition of a devil is “the supreme spirit of evil; Satan. A subordinate evil spirit at enmity with God, and having power to afflict humans both with bodily disease and with spiritual corruption.” If you see mascots that have the name devil, they use imagery that we commonly use to identify with this definition. There are horns, cloven hooves, and pitchforks on symbols or people dressed up as mascots. Even if the team name is not based on a Judeo-Christian understanding of Satan, it does seem to at least be affiliated.
While there are a couple of cases of schools where concerned parents have argued about changing the symbol of the school sports team, there are not universal protests. In fact, when individuals mention feeling uncomfortable about being a Christian and having a devil mascot, most are told it is not a big deal and not to take it too seriously.
The argument is that the mascot is purely a symbol and so you don’t support animals when you support the Cubs or raiding if you wear a Raiders shirt. But that is a false equivalency. Religion is not a buffet line. You don’t get to pick and choose what are symbols to care about and what not to care about. The whole purpose of religion is deep devotion to a set of rules and regulations. So when your child’s school chooses a symbol that is the evilest representation of your faith, it seems that you would protest in the strictest and absolutist terms.
In the New Testament children are told to “guard themselves from idols.” Idolatry is a direct violation of Christian faith. Therefore, I recommend Christians should focus on eliminating all devil references from sports. If that sounds too extreme, then you know how many people feel about the War On Christmas.