Friday, September 16, 2016
Stadiums are the New Cathedrals
StarTribune - "Stadiums, cathedrals: Marks of their eras"
By Peter Geisendorfer-Lindgren
"Buildings matter. For a thousand years, cities in the Western world built cathedrals to bring glory to God and civic pride to their communities. At the dawn of the third millennium, we build stadiums.
One hundred years ago, there was a building boom of cathedral churches in the Twin Cities: St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral (1910), the Basilica of St. Mary (1914), the St. Paul Cathedral (1915) and Hennepin Avenue United Methodist (1916). Almost exactly a century later, the Twin Cities have seen the addition of TCF Bank Stadium (2009), Target Field (2010), CHS Field (2015) and U.S. Bank Stadium (2016)."
"Sports and religion have switched places in American culture. And so we build stadiums and not churches. Is there anything wrong with that? Not by itself. I am glad that we are not a cold Omaha, and I will be there on Sept. 18 for the first regular-season home game. Football is fun.
But Christianity and the cathedrals it inspired have meant something to American life that we forget at our peril. The NFL has very little to teach us about forgiveness, empathy, compassion and humility, much less the Apostle Paul’s triple option of faith, hope and love. Even a billion-dollar Viking ship won’t make us forget the Al and Alma’s party boat scandal. Where do we learn our values if not in our churches and synagogues and mosques?
U.S. Bank Stadium is the new cathedral in town. Zygi Wilf is sitting in the Bishop’s Seat. The ship has sailed. Is that OK?"