The National Catholic Review

I occasionally hear some complain that they wish Christianity were tougher, meaner, and more masculine. That’s always struck  me as odd, but some Christians are acting on that desire. From USA Today:

Finally, someone is making a movie that answers an important question:

"Can you love your neighbor as yourself and at the same time knee him in the face as hard as you can?"

That's a direct quote from Paul Burress, a pastor in Rochester, N.Y., who believes mixed martial arts can help bring people together. He and fellow fighters are profiled in Fight Church, a doc from directors Daniel Junge and Bryan Storkel.

Check out the trailer for Fight Church, which features both children and adults trying to beat the hell out of their opponents in the kickboxing ring, which somehow relates to their Christian faith.

I understand the relationship between athletics and faith, but do you think this is comparable? Mixed martial arts is quite controversial; its brutality is illegal in some states. Is this compatible with Christianity, or an aberration? Can one compete in mixed martial arts despite his faith? What about because of it?

Comments

John Barbieri | 6/19/2012 - 10:01am
"Grasshopper, grasshopper....when you can take this stone from my hand..."
-with apologies to "Kung Fu." 
Stanley Kopacz | 6/19/2012 - 7:17am
I don't think there's anything intrinsically wrong with it.  I participated in karate in my 20's and it only did me good.  But there was little full contact.  The problem is avoiding brain damage.  It's now known that football and perhaps other sports induce brain damage.  We don't need more reduced intelligence in this country.  We have Fox News for that.  Beyond that, I think that making martial arts central to your church culture is over the top.