After dropping the football that would have led to a game-winning touchdown, Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson lashed out on Twitter against the Almighty. @StevieJohnson13 tweeted:
“I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…”
Johnson later denied that he was blaming God, but Anuttama Dasa, the communications director for Iskcon Hare Krishna Movement, told The Daily Caller that Johnson was “missing the point [of the football game loss and ball drop].”
“The eastern traditions teach about karma, things happen to us due to our past activities,” Dasa told TheDC. “We shouldn’t blame God because ultimately, the Hindi tradition teaches us that we came into this world because we chose to be here. We’re responsible for whatever happens to us.”
Magus Peter H. Gilmore, the high priest of the Church of Satan, agrees that humans need to take responsibility for their own actions because “our lives are in our own hands.”
“We Satanists find it amusing that people either praise or blame God for their own successes and failures,” Gilmore wrote in an email to TheDC. “Believers usually thank God when some tragedy killed most, but not all – ‘Thank God that little child survived the tsunami – it’s a miracle!’ Of course, why their God let the rest of the folks die horribly is conveniently ignored. Likewise, when good fortune strikes, God is thanked, but one has to wonder why the theists don’t blame God when he doesn’t let them win the lottery or get a job promotion.”
Gilmore told TheDC that Johnson is consistent with his thinking if he believes there is a God who regularly intervenes in his life. With that logic, Johnson “is right to blame him for falling down on the job and letting him miss that pass,” Gilmore wrote.
Dasa said Johnson was wrong to blame God for dropping the football because everyone creates their own destiny, and problems are meant to be learning experiences.
“We should take responsibility for things. Maybe Johnson is missing the lesson of humility. Sometimes, we want to take credit for the good things that happen in our lives, but if we don’t get what we want, God is being mean,” Dasa said.
Multiple Christian churches declined to comment on Johnson’s tweet or to the general question of why individuals sometimes blame God for their misfortunes.
Jack Reiffer, parish administrator of the Luther Place Memorial Church, did not wish to discuss a sports story.
“If it were about government or politics I’d talk, but not about sports,” Reiffer told TheDC.