Jonathan Edwards sees the light
'I have never been happier' says the man who won gold but lost God.
I know that in the USA professing christian sportstmen are two-a-penny, but for the United Kingdom this is big, BIG news.
He was of the quiet "muscular" English christianity like you saw in the film "Chariots of Fire" with the character Liddle. Edwards mirrored Liddle's faith by also refusing to compete on Sundays.
He used to co-host a TV program called "Songs of Praise" and was such a decent, upright, open and approachable kind of man that christians were rightly proud to have such a man and athlete fronting their faith.
True to his character, the things he has said regarding his loss of faith show his honesty and integrity:
"I never doubted my belief in God for a single moment until I retired from sport," he says. "Faith was the reason that I decided to become a professional athlete, in the same way that it was fundamental to every decision I made. It was the foundation of my existence, the thing that made everything else make sense. It was not a sacrifice to refuse to compete on Sundays during my early career because that would imply that athletics was important in and of itself. It was not. It was always a means to an end: glorifying God.
"But when I retired, something happened that took me by complete surprise. I quickly realised that athletics was more important to my identity than I believed possible. I was the best in the world at what I did and suddenly that was not true any more. With one facet of my identity stripped away, I began to question the others and, from there, there was no stopping. The foundations of my world were slowly crumbling."
I am so pleased for him.
I am so pleased he is handing it logically, rationally and publicly.
This is a big score for secularism.
(ps apologies for big gap in posting. My Orange LiveBox crashed and I was at the mercy of French customer support. A new oxymoron 'french customer support' + 1 week holiday in Blighty. I was back online at 2pm today with a shit-load of spam in my inbox)