Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.


I'm very happy if you believe in something.

The fact that you believe in anything in this rampantly arbitrary, insane world is a marvelous thing.

Sometimes, though, people take their beliefs to exalted levels. Should they make those beliefs public? Or should they be encouraged to keep them to themselves and their loved ones?

I ask because my head is still somewhere north of Reno after listening to the solemn words of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

In a conversation at the Rock Church in southern California, posted to YouTube, Wilson extolled the virtues of his own virtue.

Many have alighted on his comments about his new girlfriend, the singer Ciara.

He offered: “I remember she was on tour, she was traveling. I was looking at her in the mirror. She was in the dressing room getting ready to go before she went on stage, and she was sitting there, and God spoke to me and said, ‘I need you to lead her.’”

I, too, hear voices in my head sometimes. Generally, I fear they’re caused by the influence of, say, a divine cabernet sauvignon rather than a celestial savior.

Wilson continued: “And I was like, ‘Really?’ And he was like, ‘No, I want you to lead her.’ So I told her, ‘What would you do if we took all of that extra stuff [sex] off the table and just did it Jesus’s way?’ And she was relieved.”

Some will be skeptical about whether relief is the entirely accurate word there.

However, those who might not be disturbed by God talking to Wilson about girls might be disturbed by the inherent sexism that a man is supposed to “lead” a woman to some promised land of abstinent perfection.

Many have focused on the notion that two such beautiful people are allegedly not partaking fully of each other’s beauty, until both just can’t take it anymore and have to get married.

Wilson, though, doesn’t only have God talk to him about girls. God talks to him about work. Actually, at work.

In comments about his errant toss that lost the Seahawks the Super Bowl on the one-yard line, Wilson explained: “They pick the ball off and I take three steps–one, two, three–and on the third step, God says to me, ‘I’m using you.’”

God apparently doesn’t lead. He just uses people.

Wilson used some more words to talk about his work chat with God. He said: “And I’m like, ‘OK.’ God says to me, ‘I want to see how you respond. But most importantly, I want them to see how you respond.’”

Them? The unwashed masses of couch potatoes? The iniquitous ball deflators? The members of religions other than Wilson’s? Van Morrison’s old band?

Wilson did preface this explanation of his Super Bowl chat with the deity by saying people might think he’s crazy.

The question, though, is whether famous athletes–or any other star employees–are crazy to use their status in order to peddle their religious beliefs.

The Golden State Warriors (my favorite team) are one of many teams whose stars (some of them, at least) believe that their victories come from God.

Whenever I hear this, I wonder why God wanted the other team to lose. Was it because they enjoyed a large proportion of fornicators? Was it because the other team was full of atheists, Scientologists, and Moonies?

The Warriors NBA MVP guard Stephen Curry is a man who claims a very deep faith. But was it necessary for him to put the numbers 4:13 (his favorite Bible verse, from the Book of Philippians) on the tongue of every Under Armour shoe that bears his name?

At what point should the personal religious beliefs of a star employee be kept to that star employee?

Is there anything wrong with Curry pushing his religion toward, say, unsuspecting and curious children? Or is taking the concept of speaking in tongues all the way to speaking on tongues a little much?

Should Wilson actually keep his personal and carnal beliefs to himself, rather than discuss his discussions with God in the full knowledge that, as a public figure, his comments might end up on YouTube?

What if either of these players was a Muslim and announced that he gave all glory to Allah? Would there suddenly be an outcry? What if either of them was a Satanist, a Zoroastrian, or a Sheep Worshipper and breathed their every religious allegiance to Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews on a Sunday afternoon?

Belief always strikes me as a personal thing. When it comes to athletes, it’s our fault that we demand to know more and more about them. We treat them as gods who can do no wrong. Till they throw a silly interception, that is.

But in business (which football and basketball are), shouldn’t there be a similar separation between God and Mammon as there is between Church and State?

In any business, is a discussion of religious beliefs ever truly fruitful?

When a star employee begins not only to claim that God has somehow chosen him to be a star, but to–subtly or not–preach his religion to others at work and beyond, should the CEO have a whisper in his ear?

Or should one let stars be however they choose to be?

Did God really talk to Russell Wilson? Or was he secretly whispering to the New England Patriots’ Malcolm Butler, who intercepted Wilson’s pass?

“This’ll teach that cocky Wilson a lesson,” said the Almighty to Butler. “I talked to him once. Didn’t like him at all.”