Cardinals: Why Are There Christian Symbols On The Field At Busch Stadium? (PHOTOS)

Categories: Cardinals

Vines argues that there are "plenty of Major League Baseball players who don't want that in their face.... There may be Christian Cardinals who don't like it."

Vines is Jewish but says he would not want a Star of David on the mound either.

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"You don't have to be Jewish to be offended," says Vines, who now lives in New York City, but says he never misses a Cardinals game.

The Christian faith of Cardinals players is widely documented.

Some will argue the symbols are fairly innocuous, given that they've gone largely unnoticed and even disappear as a game progresses. But Vines tells us that it's poor judgment to have these symbols on the field at all.

"Just because you have the right to do something doesn't mean you should do it," he says.

What do you think, readers? Have you noticed the symbols before? Do you think they're appropriate -- or crossing a line? Let us know in the comments!

christian-imagery-busch.jpg

Here is Vines' full letter.

Derrick Goold wrote a piece in StLToday.com (June 23, 2013) about a Christian cross etched into the dirt of the pitcher's mound at Busch Stadium. It was I who called attention to the cross, along with what I took to be the image of something commonly known as the "Jesus fish" also scratched into the mound. Goold says that the latter is the number "6", a tribute to Stan Musial. If so, it's a very oddly shaped "6" (see attached photo) and, considering its proximity to the cross, would seem to be serving a dual purpose.

Goold lead his piece with the headline "Mound Tribute," as if there were nothing inappropriate about displaying religious iconography on the infield at Busch Stadium, a place of hallowed ground not just for Christians, but for Cardinal fans of all religions, including none at all.

And there's this to consider. According to the Post (http://bit.ly/1caTLMW), team owners are the beneficiaries of ticket and real estate tax abatements that will save them $143 million in payments to the city over 25 years, as well as $54 million in state incentives and a $45 million county loan.

The team and stadium may be privately owned, but a they are civic institutions. Out of respect to a devoted and diverse fan base who also has some skin in the game, not to mention a diverse group of players, ownership has a responsibility and obligation to prohibit religious symbols of any kind from being placed in the field.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.



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135 comments
jhbman33
jhbman33

better than a swastika on the mound - hope you are happy now


joseppy45
joseppy45

ONLY ONE SINGLE LONE INDIVIDUAL HAS FORCED THE CARDINALS TO SUPPORT ATHEISM BY SHOWING NO SYMBOLS WHERE STAN MUSIAL'S NUMBER ONCE STOOD - - - - - - -

GOOD JOB SAINT LOUIS - - - - - - - -

ATHEISTS ONE CARDINALS ZERO - - - - - - -     

Stranded_in_Sonoma
Stranded_in_Sonoma

Santa Fe, NM — Holy Faith
Santa Cruz, CA — Holy Cross
Las Cruces, NM — The Crosses (as in the 3 crosses)
Sangre De Cristo mountains — Blood of Christ
Corpus Christi, TX — Body of Christ
San Francisco, CA — St. Francis
San Jose, CA — St. Joseph
San Juan, PR — St. John
St. Paul, MN
Bethlehem, PA
St. Charles, MO

Not to mention ST. LOUIS, MO!!!!!

Hey, Mr. Whines! Shouldn't all of these "civic institutions" (PUBLIC cities) change their names because, as you know, they're Christian and we can't have any displays of Christianity in public? It might offend some brain donor.

Has it ever occurred to you Mr. Vines, that your desire to get rid of religious symbols offends me and that therefore my offense and your offense cancel each other out and the symbols get to stay?

STFU, Whines and go back to playing your kill the zombies games in your mother's basement.

jpatj
jpatj

Sam Levin and the editor of this POS site are idiots.

mrs.martin.stl
mrs.martin.stl

The 1st Amendment grants us the freedom of religion, NOT the freedom from religion. I see no difference from the pitcher's mound having a cross drawn on it and a football player doing the sign of the cross when they make it to the end zone . If the Christian pitchers want a cross etched in their mound before play what is the big deal? If a Jewish pitcher had the Star of David or a Muslim pitcher had the Half Moon etched in the dirt that is their right as Americans. 

Jillian Beckerman
Jillian Beckerman

'Just because everyone else is against you, don't make you wrong' :) And about Jesdas comment above. Millions of people are offended by something on a daily basis, just look @ Paula Deen! Prime example of people being over sensitive!

Mike McCollum
Mike McCollum

My only beef is the claim that the team and the stadium are privately owned. The amount of subsidies given to the Cardinals in the form of tax breaks and public improvements to the stadium grounds is essentially public investment for private profit. Unlike the Rams, at least they put a quality team on the field.

Don Lanier
Don Lanier

Why does it make you stare and wanna pray....isnt there anything really news worthy...

Dave Nunes
Dave Nunes

The guy bitching about this now lives in New York!!! I think he ought to just switch teams!!!

jack63103
jack63103

Well, they ARE the SAINT Louis Cardinals, and we are all SAINT Louisians!

Travis Maurer
Travis Maurer

God doesn't even help sick people, war torn countries, orphans, or anyone else that could use a god.

Joe Greco
Joe Greco

Hey Michael Vines, there's so much that I could say here, that should be said. I will keep it clean as not to stoop below the belt. You know, I'm so sick of people who say that God doesn't belong. God doesn't belong in schools, in The Constitution of the United States, in the Pledge of Allegiance, at our sporting events. The Atheist and other non believers out there have fought and fought to ban God from everything. It's unconstitutional to have God present, it's violates my belief, I shouldn't have to see it or hear about it. Well you know, I shouldn't have to see or hear rhetoric from those that oppose of God either, but guess what, I do. Since there's such a thing as free speech and those that normally view something that dose not jive with there own views happen to scream the loudest, our free country is rapidly becoming a socialist country. Our government is gutless, weak and afraid to stand up for what's right, what our fundamental principals the our forefathers before us had envisioned. So, Mr. Michael I think that its great that professional athletes are not afraid to demonstrate that they are Christian. The saying, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a saying that maybe more people should adhere to. Maybe our would would not be in this state if people would have a little more tolerance and patience with each other. So for those that are offended by a cross and a fish in the dirt at a ball game, I have a suggestion or two: 1. If you are offended by what you see, don't go to the game. 2. If you are offended by what you hear, by all means, go others that share your views and talk to them 3. If you want change, promote positive change. 4. Open your heart and your mind, your view is not the only view. Have more patience and be tolerant of others, we have to tolerate you! Good Day, Joe

Kenneth Crabtree
Kenneth Crabtree

I guess according to Jillian we will have to redo all the church buildings so you cannot see anything from a public sidewalk or street. Get a life Jillian. B|

Kenneth Crabtree
Kenneth Crabtree

WOW, some of you need to get a life. Stop criticizing them of their beliefs, they have the right to practice the religion as they see fit. Nobody is forcing you to believe anything but that does not give you, any of you, the right to persecute someone for what they believe. Nor in how they wish to believe.

Jesda Ulati
Jesda Ulati

A drawing in the dirt is temporary, fleeting. A large cross would be a permanent endorsement by the ball club. The club does not endorse any religion, nor does it seek to eliminate any from view. You should open your mind -- the world is chock full of things that may annoy or offend. Develop a sense of tolerance. Reactionary fear is a base, crude instinct that must be overcome by education.

wonderdude
wonderdude

Nothing spices up a baseball game quite like the issues of religion, politics, and race. What's the official response from The Cardinals?

Jay Lowther
Jay Lowther

It's really interesting how some folks get so angry over a piece that simply states a situation. There's no condemnation of xtians contained within, but they're all crazy over it. Writing things like, "piss off" or "none of your damn business" is so very xtian.

Jillian Beckerman
Jillian Beckerman

So why don't they stick a cross in front of the stadium and call it a church? I don't practice ANY religion, because it's a biz too..money-making, cult BS that has millions of hypocritical followers :)

Jesda Ulati
Jesda Ulati

You have the freedom to express and practice your religion. You do not have the right to visual immunity from it.

Sarah Penrod
Sarah Penrod

Agnostic Cardinals fan here. I don't care about this even a little bit. Those symbols have no meaning to me and I never noticed them before this anyway. If it were a member of the team with the problem here, I might understand. I find it interesting, though, that Christians don't find this to be trivializing to their religion.

Trace Welsh
Trace Welsh

I can read just fine. Even the left wing bullshit that you type.

Mike Roark
Mike Roark

I'm an atheist. Who cares. To each their own. Separation of church and state doesn't apply to professional sports. Get over it.

Elmo Farquar
Elmo Farquar

I say so what? If someone doesn't like it, let them stay home then! Nobody is forcing them to attend the game. :-)

Elmo Farquar
Elmo Farquar

I agree! More important things to worry about. Live & let live I say. (Y)

Courtney Ringle
Courtney Ringle

Unless you are a pitcher that stands on that mound, then its really none of your damn business. if they choose to scrawl something in the dirt for good luck, let them. dont let it mess up your good time just because youve got your panties in a wad over something THAT DOESN'T CONCERN YOU!

Steve Doll
Steve Doll

Listening to the radio, it was in honor of a grounds crew member that passed away.

Jillian Beckerman
Jillian Beckerman

I don't agree with it, since it's a public place, and millions go to the games..everyone of every religion. Busch should remain neutral to all religions, not just Catholics or Jesus Freaks, even though the Cards owners are all religious, right-wing nuts.

Jesda Ulati
Jesda Ulati

It's a drawing in the dirt. It's not like someone erected a 100-foot steel cross. Piss off and complain about something important, like our backing of Syrian rebels.

Emily Malabey
Emily Malabey

My take? Who cares? I'd have a heck of a life if this was on my complaint list!

Jukes
Jukes

This will come to a screeching halt the first day some ball player wants to scrawl Muslim symbols on the ground.  Then it will be a criminal act. 

Cardsfan51
Cardsfan51

Well, we probably need to remove any brand name logo from gloves and cleats as well. I mean, the Nike swoosh could be misinterpreted as a fish hook, which symbolizes fishing, which once again evokes the Jesus' practice of "fishing for men." Devout Cardinals fans respect the players for everything they are...and we consistently have some of the best around. I believe there's a direct connection between the greatness of these men and their devotion to God. The pitcher's mound is their office of sorts...their workplace...and they have the right to be encouraged by these symbols as they do their jobs. Get another hobby, Mr. Vines.

John1265
John1265

It's people like Mr. Vines who are making this country politically and morally intolerable and sending it right to hell in a handbasket...get a life or turn off the TV, doorknob!

bonzomaniac68
bonzomaniac68

A baseball field is not a place to advertise one's religious or personal opinions. It's a place where people of all shapes and sizes can come and enjoy a SPORT. Busch stadium is not a bastion of Christian thought, it's a baseball field that was helped pay for by our taxes. Get it off the mound. I'm a Cardinals fan, but not a Christian. I don't want to root for a team that has some religious connotation. 

plezdewme
plezdewme

Dear Mr. Vines- if you are offended stop watching. It is a cross- it is only a Christian symbol if the person looking at it gives it such meaning. If not it is just two lines that intersect at right angles. If that image has no meaning to you- then it should not bother you. No one is telling you what to believe or what to do. You cannot go to public places an expect them all to be sanitized of  that which offends your delicate sensibilities. So hike up your dress, pull your panties out of your butt and become a Cubs fan.

buckakg
buckakg

I'm pretty sure that members of just about any religion could care less about a religous symbol being on the field whether it is their religion or not.  If the pitcher was jewish and drew the Star of David I wouldn't care. 

The ones who have issues with it are athiests and agnostic individuals.  Who believe their religion of nothing should be enforced on everyone.

jocelynv285
jocelynv285

The fact that Busch Stadium wasn't built without tax breaks is irrelevant. If the founding fathers wanted there to be no religion in Major League Baseball, they would have stated it in the Constitution. Many players are of some faith and I believe that if they want to draw a cross on the pitcher's mound or anywhere on the field for that matter, they should be allowed to. If you don't want to see any religious symbols at a baseball field, either close your eyes or stop attending games.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@Joe Greco  The problem, Joe, is that this just represents YOUR God. It isn't my God. It isn't the God of a Hindu or Buddhist or Sikh. It represents only YOUR God. I suspect that your tolerance would not run quite as strongly if the religious symbol on the mound was a Star of David or a Crescent.  Professional athletes are free to demonstrate their religious beliefs and often do so in the form of necklaces and that is fine because when they do so they represent themself and only themself. When the Cardinals put YOUR religious symbols in the very heart of the baseball diamond, however, they are doing so as representatives of the City of St. Louis and Major League Baseball and that is where the line is crossed.

Our forefathers soundly rejected the idea of a state sponsored or endorsed religion. Coming from England, they saw and understood the dangers that the Church of England posed to freedom and liberty. Freedom of religion and freedom from religion ARE the very fundamental principles that our founding fathers envisioned and fought for.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@Jesda Gulati The drawing in the dirt is no more or less temporary than the painting on the grass, which is also placed there by the grounds crew.  Just as the team can be seen to be endorsing anything painted on the grass by home plate, the team can be seen to be endorsing anything scratched into the dirt on the pitcher's mound.  If I can't go out there and scratch my religious symbols on the mound then the club is seeking to eliminate (or at least prevent) my religious symbols from view.  The education that is required is to help folks like you acknowledge and understand how offensive these symbols in these situations are to those of us who do not share your religious point of view and help you to become more tolerant of the 1/3 of Americans who do not practice Christianity.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@Mike Roark It does when the state is contributing a quarter of a billion dollars to the professional sports team.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@Courtney Ringle The problem that you don't seem to recognize is that when only one religion's symbols are displayed, those who don't ascribe to that religion often see it as a sign that they are not welcome there.  Many people who are not Christian will see it as a message of exclusion - only Christians are welcomed in this ball park or if you're not Christian you don't really belong here.  To those who practice religions that have a history of being discriminated against or persecuted, symbols like this are very powerful and hurtful.  Its easy to say just be tolerant when it is your religious symbol on the mound - it is much harder to be tolerant when it is somebody elses.  Instead of getting your panties in a wad, Courtney, maybe you could try for a moment to step into the shoes of those who are offended and try to understand the issue from their perspective.    Then maybe you'll have a deeper appreciation for

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@Jesda Gulati No different than painting the infield grass, which they do all the time.

ziggy21274
ziggy21274

If it's been there most of the season and you hadn't noticed, then why are you so upset now?

Jukes
Jukes

@buckakg My entire family is Roman Catholic and they would all agree with me that this stuff has no place in sports.  We are also troubled by all the Christian proselytizing done by professional golfers on the PGA tour.  Worship God anyway you want to.  But keep it away from the workplace.

mkh62200
mkh62200

@JohnQ.Public Maybe you 1/3rd need to get off your high horse, and show some respect for the rest of us- considering we built this country that you 1/3rd have been trying to turn socialist for a century.

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