Football season is just around the corner, and in these parts, anticipation is high: the Georgia Bulldogs are expected to do great things. The USAToday Coaches’ Poll just issued their preseason NCAA rankings and the Dawgs are at the top of the heap: preseason #1, baby!
As a UGA alumnus and the curator of DawgFan.com, I proudly sport many rather obnoxious Georgia Bulldogs items – not the least of which is a statue of Uga, our beloved mascot, which is prominently displayed just outside our front door.
Living here in the Bible belt, it’s not unusual for door-to-door missionaries to drop by. But it just occurred to me that none of them has ever mentioned anything about our family’s Uga statue. I’m sure if it were a statue of the Virgin Mary or some other saint, this would have set off the missionary’s graven-image-worshipping-Catholic radar. Their spiel would have quickly brought up Exodus 20:4-5 and its supposed prohibition against making statues, then accusing me of some form of idolatry. My response would have pointed out that God forbade the worship of statues, not the use of statues – not even the religious use of statues. In fact, scripture reveals that God commanded the use of statues in worship (see Exodus 25:18-20…a mere five chapters after the supposed condemnation of statues mentioned above). [If you’re interested in reading more, see Catholic Answers’ helpful article Do Catholics Worship Statues?]
But our statue of Uga never had an effect on these missionaries. Why not? Perhaps the statue isn’t large enough to notice. Maybe I need to upgrade to something that might be closer to waist height to get their attention? Who knows? Maybe I’ll ask them what they think of my “graven image” of Uga the next time they come a-callin’. It could spark an interesting conversation that might steer them in the direction of the Catholic Church. Or at least turn them into Dawg fans.