I peed and fell off my chair this morning. Having once lived in Australia for four years and a good part of that time also traveling in New Zealand (the land of the All Blacks) Steve, honestly, I might have to agree with you. God does indeed have a special place in His heart for large bleeding men missing teeth knocking the crap out of each other in the mud.
On a more serious side, to your first point- the way I view this behavior is that these people expect God to worship them rather than the other way around. “I am,” the gesture implies,”your perfect specimen. Bow down to ME.” I can understand being excited about one’s prowess. But like all our other gifts that we either work hard for or are bestowed upon us they are lent. Temporarily. And if you are going to be a practitioner, and claim to be a believer, then to me, at least, it seems that being able to enjoy those (very temporary physical ) gifts means being immensely grateful for them. It is in many ways akin to thinking that “God is on OUR side” on the battlefield, which both sides are claiming, which means of course that someone (or both) is going be deeply disappointed. Besides, given that one of the commandments is Thou Shalt Not Kill, um, it seems to me that God would have a hard time being supportive of a whole bunch of knuckleheads heading out to break one of His most important laws.
But hey, what do I know?
Thank you most warmly for a wicked laugh this morning. Made my day.