I love bios like the Manti Te’o's. Manti is a Mormon of Samoan descent from Hawaii who is in his senior year as an inside linebacker for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He is an incredible football player and is expected to make millions in the NFL. By all reports, he is also deeply religious. So how does a Mormon from Hawaii decide to go to Notre Dame of all places? According to Kevin Barney of bcc (14 Nov 2012):
. . . He always wanted to go play for USC, but his parents challenged him to make the decision which school to go to a matter of prayer and to abide by the answer. So he did, and the answer waqs to go to Notre Dame, somthing he didn’t expect, or even personally want. He hadn’t even know where it was, and his recruiting visit there was a disaster (he came underdressed during a bad snowstorm, and the team was terrible).
You’ve got to love the irony there.
But what I find disturbing about Kevin’s, otherwise excellent, article is in the second to last paragraph:
Manti never served a mission. I know some people think that a decision not to serve simply couldn’t be an answer to prayer. I disagree. . . .
He then goes on to try and justify Manti’s decision to not go on a mission. This is wrong in so many ways.
- It is not Kevin’s place to justify Manti’s decisions
- It is none of our business whether Manti went on a mission.
- To judge any individual on this shallow basis is inappropriate.
- Not every Mormon boy and girl (young woman or young man, if you will) should go on a mission.
- There are many ways to serve the Lord.
- Nobody’s resume needs to read “Didn’t go on a 2-year mission.”
Manti also has tatoos (although, they seem ethnic in design). Whould we judge him for them also?
Can’t we just leave it that Manti is a damn good football player and an even better human being?