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The following is a list of American sports team names and mascots that are based upon or use religious symbolism.
Because of the prevalence of Christian groups and institutions throughout the history of the United States, many of these symbols can be assumed to have come from Christian sources.
What distinguishes this section has less to do with symbols themselves and more with context.
Six of these schools are affiliated with the NCAA and one is affiliated with the NAIA.
Some are negative, menacing symbols such as the various Demons and Devils, but a majority of them take on positive connotations within Catholicism. The University of the Incarnate Word decided in 2007 that it would perhaps be seen to be more open to students, instructors and parents of different faiths.
The school decided that the name was "inappropriate for a Catholic institution with a multicultural mission." Corlis Mc Gee, president of Eastern Nazarene College, said, "There's a growing awareness that the connotation of the word has changed, and the Crusader no longer represents the positive message of Christian love we want to share with the world." Other universities have decided to keep the mascot as a way to honor their histories and constantly remind students to "communicate our desire to bring the good news and cross into every situation we encountered." Schools who have done away with the "Crusaders" mascot include Point Loma Nazarene University (now the Sea Lion), Eastern Nazarene College (now the Lions), Northwest Christian University (now the Beacons), Susquehanna University, The University of the Incarnate Word (the new mascot, the Cardinals, was chosen by students) and Wheaton College.
Other schools have retained the name "Crusaders" as their team name and mascot, including College of the Holy Cross, Included here are team names and mascots associated with Protestantism.
As the list suggests the visual vocabulary of non-Catholic Christianity, particularly in American sport, does not differ significantly from Catholic Christianity.
This consideration as well can explain why sectarian religious symbols rarely appear in sports-team names and mascots.
Most of the teams listed here belong to schools and not to professional franchises. In schools administrators, teachers, and parents act as a community to give students education in local values, and in many places these values come from religious institutions like churches and synagogues.
“The Boston Baboons” would be so much more intimidating that the “Boston Red Sox” The other team will spend so long looking at these things that they’ll forget about the game.
They could laugh menacingly every time they take the lead.
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