In a recent post to my anirishred.tumblr.com blog, I examined the role religion plays in my life. In its concluding paragraph, I mentioned that I view my religion as Kopite. This prompted me to question the merits in referring to oneself as a Kopite when asked about religious views. There are several characteristics common to most, if not all, major religions throughout the world. A number of these are relevant to religion’s modern day, contemporary equivalent, football.
Well, to be more precise, the modern day equivalent, is supporting Liverpool Football Club and here is why. All the traits below, can easily be applied to the practice of following LFC:
• Place of Worship: We Kopites have a place of worship, namely Anfield
• Communal Singing: We have our own hymns in You’ll Never Walk Alone, Fields of Anfield Road etc.
• Sacred Symbols: We have the Liverbird, and Shankly Gates both of which are incorporated in the club crest and to quote the great man himself, we have “A Holy Trinity – the players, the manager and the fans”
• Fanatics: The very word ‘Fan’ is derived directly from fanatic. I would wager that at least 90-95% of Liverpool fans would happily describe themselves as fanatical about their club rather than fanatical about the ‘religion’ in which they were raised
• Divine Being and Prophets: Shankly, Paisley, Dalglish, Rush, Barnes, Gerrard, Carragher and of course God himself, Fowler etc! Shankly is our Deity and all those that follow are his Prophets
• High Moral Values: If we replace moral with football, this is more apt. We have the Liverpool Way, our ideal manner in which a football club is to be run (somewhat lacking these days though) and in which way the football is to be played
This paragraph took a lot of soul searching on my part, as to whether to include it or not. So, before you read on, I apologize if you think I am trivializing their deaths but that is not my intention. My only intention is show another characteristic common to most religions, that of Martyrdom. We, as in Liverpool FC, have our Martyrs also. On that fateful day, the 15th April 1989, 96 of our brothers and sisters never returned home. Their only crime was to support their Idols in Red. Almost 21 years later, justice still has not been served. JFT96.
If you have no religion, or are lapsed in whatever religious faith in which you were raised, and if you have been persuaded by my argument, that Kopite deserves to be recognized as a valid religious belief, I urge you to refer to yourself as a Kopite, when the situation arises. Let’s get Kopite recognized as an official religion. It is all about numbers.
Religion can be a tricky subject so for that reason: If you have found offence in anything I have written above, I apologise. These are personal views and do not necessarily reflect that of Empire of the Kop.