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    Role Models

    During a summer of international sports scandals involving gambling and substance abuse, two athletes were applauded for their character as much as their professional accomplishments. A record crowd of 75,000 cheered Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn during their 2007 induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. “Whether we like it or not,” Ripken said, “as big leaguers, we are role models. The only question is, will it be positive or will it be negative?”

    A Poor Substitute

    What happens when a person abandons his faith in God? Cases differ, to be sure, but most faith-renouncers confess to sensing a void inside. They have an emptiness that must be filled. Inevitably, they turn to a God-substitute.

    Almost anything can serve as a God-substitute—sports, art, sex, music, work, gambling, drugs, alcohol, TV—even another person.

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