The First ASP Chaplain: An Interview With Abe Andrews

| posted on October 05, 2010
I’m not the moral police, rather my approach is to get to know people and let them know that I care about them," Abe Andrews. Photo: Andrews

"I’m not the moral police, rather my approach is to get to know people and let them know that I care about them," Abe Andrews. Photo: Andrews

Between the photographers, judges, writers, and surfers, the World Tour (WT) feels something like a traveling circus when it sets up shop across the world 10 times a year. And although we’re familiar with the rank and file that make the World Tour spin, we have to admit we did a double take when we met Australia’s Abe Andrews, the World Tour’s chaplain. At 25 years old, without question, Abe has one of the most unique jobs in surfing. Needless to say, we had a few questions for him.

Does the ASP fund your position, or do you follow the Tour on a separate budget?

The position is an initiative of the ASP International Board, but is importantly delivered as a gift to the ASP. Other elite sports have a similar structure. I’m there for the surfers and the wider ASP family out of service to them—not for personal gain or employment. It’s a hard way to live, as I cover my own costs, but this also helps me better relate to the surfers. By traveling with them, I get first-hand knowledge of how hard it can be on the road.

How many events do you go to a year?

Last year I went to all of them, but this year I’m skipping France and Brazil to spend time with my wife.

The WT isn’t necessarily regarded as the tamest of organizations. Do you ever find yourself at odds with some of the surfers?

Being a chaplain is about being present and listening. I don’t give my opinion unless asked—I’m not the moral police, rather my approach is to get to know people and let them know that I care about them. Win or lose, I treat everyone the same.

On the flipside, how often do you find yourself connecting with the athletes on Tour?

Abe Andrews may have one of the best jobs in surfing. Abe on his lunch break. Photo: Andrews

Abe Andrews may have one of surfing's best jobs. Abe, taking a lunch break. Photo: Andrews

I have a constant relationship with most of the surfers. I only become utilized if there is an immediate need. Sometimes it’s an injury or a relationship problem. But most of the time I’m helping surfers by caddying for them or supporting their family.

Has there been a moment in your career with the WT that you felt was impactful?

I don’t see it as a career—I see it as a calling. But I guess the biggest thing for my wife and I was when we were at last year’s Mundaka event. Our hired campervan was parked on the main road in Mundaka while we were at the contest, and the van was broken into and all our luggage was stolen. My wife was rattled and we were left with nothing but the clothes we were wearing. I was trying to stay positive, but then the exhaust fell off the van and the gas cooker stopped working. It started doing my head in. We were two days in to the contest, which had been moved to Sopelana, and the surf was rubbish. It was raining, my only clothes were soaked and I was thinking, “What am I doing here?”

The ASP heard about our misfortune and gave us one of their rooms in town. Then the surfers caught wind of everything and a bunch of them invited us over for dinner at their hotels. We went over and they gave me a bunch of clothes and their partners gave my wife some clothes as well. It was the biggest blessing.

Has anyone on Tour had any issues with there being a chaplain? And along that line, are there other denominations represented on Tour?

In the early days there were a few concerns raised, which is very natural. We spent time with key surfers reps, like Phil MacDonald and Mick Fanning, to ensure the service was designed in a way that would not be seen as aggressive or negative. In addition, a clear role description and code of ethics for the chaplain were established.

Denominational and other faith issues were considered, but essentially we agreed that the World Tour chaplain’s role was to be a support for all of the surfers. My role is not to be the expert on all matters, but rather be a good reference point and assist in directing people with key issues to other suitably trained professionals, if that’s what’s required.

Part of your job probably includes providing guidance for those just entering the ranks. I’m curious to hear what you would say to a young rookie.

To remember surfing is a small part of the big picture. And if they want to make a career out of surfing, then they need to take their wins like they take their losses, which should help them keep an even keel. And lastly, never take anything for granted and always count your blessings.

  • Mik

    So? Does this mean that the ASP is a Christian surfing organization? Because if it is, then that will explain the bias towards throwing added points at surfers who publicly profess to be Christian. Frankly, I do not get this. At all. The ASP is a professional surfing association, and it should steer clear of affiliating itself with any one religion, regardless of what the religion may be. Otherwise, the ASP should state publicly that it is a Christian organization, and let people affiliate with it as they feel. In saying this I am not directing any negativity at Josh, or his faith. But there is no way that this can be taken to be an inclusive step, or a needed one. I think the ASP owes everyone on the tour an explanation, and the public as well. Here’s my feed back. I am not interested in watching a Christian surfing tour. I am not affiliated with any religion. I participate in surfing and surf contests as an escape from the bickering and bias in the world. This is unnecessary, and unwise, unless of course the ASP “Board” is also going to invite in Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Atheist “counselors”, to cover all the bases equally. And since I doubt that is their intention, then I think they need to look in the mirror and see if their own personal biases have gotten the better of their judgement.

  • Jimbo

    Mik: although Abe is a christian, he’s not on the tour representing christians. He’s a chaplain, and by definition, a chaplain can be from any religion. As Abe said, he’s just there to support the surfers in any form. Just a person to talk to. Whatever the religion. And if you’re on the road in a highly stressful environment away from your family, there’s gonna be stress and it helps having someone that’s open to listen. I think the ASP, like a lot of other sports that do this by the way, are right on for including a person that the surfers can talk to in their mix. Don’t hate on this as a religion thing, but rather be thankful that professional surfing is smart enough to take care of their people by including someone like Abe. End of story.

  • Mik

    Jimbo: No, not end of story. That’s your definition of “Chaplain”. And I doubt it that he just “happens to be Christian”. I am not a hater on religion. I am very much the opposite. But unfortunately, I have seen ridiculous behavior levied at non Christians by so-called Christian members of pro-surfing, including a magazine print statement by CJ (or Damo) Hobgood that only Christians have access to God. I have also seen so-called Christian members of pro-surfing tell a Yoga enthusiast friend that because he was into Yoga, that he was therefore, their “enemy”. So don’t tell me that I am a blog crank, or whatever. Even one of the leading surf magazine’s most highly regarded photo editors had intense fundamentalist biases, so I am well aware of the potential downside. I had to listen to it, even though we were friends. Joey Buran was another so-calledChristian who forced his issues on the amateur segment of surf competition. And I think I am justified in calling him a so-called Christian because anyone who thinks that their religion is better than someone else’s, and discriminates against people because of that, for race or culture or so-called religious reasons is not religious. He or she is flat out crazy, in my book. Out of touch with reality. So I am wary of this move. Maybe it is well intended. But, come on. If these WTC competitors are mature enough to represent large companies as athletes, then they should be mature enough to know that they can find a church, or synagogue, or temple, or parent, or friend to talk to if they are in need of help. The ASP should focus their attention more towards their own judging system, and on weeding out biases in there, if they want to improve the sport for the athletes and companies that pay their bills. And by the way, since when is telling the truth an act of “hating”? I respect every person of every religion who actually lives up to the kind of friendliness, and helpfulness that religion is supposed to be about. But leave religion to the religious is my take.

  • Jocko

    I think that’s the whole point. A lot of the surfers on tour are no where near mature enough to go out of their way to access help if required. Some would sooner just “drown their sorrows”
    Assigning a Chaplain is the smartest thing the ASP has in done in a long time I reckon. If you’ve met Abe, you’d know he’s the most selfless, caring, well intentioned person you could ever meet. Forget he’s a chaplain, call him a guidance councillor if it makes the non-Christians feel better, but I hope he keeps doing what he’s doing.

  • Dunga

    100% agree with Mik.
    If, ” and that a big if” surfers are having personal difficulties on tour, offer a qualified councellor/therapist to provide professional advice/therapy when needed. By providing a chaplain as the person for this function, the ASP is associating itelf with christianity and biasing the organization by doing so. I was shocked to read this. Is the ASP another christian message organization? If not, then do not select and associate yourself with one religion in preference to any others. Very bad and detrimental message sent by ASP.

  • al

    why look: it’s people arguing about religion. That’s weird.

  • Jestsurf

    As a former US military service member with 10 years under my belt, I had a chance to meet several chaplains. They were very familiar with the stress service men and women are under. It was their duty and training to be versed in all faiths, even atheism, as a support to all members. They were also trained and knowledgeable in connecting us with professional services or specific faith professionals to meet our needs. Abe’s ability to interface with people on the tour (as a surfer himself) is to understand the stresses of the tour and connect people to the right professionals if that is needed; other than that, he needs to be a good listener. As a 30 yr surfer I can say most of the time I don’t need a shrink or a priest, I only need my friends to listen and point me in the right direction while sitting in the lineup waiting for my next piece of perfection to roll through. Everybody on tour has agendas or wants from the tour pros…they want a piece of them. Having a non-bias friend like Abe, who is not your competition on the tour, probably makes for a safe place to relax and sort things out. Props to the ASP for thinking of the holistic nature of health and the men & women who make the ASP what it is.

  • ac

    “By providing a chaplain as the person for this function, the ASP is associating itelf with christianity and biasing the organization by doing so. I was shocked to read this. Is the ASP another christian message organization? If not, then do not select and associate yourself with one religion in preference to any others. Very bad and detrimental message sent by ASP.”

  • Richard

    I think it’s cool. He is more like a counselor than a minister. And he is paying his own way! The ASP is not promoting religion, it’s scoring a cool dude that is there to help. Relax people. The ASP rocks!

  • bke

    Abe – I see your concern. However, as a hospital chaplain myself, I can attest that his main goal is not to convert others to his religion (which is not stated, btw.), but to be present, listen, and serve. As a rule for chaplains, religions advice is never given unless its requested, and even when it is the chaplains goal is not to convert but to help the healing process in a holistic way. Any hospital you go to will have a chaplain and it will not necessarily be a Christian one. I seriously doubt the ASP gives preferential treatment and scores to Christians just because a chaplain is a part of the tour. The ASP is wise to consider the spiritual (I said spiritual NOT religious!) and emotional needs of the tour participants, staff, and family members.

  • ac

    “By providing a chaplain as the person for this function, the ASP is associating itself with christianity and biasing the organization by doing so. I was shocked to read this. Is the ASP another christian message organization? If not, then do not select and associate yourself with one religion in preference to any others. Very bad and detrimental message sent by ASP.”

    I understand the concern that Mike and Dunga have about a chaplain damaging the ASP’s standing and reputation, but every MLB, NFL, NBA, and MLS team has a chaplain(I also would imagine that most adhere to Christianity). I don’t think many American sports fans would make the accusation that the NFL and MLB are “christian message organizations.” As surfing becomes more “professional” perhaps both the surfers and the ASP see this as, oddly enough, a way to legitimize surfing to the standards of mainstream “big money” sports. As an average surfer I would like to see surfing keep some of its hardcore edginess(mostly to keep people out of the water), but I think pro surfers realize that to make more money they need to shed the stoner, binge drinking, lazy surfer image that has plagued pro surfing for a long long time.

    “So? Does this mean that the ASP is a Christian surfing organization? Because if it is, then that will explain the bias towards throwing added points at surfers who publicly profess to be Christian. Frankly, I do not get this at all. The ASP is a professional surfing association, and it should steer clear of affiliating itself with any one religion, regardless of what the religion may be.”

    I think you may have jumped way too ahead of yourself there Mik. In the article I never see the words Jesus Christ, Christianity, or even the word religion. From the article you charge that the ASP may be a Christian surfing organization(probably not, because I am sure 90% of the surfers aren’t and the vast majority of event organizers and event staff aren’t either). Mik it sounds either you know something about the ASP that we do not, or your interactions with Christians has left a very bad aftertaste.

  • Ricky

    I dont think it’s good to have any sort of fundamentalist offering advice to vulnerable people. And Abe is definitely a fundamentalist – listen to his dismissal of evolutionary theory on–-INTERVIEW.html

  • ac

    “Abe is definitely a fundamentalist”
    Quote from the Tracksmag video: “Its up to us to decide what truth is for us, its not for me to decide what’s wrong”
    Doesn’t sound very fundamentalist to me.
    But the top 32 are also probably dying to get their hands on a good origin of life book, so they can talk about it in the contest lounge.

  • rat

    Go Abe! Keep up the good work bro.

  • Swell Seeker

    As usual people jump to conclusions. If you take the time to read the article it states “a clear role description and code of ethics for the chaplain were established”. Obviously we do not know what the ASP and the surfers’ reps have laid out for Abe. They could have it, like the US military, where Abe is not able to pray using Jesus Christ name in his prayers but must always be neutral. So commenting on what Abe is or is not doing is speculative and thus moot.

    In my opinion, having someone there sharing Christ would be a great thing.

  • Steve

    Shock, shock!! USA states “In God We Trust” on our coins. Our Congress prays to the Christian God at the start of each session. Our Founding Fathers state that we are guided by “Divine Providence” . They also state that “We are endowed by our Creator and all men are created equal”… This is the Christian God, not the Muslim God, Mormon God or any other god. Sorry, but that is a fact, if you don’t like it, then you’re free to try to create a new foundation for our country. Funny, I think our current president is making that effort right now as he now claims that we aren’t a Christian nation. Hmmmm.

    So what’s the problem? How is it that a simple effort to provide spiritual guidance by a Christian Chaplain in a country founded on Christian principals with a population where the majority state that they are Christians (yes, I know living it and claiming it are two different things, hence the need for Chaplains), that provides the gift of freedom of religion a problem? Would you like to see them provide a Muslim representative that believes that if you don’t believe in their way that you should die? Or a Chaplain for Satan worshipers? Those that are against this because it’s biased aren’t in touch with reality. “All” positions one takes related to anything has a bias. If you take a position that this is wrong, you have a bias against Spiritual input in a secular organization. That’s o.k. to have that position, but you have a bias. The NFL and many other sports organizations have Chaplains, no big deal there.

    The question should be wether or not this is a beneficial thing and does this Chaplain represent the values of our country. He obviously does as of today. Maybe not in 10 or 20 years, but he does as of today.

  • Elijah

    I was also in the military where we had chaplain’s, some were muslim, others judeo-christian. As a buddhist, i rarely used their services, because i could meditate anywhere. It’s about self-discipline. In my experience, spiritual guidance is usually someone telling you it’s time to pray, whatever that looks like. Because of their aggressive training, Marines needed to be reminded of this.

    I got out of the military and was stoked to spend more time surfing. To me, surfing IS a religion. The need for a chaplain shows that tour surfing is becoming more and more agro and competitive, like war. There’s stress to perform and be the alpha male/female, to be the winner.

    The Hawaiian forefathers of surfing would bless every contest with a very meaningful, spiritual (Pagan?), ceremony. Then there was fun. It sounds like the chaplain isn’t the issue, that’s just Aussie tactics to deal with Western dog-eat-dogism. It just goes along with the “Bustin’ Down the Door” mentality of world sports and the need to cope with the stress. Whether it’s warfare, race car driving, body building, or tour surfing, the attitude is basically the same these days. It’s all about winning.

    Take away the competition and you may have more of an easy going and spiritual sport. That’s not gonna happen in the ASP. Let us pray!

  • Truth

    But he says he was funded by Christian Surfer in other interviews. How is this not reported in this article by Surfer Mag? Is this actually an ASP position or Christian Surfer sending a person on tour?

  • Daniel

    Just to remind that competition is in its very core anti-christian and that the whole buzz pro-surfing brings about goes against Jesus teachings of living self-sacrificing and selfless lives to serve others. Actually, ASP is the realm of big egos.
    On the other hand, what Mik said in the first post is nonsense ’cause all decisions one takes in life in totally biased, so even if ASP scored a shrink or an atheist to provide any kind of mental or soul support that would be already totally biased. It’s also silly to say “leave religion to the religious”, once it is Jesus command to go and preach the Gospel to all nations…” not that Abe is doing that but sounds like Mik doesn’t understand a thing about the issue.
    I personally believe that Abe’s work is worthy chiefly because all professionals in any area occasionally may need advice and spiritual guidance and if you’re not leaving it to a christian, you’re definitely going to have someone carrying any other creed or theory doing the job.

  • Andy

    don’t usually read comments but was definitely encouraged by the communication going on here. there’s obvious disagreements and therefore concerns from both perspectives (probably more than just two different perspectives also).

    to Mik, great argument, maybe it’s not WT’s place to put a chaplain on tour, but the intent seems honorable. understand your concern of other spiritual opinions being forced upon others, but it’s crucial to remember that the true christian belief (like what hobgoods share) is that Christ is the only way to the Father and so out of love, they want to share that. that is what true christianity is about. unfortunately it sounds like you’ve experienced hipocracy and the broken church. yup, we are all pretty screwed up and i’m sorry for anything someone has done or said in the name of Jesus that has offended you.

    to Steve, yeah our country was founded on some Christian beliefs, but so what. Our culture is no longer from where we live or where we were born, our culture as a believer is Christ’s culture.

    to al.. that’s pretty funny. yeah, it doesn’t seem possible to talk about religion without getting pissed at eachother, but don’t let that keep you from seeking truth.

    to Ricky… found your comment the most interesting. you use the term fundamentalist like a bad word. yeah, maybe this chaplin position shouldn’t be a fundamentalist and so that’s why you bring it up but it also kind of seems like you might feel like if there is someone that has any sort of opinion on a spiritual matter, than their screwed up. Christ brought a counter-cultural message, that the world did not like and still doesn’t like. So unfortunatley there will always be people out there that have conflicting opinions with you bro.

  • Jonny

    Mik it sounds like you’re a pretty cool guy, but i have to disagree with you. The word “Chaplain” is really the only word used in the article that would give any clue as to Abe’s religious preference, or that he is religious at all. If you didn’t associate him with Christianity, you’d probably think that he sounds like a pretty awesome, self-less guy. That sucks that there are Christians out there stupid enough to say that people doing Yoga are they enemy etc, that seriously bums me out.

    It seems to me that Abe really has his head on straight. If he is a Christian, it seems that he gets that being a Christian isn’t about convincing people to believe what you believe, its about deepening and strengthening the relationships you have with those around you. So Mik, or anybody else, if you hear “Christians” trying to convince you or push something on you, tell them to start over, to go read the Bible and “get the log out of their own eye before they try to remove the speck from your eye.”

  • amused

    Simply, he is not a christian chaplain, he is a chaplain, in THIS interview, it never mentions him being a christian, he is simply a spiritual guidance dude who surfs, maybe he is a christian, the ASP isn’t going to hire a handful of different chaplains to simply please every person who believes in something else. This guy is there just to talk and hang with the guys competing. Its much easier talking to a chaplain than it is to tell yourself your going to go talk to a shrink or therapist, and if they dont want to talk to a chaplain, they dont have to. Give it a rest people. Plenty of people who are a labled christian are in non religious work places, so what if this guy is, and remember he’s chaplain, not the christian chaplain only for christians and there make more christians, he’s there to help. And the whole thing about bias scores, pathetic, that is not true whatsoever!

  • amused

    and Jonny and Andy, couldn’t agree more with you two

  • Ricky

    Andy… You don’t think ‘fundamentalist’ is a bad word? Really? You don’t think it’s bad what fundamentalists did on September 11?
    Anyone that gives priority to a bunch of contradicting, baseless, factually lacking fairytales (read: old Testament, new testament and the koran) over logically and scientifically concluded arguments is kidding themselves. I’ll bet if you asked Abe if only christians go to heaven he won’t answer with his pretty little ‘everyone has their own truth’ spiel.

    And the bit about the world not liking the message of christ in years gone by and also today… For christ’s sake get that chip off your shoulder. Christianity has the most adherents out of any religion EVER in the history of mankind, I don’t know why you’re trying to play the underdog card.

    AC… If a guy rejects a tested scientific theory (evolution) for no other reason than what is written in an archaic book then, yes, he is fundamentalist. Truth is not up for us to decide either, that’s personal opinion or subjectivity. If you wanna bend the meaning of the word that’s fine, but there is only one form of ‘truth’ in the world. Gravity isn’t true for person A but not for person B regardless of what ‘truth’ or ‘gravity’ means to B.

    Oh and don’t be so quick to infer that the top 32 are intellectually closeminded, you’d be surprised at how much you can read when you do nothing but surf all day…

  • Deb

    No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace.

  • Swell Seeker

    Every road leads to heavan and when we get there some will go befor God as thier Father and others will go before him as their judge.

  • Max

    To help clarify for Mik that it is man has made many religions, but if you look at the ocean – we can’t see any section of the ocean that is Islamic and another Budhist its one awesome globally linked set of oceans made by one God. Its why we are attracted or addicted to it is that we can see God’s power. Clay Marzo calls waves “toys from God” and Clay is as addicted wth the ocean as it gets. I think its useful to have Abe there, and I believe some of the former stars wish they had a guy like Abe around to have a yarn or pray for them. In rugby there are ongoing tragedies with rugby stars that plummet from grace usually after a bender, and a chaplin can be one of the best ways to help avoid it.

    If we want to know who that God is we must let go of a territorial dispute of one religion over another or your religous turf and my turf and find the truth of the one God. If CJ or Damo feel sure they’ve found the creator of waves like Pipe or Sunset – how could you avoid sharing that awesome truth.

    Read in the gospels and Jesus walked on a stormy sea 2000 years ago and invited Peter out the back with him. Jesus was the first surfer – and the fisherman Peter was his first surfing buddy. Jesus told Peter He would make him a fisher of men and he hung out with Peter and some of the other fishermen as His closest friends. A Hawaiin guy that won Haleiwa a few years back with Parko in the final, said God told him to paddle out further from the others and then a huge set came with a big barrel and that won him the final. Tom Curren is a believer and probably is still the best surfer on the planet for his age. For me God saved my life and protected me from a mafia gang with machettes in Phuket. Jesus isn’t a story to me but a reality.

    Heaven’s got surf and it’s pumping like mega Chopes on steroids. Heaven doesn’t just have barrels, it is a barrel. So catch on Mik and AC or you can end up being eternally pitched watching us while we’re locked in on the foam ball with super J..

  • bentley

    Abe, i’ve never blogged a day in my life and this is the first comment i’ve ever posted but if you are following this i would love to help you out. even though it was made clear that your sole job is to give support and not pass judgement or push your personal beliefs on others everyone on this blog assumes you are. i think what you are doing is great. everyone needs someone impartial to talk to sometimes and it seems you are offering just that. if you will post how i can help out please do and i would love to assist financially or in any other way.

  • Daniel

    Rick I guess you don’t see your blind faith in science is in itself fundamentalist. “Overwhelming evidence”? Like what? Just to quote some extracts from “Tornado in a Junkyardr” by James Perloff:
    Darwin’s theory says fish evolved, through many intermediate steps, into human beings. The question thus arises: How did fish acquire the genes to become human beings? A creature cannot be anything physically its genes won’t allow it to be.

    Biochemistry is also giving Darwin problems. Michael Behe, biochemist at Lehigh University, has written a book entitled “Darwin’s Black Box:
    The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution.” In this book, Behe describes how certain biochemical systems are so complex that they cannot have evolved step-by-step; he calls this “irreducible complexity.”
    For example, blood clotting swings into action when we get a cut. The formation of a blood clot is a complex, multi-step process that utilizes numerous proteins, many with no other function besides clotting. Each protein depends on an enzyme to activate it. So to paraphrase Behe very simply: What evolved first — the protein or enzyme? Not the protein; it cannot function without the enzyme to switch it on. But why would nature evolve the activating enzyme first? Without the protein, it serves no purpose. Furthermore, if blood clotting had evolved step-by-step over eons, creatures would have bled to death before it was ever perfected. The system is irreducibly complex.

    Let’s raise an even more fundamental question: Why aren’t reptiles today developing feathers? Why aren’t fish today growing little legs, trying to adapt to land? Shouldn’t evolution be ongoing?

    And why is man so incredibly different than all other animals? What animal can solve math equations? Write poetry? Laugh at jokes? Design computer software? How can we say that man is merely “one more animal, just more highly evolved”?

    I’d rather trust this “archaic” timeless Book you so fiercely criticize. “Be still and know He is God.”

  • ez livin

    bentley- check out u can donate on there

  • Andy

    Ricky, when i wrote Christ’s message is counter-cultural, i wasn’t really referring to the numbers of people who call themselves Christians, rather reffering to his teachings about being selfless, forgiving your enemies, denying yourself, and that He is the way, the truth and the life and no one goes to the Father but through Him. That’s pretty taboo to say in this world but if it’s the truth, which I believe, than i want you to know it. That’s about it. No hate here, no chip on the shoulder bro. I don’t want to keep anyone from getting their God given right to choose their beliefs.

    regarding your take on the bible, obviously there’s an argument for both sides, whether you choose to recognize that or not is your call. i won’t go there because even though i believe strongly, i couldn’t begin to debate it intelligently like the Daniel dude does above, and you sound super smart too so, yeah. i guess i fall under the weak things of this world, like the bible talks about.

    i’m not smart but pretty sure it’s not a bad thing to be passionate about what you believe. killing people is bad though(fundamentalism i thought is referring to believing in a doctrine regarding God stuff, but i can see how someone could take offense to the word if it differs from someone else’s belief. it’s difficult for me to understand though because i don’t hate someone if they disagree)

  • Andy

    (not saying you hate bro, just that there’s stupid people out there that do.
    like koran burning and yoga protesting)

  • Mik

    For clarity sake, I believe that the essence of all life is God, and that essence is experienced within oneself as the deepest state of one’s inner consciousness. I look at Religions as being teachings of different individuals, in different cultures, at different times, who described their experience of this state within themselves, and offered teachings to help us connect. In this sense, all of the teachings are directed at the same experience, so I see value and truth in all religions, and I also know that that state of experience can be attained without religion. Because it is the essence of one’s mind, whether one is fully aware of it or not. This is why I think that any so-called follower, or leader of a religion who thinks they have the exclusive right to God is wrong. To revert to my street-wise self, they are an idiot. And I mean that unequivocally. So if the ASP Board is a bunch of radical Born Again Christians, or fundamentalists who somehow got it into their head that Christianity is the only way, and they want to promote that ideology into the WTC, then I am not happy, and I think they should be asked to resign, because I dig the WTC as a sport. My sport. I don’t want it to become a tool for their their twisted views on life. And I especially am wary of the judges they put in place because their biases will be detrimental to the tour. I say this with the awareness that there was a judge who had a vendetta against Taj Burrow, and as Taj says, it sickens me. So if Abe thinks that Christianity is the only way, then he should say so, and he should resign too. If ABe was chosen because he sees all faiths as one, then maybe…. But basically, no. Don’t overstep your position ASP. Run good, fair, unbiased contests, and leave religion to the surfers to chose on their own. Basically, after watching that asshole GW Bush rant on about Christianity, and then invade a country for its oil illegally, I’m pretty much fucking done with phony religious idiots.

  • Ricky

    Daniel… I don’t have blind faith in science, but I do think that the scientific method is the best way to know and describe the world we live in. Without doubt it explains the world in more detail than any holy book, without any of the questionable moral teachings the ‘holy’ books like to spruik (slavery, subjugation of women, murder of apostates anyone?) You might not be aware of the difference between science and the scientific method, but they really are world’s apart. And I’ll guarantee you use the scientific method countless times in your day to day life.

    If you’re going to quote Darwinian Theory, at least get it right. Darwin’s theory doesn’t say that humans evolved from fish, but fish and humans do have a common ancestor, which lived just over 500 milliion years ago. I know this must be hard to fathom for someone whom I suspect (based on your quoting of two creationist ‘authors’, one of which is a self-published hack) believes the universe is less than 10,000 years old, but hey, sometimes the truth hurts.

    And just a p.s. Biochemistry isn’t giving Darwin any problems. The man’s been dead for over 120 years… Irreducible complexity, while a somewhat novel argument when Behe proposed it about 15 years ago, has been thoroughly disproved and rebuked by the scientific community. There’s that pesky scientific method at work again, assessing facts and adopting the position with the most evidence behind it. Crazy, huh?

    P.P.S. “Why aren’t fish today growing little legs, trying to adapt to land?” Ever heard of an axolotl? You might know them as mexican walking fish. You won’t see processes like this happen before your eyes because evolution takes a reeally long time. Like, longer than your life span. Like, millions and millions of years. So you probably won’t get to see your goldfish grow feet. Neither will your kids. Or your kid’s kids. Or your kid’s kid’s kids. See where this is going?

    P.P.P.S. “Why is man so incredibly different than all other animals?” (that should read ‘humans’ btw, but I’ll forgive your patriarchal tendencies) It’s because we’ve evolved more than any other species and our brain size compared to our bodies is relatively large, allowing sentience and consciousness. But really, humans are not that different from any other animal. We eat and shit like the rest of the animal kingdom all the while trying to rut to ensure the propagation and survival of our genes.

    Apologies for the long-winded reply, but sometimes you gotta fight fire with fire (read: verbal diarrhoea with verbal diarrhoea)

  • Ricky

    Andy… I still don’t see how you can argue that christ’s teachings are counter-cultural. How many public speeches are made by politicians, sports-people and musicians in public settings and at awards ceremonies thanking jesus and god for their success? This also neglects and cheapens the time, hardwork and talent that got these people to where they are – their success is attributed to divine providence. I would argue that publicly thanking god is the rule rather than the exception, so your claim that this sort of thing is taboo doesn’t really convince me. How taboo is an concept that is pushed by politicians?

    However, I do appreciate the counter-cultural thing as a good branding and marketing stance to adopt because we all know how much angsty teens like to empathise with rebellious and underdog attitudes (just look at the success of my chemical romance… WTF?) and what better way to get teens involved with the church than market to the well known tendencies of the demographic.

    And don’t cheapen yourself, I think you’d be able to debate more intelligently than Daniel. It’s a lot easier than it might look. You’ve just gotta look at the reasons why you believe certain things, and put them out there. And I don’t hate people if they disagree with me, but I don’t think that being passionate about ideologies is always a good thing if it means you don’t examine the flaws in your worldview. As an example, I’m sure there are a lot of passionate Islamists, neo-nazis and paedophiles in the world right now. I’d say it’s a bad thing that they are passionate about their beliefs…

  • Steve

    Belief in evolution, which is a theory, not a fact, takes faith. Belief in God, when you cannot see God, (I believe God can be seen in his creation and in miracles, when they happen) takes faith. I think both sides should “respect” each others beliefs as long as those beliefs do not infringe on their life. In other words, you are free to believe in evolution and others are free to believe in a Creator God. No big deal there.
    What is a big deal is when we are forced to believe in what we don’t, either way. This surf Chaplain isn’t forcing his belief on anyone, he’s just there to help and to counsel when people want that.
    What is a big deal is when people start killing others that don’t believe like they do. We have to keep America free when it comes to freedom of worship or else we could experience more of the religious violence that is happening around the world right now, primarily from one religious group.
    Being tolerant doesn’t mean we can’t debate stuff like this topic. This is great as long as we’re willing to hear and learn and willing to admit the truth, what ever way it takes us.

  • Mik

    OK. I watched the interview with Abe in Tracks, and I like his comments. He seems like a really nice kid, with a balanced take on spirituality. Still, I am wary of the idea because of the bias issue. Because the ASP already showed a bias in selcting a Christian. My question is, whom else did they consider, and from what religions, or ethnic group? Probably no one else, probably all white.

  • Eye2Eye

    Mik, Abe isn’t being paid by the ASP or any other organization. He has a friends and family that support him financially.

    True love is seeing a need and meeting that need. Abe seems to have stepped up to met a need when no one else would out of no other motive than love.

    Steve, Rick, Andy and Dan,

    This is for anyone that wants to argue for or against evolution

  • Eye2Eye
  • Ricky

    Eye2Eye, Abe has stated in other interviews that he is funded by christian surfers. One of their goals, as stated on their website, is to convert (evangelise) the surfing communities of the world to christianity. So he is either lying to the ASP by saying he offers neutral counselling, or he is lying to the christian surfers by not living up to the mission statement of the institution that funds him.

    While the cartoon you posted on youtube might convince 12 year olds that creationism is an honest intellectual position to hold, anyone with half a brain can see through the lies and faulty logic contained within it.
    Your cartoon states that the bible is “scientifically and historically accurate”? You know the biblical flood has been proven not to have occurred, right? And that the bible gives the value of pi as 3, which was an inaccurate estimate even at the time the old testament originated (about 600 bce)?

    But maybe everyone should accept your position that the bible is “a perfect key to the past and culturally accurate”. Maybe we should all do what is suggested in 1 Timothy 2:12 and “permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.” That’d be a real step forward for women’s lib. huh?

    Eye2Eye, you should probably dump the literal interpretation of scripture that you spruik if you don’t want to come across as a complete joke.

  • http://MyGosh! the bodie zaffa

    Man o Man. Ricky, lonely much? Got preach your ideologies somewhere else, this is a “surfing” site that did a piece on a individual in the “surfing” community. Yes, he is assigned the role as “chaplain” on the CT. How the argument went from Abe’s willingness to help surfers (emotionally and yes spiritually) on the CT to darwinian tadpoles slithering up your local beach break, or wave pool judging from your above posts, I’ll never know. For not being a God fearing man, you sure can quote Bible verses that should belong on Tim Tebow’s cheekbones. Even if Abe is being compensated by Christian surfers, I guarantee you he’s not running around chasing a drunk Freddy P while shouting hellfire and brimstone, trying to convert him. It’s obvious it’s an open door policy in that if the surfers have questions, thoughts and or even “ideas” and they would like to bounce it off someone who wont laugh them out of the water, Abe is the man to hear them out. When’s the last time you had a bro to bro conversation about religion and creation?(Not including the 15 bros above that clearly arent your bros. They dont like you, clearly.) It gets a little awkward and is akin to trying to talk about your “feelings” with your bro, it just doesnt happen often.

    You almost seem like you need to talk to Abe yourself. You know what, I’m calling him now..Abe? Abe? what’s that? You’re busy coverting Ghandi? Yea well we have a Mal adjusted Ricky here, he just took a number and wants to talk.

    Class Dismissed.

  • bashawa

    glad you shared your judgements with all to see. Your tripping on the bonus points being givin away. Thanks for your honesty..

  • tMo

    I am very certain it is a great thing that the ASP has signed on a chaplain, for so many different reasons. The passing of Andy Irons is going to leave a lot of surfers in shock, grieving, and sadness. I never met Andy Irons but my heart is in pain to hear of his death, so I can only imagine what those people closest to him are feeling. Although these surfers are normal people, with lots of friends and family, it’s such a good thing to have someone outside of your life to talk to about things that are troubling you – more specifically, at this point in time, the passing of AI. Regardless of Abe’s religion, he is greatly needed on tour. I am super stoked that the ASP has taken this step, and pray that Abe is able to support the surfers in anyway they need. By the way, it seems like the ASP is fairly successful at allowing the surfers to have their say. Abe wasn’t just handed his position out of nowhere, they tested it by giving him a time period to see if he was actually needed. They decided he was needed. If the surferes didn’t want this, or wanted someone other than Abe (who does happen to be a follower of Jesus Christ) they probably would have made that known to the ASP. And even further considering that having a chaplain is only for the benefit of the surfers, Abe must have been a solid addition and helpful to the surfers on tour. Knowing that Abe wasn’t just handed his position, it says something about Abe and maybe even his beliefs. Good on Abe, stoked for the guy and for the ASP to have someone like him providing such support.

    Rest in Peace Andy Irons, praying for his family and friends.


    Jesus loves you.

  • Pingback: ASP Hires Chaplain Abe Andrews « monTraHousE

  • http://NA banana brains

    its interesting that you use this verse. (Timothy 2:12)

    no credible schollar, Author, commentary, apologist, atheist etc would ever take one verse and base a doctrine on it (although many non credible authors etc try)

    christians believe that this attempt to twist truths is clearly explained in the nature of human kind and our human condition.

    yes even christians make mistakes, take stumbles, and dont always act or do what is best. they are as imperfect as anyone else.

    that aside this is not an argument of womans liberation, sexism, authoritarianism nor patriarchal history or cultural patriarchalism.

    it is about roles. there are many varied beliefs amongst christians so i cant claim to speak for them all.

    BUT most christians believe and act upon the beliefe that MEN and WOMEN are EQUAL before God and any other thing, regime, political government etc etc in existence.


    the bible also clearly outlines the role as the man as being different to the womans role.

    for example men were not given the role of child birth nor breast feeding.

    Men accept this. this said we are told to lead by loving.

    any man who truly loves his wife, his mother, his daughter, his friends or the women in his church and the other men around him will lead with love.

    love should be foremost the thing that stands out amongst christians.

    he will hold his wife highly, he will lift her up and support her, he will SERVE her, he will help her feed the baby, he will help her do the things she may need help with due to a busy work or parenting schedule.

    is he better, no, is he perfect, no, is he in a set role where he has to do work and not stay at home with the children ? no. he must work that out with his wife, his God and ultimately honour, respect , and love his wife.

    has society, christianity, ‘mankind’ always done this ? unfortunately not and while its easy to point out the failures of human nature wether it be Communism, dictatorship or any other government, party or people that has taken GOD out of the equation we can see that they too still suffer the shortcomings of human kind. many dictatorships and anti religious regimes for example Communism have been responsible for many great wrongs. is it communism ? maybe, maybe not, is it the lack of religion? maybe, maybe not but the common trend is humans 🙂

    again its about differing roles we believe were set by God, not a battle of the sexes or who or what is better.

    women are far more adaptable to many roles in modern life BUT if the bible teaches us anything its to do things Gods way regardless of if it makes life harder or if it isnt.

    that said many christian churches believe that this verse is no longer culturally relevant.

    in Australia and America for example many churches advocate and encourage women in any role and to do anything within the church that a man can.

    they also do this whilst loving and honouring their women, encouraging them like they do the men, supporting them and their unique needs as women in the 21st century in a busy world of mothering, working, teaching, following jesus, living and the normal stresses of life or any combination of these.

    if its not for you that is no problem. Christians are generally quite intelligent and are very aware of the damage done to many peoples lives in the past by certain churches and their interpretations of the bible and how this translated into action.

    If my understanding of what Abe is doing is correct, he is not there to ‘convert’ people but to display the love of his God through support, service and love.

    by serving his surfing community and the relevant services attached to the tour.

    not that my opinion holds any bearing But i think its great that someone, anyone is willing to travel the world, following the busy schedule of the ct and serve them. who else is willing ?

    at our local school they wanted to start teaching ethics instead of getting RI (religious instruction) so they stopped all RI classes BUT failed to find 1 person willing to give up their time to come in for free and teach RI.

    does this mean they are better ? no BUT their beliefe is that they should be serving their community therefore provide a service for free. in Abes case he appears to be there to do everything from being a friendly ear to getting his hands dirty setting up, supporting judges, and generally being a support top the whole tour and best of all it doesn’t cost anyone anything.

    pro surfers are as intelligent as the next man. do you really think he would bust in there evangelising and trying to ‘convert’ everyone ?

    he seems to be there to show his beliefs by acting on them. by loving.

    big up abe. good on you for sacrificing a carrer, for being away from your wife and life most of the year, for serving those that are generally forgotten about because they do so well, all for no pay, no set address, no set life. amazing bro