As he was wheeled into surgery after being shot in 1981, Ronald Reagan famously joked with the doctors, “Please tell me you’re all Republicans.” The head surgeon, a liberal Democrat, replied, “Today, we’re all Republicans.”

In that spirit, I would like to suggest that today, we’re all New England Patriots fans. I realize that might sound crazy. Most people outside New England have come to hate the Patriots. They were caught breaking a minor rule early in the season, and then to prove they were legitimate, went on to demolish opponents throughout the season, often running up the score with what ESPN columnist Bill Simmons called the “eff you touchdown.” And because we are now in a Boston sports Golden Era (multiple World Series and Super Bowl championships in the 2000s, and the recent resurgence of the Celtics) many people are just plain tired of hearing about another Boston championship.

I can’t blame people who feel this way. If, say, New York were in the midst of a sports Golden Era, I’m sure I would hate their teams much more than I already do. But what would Jesus do? Christ commanded us, “Be ye therefore perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Many of us recognize that this is a laudable but realistically impossible goal. However, having gone undefeated throughout the entire regular and post seasons so far, the Patriots are the first NFL team in decades on the verge of literally complying with Christ’s injunction. Because examples of perfection are so rare, we should applaud those that attain this status, recognizing their greatness, and seeking after it.

As fellow saints and followers of Christ, you are all invited to join me in supporting the Patriots on February 3, 2008, as they seek to provide us with a true model of perfection.