Friday, December 16, 2011

The Insane Rage Against Tim Tebow

I am not a football fan.  I'll watch it at someone else's place if that's what they're doing and I do know the basic rules, but I really don't care who wins or loses.  However, not too many people can claim ignorance of Tim Tebow, the Broncos' quarterback who lets people know who he is and that he believes in Jesus Christ as God and Savior.  And yes, he does seem to be a most capable football player.

It seems to be the combination of these two characteristics (1. devout Christian and 2. decent football player) that drives progressives into major hissy-snit-fits.  A progressive rabbi, Joshua Hammerman, went so far as to warn the populace (on New York's Jewish Week blog) that if Tim Tebow wins the Super Bowl, we Christians are going to go on a mosque-burning rampage!  Fortunately there is also some rational analysis of Hammerman's screed.  Read this piece by Jeff Dunetz, a Jew who is thankful that he doesn't attend Hammerman's synagogue.  He also links to a cached version of the Hammerman vitriol that has since been pulled from the orginal blog (I wonder why it was pulled!).

This sort of progressive bigotry against religion, particularly the Judeo-Christian traditions, is nothing new to anyone who's had their eyes open these past several years.  So what is it about decent people being up front about their faith that just causes these quasi-athiests to bunch their undies?  Could it be the pricking of their own consciences?  The conscience is a God-given faculty inside each and every person that lets one know when he/she is not living as he/she should.  Repeated violation of the conscience can dull one to its voice - but not entirely.  Hence the discomfort - and resentment.  The evidence is there for all to see - attempts at denial notwithstanding.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking as another non-fan, I think the comedian (and lapsed Catholic) Denis Leary summed up a lot of people's feelings thus, circa 1997 (with expletives removed in deference to the easily offended):
    "God talks to Benny Hinn; He talks to Jimmy Swaggert; He talks to wide receivers and defensive linemen. But I was an altar boy for seven years, I memorized the Latin Mass, and you know what? I've never heard from the guy. Not a phone call, not a note, but apparently He talks to Reggie White every Saturday night before the big game on Sunday because, as we all know, God is a huge Green Bay Packers fan!"

    I have managed to overhear various assessments of Mr. Tebow's abilities, but I'm hardly qualified to critique, so for the sake of argument, I'll stipulate that he is a fine quarterback. He's certainly better than me. Personally, I think it's rather silly to think that if God existed, that He would have a preference for the outcome of a football game, and would affect the outcome of said game. What about the faithful players and fans of the teams that Tebow has played against? Do they all need to take a knee after every touchdown in order to earn God's favor?

    And really, all his shows of faith are not for him, or his God, they are for those watching. He could just as easily pray silently (as I'm sure that many players do), but he doesn't, he makes a display of his devotion. Just like the act of writing Bible citations in his eye-black. It obviously wasn't for him to see and be reminded during the game, it was for those watching him. It strikes me as a rather ostentatious and proud (a Deadly Sin!) show of faith.

    Or, it could be that football, in many ways, is a religion unto itself. I wonder how many people watch at least one game a week, every week of the season, compared to how many people attend "proper" religious services regularly (discounting twice-a-year Christians and HHD-only Jews). Just as I know some Christians are annoyed when people wear football jerseys to church (but the Redskins are in the playoffs!), people don't like when one "religion" invades the territory of another.

    But, as I said, I don't really have a dog in this proverbial fight. If I'm anywhere where people are watching the Broncos play over the next few weeks, and I happen to catch a glimpse of Tim Tebow performing some religious observance, I will not care enough to have a hissy-fit. Rather, I'll observe what was as close as the late, great Christopher Hitchens came to a religious tradition: there's got to be a glass of Scotch somewhere.


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