EVEN THE LIBERAL NEW YORK TIMES (KINDA) HEARTS TEBOW
If an atheist Occupy Wall Street backer were the new Cinderella star of the National Football League, do you think Fox News would be giving us stories about the guy that said, in effect, "Yeah, I can see why people admire him, and everyone on our side who attacks him is probably just guilt-ridden"? So why do so many "liberal media" stories on Tim Tebow include passages like this?
Decent people who are proud of their faith, do good things and succeed in life tend to irritate some of us; they remind us of our private failures, so, naturally, we hope they stumble.
That's from Dan Barry in The New York Times today.
And you know what? It's not true. For one thing, many of us don't feel guilty that we've had premarital sex or use cuss words. Many of us don't feel guilty that we don't glorify God incessantly. (Many of us don't believe in God and are perfectly comfortable about it.)
What tends to irritate us is people who think they're better than we are, and who incessantly remind us that they feel this way. That's what's irritating about Tebow's public displays of (moral) perfection.
I would argue that even Jesus himself would agree that Tebow's showoffy sanctimony is wrong. I know Saturday Night Live has made that point in a sketch, but here's a quote that's actually from the Bible; I've used it many times on this blog in reference to public figures who desperately want you to pay attention to how holy they are, but I can't think of anyone in public life who's deserved it more than Tebow. Tim, here's Luke 18:10-14:
Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
He's talking to you, Tim.
There's one more passage from the Times story I'd like to point out:
What, exactly, is it about Tim Tebow that so fascinates and provokes us? ...
Part of the answer may lie in the way he seems oblivious to the throaty roars that envelop him on and off the field, as though Tebow is always tebowing, whether kneeling or standing up.
Oblivious? Oblivious? That's ridiculous. I don't even think Tebow would say he's "oblivious." I know enough evangelical boilerplate to say that he'd probably tell you that God wants all believers to proselytize, to proclaim God's word, and, well, God has blessed him with the tremendous opportunity to do so before tens of thousands of people in football stadiums and millions of people on television, so he's just doing what the Lord wants.
Yes, he is -- as ostentatiously and self-aggrandizingly as humanly possible. Which is what pisses so many of us off.
(X-posted at Booman Tribune.)