Saturday, January 14, 2012


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.)


Betty Cracker said...

I find ostentatious displays of faith irritating too. However, I think you're closer to the mark when you say Tebow is doing what he thinks god wants him to do (according to the precepts of his particularly kooky form of Christianity) than when you accuse him of self-aggrandization.

Full disclosure: I'm a University of Florida alum and avid football fan, so perhaps I'm biased. But I've followed Tebow's career very closely, and he doesn't seem at all a conceited dickhead. He actually comes across as pretty humble and non-judgmental, especially when compared to kooks like his father or fellow god-bothering athletes like Kurt Warner and Deon Sanders.

What's different is the slobbering media coverage. That's where I direct my irritation. It's put me in a bind today, because I cannot stand the Patriots, but I know that if the Broncos win, the god-bothering media coverage will reach ear-splitting levels. Still, I'm gonna have to go with the Patriot-hate today. ;-)

c u n d gulag said...

Now, ask yourselves this::

"Would the MSM have made as much of him if he was a BLACK MUSLIM left-handed, God-bothering, QB who could run but can't throw?"
This clown can't even throw a tantrum!
If he was black, or a Muslim, and especially both - he would have been turned into a TE or a FB.

But oh, how the MSM seems to loves them some Kneelin' and Prayin' Timmeh Tebow!

And some idiot sports columnist's already written a 'Tebow for President!' column.

Of course, he's still too young. But maybe a Republican Congress can change the minimum age requirement to hasten a Tebow Administration.

But before they start, they need to think carefully about this.

Listen, you Jesusy people - if Tebow were such a TRUE Christian, as you believe he is, wouldn't he have demanded to stay in the shot-gun, and not go 'under-center' and put his hands under a man's ass and scrotum sack?

I mean, how GAY is that?!?!

Jesus, there's bound to some Santorum still lingering 'under-center.' A few dingleberries too, no doubt.

And do we want a President who, if he decided to lob a nuke at Iran, might just as easily hit Iowa?

And, yeah, if Timmeh went home and did his Tebow-loves-the-baby-Jesus thingy in private, I wouldn't give a shit.
But, PDA with Jesus and God make me ill, and I'm not alone.
You're only showing what kind of a sanctimonious asshole you are, not how faithful you are.
I read that in some book. If I remember it right, I believe it was called "The Bible."

Steve M. said...

You've watched him more closely than I have, Betty, but I think there are a lot of different kinds of self-admiration. I think Tebow's is just subtler than, say, Donald Trump's.

Greylocks said...

Also, too - the SuperBowl ad, circumcisions, and this and this.

: smintheus :: said...

I've never laid eyes on Tebow, but the slobbering Christian fans are pretty damned annoying. Half the nation actually believes that God is guiding this footballer to victory and presumably righteously smiting the opposing teams. Don't understand why they don't jump to the other conclusion, at least as likely...that Tebow has sold his immortal soul to Lucifer and is reaping the worldly rewards in a faustian bargain.

bsoist said...

@Betty, I'm a Gator and a long time Tebow fan, but I think you are being objective about it. I had the same reaction to this post. Tebow may annoy me in a lot of ways (I'm a Christian who doesn't follow his "kooky" flavor of Christianity), but self-aggrandizing he is not.

He is different.

Anonymous said...

In their attitude towards unbelievers and the less ostentatiously religious the demonstratively pious have always been "holier than thou" dickheads.

And you are exactly right how annoying these smug blockheads are whose conceit is based squarely on believing - or claiming to believe - egregious claptrap.

c u n d gulag said...

No, it's not at all self-aggrandizing to wear eye-black with the verse numbers.

You're clearly NOT trying to draw attention to yourself.

Or, to bow and kneel in "humility" every time you score a touchdown.

And it the very opposite of self-aggrandizement to allow yourself to be in a commercial that advocates "Forced Labor" for every woman on the planet.

No, you're right, he's deeply humble, and shows his humility every time a camera might be somewhere nearby.


I'm sure there are, and have been, many athletes who are just as deeply religious as St. Timmy of the Rockies.
We just never knew it, because they were truly humble, and not self-aggrandizing - and showed true humility by not letting us see them pray or be thankful for their blessings.

So, yes, Tebow IS, different.
At least from them.

Steve M. said...

What gulag said.

BH said...

Turned out, Tebow's different from Brady too. Heh.

Ten Bears said...

I think it's pretty obvious "God" doesn't give a flying fig about football.

What was it Jesus said about puffed-up pontificating pontificaters puffed-up-edly pontificating on street corners? Oh, right, put it in the closet.

Matthew 6:5-6:

When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

You want bonus points for that?

Mt 6:1-3 (just prior to the above). Do it because it’s the right thing to do.

As an Atheist, or more accurately a Gnostic, albeit a Rogue Gnostic, knowing as I do far more about these ignorant dog-shit’s religion than they themselves know, I’d call it “Taking The Lord’s Name In Vain”. As in “Thou Shalt Not.” As I read the texts there is nothing “sinful” about saying “god-damn”, putting your hand on a bible and “swearing to god” is the sin. Tebow pointing to the sky after a touchdown is the sin, praying for others’ deaths is the sin.

Taking The Lord’s Name In Vain.

I, am above “sin”, and got no problem tossing the first rock.

bsoist said...

@Ten Bears,
You raise an interesting point. I've always considered it taking the Lord's name in vain when most athletes thank Jesus after a game. I wrote something yesterday about that and pointed out that I thought Tebow (and a few others) was different. My problem is with using Jesus as a good luck charm. I was giving Tebow a free pass because I think his faith is sincere.

On the other hand, I see your point that associating Jesus with something as insignificant as a touchdown is just as bad.

I'm a Christian, but I have always been uncomfortable with the "I'm special because Jesus loves *me*" crowd.

c u n d gulag said...

"I'm a Christian, but I have always been uncomfortable with the "I'm special because Jesus loves *me*" crowd."

And a sincere, 'good for you' on that!

And that means that YOU are "different" from many of them.

Including Tim Tebow.

Roger said...

The publican didn't kneel.

He did it wrong.