There's no doubting Tim Tebow's having a heck of a run at the moment. The guy's almost unstoppable. His mojo even screws with the heads of normally clutch players on the opposing team, causing them to make inexplicable mistakes at the most crucial of moments. Tim Tebow is definitely a special player; that unique breed of terrific athlete combined with a selfless team player and motivator. The Force is definitely with him.
But, Fox News' Todd Starnes is defending Tebow's "post-game preaching" and wants to know why everyone's jumping on what he calls the "anti-Christian" bigot bandwagon?
I'll tell you why.
There are two reasons. First, as far as I can tell, never in the history of professional sports, never at anytime during the careers of superstar athletes such as Michael Jordan, or Derek Jeter, or even Tiger Woods, did we ever see the "Jesus flag" being waved so blatantly in our faces to where we can't see the field anymore. You never saw, nor will you ever see, Derek Jeter do an anti-abortion ad before game seven of the World Series because, even if he is against abortion, he's too smart for that. He's too smart to willingly air his personal beliefs about such an incredibly sensitive nation-dividing issue in the arena of professional sport. He's too smart to try and use his influence for such a controversial issue. Instead, the great ones use their influence to sell sports cars and watches. Not birth control.
It also doesn't help that Tebow's mantra, and subsequent outcry, has been shoved down our throats on what seems like an hourly basis. Between the dozens of online sound bytes, and the interviews and commentary replayed like broken records by the cable news and sports networks, you literally would have to live in a cabin in Montana in order to avoid exposure. And even then you might have a carrier pigeon land on your windowsill with a "Jesus loves you" leaflet in its mouth, courtesy of "C.A.T.S. -- the Conservative Audubonners for Tebow Society."
The other answer to the question of why anyone would jump on a guy who's "honoring God," as opposed to all the other athletes who turn out to be less-than-stellar role models, is that these less-than-stellar role models, even with their drinking binges and infidelities, usually possess the one thing these ultra-religious types lack: tolerance.
This kind of blind faith in Jesus, this kind of 'glazed-over' look you see when Tebow mentions his BFF, is also usually accompanied by seriously radical beliefs. Sure, he might build a few hospitals and help a few orphans. But those hospitals might turn away a seventeen-year-old rape victim seeking an abortion, and that orphan might be locked away if he/she displays homosexual tendencies.
When was the last time you met a Jesus-loving, Bible-quoting person who also supported gay marriage or civil rights of any kind? With these types, it's not so much "live and let live" but more, "We'll let you live if you let us tell you how to live." I'm not saying that's how everyone of them are, but if there are religious conservatives out there who believe in keeping God out of your personal life, I bet you'd have a hard time getting a chess game at the annual picnic.
I'd much rather see Tiger Woods get caught cheating on his wife than a whack job like Rick Perry constantly walking around quoting the Bible as if Jesus personally phoned him that morning with his mission to segregate everyone from each other. It's not their love of God that scares me. It's what they feel they -- AND THE REST OF US -- must do, in order to be sent to heaven. That's what scares me most. They're just as radical as Muslim extremists. Except, their destruction isn't caused by bombs. Their destruction comes in the form of happy (never gay), fund-raising socials where they serve you punch and quietly talk about stripping funding for stem cells and arts programs and holding back progress on basic human rights issues. They've become Stepford People because their love of God has given them a common sense lobotomy and replaced it with robot-like obedience. "One of us. One of us. One of us."
Personally, I always wondered if these religious sports zealots think Jesus loves them more than the losing team? Just once, I would love to see an interview w/ a guy on the losing side who says, "I'd like to send a big 'F You!' to Jesus for making me drop that ball in the third quarter."
Religion is a very personal thing and it doesn't belong in schools, in the workplace or in professional sports. It would be best for everyone, including Tebow, if he just left Jesus in the manger where he belongs. There's no questioning Tim Tebow is the flavor of the month. But, some of us just prefer chocolate to "Jesus Jubilee."
I'd like to thank Moses for giving me the strength to write this article.