What Criticisms of Tim Tebow Reveal

November 3, 2011 — Leave a comment

Here are some insightful comments about the Tebow criticism:

Imagine for a second, the Denver Broncos quarterback is a devout follower of Islam, sincere and principled in his beliefs and thus bowed toward Mecca to celebrate touchdowns. Now imagine if Detroit Lions players Stephen Tulloch and Tony Scheffler mockingly bowed toward Mecca, too, after tackling him for a loss or scoring a touchdown, just like what happened Sunday.

I know what would happen. All hell would break loose.

You cannot mock Muslim faith, not in this country, not anywhere really.

It is primarily a respect issue, because religion is sacred and should be off limits. Yet when Tulloch and Scheffler dropped to a knee to mock how Tebow prays — an action known as “Tebowing” that has gone viral among the public, too — we yawned and told Christians to lighten up. We blamed Tebow for making a show of honoring God rather than himself in moments of joy. We excused them because Tulloch said he was mocking “Tebowing,” not God.

What this whole repeating cycle of Tebow — rip his game, mock his faith, rise to his defense, repeat — has revealed about religious discourse in America is ugly. We have become so enamored of politically correct dogma that we protect every minority from even the slightest blush of insensitivity while letting the very institutions that the majority holds dear to be ridiculed. And this defense that Tebow invites such scrutiny with his willingness to publicly live as he privately believes calls into question what exactly it is we value…

Patrick Schreiner

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I teach New Testament at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. I am married with three children. This blog, against all wisdom, includes anything I am interested in. That includes movies, music, theology, culture, hermeneutics, the Gospels, and politics. Feel free to comment and let me know you are reading or that you have found something helpful. I reserve the right to delete unhelpful or rude comments. Many of these posts are simply things I find interesting and therefore I am not asserting I agree with everything I link to.

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