Michael Medved, the host of a daily, nationally syndicated radio show and the author of The 5 Big Lies About American Business (Crown Forum, 2009), has an excellent article published in The Wall Street Journal on Tim Tebow, the famous quarterback of the Denver Broncos.
In his article, Medved discusses how “a clean-living quarterback with deep commitments to charitable service and miraculous last-minute victories became the most controversial player in the league.” This is a must read article. Below is an excerpt from the article:
A popular website called TebowHaters.com serves as a clearinghouse for denunciations, while Jeff Darlington of NFL.com got a big response for a survey on what offended fans most about the Broncos quarterback. An Orlando, Fla., radio station (WJRR) used crude language promoting a public campaign to terminate Mr. Tebow’s well-advertised virginity and to break his pledge to save himself for marriage. Bill Maher, acerbic tribune of “Real Time” on HBO, got into the holiday spirit last month by celebrating a Denver loss and tweeting: “Wow. Jesus just f—- #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve!” Novelist and blogger Drew Magary proudly declares on the sports website Deadspin.com: “Not only is it OK to root against Tim Tebow, it’s practically your duty as cynical Americans.”
Of course, much of the resentment centers on the young star’s outspoken association with evangelical Christianity. He’s the home-schooled son of Baptist missionaries, and his well-advertised habit of dropping to one knee and lowering his head in prayer has given rise to a convenient new word in the national vocabulary—”tebowing.”
In response, “Saturday Night Live” featured a Dec. 18 skit with Jesus himself (played by Jason Sudeikis) urging Mr. Tebow to “take it down a notch.” And certainly some of his admirers have run out of bounds with their messianic enthusiasms.
For example, when Mr. Tebow beat mighty Pittsburgh with an 80-yard toss on the first play of last weekend’s overtime playoff game, statistics showed he’d gained a total of 316 passing yards in the game. Among his fans this evoked John 3:16, the favorite Biblical verse—”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son”—that Mr. Tebow inscribed in the black paint under his eyes when he played quarterback at the University of Florida.
Moreover, emails made the rounds among Orthodox Jews connecting Mr. Tebow’s heavenly achievement to their own tradition: Since Hebrew scans from right to left, the passing number he achieved should have read 613, not 316—and 613, an important figure in Judaism, marks the precise number of commandments in the Torah.
Some people do not like Tim Tebow because he insists on displaying his faith in public. And since some people dislike religion and those who display their religious commitment in public, Tim Tibow embodies what skeptics and secularists love to hate.
I encourage you to visit The Wall Street Journal online and read the article in its entirety.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary