Saturday, January 14, 2012

**The Case Against Tim Tebow**

Tim Tebow is a dedicated, hard-working and humble young man. He spends a good amount of time off-the-field volunteering his time to worthwhile charities, including his own, helping underprivileged men, women and children gain access to a better life. For all these aspects of his being, Tim Tebow deserves to be commended and emulated by us all.

Tim Tebow is also a scourge to society.

This might seem like a bombastic statement in light of all the rampant adulation under which he is currently being showered, yet I say it without exaggeration. To better understand this, look no further than the bible verse that Tebow has famously advertised on his eye-black throughout his young career--John 3:16. An interesting yet vitally important proverbial choice. Here's what it says, as if you needed a reminder:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

By all historical accounts, Jesus of Nazareth lived an incredibly virtuous life. He preached love, tolerance and acceptance. He famously suggested that when struck, we should turn the other cheek. He extolled the virtues of charity and goodwill, not only through mere words, but by his very actions in this world. There can be no mistaking it: if every one of us on this troubled planet were to follow the example that Jesus set forth, we would be gazing upon a veritable Paradise, right here, right now.

But you see, convincing humanity to emulate Jesus' lifestyle is not nor has never been the primary concern of Christian Fundamentalism. Their primary concern is recruitment, salesmanship, adding numbers to their ranks. This serves only the Church--an organization constructed by and for man, it does not serve mankind--an organization constructed by and for God (or whatever).

This brings us back to the notorious verse of gospel that Tebow has billboarded across his face during games. He didn't elect to write Mark 12:31 under his eyes. It's a quote from Jesus demanding that we love our neighbor as we love ourselves, and that there is in fact NO GREATER commandment. He didn't marker himself with Matthew 19:21, exalting charity and tireless dedication to the less fortunate. No. Tim Tebow advertises a message that, above all else, you need to accept his god as your God, otherwise you're pretty much screwed.

Spirituality brings us together, just as we can all agree that loving each other and learning to live peacefully with one another is a noble, universal pursuit. Religious dogma, on the completely opposite end, is a primordially divisive entity that has fueled nearly ever major conflict in human history.

There have been others to take up Jesus' cause--Buddha, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. immediately come to mind. They all left their mark on this world, leaving it a better place than the one in which they arrived. Yet, interestingly--following the logic of religious gospel--I can be a cannibalistic serial killer on death row that decides to embrace Jesus moments before I'm killed and I'm rewarded with an infinitely better fate than Gandhi; namely the salvation from burning eternally in Hell. That's pretty cool. Except that Gandhi is a recent historical figure whose life most closely resembled that of Jesus, and a serial killer MURDERS PEOPLE FOR NO REASON! So ask yourself, what is the point here? Are we trying to work together to make THIS world a better place for all of our children? Or are we trying to serve as sales agents for one of the most questionable organizations of all time?

This is a free country, and so long as my government isn't institutionalizing it--as barred specifically by the Constitution--every individual is within their right to try and tell me why I need to accept Jesus as my personal lord and savior, just as I have every right to ignore them and judge them as an easily persuadable soul who has been driven (read: brainwashed) entirely away from the point. So even though Tim Tebow believes in his heart that I'm going to hell, I choose to turn the other cheek. I have no ill-will towards him. I actually root for him to do well on the football field because he is often exciting to watch, and left-handed athletes are the shit. As a sports figure, I find him compelling. As a religious icon, I find him deeply disturbing. I care only about how he reads a playbook, not the "Good Book." And perhaps he should be reading the latter a bit more carefully:

"And when thou pray, thou shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in
the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.
Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou pray, enter into thy closet,
and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret… "
[Matthew 6:6 & 7]

So maybe the next time that Tim Tebow has a post-game press conference he might want to take note of Jesus' aforementioned words and instead of publicly praying and preaching on national
television, how about mentioning any number of worthwhile charities to which he is unquestionably devoted. He is, after all, in a unique position to encourage a culture which is now singularly fixated on him to BE THE CHANGE THEY WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD. But so long as his primary message is one of fundamental division, predicated upon the irrelevant notion of accepting his god as our own, all those that seek to put him on a pedestal are bowing to a False Idol, which should be every bit as concerning to a believer as it is to a non-believer.