Faith, Football and Tebowing

Tim Tebow - so do we love him or hate him? I’m John Stonestreet, and this is The Point.

Listen Now | Download

In a recent article in Fox Sports, Jen Engel questions the hysteria over Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow dropping to one knee and praying after touchdowns. The gesture is popularly known as “Tebowing,” and it’s been ridiculed non-stop on the field, the internet and the media.

Engel asks an interesting question: “What if Tim Tebow were a Muslim?” If opponents mocked an Islamic quarterback for thanking God on the field, “All hell would break loose,” she says.

“You cannot mock Muslim faith, not in this country...” So why is it okay to mock Christianity? Because Christians like Tebow are “too nice,” she says. “...we want him to trip up so we can feel better.” When he doesn’t, we just make fun of his religion.

Engel thinks we should take a cue from Tebow. Real faith is more than a Sunday gesture -- whether it's the gesture of going to church or taking a knee after a touchdown. It should be integrated in every area of life, and every day of the week. Come to and tell me what you think of Tebow. For the Point, I’m John Stonestreet.

Latest Broadcast on YouTube

Further Reading

Why the Heck do We Hate Tim Tebow?
Jen Floyd Engel | Fox Sports | November 03, 2011

Tebow's Religion, and Ours
Daniel Foster | National Review | December 03, 2011

Column: Anti-Tebow Bias Isn't About Football
Larry Taunton | USA Today | December 02, 2011


"It's inappropriate to mock those who are already oppressed and marginalized. The oppressive majority, however, is fair game. "

The status of having internet access in itself makes you non-oppressed and non-marginalized and therefore a proper subject for mockery. Or are you claiming that you are an third-world peasant that magically learned how to use a computer just so you could mock people who are "non-marginalized"?
Well, I thought I'd check back here, though I don't know when next I'll return OR if this interests anyone else...
Anyway, a couple comments to JOSH Yo's last of "December 20, 2011 6:24 PM".

a) First off, I think there's a difference between something like mockery and rebuke. I can think of examples where Jesus rebuked the pharisees.
b) However, it's possible Jesus got people to laugh at the pharisees' expense. I just can't think of any examples off the top of my head.
c) But would that prove he was mocking them? I'm of the opinion that mockery is different from satire. (mockery being something like derisiveness for the sake of ridicule, or self-aggrandizement; while satire is more some kind of with used to expose folly). I'm assuming you're defending satire, which is then fine with me.
d) Mockery is, again, I believe, something that seeks to lower the one mocked (whereas Satire seeks to remove the fault in the satirized). Is this a fair assessment? What do others say?
e) I agree satire is a great resource of the oppressed against their oppressors. But I think mockery is almost the reverse. Were the pharisees and Jesus exchanging "mocks" in your view? Did they both feel the other was the oppressor?
f) I don't think anti-Tebowers are being oppressed by Tebow.

I, of course, could be mistaken and am open to civil dialogue on the topic.

Jesus was certainly mocked, but what evidence do you have that Jesus never got people to laugh at the pharisees' expense? You seem to frown on a whole genre of comedy like some of the puritans (and Ned Flanders?) frowned upon card playing. Mockery is a form of comedy with a powerfully subversive effect. It has always been a resource of the oppressed against their oppressors. You really have never seen mockery employed with taste and virtue?
"You don't think Jesus ever mocked the pharisees?"
No. I think the pharisees mocked Jesus.
You don't think Jesus ever mocked the pharisees?
Neat. I like Ned Flanders. I like Tim Tebow. And mockery is bad for the soul.
No one saying that Tebow is being persecuted for hypocrisy. And he's not being persecuted for righteousness. Tebow is being mocked for completely ordinary reasons. The dude paints bible verses on his face. He's mocked in the way Ned Flanders is mocked on The Simpsons.
Check that.
It should be noted I'm not a huge Football fan. My comment about post-celebrations should be expanded. I think I was mixing NFL rules in. Anyway, there are *many* more extensive post-celebrations in the CFL than the NFL. "Christian" celebrations don't seem to be long/often.

c.f. (l.?)
There's often (though not a majority of) things like "pointing skyward", "crossing oneself", "one-kneeing-it for prayer" after a touchdown. It's usually quick (because there's some rules on how much time/energy can be put into post-TD celebrations), and I don't even know if most people notice. I do notice it though. There's also interesting things like players from both teams meeting for prayer before/after games at center-field. This is more noticeable if you're watching live, as I don't think broadcasters are that interested.

However, I see more and more faith expressions being "shut-down" in the spirit of "tolerance". Since it is so pluralistic, I'd hope that Canada could be a place where we celebrate our differences, rather than make us all... toe-the-line.
Hey Steve, just curious: do you routinely see CFL players publicly demonstrating their Christian faith? I don't remember seeing any prayers or pointing Heavenward last time I watched a game in Edmonton, but then again I wasn't watching all that closely for it. One might think from Mark Steyn's columns that this would be a big deal, with the CHRC getting involved - but is it?

Hmmm - can't say as I've seen anything like this in European soccer. And I wonder if it isn't a requirement to be an unbeliever to be able to play rugby. ;-)
I don't doubt that self-righteousness is a very serious vice. I've seen one video on youtube of Tebow, so I'm not expert. Is he self-righteous? Is he congratulating himeself? (I have no idea). Is he being mocked for bible verses on his face because that's seen as tacky, offensive, or something else? (Is that like Christian kitsch or whatever that somehow merits mocking?)
As an aside, I think there's many things we can improve on and those things should be pointed out incisively... I just think mocking is a lot like bullying and doesn't really help/improve the situation.
I thought Tebow was being mocked for writing bible verses on his face and what not. That's different from being mocked for following Jesus. Compare: Whenever a self-righteous hypocrite gets slapped, he's tempted congratulate himself for being persecuted for righteousness sake.

This is just another one of those Christian vices.
Tebow: I like his attitude on the field. He's a great sportsman. And totally agree that our Faith should be integrated into who we are, in every thing we do.

Yo, JOSH: I'm not sure it's ever appropriate to mock someone. At least, I don't think it's good for the mocker.

On the other hand, "blessed are you when people mock you ... because you are my followers" - Jesus. I take it we all agree Christians aren't perfect and need daily help though.
It's inappropriate to mock those who are already oppressed and marginalized. The oppressive majority, however, is fair game. For better or worse, Christianity is the majority view in our society. And Christians, at least in America, are not "too nice." They have all too often supported the marginalization and oppression of their fellow citizens.