Worship more like hardship
A certain sports columnist from Chicago — we’ll call him “Rick Morrissey” — writes that Tim Tebow isn’t a good quarterback and that God doesn’t care whether the Broncos win a football game…The columnist then gets inundated with emails from Broncos fans, Tebow fans and, for some reason, what seems to be most of the white population of Oklahoma…
...I don’t think I’ve seen a bigger emotional investment in whether one player wins a football game. People see a Tebow victory as proof of all sorts of things, mostly that God is squarely on his side…
...There was an assumption in many of the emails I received that if you’re not on board with the Tebow movement, you must be anti-religion, pro-abortion, anti-gun rights, Obama-loving and in all likelihood attracted to farm animals. And you know this about me because I don’t think Tebow is a particularly good quarterback? I also got the sense that being a practicing Catholic is not quite Christian enough for some of you. I’ll have to work on that.
I can’t tell you how many emails I received that included the terms “Michael Vick,’’ “thugs” and “end zone celebrations.’’ As in, would you rather have that than Tebow’s overt religious enthusiasm? If I recall, Vick served prison time for his dog-fighting cruelty. And if I’m not mistaken, we’re called to forgive one another. Apparently, there’s something in the fine print about Vick that excludes forgiveness.
That sliver-sized space for absolution is what worries me about Tebow’s future. People have constructed a world for him in which there is no room for mistakes, only perfection. And if he should stumble? What then? It’s frightening how much belief followers have put in a 24-year-old. I feel sorry for him. I feel sorry for the woman who marries him. I can’t imagine the glare of the spotlight and the pressure to be sinless. Tebow seems like a very nice guy with a very big heart. It’s the people who worship him, rather than just admire him, who make my skin crawl.