Saturday Night Live's Tim Tebow Satire Raises Ire Of Pro-Christianity Voices
Pat Robertson claimed the SNL skit was “anti-Christrian bigotry that’s just disgusting.” Robertson, 81, told viewers on the Christian Broadcasting Network’s 700 Club that had the skit been about another religion, things would have been much different. “If this had been a Muslim country and they had done that, and had Muhammad doing that stuff, you would have found bombs being thrown off, and bodies on the street,” Robertson said.
Okay, okay, I'll take the bait, Pat. It's a slow news night. First, while I won't deny that anti-Christian bigotry does exist in America, and I understand the religious right can be a little sensitive to this sort of thing, I think Roberston is completely wrong in the case of SNL. SNL, by its very nature, satirizes that which is mainstream in American society. They've been doing it for decades. Do they lean to the left? Probably so. But bigotry? Come on. His second point about the Muslim country, while potentially correct, misses the point entirely. America is neither a theocracy, nor is Islam the dominant/mainstream religion. Oh, and Tebow isn't a Muslim.
If Roberton's point is to suggest that satirizing a Muslim version of Tim Tebow in Saudi Arabia would result in bombing, then okay, so what? If, on the other hand, his point is to suggest that the same would happen if Tebow were a Muslim athlete in America is really stretching it. To consider this is to engage in a lot of hypothetical gymnastics, all of which require another dimension of space and time. It assumes some mythical reality in which Tebow is a Muslim quarterback who praises Allah to a mainstream audience of Muslims while inspiring other guys like Wesley Woodyard and Brian Dawkins to also praise Allah. In short, it's just a context that doesn't exist in American society. And as a thought experiment, it requires us to bend the context to an alternate reality. It's like when people ask me what would happen if Tim Tebow were a Muslim in America, and I say to them that the phenomenon that is Tim Tebow wouldn't exist if he were (there aren't enough Muslims in the United States to support the staggering jersey sales, for starters). I suspect Robertson can find lower-hanging fruit than the SNL skit.