“What Does Scripture Really Say About Tebow’s Public Prayers?”

Every Day Christian Julie wrote a long blog post about how everybody’s got to leave Tim Tebow alone. Below, my personal reaction to her post…

Sometimes, it is hard to be a bystander. When the subject of God comes up, it can be maddening to watch so much spite and self-righteousness.

I know! Religious people can be such assholes some times. I mean, most of them aren’t ever, and only a few are all the time, but this whole self-righteousness thing is verily a total drag.

When the primary message of love and compassion is lost in bitter words, I feel the need to speak up.

Absolutely. My view, as an Atheist and a Humanist is that one of the most important things I can do is to make the life of those I love a little better than it might otherwise be. Bitter words have no place in that, and I sometimes like to speak up when people can’t stop themselves from being spiteful. It isn’t just religious people, though, who can be like that. Anybody can be like that really.

It doesn’t make me any better. God, forgive me when this angry side shows.

Oh. I was thinking you were … oh, never mind …

My voice inside my head …

… uh …

… tells me God does not need anyone to defend Him, and I should not let these things get to me. But I’m human. This subject touches my heart, which only adds to the fervency. God, forgive my lack of constraint.

Are you going to go berserk now?

Today I want to share my latest collapse of spiritual composure.

I’m guessing yes.

Before I tell you about this, I will tee it up and tell you that the topic is no stranger to the news, especially in sports and religious circles. Wait for it….

Ok, I’ll be over here…

The public prayer of Tim Tebow. I know, not him again!

What? You mean that football player who everybody thought god was on his side but he got his everlovin’ ass kicked anyway?

Even with all the bad behaviors that exist in a sport filled with egomaniacs, THIS bothers people. Even for those who are not Christians, is this something to loathe? The guy’s got heart far beyond the 27 seconds of prayer he displays in the end zone.

I guess I’ve never seen him do that. Is it exactly 27 seconds? Isn’t that kind of disruptive of the game? Does he get a penalty for that? Hey, I can just see what the hand signals for that would be.

“Uncalled for praying … five yard penalty. Repeat the down!”

There are probably a long list of reasons that people get so bothered by this. I can only guess.

That would be “There is probably a long list”

Maybe God does not need to be defended, but I feel the urge to defend such a God-fearing man. He probably doesn’t need it either. It is just annoying, so I guess this is MY issue.

OK, good, done. This was starting to get uncomfortable.

However, what has tipped my feelings of annoyance to anger is when a Facebook conversation cited scripture to criticize this man. The basis of this stems from a passage in Matthew 6:5-6, which talks about public prayer.

Wait, I thought you were done. Well, it seems like you need different Facebook friends. Maybe you should consider sticking to your own kind. Facebookers who pray together Like together.

I know anger is no solution and at some point I had to just step out of the conversation. In the end, it broke my heart. I was overwhelmed with sadness that the entire message of Jesus was missed.

Maybe that is because this is not about Jesus. Jesus thought he was sent to Earth by his father in order to die on the cross. Tebow things he’s god’s gift to football. Entirely different delusions.

This message is sandwiched between other passages that tell us to “be the light” (Matt 5:14-16) and “not to judge” (Matt 7:1-5). Why was this ignored? Even I ignored it by participating in the debate.

Well, it looks to me like what yo are doing there is quote mining. That first Matthew quote, for example, is about interior lighting design, and the other is about eye health.

Yes, I have never met the man and really have no idea was his intentions are.

That is undoubtedly true.

But I have been paying close attention to him and believe his heart is faithful. Without a doubt.

Then why did he lose the playoffs, and not only lose them, but lost them in a deeply embarrassing and shameful way? Clearly, god hath forsaken Tebow. Totally.

I love football, and I think Tebow is a man of great character, and brings positive energy to the sport. He has heart, ethics, unwavering faith, and a positive attitude.

Tim has been consistant in his faith long before he was drafted by the Broncos. His upbringing attests to that – his parents were missionaries and taught Tim about the bible since he was a young boy.

Have you ever met any missionaries? I have. I wan’t positively impressed.

He wore scripture under his eyes in college.

That’s weird. Like taped on with duct tape? What?

He created a foundation that takes care of children all over the world. Yes, Tim prays silently to thank God. On the field. With cameras watching. But I am sure he prays in private as well. For the glory of God.

Where I come from we call that showboating. FIVE YAERDS!!! (hahaha)

The media has made him into something beyond anything I have ever seen.

His behavior is unprecedented and extreme, demanding of attention, and anything but subtle. The media is merely taking notice. Tebow Tebowed himself.

I have never seen a man more loved and hated. No one is neutral about Tebow. He inspires passion and compassion from people all over the world. He also ignites hate and anger from others.

I’m guessing that is what he was after.

Truthfully, I don’t believe that Tim prays because people are watching, I believe people are watching because he prays.

Um. No. People are watching the football game and he knows that and uses that as an opportunity for his own bizarre version of showboating. FIVE YARD!!! (hahahaha)

In the end

Oh good, the end….

my question to those who cite Matt 6:5-6 to judge or tattle-tail is: why?

Now, this is getting uninteresting. Who cares.

With all the hate and suffering in this world, why does heartfelt prayer bother you? Doesn’t God deserve the glory?

I wonder what the real motive is when I see people grabbing on to scripture and using it or even twisting it to support their judgment or hate.

I know, I hate that! Kinda like you did above.

Maybe prayer makes them uncomfortable.

Silent prayer and prayer done in private makes no one uncomfortable. Prayer done in the public, showboating (FIVE YARDS) way Tebow does it can indeed make people uncomfortable, and that is fairly obvious and that is one of the reasons he should not do it. But I must say I don’t like the tone of your voice when you say that.

Maybe they are simply bitter because the church, or someone has hurt them. Are their hearts flooded with anger or insecurity? Is it just the need to be heard? I can only wonder.

No, just annoyed. People are just annoyed.

Are the critics pointing out that Tim is a sinner? Well they are right. He is. And so am I and you

Now you are being a jackass. Speak for yourself.

and everyone here on Planet Earth. But the good news is God sent Jesus to die for us. He took on the sin himself so we could be free (John 3:16).

One of the greatest delusions off the christian faith.

Above all else, it states in the bible that we are to love God and love one another (Matt 22:37-40). Why do we ignore THAT message in favor of judgment and self-righteousness?

I see what you just did. You said to people like me that we are being judgmental because we don’t think exactly like you do. I don’t mind your religion and your religiosity as long as you don’t judge me and pray all over my TV. But you do both. Please stop. (Talking to you and Tebow together, here, obviously.)

I don’t know the answer to this, but I will certainly pray to God about it.

Yeah, I know you don’t know. Let us know when you … hear back.

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24 Responses to “What Does Scripture Really Say About Tebow’s Public Prayers?”

  1. feralboy12 says:

    That’s weird. Like taped on with duct tape? What?

    Yeah, pretty much. Actually it’s eyeblack tape, which mostly replaced the charcoal or whatever the old-timers used. It looks something like this. I’m not sure either is particularly effective at reducing glare.
    Unfortunately, Tim is not allowed to wear extraneous messages in the NFL.
    What really tired me out about the whole thing was sportscasters, sportswriters and, of course, Christians insisting that everyone had to “respect his faith,” even those of us doomed to eternal torture in its teachings. Funny how we’re suddenly not allowed to mock or imitate in fun a touchdown celebration.

  2. Tina S says:

    Ugh. He’s making a public spectacle of himself.

  3. otrame says:

    Why do they think Jesus didn’t really mean Matt. 6-6?

  4. Sheila says:

    For the first 45 years of my life, I was a fundamentalist (The Bible says it, That Settles It) Christian and even back then, Tim Tebow-like shiate made me nuts. The indescribable arrogance it takes to assume that the Supreme Being of the Universe, the Creator of the World, is concerning Himself with your little performance in a little GAME in one little location in one litle country of the world, never mind the universe…it’s breathtaking.
    And yet we atheists are described as arrogant!

  5. Pierce R. Butler says:

    Being an obnoxious show-off for Jesus = being an obnoxious show-off.

  6. rusty says:

    “Clearly, god hath forsaken Tebow.”
    Tim hasn’t been worshipping Baal again has he?
    Or maybe the Patriots are simply a much better football team than the Broncos.

  7. IraqVet1999 says:

    How does anything that man does affect any of you whinny little piss ants. If you are gonna try the whole fucking slowing of the game b.s then go get bent, it takes no longer for him to do that then any of the other end zone celebrations this is how he chooses to do it. Before you try your oh your a bible banger, I am not! I haven’t been to any form of church for 5 years, I am not sure what i believe, which i am told is normal when you loose friends to explosions and spend 27 months in a place where everyone wants to kill you and your comrades. Tim tebow never said he was gods gift to football, everyone else did that. Tim is a kind humble person who worked hard to be where he is at, so the fuck what if he has faith, is it really hurting any of you what he believes. You atheists are worse than Christians in the way you try to convert everyone, and if they choose not to convert to your way of thinking you get violently way more verbal than the Christians do. FFS leave the man alone. Is it because he is popular for what he does in the end zone and you don’t like it? Well tough shit. Me and one of my very good friend, who is a Wiken ,still bow our heads when the Chaplain ask us to so he can pray over the troops who believe, we take no offence because belief comforts them. Wow off subject a bit but oh well i will post now so you can all try to blast it,so have fun.

  8. F says:

    Wow. Two wrongs can make a right. Julie+Tebow=hilarious blog post.

    What does scripture really say about Tebow being 2011 “religious author of the year”? Something equally amusing, I hope.

  9. Alecthar says:

    @IraqVet1999 – What Tim Tebow does is irritating. Contrary to what Greg says (or at least how I read it) it’s not unprecedented, but the focus on him, and the unusual sequence of events this year, allowed his behavior way more exposure than most.

    And Greg isn’t trying to convert anyone here. Someone took issue with another person disliking Tim Tebow’s constant, overt religiosity, and Greg took issue with that. The overall tone of the blogs on this site are very snarky, and fairly confrontational. If the tone bothers you, there are definitely sites out there with an atheist/skeptical bent that address stuff like this in a manner you might find less offensive. I’d advise you to read them.

    As for the general accusation of how terrible we atheists are about everything, if being sarcastic while poking holes in someone’s blog posting is your definition of being verbally violent, how would you characterize the efforts of parts of the military you were (or may still be) a part of to systematically convert atheists, and to punish them if they fail to comply. How would you describe a chaplain’s efforts to push a religious funeral on the family of a dead soldier who didn’t believe? These are the kinds of things we hear about just from the armed forces so at the very least try to keep some perspective about the issue.

  10. Alecthar says:

    I think the think that bothers me most about Tim Tebow isn’t the actual overt religiosity (not that it doesn’t irritate me) but rather the fact that his “faith” and a .500 record have somehow managed to turn him into a symbol of the “unconventional” NFL quarterback who “just wins.”

    I mean, ESPN basically turned into the worldwide leader in linking Tim Tebow to otherwise unrelated stories. I listen to Mike and Mike on the way to work (which almost always results in me turning the radio off halfway to work and finishing the rest of the drive in silence) and on the Friday before their regular season game with the Pats, they were going on and on about how he was an unusual player, but he still managed to put things together, and he’s better than his stats say, etc. The Broncos got manhandled on Sunday, and when M&M came back the following week, instead of the narrative being “Yeah, he doesn’t ‘just win’ agains teams that actually play well.” the discussion was about how it’s not fair to judge him on his current status because he hasn’t been in the league that long, etc. Tim can’t lose! If he’s bad and wins, he’s unconventional, if he’s bad and loses, it’s not fair to say he’s bad.

    In fairness to Tim Tebow, he is doing the most important things well, he’s being Christian, White, and a football player at the same time. In his 2nd year in the league, despite still being terrible, he got way more press during most of the season than Cam Newton, who had a fantastic rookie season despite the fact that he plays for an awful team. But given that Cam Newton compounded the crime of not playing for a team with a good defense and an incredible kicker by being black, what should we expect?

  11. Nice Ogress says:

    “No one is neutral about Tim Tebow.”

    …Really?

    Alecthar has it absolutely right. Tebow’s notoriety isn’t about anything Tebow himself does or doesn’t do; it’s about constructing a mythology around a Nice White Boy Who Everyone Is Persecuting, Boo Hoo Hoo.

    It doesn’t matter that plenty of other nonwhite football players do the exact same thing and no one cares, and it doesn’t matter that in this case ‘persecution’ maps rather precisely to ‘rolling around in gigantic piles of money while laughing’. Poor, poor Tebow YOU JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND HIM.

    Personally, as a nonchristian nonfootball fan, I don’t actually give a rat’s ass about Tebow. However, like Jesus before him, his followers are a frightening, violent, loudmouthed lot, and I find their behaviour worrisome.

  12. george.w says:

    My wife, a regular churchgoer, reminded one of her Facebook buddies about the Matthew passage when she was going on about Tebow. And what do you think was the response?

    You win the Internets if you predicted: A personal email curtly saying that “We know the Matthew passage doesn’t refer to what Tim Tebow does, and please don’t comment on any of my Facebook posts about faith anymore.”

  13. I amafreeman says:

    So, one CANNOT “celebrate” (dance) in the end zone, but one can celebrate” (pray) in the end zone. Do I have this correct? In addition, I am damn sick and tired of these baseball pl;ayers who are CONSTANTLY “crossing themselves” EVERY TWO SECONDS!

    These PUBLIC DISPLAYS of one’s butt-hole, er, I meant “soul”, are the most self-serving egotitical CRAP I have ever witnessed; on a par with those card-table christians (and others) who set up shop ON CAMPUS, and all who do not want a PAMPHLET SHOVED IN THEIR FACE immediately followed by a face displaying a grinning, leering, sociopathic countenance not dis-similar to Ted Nugent’s immediately following his killing of “one of god’s creatures” must walk FAR out of their way to avoid being molested. When JC “returns” I know who is going to get bitched-slapped first.

  14. otrame says:

    @12

    So the part of Matt. 6:6 that says “unless you are a football player” got left out of my Bible. I see.

    It’s always a lot of fun to watch them struggle when you nail them with their own scripture–which may be why most atheists know more about the Bible than most Christians.

  15. N. Nescio says:

    Had precisely the same experience responding to a friend’s FB status about how shocking it was that “A nation founded on Christian principles cannot tolerate a successful person who loves God”.

    I pointed out how ridiculous a statement that was, given the percentage of the US population that professes Christianity. I noted that he was trying to have it both ways by implying that non-Christian &or non-believing US citizens owed some sort of fealty to ‘Christian principles’ and yet claiming that Christians were experiencing ‘intolerance’ of a very public display of religious belief. Then I dropped Matthew 6:5.

    His reply was, naturally, a re-interpretation of the passage in order to hand-wave away my point. After successfully arguing that the proffered interpretation was simply putting words in Jesus’ mouth in order to conveniently ignore what he actually said, I received nothing but silence. Back when I still believed, I sure remember how frustrating it was to have non-believers smack me down with my own Scripture.

    Sure feels good to have the shoe on the other foot.

  16. Tony says:

    Iraqvet1999:
    -Bless your heart, I wanted to read your post, but there were too many errors in punctuation and grammar. I’m guessing this was a rough draft that you accidentally submitted. When you’ve finished the final draft, please resubmit for the atheist populace here so that we can engage you in stimulating, intellectual discourse.
    Thanks a bunch and may Thor bless you.

  17. Danny says:

    Hah, I really enjoyed reading this. Seems like it was a descent amount of fun to write (at least it seems like you had fun with it, even if it isn’t a fun thing to find yourself responding to).

    But…I can’t help myself…

    Showboating!

  18. IraqVet1999 says:

    Tony I guess my grammar and punctuation sucks, sorry. Oh yeah, no I am not(lol). And funny thing, being I am Norwegian, actually 4 th gen American Norwegian, I have a very large tattoo of Thor’s hammer on my body. So yeah I guess Thor protects.

  19. IraqVet1999 says:

    You need to expand and specify how the military systematically converts atheists please. Also same thing for the punishment. As for the funerals yes as a religion of belief that is not recognized as a accepted belief by the dod your family maybe approached to do an accepted belif barrial and service, but only if your wishes are to be buried in a military cemetery. Yes this is unfair, but in the military we live by dressed right dressed. What this means if you look left or if you look right everything is the same lined up perfectly from the right to left.it is the same when buried so the grave stones need to be similar, therefore only a few beliefs are recognized. All beliefs are accomidated though for worships or rituals while still alive, and every Chaplin I have ever known learns the last rights of the other religions in his car, to include comforting atheists in a non religious way. The Nordic religion follower, and the wicken I deployed with were given full right to worship as they saw fit, as well as the Buddhist that was of all things my gunner. Sorry about any punctuation and spelling errors, I am on my phone.

  20. IraqVet1999 says:

    Sorry last was aimed at alecthar.

  21. Megan says:

    Matthew 6:6 (basically, it says not to make a big public show of your faith) is one of the only truly wise parts of the Bible – it’s a shame that more Xtians don’t take it to heart!

  22. mikelaing says:

    27 seconds! That’s a flagrant foul and the penalty should be 15 yards.

  23. IraqVet1999 says:

    I am disappointed that no one to include the poster wanted to back up their empty accusations towards the military. I was looking forward to blasting some leftist propaganda. But I am still here if you want to debate it.

  24. shane garee says:

    wow what a boring article could not even get through it, bible does not dont judge.if you are going to quote something make sure you get it right but i dont expect those who dont know God to understand this. it is a shame all of you nice caring people who love everyone so much the way they are and be understanding of people. all will end in hell just repent funny thing is you dont have to believe in God to go to hell but you have to believe and obey God to get to heaven