(A correction about yesterday’s column appears at the end of this commentary.)
“There are plenty of haters out there,” said a commentator recently on the Don Imus radio program. He was talking about football fans who hate Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow for being a devout Christian and who publicly displays his love for Jesus Christ.
Yes, indeed. Plenty of haters. On the atheist left, that is. Indeed the real open, blatant, irrational and proud bigots in our society are on the left. They are anti-white, anti-heterosexual, anti-Christian, anti-family, anti-children, anti-fetus, anti-business, anti-gun, anti-Constitution and anti-military.
Yet if a conservative expresses one syllable of legitimate disapproval of blacks, socialists, feminists, pacifists, ‘occupiers’ etc. over questionable, immoral, unethical or even illegal behavior, he is maligned to the heavens. Because on the left, bad behavior is routine and defended or ignored, like the astronomical death and disease rate among gays.
This is the way the game is played in America. The haters on the left are given free pass by the media and the Democrat party. Who could forget the Democrats’ repeated embrace of the vicious anti-Semitic, business-hating, angry, murdering, thieving lunatics of the ‘occupy’ movement.
In an essay on online.wsj.com, the web version of The Wall Street Journal commentary page, Patton Dodd wrote in Tim Tebow: God's Quarterback that Tebow has ‘led the Denver Broncos to one improbable victory after another—defying his critics and revealing the deep-seated anxieties in American society about the intertwining of religion and sports.’
No, sir. It is not ‘anxieties’. It is raw hatred. There have been vocal and unrelenting attacks on Tebow and on all Christians in America for decades.
After several miraculous victories, Dodd wrote:
‘And when the shouting was over, Mr. Tebow did what he always does—he pointed skyward and took a knee in prayer. In postgame interviews, the young quarterback often starts by saying, "First, I'd like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" and ends with "God bless." He stresses that football is just a game and that God doesn't care who wins or loses.
This combination of candid piety and improbable success on the field has made Mr. Tebow the most-discussed phenomenon of the National Football League season. … But onward he and the Broncos have marched, winning six of their last seven games and now tied for the lead in their division as they face the Chicago Bears this Sunday. Mr. Tebow continues to defy his critics—and to embody the anxieties over religion that are dividing today's sports world and embroiling players and fans alike.’
So here is one lone sports figure in one season expressing perfectly legal, moral and ethical Christian ideals in just one brief period in sports history and he is viciously targeted by the Media Left and many of its bonehead followers in the world of professional football.
Meanwhile dozens and dozens of major sports figures every year engage in the worst possible kinds of behavior and they are never maligned like Tebow.
Why? Because these bad guys are bringing in the cash. And most people involved in sports are ignorant materialists who care only about money and fame. Their audience is much the same.
Meanwhile one of the few sports that is openly Christian – NASCAR racing – is endlessly lampooned by the mainstream sports press.
These haters and critics ignore Tebow’s years of good works with the poor and with people who are sick, troubled or in need, including prison inmates. But to liberals he is just an evil Christian because only the government is supposed to ‘help people’.
‘In 2010, while still at the University of Florida (where he won the Heisman Trophy and helped the Gators to win two national championships), Mr. Tebow filmed a Super Bowl commercial for Focus on the Family, the mega-ministry known for its conservative political advocacy. The ad is about how Mr. Tebow's mother was advised to abort her son following a placental abruption, but she refused and, well, now we have Tim Tebow.’
In other words, when a human being like Tebow is thankful for being alive and understands what Christian morality means in the most profound personal sense, it is a controversial subject.
But when black rappers murder each other in their periodic ‘wars’ for no reason at all, it is considered a part of our Anything Goes left-wing culture that the media are loathe to expose.
Now look at this from Patton Dodd:
‘The intertwining of religion and sports is nothing new in American culture. Both basketball and volleyball were invented by men involved with chapters of the Young Men's Christian Association in Massachusetts. Or consider the pioneering college coach Amos Alonzo Stagg (1862-1965), who created the batting cage in baseball, five-man teams for basketball and several of the standard aspects of football, from the man in motion, lateral pass and Statue of Liberty play to helmets, tackling dummies and names on uniforms.
The historian Clifford Putney has written that Stagg and his contemporaries combined faith with sports and competition because they believed that God wanted people to live healthy, vigorous lives. They believed that sports could help to make people good and thereby bring them closer to what God intended for them.’
Fascinating. But what has happened?
The atheists have taken over sports as they have taken over so much of American life including the arts, the universities, the schools, the courts and many of our churches.
‘Mr. Tebow may indeed turn out to be a hypocrite, like other high-profile Christians in recent memory. Some of us might even want that to happen, because moral failure is something we understand. We know how to deal with disappointed expectations, to turn our songs of praise into condemnation.’
Of course… what modern-day media commentary would be complete without a slap at Christianity. Perhaps Dodd could name some names instead of such a blanket condemnation of “other high-profile Christians” who have done wrong.
Rush Limbaugh, who is a big football fan, has said repeatedly that the sports media are just as liberal and leftist as are the general media (NBC, New York Times, CNN etc.)
And so we must understand what these media fear about someone like Tebow: That he will become one little droplet of Christian piety in an ocean of moral equivalence and secular dissolution. And that that dangerous little droplet might actually affect others. And that he must be stopped.
‘In recent weeks, as Tebow mania has re-emerged alongside the unexpected success of the Broncos, it has become clear that the fever is not confined to the quarterback's fellow evangelical Christians. Mr. Tebow's habit of taking to one knee in prayer on the field has given rise to an Internet meme called "Tebowing." Fans have posted pictures of themselves praying on one knee while doing everything from surfing and fighting fires to touring China and going into battle.
"Tebowing" is the brainchild of Jared Kleinstein, 24, a real-estate marketer in New York City who was raised in Denver, where he grew into a devoted sports fan. Mr. Kleinstein, who is Jewish, just wanted to pay tribute to the inspirational quarterback of his favorite team. He launched Tebowing.com from Manhattan in October, on the night after Mr. Tebow led the Broncos to victory over the Miami Dolphins.’
Yes indeed, there is an agenda here among the bigoted Christian-haters on the left – STOP TEBOW! Because they see others joining in like a national network after the atheist left has successfully shoved Christianity out of the public mainstream over the last 50 years.
Tim Tebow is their worst nightmare. And so God bless him. And may he win many, many more games.
Correction: In my original version of yesterday’s RedState column (now updated) I questioned the simultaneous crashes of advanced drone aircraft in Iran and in the Seychelles, a miniscule island group in the Indian Ocean that is reported to be talking with communist China about becoming a naval port for the Chinese navy. In the column I suggested that someone in our military seems to be sending drones into enemy hands. Yesterday afternoon, however, I discovered that the United States itself has been operating drones out of the Seychelles since 2009 and that the drone crash there was a simple accident. I apologize for my mistaken proposition. But I stand behind my questions about the drone going down in Iran and falling unscathed into enemy hands and about why the US military neglected to destroy it; and about the infinitely more significant need for Congress to investigate what happened to our Navy SEALs in Afghanistan. After so many suspicious military ‘incidents’ from Fort Hood to Wikileaks and on and on, we need to ask serious questions.