Now that Christmas is over and atheists can crawl back into their holes until Easter, Bill Maher’s now infamous “Tim Tebow Tweet” requires perspective. The tweet, posted on Christmas Eve day, read:
Wow, Jesus just f**ked Tim Tebow! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler "Hey, Buffalo's killing them."
Maher was referring to the Buffalo Bills pounding the Denver Broncos, implying that Tebow ascribes touchdowns to God. He doesn’t, never has, but Bill is creative. It can be claimed that he was needling, that the controversy was intended, and that he achieved his desire: bluster in his name. Any publicity - even negative publicity - is good for those who make hay stirring pots.
That said, Maher is atheist, his following, by and large, that portion of the American populace that loathes “piety” because we all know piety - a strong belief in God and observance of religious principles in daily life - is “hypocritical.” Who needs piety - and virtue, for that matter - when there are better options: food stamps, pot dispensaries, subsidized abortion.... Maher feeds off “hatred of piety,” but as I put on my Psychologist - make that Psychiatrist - hat, the stream of hate is multi-layered. Expectedly, the response was quick and, save for comments on his Facebook page, negative. Declaring that Jesus f***ed a Christian on Christmas Eve brought rebuke, and one could sense him doubling down. Subsequent tweets were consistent:
-All you J-freaks having a cow re: my Tebow tweet please go back to the longer piece we did on “Real Time” (his show) and have a proper heart attack.
-Overreaction from bible-thumpers re: my Tebow tweet reminds me of North Koreans wailing at the Kim Jung-il funeral: Brainwashing is brainwashing.
Smug? Maher makes an art of smugness. Hell hath no fury like a millionaire scorned! J-freaks, of course, translates to “Jesus Freaks,” meaning that the two billion Christians scattered worldwide are anomalous, and that atheists and agnostics who reject God are “normal.” If only “bible-thumpers” would stop the God thing, learn the F-bomb, and read Playboy, they’d be fine.
Speaking of which, I went to the Tebow Foundation to see what irks Bill:
-Foundation Quote of the Week: "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love." ~1 Corinthians 16:13-14
-Foundation Quote of the Week: "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." ~Aesop
-Foundation Quote of the Week: "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle." ~T.H. Thompson
Talk about freakish. That “brainwashing is brainwashing” is clearly evident in these quotes. Of course, there’s irony, for the Foundation speaks of kindness and love and the brand of “empathy” oft ascribed to J-loathers. It’s almost as if the Almighty made the quotes, speaking to Bill directly; but let’s not play dumb.
In the end, what Maher seems to hate is Bill Maher. Christians, he’ll have you know, are “freaks” who project piety they don’t heed onto others.
But what he fails to heed is human nature. Christians are similar to atheists insofar as temptations and moral challenges affect both. They aren’t paragons of piety nor sinless robots.
What they are are people who understand that they’re flawed, that they sin, and that two-thousand years ago, Christ was born. They believe that life is difficult and that Jesus died on the Cross, not to be depicted in vats of urine and howls of mockery, but to give Man redemption.
Atheists recoil. When someone like Tebow walks the walk, it gets under their skin, reminding them of alternatives; for even in atheists a voice gnaws at Conscience. In an atheist’s world all is fine to the point that they’re exposed to the antithesis of their spiritual vacuum.
Shame, therefore, weaves Bill’s contumely. No one likes a pooper at the party. But parties end in mirrors.
The T.H. Thompson quote - "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” - promotes empathy for all. And the Aesop quote - “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." - calls Christians to sympathies lost on Bill.
Maher and Christ-mockers avoid internal audits. Their assertions, though vile, require love as much as grace. In Luke, chapter 23, verse 34, as Jesus dies, He cries out.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” He says.
Tebow knows this passage. So does Maher. The difference lies in the means of how they handle it: in Tebow’s case through private charity. In Maher’s case with mockery substituting for guilt.