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Viewpoint 1/11: Tim Tebow

By now, a lot of us are familiar with the Denver Broncos’ star player, Tim Tebow. Tebow has become widely known for his evangelical religious beliefs. He has openly stated that he does not engage in premarital sex, appeared in a pro-life television ad alongside his mother, and is most famous for his public act of bowing and praying before and after games, an act that has been named “Tebowing.”

Most recently, Tebow performed a last-minute “miracle” for his team in its game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He threw an 80-yard touchdown pass during the first play of overtime, ensuring his team’s victory. Many are now claiming that his latest in a series of last-minute plays to save his team’s skin is the result not of his own talent, but of his god bestowing favor upon him.

Has Tebow’s “Tebowing” religious show really benefited America as a society? Then again, what possible harm could it do? It all comes down to the idea that Tebow claims that God is assisting him and his team, the Denver Broncos, in winning games. But what does that suggest about Tebow as opposed to other players? Doesn’t it suggest that God, if he exists, is taking sides in a sports match, and that Tebow is making the claim that his own prayers are more heard by his god than the other teams’?

It is a well-known fact that American football has a long history associated with religion, particularly Christianity. Whenever we see documentaries or movies about football, we see coaches who regularly have their players pray before the games, thank God after a game is won or mix a kind of sermon into their team pep talks. Therefore, I don’t think it’s appropriate for Tebow, or anyone, to suggest that he possesses more faith or that he believes in his god more than any of the other members of the NFL do.

The problem with Tim Tebow isn’t that he’s religious or chooses to pray before each game. Rather, the problems lie in the fact that he chooses to make a show of his faith, something his own god condemned regarding the Pharisees in the New Testament, and his claim that God is helping him win suggests that God favors him more than the other team, which is working and playing just as hard. I highly doubt that, if God actually exists, he’s going to be focusing on ensuring the wins of Tim Tebow.

First of all, Tebow should keep his religious beliefs to himself and not make a show of it in public. Faith does not need to be demonstrated before anyone except a person’s respective god. Second, Tebow’s faith is probably no more sincere or he probably says no more prayers than many other NFL players. To suggest that God favors Tebow over the rest of the NFL, who are just as talented, work just as hard and are probably just as religious, is absurd.

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