The emergence of Denver’s Tim Tebow as a quarterback who can’t play but somehow keeps winning has delighted the sort of Christians who seem more interested in letting all the rest of us know that they are super-Christians than actually behaving like Christianity meant anything other than that. On the whole, I could care less about Tebow, who is a controversial figure because he is one such Christian, except for this: I am told there are now people walking around with Denver jerseys with his number on the back along with “Jesus” (not sure if that’s an image or just the name and hope I never have to find out).
I am agnostic, and maybe not even that, on the existence of God, especially one who gives a, you should excuse the expression, damn about any of us based on the record of human history and the horrendously destructive role of organized religions of all stripes (about which I am not the slightest bit agnostic) as they act in His name. Religion’s influence and manifestation in sports, particularly football (which makes sense, since the very essence of that brutal game is total faith in and complete subservience to the Supreme Being always called “Coach” as if it were an honorific), has always bugged me with the prayer circles and the like before and after games to celebrate His having watched or something. If this Guy exists, isn’t it the height of self-importance to believe he cares a whit about something so fundamentally useless?
If an unseemly Public Display of Affection tends to make most people feel a little squeamish, why should a Public Display of Faith be any different?
Here’s my suggestion: whether you want to Play or Pray, get a room.