Tim Tebow sure is a lightning rod for many haters out there. He also has many fans that follow his every move. Tebow seems to be one of those sports figures that people either love or hate. I recently submitted a post that discussed the uproar about the Tebowing controversy. After that post, Tebow ran off quite a little winning streak. The last two weeks have not been quite so kind.
Which brings us to the latest controversy related to Mr. Tebow--some comments by commedian Bill Maher. Some comments that Maher made after Tebow's latest (less-than-stellar) game have produced quite the outrage. Maher is an atheist and seems to rather enjoy bashing the religious. What about Tebow does Maher find so offensive, other than his professed faith in Jesus Christ? To anyone's knowledge, Tebow's not out carousing with loose women (a la Tiger Woods). He's not out there getting in trouble for PEDs like the reigning NL MVP (Ryan Braun). He's not been in trouble with the law like an number of sports stars. He visits sick kids. He's building a children's hospital in the Philippines. He's the kind of guy that I'd like my daugthers to bring home to dad. Why the hate?
Some people will no doubt argue that it's part of the left-wing conspiracy to remove all references to any deity (and especially Jesus) from any aspect of life. I don't quite buy it. I have several friends that lean to the left politically, yet are committed in their religious beliefs (in spite of the seeming equation of conservative politics with Christian orthodoxy). I can talk religion with these folks, and while we may have disagreements, neither side is hateful with the other. I can talk politics with these folks, and we may have disagreements there.
Maher seems quite angry. He's what I would consider an evangelical atheist. These are the folks that get mad when evangelical Christians or other people of other religions try to spread their message. Yet these atheists have no problem spreading their disdain for all things religions or telling the religious that they need to grow a brain and cast of such medieval superstitions. Richard Dawkins comes to mind when discussing the evangelical atheist. I would argue that this is simply a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Many professed evangelical Christians deserve the criticism they get--certain televangelists who get caught up in various and sundry scandals come to mind. However, it seems that Tebow is one of those guys who actually get persecuted for righteousness' sake (in the context of Matthew 5), rather than for their hypocritical attitude. If/when Tebow falls, he'll deserve criticism. Until then, people, including Bill Maher, should just leave him alone. Maher's tweet insulted about 2 billion of the world's 7 billion directly, and those who hold religious faiths other than Christianity are also the butt of his jokes. Jokes about religious beliefs tend not to go over terribly well. Maher's market should suffer accordingly.