Bill Maher takes on Tim Tebow and feels the wrath
December 29th, 2011
05:48 PM ET

Bill Maher takes on Tim Tebow and feels the wrath

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– On Christmas Eve the Denver Broncos were getting destroyed by the Buffalo Bills* on the football field and comedian, liberal commentator, and religious provocateur Bill Maher couldn't help but tweet about it.

Wow, Jesus just f***** #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler "Hey, Buffalo's killing them"

People quickly responded to Maher on Twitter and called him (in summary) a hell bound atheist piece of trash. Maher's social media jab was picked up by the media too and landed in newspapers, websites and TVs everywhere. Pundits and twitter users called for a boycott of Maher's HBO show Real Time, and threatened to cancel their HBO subscriptions.

The timing could not have been better for Maher. The new season of his show begins next month and the week between Christmas and New Years is a veritable wasteland for actual news. In a world where no publicity is bad publicity, Maher scored big.

Maher has long skewered people of all faiths as part of his act. In 2008, Maher starred in "Religulous" a documentary that poked fun at any and all religions.

For all the fury aimed at Maher for the Tebow crack, the long time atheist received comparatively little heat for his Twitter dig at Jesus the next day on Christmas.

Happy birthday to JC – but don't forget the other "gods" who have the same bday/bio: Horus,Mithra, Krishna, Osiris, Dionysus..makes u think!

It was insulting Tim Tebow, not Jesus Christ, that drew the ire of a nation.

"[Tebow's] public image is built on goodness and virtue," Patton Dodd said. Dodd is the author of "The Tebow Mystique: The Faith and Fans of Football's Most Polarizing Player" and the managing editor of Patheos.com. "His particular expression of Christianity, or Christian witness, is built on acts of kindness to the poor and needy and to strangers. It's not just taking a knee on the field and thanking Jesus after the games. I think a lot of his fans know that."

Dodd said fans likely felt defensive towards Tebow, but acknowledged an athlete so public about their faith could not viewed as untouchable.

"I think the difference here is what Maher said was particularly crass and crude and I think it's seen as aimed more ... at Tebow's fan base than Tebow," he said.

For those who said Maher crossed an unspoken line with the tweet, comedian Pete Dominick said no way. "Our job is to push the envelope. There is no line for us. We don't have a line. You can make a joke about my kids getting cancer as long as it's funny. It has to be funny. That's the only rule, that it's funny. We're supposed to be controversial we're supposed to be provocative, that's what our job entails."

"He's begging to be made fun of," Dominick said.

Dominick, who is also the host of Stand Up! with Pete Dominick on the POTUS Chanel on SirusXM, said Tebow's outspokeness about his faith makes him a prime target for comedians. "He goes out on TV and talks about his faith, he puts it on his eye black. We're going to choose to make fun of it. Always."

"I think it's the wrong thing to get upset about. It's a tweet. It's a predictable tweet from a guy who says these kinds of things and who has an audience who love him for those kinds of things," Dodd said.

For his part Tebow has not commented on Maher's tweet, keeping true to his formula of not engaging critics. Dodd said part of what makes Tebow such a great athlete is his ability to block out the noise and focus on the game of football. Requests for comment from Maher were not responded to by his publicist but Maher tweeted on Wednesday night:

All u J-freaks having a cow re my Tebow tweets pls go back to the much longer piece we did on 11/4 Real Time and have a proper heart attack

There Maher goes after Tebow in far more than in the 140 characters Twitter allows per post.

If Tebow and his Bronco teammates can win on Sunday they will make the playoffs.

*An earlier version of this story incorrectly had the Detroit Lions as the Broncos opponent. We regret the error and apologize to Bills fans everywhere. They have suffered enough this season.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (2,202 Responses)
  1. robin

    BILL MAHER IS NOT AN ATHEIST HES AN APATHIEST!!! If your going to B!tch get it right!! Love you Bill!!

    December 31, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
  2. S Smith

    Right, I am sure Bill Maher is really, really worried about this reaction – because his core audience demographic is certainly the reactionary fundamentalist christian idiots who are apparently over-reacting to his tweet...

    December 31, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  3. loupgarous

    "Yahweh really f--d the Jews between 1933 and 1945 in Germany, too! Some guy in Hell's really davening to Satan right now, going 'Great work, Boss!' " The preceding humor attempt fails and deservedly so, because it's so obviously mean-spirited crap. Yet, all I did was change a couple of names from what Maher said about Tim Tebow, which apparently was ALSO mean-spirited crap. What all those people are responding to is their sense of justice and proportion being outraged. And speaking of mean spirited crap, I am very deliberately missing Kathy Griffin's appearance on CNN tonight. One loud-mouthed self-worshipping lout is enough, I don't need it in stereo from two different cable channels.

    December 31, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  4. loupgarous

    Yet it's in bad taste to observe that Barack Obama's "trusted spiritual advisor" for 20 years was a bigoted head case whose ministry was a LOT more about hating European-Americans than about service to Jesus Christ (whom Rev. Wright had to re-invent as an "African Jew" before he could properly bend the knee to him). Bill Maher's a snotty little hypocrite. If he wasn't he'd go after people like Obama whose religious faith in Jesus as a white man-hating bigot hurt the nation much worse than Tebow ever could.

    December 31, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Actually Bill is on record saying he believes Obama to be a closet atheist. So the rest of your rant is moot.

      December 31, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • captain america

      What Obama is or isn't doesn't matter in canada. What Obama really isn't is a butt in canadian who has nothing of value to say concerning our president. Mind your own business stevie poo. There's your sign

      December 31, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Keith

      That's right. He's Kenyan, just like his grandmother said he is.

      December 31, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  5. twgloege

    Sticks and stones may ---- etc., etc.. Get a life folks.

    December 31, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
    • Nite Lite

      Wow I can't believe Satan backed Buffalo. Did he cover the point spread?

      December 31, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
  6. b4bigbang

    Atheist Steve said: "Not all Christians are jerks but their prayers do little besides satisfy their selfish desire to do something they believe is useful..."

    Assuming the Christians u r referring to are not the jerks ("their prayers") then how are their prayers "selfish desires"? To what self-centered end? I can only think of 2 possibilities: 1) satisfying the ego and 2) gaining reward in heaven. Satisfying the ego is not necessarily bad (everybody does it and most people do good things to satisfy ego like giving to charity). Gaining reward in heaven isn't bad either and in fact isn't much of an ego-boost, seeing as how we are commanded by God to do certain things, and any reward we receive in heaven will actually be shared with the Lord.
    So why the snarkyness even when u refer to Christians that you consider not-jerks?

    December 31, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Look....from my perspective prayer is basically talking to yourself. Despite the fact that the faithful BELIEVE it to be more, there is nothing to demonstrate that there is any truth to that assertion. Therefore anyone who 'prays' for someone else is simply doing what they believe to be an effective 'act' when all I see is them 'doing' nothing. I say it's selfish because the only benefit is to the prayer...not the prayee.

      December 31, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      Steve. Your just stating the general "I Steve am an Atheist and do not believe that God exist". This is with respect, not surprising. That you do not hold that there is a God, it is natural that prayer would not be in your beliefs as well. Now agnostics or a diest, it would be more interesting. Right now it's like a member of the Klan stating that he does not like Michelle Obama.

      December 31, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • JohnR

      Ok, I'm an agnostically tinged neo-animist and I believe prayer truly affects only the one praying, but that THAT effect can be profound, for good or ill.

      January 1, 2012 at 12:47 am |
  7. kg in Phoenix

    I have no problem with people choosing to not believe in God. I do have a problem with those folks attacking religion. This is America, and we have freedom to believe as we choose. Now, if Bill M were a true atheist, he would not care what believers do. Why would it matter to him in the least? Being neither afraid of hell or desirous of heaven, having no need for a personal savior or even a god figure, why the hateful attacks? It's because he does believe, he knows there is a God, a creator who wants to give him eternal life. He is so strong a believer he fears and trembles. There is the knowledge with in that he is not good enough. (No one is, that's why Jesus came my friend.) When a man cannot deal with fear, he lashes out. Bill M. 'Me thinks he doth protest too much'> The GIFT of God is eternal life – – what are your afraid of??? kg

    December 31, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Ok so lets take a look at it from a different angle. I'm going out on a limb here to guess that you don't believe there is anything real to astrology. So your month of birth has no bearing on the type of person you are, right? I mean it's pretty obvious to most people. But what if for example most people DID believe that your sign was integral to your personality and fortune telling based on astrology was taken seriously. Now if you were one of those few who didn't believe and had good reasons to reject that belief, then you would be wondering why are so many foolish enough to accept such things. By itself nothing much would matter whether or not you believed like the others but what if stuff was done in society to adhere to those beliefs that affected you directly. Like what if classrooms were segregated according to your sign. Or jobs were made available only to those with certain signs. Or who you could marry was dependent on compatible signs. See the problem? People who believe in God want the precepts of their religion ENACTED on everyone. This is a clear violation of a persons personal freedoms and rights. Believe if you want, practice the rituals of your faith all you want, but keep it within your own sphere and not try to shove it down everyone's throats. Don't like abortion...then don't get one. Don't like Gay marriage.. then don't marry someone who is the same s3x as you. Nobody is forcing YOU to do what YOU don't want, but the reverse isn't true now is it?

      December 31, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • JohnR

      Until you've actually lived eternally, you can't possibly know what, if anything, god's "gift" is.

      January 1, 2012 at 12:50 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"People who believe in God want the precepts of their religion ENACTED on everyone."

      Ahh.... so nice to get to a real keyboard. 🙂

      Steve, this could be said of many different groups and not having to be of a set religion. We can take examples of environmentalist who feel that since the general populous is not as educated or feel the same as them then they must force their beliefs on us. Check out the arguments against the pipeline. We can go into many different interest groups .... try this, I do not smoke...not sure if you do ... but there are groups that are wanting to force tobacco companies to take the majority of space on a pack of cigarettes to display negative pictures because the same groups are upset and they want to force you to accept their view of consumption of a legal product. Same groups will move on to raising the price of gas just to stop people from driving their cars.

      You see Steve, there are folks called politicians who answer to other groups to ENACT laws that effect EVERYONE. Some you will like and some you will hate. Some I will like some I will hate. For abortion it will be for the pro-choice side your argument. For the Pro-Life side it will be do not kill a human life because it is inconvenient for you.

      The day that we have a society where there is not this group or that desiring to force another segment of society to conform to their view is the day that we have no form of government.

      ahhh..... keyboard ... 🙂

      January 1, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • TL

      @Mark from The Middle River

      You choose to protect people whose opinions are different than yours to prevent possible future events. Please elaborate on the why.

      January 1, 2012 at 2:56 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"You choose to protect people whose opinions are different than yours to prevent possible future events. Please elaborate on the why."


      by Maurice Ogden

      Into our town the Hangman came,
      Smelling of gold and blood and flame.
      And he paced our bricks with a diffident air,
      And built his frame in the courthouse square.

      The scaffold stood by the courthouse side,
      Only as wide as the door was wide;
      A frame as tall, or little more,
      Than the capping sill of the courthouse door.

      And we wondered, whenever we had the time,
      Who the criminal, what the crime
      That the Hangman judged with the yellow twist
      of knotted hemp in his busy fist.

      And innocent though we were, with dread,
      We passed those eyes of buckshot lead -
      Till one cried: "Hangman, who is he
      For whom you raised the gallows-tree?"

      Then a twinkle grew in the buckshot eye,
      And he gave us a riddle instead of reply:
      "He who serves me best," said he,
      "Shall earn the rope of the gallows-tree."

      And he stepped down, and laid his hand
      On a man who came from another land.
      And we breathed again, for another's grief
      At the Hangman's hand was our relief

      And the gallows-frame on the courthouse lawn
      By tomorrow's sun would be struck and gone.
      So we gave him way, and no one spoke,
      Out of respect for his Hangman's cloak.

      The next day's sun looked mildly down
      On roof and street in our quiet town,
      And stark and black in the morning air
      Was the gallows-tree in the courthouse square.

      And the Hangman stood at his usual stand
      With the yellow hemp in his busy hand;
      With his buckshot eye and his jaw like a pike
      And his air so knowing and business-like.

      And we cried, "Hangman, have you not done
      Yesterday, with the foreign one?"
      Then we fell silent, and stood amazed,
      "Oh, not for him was the gallows raised."

      He laughed a laugh as he looked at us:
      "Did you think I'd gone to all this fuss
      To hang one man? That's a thing I do
      To stretch a rope when the rope is new."

      Then one cried "Murder!" and one cried "Shame!"
      And into our midst the Hangman came
      To that man's place. "Do you hold," said he,
      "with him that was meant for the gallows-tree?"

      And he laid his hand on that one's arm.
      And we shrank back in quick alarm!
      And we gave him way, and no one spoke
      Out of fear of his Hangman's cloak.

      That night we saw with dread surprise
      The Hangman's scaffold had grown in size.
      Fed by the blood beneath the chute,
      The gallows-tree had taken root;

      Now as wide, or a little more,
      Than the steps that led to the courthouse door,
      As tall as the writing, or nearly as tall,
      Halfway up on the courthouse wall.

      The third he took - we had all heard tell -
      Was a usurer, and an infidel.
      "What," said the Hangman "have you to do
      With the gallows-bound, and he a Jew?"

      And we cried out, "Is this one he
      Who has served you well and faithfully?"
      The Hangman smiled: "It's a clever scheme
      to try the strength of the gallows-beam."

      The fourth man's dark, accusing song
      Had scratched our comfort hard and long;
      "And what concern," he gave us back.
      "Have you for the doomed - the doomed and Black?"

      The fifth. The sixth. And we cried again,
      "Hangman, Hangman, is this the man?"
      "It's a trick," he said. "that we hangmen know
      For easing the trap when the trap springs slow."

      And so we ceased, and asked no more,
      As the Hangman tallied his bloody score.
      And sun by sun, and night by night,
      The gallows grew to monstrous height.

      The wings of the scaffold opened wide
      Till they covered the square from side to side;
      And the monster cross-beam, looking down,
      Cast its shadow across the town.

      Then through the town the Hangman came,
      Through the empty streets, and called my name -
      And I looked at the gallows soaring tall,
      And thought, "There is no one left at all

      For hanging, and so he calls to me
      To help pull down the gallows-tree."
      So I went out with right good hope
      To the Hangman's tree and the Hangman's rope.

      He smiled at me as I came down
      To the courthouse square through the silent town.
      And supple and stretched in his busy hand
      Was the yellow twist of the hempen strand.

      And he whistled his tune as he tried the trap,
      And it sprang down with a ready snap -
      And then with a smile of awful command
      He laid his hand upon my hand.

      "You tricked me. Hangman!," I shouted then,
      "That your scaffold was built for other men...
      And I no henchman of yours," I cried,
      "You lied to me, Hangman. Foully lied!"

      Then a twinkle grew in the buckshot eye,
      "Lied to you? Tricked you?" he said. "Not I.
      For I answered straight and I told you true -
      The scaffold was raised for none but you.

      For who has served me more faithfully
      Then you with your coward's hope?" said he,
      "And where are the others who might have stood
      Side by your side in the common good?"

      "Dead," I whispered. And amiably
      "Murdered," the Hangman corrected me:
      "First the foreigner, then the Jew...
      I did no more than you let me do."

      Beneath the beam that blocked the sky
      None had stood so alone as I.
      The Hangman noosed me, and no voice there
      Cried "Stop!" for me in the empty square.

      January 1, 2012 at 3:49 am |
    • TL

      @Marks from the Middle River

      Intentional statement rather than a question was to affirm an understanding of your previous reasoning.

      111, 112, 116, 119, 120 were noted through multiple posts.

      January 1, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
  8. Dontbow

    Wow hit the mark right on the head with "piece of trash". This guy has to be the biggest moron on tv and hbo is too stupid to figure it out. hbo must be full of losers.

    December 31, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Only if there were any left over after Fox was filled. 🙂

      December 31, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Dontbow

      Fox is the only one with enough balls to tell it like it is. Too bad dumocrats just aren't smart enough to figure it out.

      December 31, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What a laugh you are.

      December 31, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Yeah..Gotta love that Faux News. With that Bill O'Reilly guy who doesn't understand how the tides work. You know that whole gravity from the moon thing. In his head it's God pulling the strings each and every tide such that "tide goes out, tide goes in, never a miscommunication." With brilliance like this a the helm it's no wonder dunderheads like you are fans of their network.

      December 31, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • frontgate

      don, are you doing the tbow right now?

      December 31, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Leave out "the". I think he's just "doing Tebow."

      December 31, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Fox tells it the way conservatives want to hear it, which makes them tune in and buy what Fox is advertising, nothing more. It doesn't even approach anything near objective news coverage.

      January 1, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  9. Bob

    Break the chains. Break yourself free of the Christian religion and other supersti-tions in 2012.

    December 31, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  10. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer is the conduit of miracles
    Prayer is the language of winners

    December 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Then atheism would be the language of whiners?

      December 31, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Bob

      Break the chains. Break yourself free of the Christian religion and other foolish supersti-tions in 2012.


      December 31, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Jimmy

      But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6

      How is Tebow following Jesus' teaching here?

      December 31, 2011 at 5:55 pm |


      December 31, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Private prayer personal communion with God
      Corporate prayer group communion with God
      Public prayer dedication to God by one or many
      Pray without ceasing in 2012
      Communication with God
      Authorized, instructed and demonstrated by Jesus in all ways

      December 31, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
    • Jimmy

      What don't I get? Didn't Jesus say to be private with your prayers and not make a great show of saying them, like the hypocritical Pharisees?

      5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
      7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
      Matthew 6:5-8

      Can't get any less private praying before a football audience with nation-wide TV coverage. I wonder how he justifies that?

      January 1, 2012 at 2:43 am |
  11. AtheistSteve

    The fury unleashed on Bill Maher over his tweet about Tebow remiinds me of the earlier Twitter phenomena following Christpher Hitchens death. #GodIsNotGreat began trending and the Christians lost their fricken minds. The tweets for whoever began the trend to KILL themselves or even scarier threats to maim and kill that person outright. A fine example of Christian love but funny too when you realize they were adding to the very trend they were upset with.

    December 31, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • captain america

      Better to deal with an American than a canadian atheist any day of the week . The majority of bull sh it opinions on these blogs are coming from idiots who have no voice in America at all. There's your sign

      December 31, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Yup, they're all about Jesus' love of your enemy until someone actually takes a poke at them. Then they put Jesus in the cupboard and let their inner John Wayne out. Usually, the 'angry American' side is just too much for Jesus to control.

      December 31, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Like this Captain America bozo above.

      December 31, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • captain america

      If a canadian had the common sense of a gopher he would know that canadian opinion ain't worth dog sh it to American topics. Beliefs got nothing to do with it, keep your dog in your own yard it ain't wanted or needed here. We got our own idiots. There's your sign.

      December 31, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • You Mad?

      Captain America huh? More like Captain Ignorance.

      December 31, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      When Hitchens died I do remember it was many atheist who lost their minds when a good amount of Christians came in and gave positiv and condolence types of post instead of the hateful ones that they expected. Some were so upset that CNN allowed a Christian writer to post an article memorializing the friendship between himself a Christian and Hitchens a atheist, that they declared CNN to be biased against atheist.

      The final thing I will remember were the athiest who when they saw a positive post from one of the faithful declared that we should go to this link or that link so that we could develop a dislike or hatred for Hitchens. That was people losing their minds. When you feel that a person who is responding positive that you have to "snap" him or her into hating.

      December 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • Dontbow

      lol and u call what bill maher does love? he is full of anger and hate, it oozes out every part of his ugly face. his politcally correct bs is just to throw jabs at the right and spread his agenda. you tools should know better.

      December 31, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And I'm sure you can cite proof of your claim, can't you, Mark?

      Nobody "lost their (sic) minds". Just more silly wishful thinking on your part.

      December 31, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Look Mark,
      First you point out that Christians who made disparaging comments against Hitchens were in fact in the minority and I agree with you and then you turn right around and claim that Atheists who did the same toward nice comments from Christians are the majority, when they're not. You can't have it both ways. As much as it may pain you to realize this MOST people are nice folk, believer or not.

      December 31, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • frontgate

      you better be tbowing when you say that, boy

      December 31, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  12. Mizan

    Bill Maher is always a stupid. He thinks, he is the most intellligent person on earth. i never like him. by the way what his talent?

    December 31, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Ham23

      Well, nobody will ever mistake you for the most intelligent person on Earth.

      December 31, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • You Mad?

      Pro tip: when you are trying to undermine the intellect of another human being, please try to write grammatically correct sentences.

      December 31, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Beside his TV show Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO he still does a standup routine that gets me doubled over in laughter...especially when he rips into religion. Maybe his humor is a bit too highbrow for the likes of you but his 'But I'm not Wrong' routine is great stuff.

      December 31, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  13. You Mad?

    Religion is for people who choose not to think, blindly following a "faith" that encourages unquestioning obediance.

    December 31, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  14. Chris

    So Tebow thinks the almighty creator of the universe actually cares about something as inane and mindless as football, but Bill is to be admonished for simply pointing out this clearly ridiculous point of view?? I think its hilarious. Two teams, both praying that the almighty will help them best their opponents at a game where they are all far too over paid, mean while there is war, poverty, famine, disease, and a myriad of other problems in the world. So who does God side with? Broncos or Bills? Does that mean that God has to ignore the more pressing issues of global poverty and genocide while he tweeks a few plays in tonight's big game?? I mean come on people, these religions began in the Iron Age for a reason, people where dumber back then. Thought we were supposed to be smarter now, guess not....

    December 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Not too surprising when you see that once religion has you in its grips learning anything that goes counter to religions dogma is taboo.

      December 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      The question is what is he praying for. The reports vary from strength to keep positive to victory to praying that no one on either side gets hurt. For those of Faith these are pretty decent things to pray for. When some atheist predetermine or guess what Tebow or any person of Faith prays for they often miss on their total speculations. It is like when folks heard Christians were praying for Hitchens. Automatically many atheist thought that all were praying for him to die a agonizing death and such. Now it was witnessed that many were just praying for him to not suffer with his cancer.

      While Atheist can doubt the power of prayer unless it is an open air prayer they really can only guess what folks are praying for.

      December 31, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Really Mark?
      Nascar is one of the most religious friendly organizations out there with thousand of heads bowed in prayer before every race. Prayers to keep the drivers safe. Didn't help Dale Earnhart Sr. much however...did it?

      December 31, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      And also just so you know Mark. In one of his last interviews Hitchens talked about how people were praying for him. He said some were praying for him to suffer in agony, but he also said many more were praying for him to recover or to slip peacefully away and some praying that in the final moments he would renounce his atheist ways. Not all Christians are jerks but their prayers do little besides satisfy their selfish desire to do something they believe is useful where nothing actually useful is possible.

      December 31, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Marks from Middle River
      We can all hope that nobody gets hurt during a game, but praying is like wishing for something to happen. It assumes that whatever governs such is choosing either to do what we consider a good thing, or do the opposite, what we consider a bad outcome. Does God hand out bad outcomes to those who don't pray to him, and if he does how is this different from coercion?

      "Automatically many atheist thought that all were praying for him to die a agonizing death and such."
      Not all, but a lot were, right?

      December 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What is so difficult about making the word "atheist" plural? Why is it you have such difficulty adding an "s" to it?

      Aside from that, don't you see the hypocrisy of praying for a team you're on to win a game? Why should God waste time assisting this team and not that one? Because of some prayer?

      Why should God "bless America" and not every nation? What makes you think God recognizes any 'nations' at all?

      What makes you think there's a God at all?

      December 31, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      >>>"Nascar is one of the most religious friendly organizations out there with thousand of heads bowed in prayer before every race. Prayers to keep the drivers safe. Didn't help Dale Earnhart Sr. much however...did it?"

      NASCAR, great example. There are prayers before each race and it mostly that everyone has a safe race and for ones that have gone on before us and the troops that protect us. The race that Dale Sr died, I remember like it was yesterday. Closing hand full of laps. One man blocking the field so that his son and good friend could go for the win. While doing that he was "put into the wall" and died. 

      Now if you know NASCAR and not knowing how many were already out of the race, we can estimate that there were about thirty to thirty five cars within five to eight seconds of each other going for the biggest race of the schedule. Think of being on the expressway and raise the danger level. 

      From this we have two schools of thought. There are the Faithful who will point to the prayers for protection and see 30+ cars averaging 190 to 200 mph, going into a accident that began at the front of the field and only one driver .... Which is extremely rare getting killed. We see that and pretty much any of the pile ups that happen in any form of autoracing ... When drivers get out of cars that have flipped over, caught fire and everything in between .... To us it is a miracle. For that we are thankful. If you see it as chance ...after chance ... Then cool, no harm but to us we ask for God's protection and mercy. Just like a Atheist can not prove God does not exist the power of prayer is just another aspect of Faith. If you can not accept one I doubt that you would except the other. 

      Sorry for the late post. Busy night. 

      >>>"not all, but a lot were, right"

      Ain't that the truth. I feel sick of all of ones on the extremes on both sides. Those Faithful that prayed and hope for Hitchens to be suffering right now are disgusting. Jimmy but what I do enjoy seeing is like the Christian who was friends with Hitchens we are seeing that some atheists are beginning to see the "not all". Just as some of us on the faithful side are learning "not all". This is the first steps to general tolerance. 

      TomTom. This goes to my point. When I did a search for Tebow's prayers, there were pages that listed that he was praying to stay positive and there was one page that mentioned him praying about a injured player. Maybe there are pages that give more concrete details but until then it is just us guessing what he is praying for. 

      L'Chaim folks 🙂

      December 31, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      I watched that race too and it was the final lap and Dale in 3rd headed into turn 3-4 dipped down into Sterling Marlin, got loose and shot into the wall taking Kenny Schrader with him. Appearances are deceiving because Tony Stewart's Crash earlier flipping over looked far more dangerous. Dale Sr. hit and slid along the wall in what seemed fairly innocuous contact. But decelerating from 200 to 120 mph instantly is like hitting a wall dead on at 80mph. He died on impact. Micheal Waltrip won 8 seconds later with Dale Jr. coming in 2nd.
      At the time I was a part time viewer of Nascar, plus my father once ran a stock car at the local track before it closed down, so it always interested me but since that day I've been a die-hard fan of the sport. Not because Dale died but because I realized the level of risk these drivers take. And now I have even more respect for the incredible skill they have. The fact is that fatalities at the race track are an oddity, like a plane crash. Far higher rates apply to the nations highways and roads than dead racers. Safety harnesses, helmets roll, cages and the fact that all cars are headed in the same direction greatly reduce the chances of hitting a stationary object on the track. The same is not true on our roads. People die at pit road speeds all the time out there. But like everything else in life statistics have their role and some unlucky shmuck gets a crappy role of the dice. As they say 'SH1T HAPPENS'. The world is a REALLY big place so even incredibly rare things occur all the time.
      Which brings me to my point. Prayers are useless and miracles don't happen. That's a given simply because to assume the validity of either premise is to believe in magic. An act of will by an immaterial force to alter reality. To believe such REQUIRES a belief in God, not the other way around. There are numerous studies that show how ineffectual prayer is and ZERO that support it. And every reported miracle is as suspect as every UFO, BigFoot, Ghost, whatever...If there was good evidence then it would be a no-brainer. I would believe. But until then I say What The F-?

      December 31, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You still haven't explained why you can't figure out how to make a noun plural, genius.

      December 31, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      Steve- I have been a fan since the Cale Yarbourgh days and still a Davey Allison fan. 

      Your argument still remains the same argument of does God exist and it all still boils down to one person saying that he or she has either the belief that God exist or the belief that he does not. 

      As person of Faith I will look at that wreck and the other wrecks at Daytona that race, with only Dale Sr dying as a conformation that prayer does work. 

      What is being asked of me and other Faithful, is to discount or forget all those racers that went home alive and because one did not we should doubt or question our Faith in prayer. To basically drop our faith for one death and not for the rest living. 

      For us that accident, the Indy car driver Weldon where many cars were not only airborne but in flames .... We thank God that it was only the single  death. 


      December 31, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gosh, so God looks out for drivers in races, huh? And it's an answer to a prayer that "ONLY" one died? Gee, Mark, how ya feel about the Holocaust?

      December 31, 2011 at 10:05 pm |
    • Keith

      Will someone put this rabid female dog back in her cage? Don't you have leash laws in Canada?

      December 31, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's wrong, Keith? Tired of having your fat ass handed to you in shreds?

      December 31, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      TomTom. Mostly it is laziness with tired thumbs and a PDA autofill and spell checker/auto-corrector. Atheists, plural, often autofills when I hit the "s" at the end. Normally auto-correcting to "arbiters". So getting lazy I stop at the "t".

      Sorry if that was such a thorn in your side. I guess you had to find something and my grammar was it. 

      Good win TomTom.... My tired thumbs salute you. 

      December 31, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, Keith, why don't you prove prayer works by asking your "god" to take care of shutting me up? That should be good for a laugh.

      December 31, 2011 at 10:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Poor little Mark. Having to make excuses for his lousy education by pretending it's all the fault of something or someone else.

      I guess that's how "belief" works.

      December 31, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      So we are at an impasse. Your faith in God allows you to believe in prayer and miracles, nay requires you believe. It's in your doctrine. To say that events take place according to some sort of divine or meaningful purpose. That to beseech of your God to alter the outcome or shield and protect, even in some small way, the objects of your prayers. Your position is clear...I get it...I was like you once.
      But I submit you are projecting your desires, coloring your perceptions of the events in your life through the filter of your religion. You sacrifice your objectivity when you begin with presuppositions on the nature of reality. You say it requires faith but offer no justification worthy even of trust. Yes it all boils down to God does or doesn't exist. But prayer and miracles are things that are supposed to manifest some way in reality and therefore should be testable and verifiable. From what I can tell they aren't affecting reality thus they don't exist.

      December 31, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      TomTom. You asked for the reason and I gave it too you. Should I have expected you to accept any reasoning that I put forth? Good Grief dude, what is it with the trollish post with you these days.

      Did mom and dad not hug you enough so you had to act with negative behavior to get attention? I mean are you that classically messed up in your character?

      January 1, 2012 at 2:27 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I have an iPhone and I don't act as though autofill is some sort of excuse for being too stupid to correct mistakes it makes, Mark. You want sympathy? Go elsewhere. I have no affection for you or your views. I have repeatedly asked you to explain your beliefs and how you come to overlook the contradictions in the Bible and in the beliefs of fundies like yourself. You have been unable to provide any satisfactory explanation and yet insist it's your way or else. You want to impose your beliefs on others' lives and remove their rights and yet can't manage to say why anyone should accept your superst itions.

      I'm no more a "troll" than you are; you simply can't give any response to my questions. That's what really gripes your ass.

      January 1, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  15. Buzz Mann

    Never heard of Tebow.

    December 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  16. oh please

    religious people are idiots

    EVERYONE knows this

    December 31, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Well more accurately religious ideology is useless.
      And only non-religious people can recognize this.

      December 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Same as only people who don't believe in magic and astrology know that it doesn't work. Those who do believe in them only need a little coincidental good favor to justify their faith. Christianity works the same way.

      December 31, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Yeah Jimmy...I believe it's called confirmation bias.

      December 31, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer is the vehicle that propels winners

    December 31, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • George

      Amen. And we must dedicate the entire year of 2012 to renewed prayer, especially prayer for our nation.

      December 31, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Prayer is useless...unless you measure success by how much you've made yourself feel better by doing something you believe is useful..

      December 31, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • LinCA

      If you recycle a single sheet of paper, you will have done more for your country than all prayer for it combined.

      December 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Thousands of Christians pray every day, but all it takes is a small percentage to randomly get more or less what they desire for the lot of them to believe that God answers. Meanwhile, the folks who believe in astrology or some other superst.ition get the same random results and believe just as firmly in it. Funny that Christians don't see this similarity, isn't it?

      December 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • AtheistSteve


      So true. If someone prays for something that can easily go either way, like the winner of a football game, half will get what they prayed for and half will not.
      Just save yourself the grief and flip a coin already.

      December 31, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • captain america

      It is not necessary to import canadian opinion. We have all the idiots we need in America as it is.There's your sign

      December 31, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Bob

      Break the chains. Be free of religion and other foolish supersti-tions for 2012 and beyond.

      Break free from religion in 2012.

      December 31, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ahahhaha. George, if prayer is SO effective, how is it Obama was elected in spite of your prayers?

      December 31, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If prayer worked, Keith, you wouldn't have to be here on a stupid board asking someone to shut up those who you hate so much.

      December 31, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
    • Pritka

      Propels as in internal combustion engines burning hot gas?

      January 1, 2012 at 1:48 am |
  18. just sayin

    Bill is maher or less an idiot

    December 31, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  19. fdavid

    Good job ma her Tim is a nobody he just a dam idiot who is a Jesus freak u can pray to and thank god in your home not in public all u dumb Tim tebow fan can burn in hell

    December 31, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • doug

      fDavid-last name Axelrod?

      December 31, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  20. George

    Why is this guy still allowed on TV? I thought he was pulled after the insane unpatriotic statements he made following 911.

    December 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • doug

      George, not every American has spent enough time in the blue areas to know what a Democrat really is, as priceless as that interaction with them in places like on the highway is, a Bill Maher speaking the thoughts and wishes of the average Democrat serves as a reminder to those who haven't witnessed the truth themselves to know what a vote for a Democrat truly means.

      December 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • George

      Maher just turns my stomach. He gets to spout nothing but hate, but if a conservative speaks his mind, the conservative is immediately taken off the air.

      December 31, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • doug

      That is because each and every Democrat in America is for censorship, silencing their opposition by any means, even those done by their other National Socialist cousins. Very few Conservatives support censorship, in fact almost all of them see the true value in letting Democrats have as many vehicles as possible to speak their minds

      Most Americans have good in their hearts, and if armed with the truth and facts of who and what Democrat are, will see that they have a moral obligation to vote Republican and against the Democrat hate party.

      December 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Jimmy

      Again, the National Socialists were extreme Right-wing. That home schooling diploma you got from your mama isn't worth the crayons it's scribbled with.

      December 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What conservative has been 'taken off the air' for speaking his opinion, George? Do list them and then describe what sort of opinions they expressed and tell us all about how unfair the world is to you poor little wing-nuts.

      December 31, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • Jim

      @George, Maher did lose his show on ABC for being too controversial.

      @doug, I believe it was a conservative group that bullied Lowes from pulling advertising dollars from "American Muslim". If they have their way the show will be pulled. Is that censorship?

      December 31, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
    • George


      Too bad he's still on the air (or cable). He needs to be ridden out of town on a rail.

      January 1, 2012 at 2:42 am |
    • Jim C.

      @George, why? Because you don't agree with him? Should I be banned from the blogs because you don't like what I have to say? I doubt you will be able to silence all voices you don't agree with.

      January 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.