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My Take: Momma’s boy Tim Tebow meets playboy Tom Brady
Tim Tebow is having a great year, but the author says his appeal runs much deeper.
January 13th, 2012
10:00 PM ET

My Take: Momma’s boy Tim Tebow meets playboy Tom Brady

Editor’s note: Patton Dodd is the managing editor of Patheos and the author of The Tebow Mystique: The Faith and Fans of Football’s Most Polarizing Player.

By Patton Dodd, Special to CNN

Denver, Colorado (CNN) - A few weeks ago, a joke made its way around Denver about Tom Brady, the New England Patriots’ living legend, and Tim Tebow, the raw Broncos quarterback who is turning in a legendary season. It went something like this:

Tom Brady dies and goes to heaven and is greeted by God, who shows him to his new house – a cozy, modest home with a Patriots flag flying from the porch. “Gee, thanks God!” says Brady, feeling very special.

As Brady walks to his door, he notices another house down the street – a sprawling, gorgeous home with a 50-foot pole flying a Broncos flag, a swimming pool shaped like a horse, and a Tim Tebow jersey pinned to the front door.

“Um, God?” Brady begins. “I’m not ungrateful, but I don’t get it. I won three Super Bowls and went to the Hall of Fame. Why does Tim Tebow get a better house than me?”

God chuckles. “That’s not Tim’s house,” he replies. “That’s mine.”

It’s not a very good joke, but it neatly summarizes cultural attitudes toward Brady and Tebow, whose teams meet this weekend in the second round of the NFL playoffs.

Brady is a quarterback’s quarterback; his fellow players voted him the best player in football at the beginning of 2011, and he rewarded their admiration with another spectacular season. He’s been at this for a while – he was the winningest playoff quarterback of the last decade – and he’s settled into a life reserved only for guys like him: really good at sports, plus really, really, really good-looking.

Brady dated actress Tara Reid during his initial rise to fame, then settled into a relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan, with whom he had a child.

By the time the child was born, Brady had moved on to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, to whom he’s now married and with whom he’s built a Brentwood, California mansion. (Forbes named them the world’s highest-paid celebrity couple.)

Brady’s post-game press conferences can be fashion shows. When my wife and I lived in Boston, we would watch Patriots game coverage until the conference began so we could spy Brady’s gingham shirts, thick-knotted ties, and pocket squares. No matter how tough a game he played, Brady looked ready for the red carpet. The man can wear a suit.

Tebow is something else altogether – an apparently God-blessed raw talent who wins games with a little bit of passing and a whole lot of prayer. Haters aside, he’s the most popular athlete in the nation.

He’s also made football itself more popular this year, drawing in admirers who wouldn’t be watching otherwise. Last weekend’s Broncos-Steelers matchup drew the highest television ratings in the history of the wild card round.

A Zillow.com poll named Tebow America’s Most Desirable Neighbor, and anyone who has sat through one of Tebow’s press conferences (or read his autobiography) can see why. Whatever you think of his faith commitments, he’s the genuine article. He builds orphanages and visits with sick kids and deflects praise and plays the game like a kid whose parents wouldn’t let him go outside until all the chores were done.

Brady is the guy every teenage boy wants to be. Tebow is the guy every teenage boy’s mom wants him to be.

Both quarterbacks overcame low expectations. Brady was drafted in the sixth round and seemed destined to life as a backup until Drew Bledsoe was severely hurt in Brady’s second year. Tebow was drafted in the first round, a move that every expert opinion deemed a mistake.

Both emerged in breakout fashion. Brady’s first season as starter turned him into a famous football player. Tebow’s is turning him into a cultural phenomenon.

What’s the difference? Why is Tebow’s fame supercharged? Why does Brady get a Brentwood mansion with Gisele, but only a quaint house in heaven?

Recall that Brady’s rise happened in the fall after 9/11, which was also an era before media platforms were numbered like stars in the sky. The nation is in a different mood now, and for better or worse, we have new, more powerful ways of making people famous. Twitter, Facebook and a billion blogs helped Tebow saturate everything.

But the biggest difference is that, in Tebow’s case, religion is a factor. Brady, a cradle Catholic, became famous as an athlete. Tebow is becoming famous as an athlete, acolyte, and avatar all rolled into one.

Tebow the athlete is fun to watch with his passion and flashes of brilliance. Tebow the acolyte – the devoted follower of God – is easy to admire, and even those annoyed by public piety can be won over by his goodheartedness and the sheer joy with which he plays the game.

Perhaps most acutely, he’s a cultural avatar. The internet meme “Tebowing” took off because it’s a readymade symbolic gesture people can use to express themselves against our scoffing, serious times.

Brady is a great football player. Tebow is a great football story, and stories are immersive – they give us a chance to get involved, to see ourselves through them.

Tebow’s story tees up the questions that frame many people’s lives: Is God involved? Can he help us overcome? Can he help us win? What if he stops helping us – where is God when our critics are correct, when our flaws are exposed for everyone to see?

Saturday’s game will likely be the most-watched second round playoff game in NFL history. Millions will be watching because they want to see how the story will unfold, and the hero most of them will be rooting for is not the playboy, but the momma’s boy.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Sports

soundoff (1,294 Responses)
  1. Alex

    2 Year old cheering for TEBOW.

    January 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Alex

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjDmawwguk4&w=640&h=360]

      January 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  2. Alex

    So did everybody see this two year old cheering for Tebow? It's hilarious, even though you might not like him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjDmawwguk4

    January 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Imagine

      There's nothing more sinister than brainwashing a toddler.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  3. help wanted qp!

    the patriots easily eliminated denver on saturday and in the process sent the broncos searching for a real quarterback.

    January 14, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • SciGuy

      so you are a prophet, are you?

      January 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • The Dude

      Yes I saw that too

      January 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • amplifo

      A prophet is born! What an embarrassing loss for Denver.

      January 15, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  4. If horses had Gods ...

    The Bible teaches us to "love & fear God".
    I teach my children to avoid relationships like that!

    January 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • SciGuy

      So unfortunate for your children.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Bizarre

      SciGuy,

      If "God" wants a "relationship" with the children (or anyone), let 'him' take care of it... no need for the delusions of Middle Eastern desert dwellers.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • If horses had Gods ...

      SciGuy ... Loving and fearing someone you're in a relationship with makes one schizophrenic.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Mirosal

      to "love and fear" ... sounds like an abusive spouse marriage .. love me and fear me, but if you denounce me I will hunt you down and punish you for all eternity ... yep, it's a classic typical abusive relationship.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • SciGuy

      Jesus said "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Those are words to live by. The wrath of God abides on those who do not believe in his son Jesus. But to all of us who embrace Jesus in faith, God's love abides on us, and this perfect love casts out the fear that will grip any rational person who comes to understand the righteous wrath of God that remains upon them.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Why do religious people always respond by quote bible verses as if it adds some credence to what they are saying?

      January 14, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  5. IceT

    Ignorance is "bliss" & religion has "heaven" ... coincidence, I think not.

    January 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Ironicus

      I think I will agree with you, sir.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  6. Reality

    Dear Timmy T,

    JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher man would do or say?

    January 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  7. Jason

    It seems like people who attack "Tebow-haters" all go back to the notion "Well you're obviously an atheist/liberal, so that makes you wrong, now shut up and deal with him." So instead, let's look at Tim Tebow from a Christian perspective.

    "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full." MATTHEW 6:5

    As has been pointed out here many times, there have been a plethora of other athletes who are all just as pious and God-fearing as Tim Tebow. The difference is that Tim Tebow takes it all way, way, way, way, way over the top in public. Why? His flamboyant public touting of his faith has directly resulted in fame and fortune. It's certainly not because of his football ability, as his stats show him as being average at best. But his circus display of religious antics has led to stardom, sponsorships, the highest jersey sales in the NFL, and profits being poured right into his pocket. This isn't a matter of whether people agree with Tebow's faith, it's a matter of what he's using his faith to do, and in the teachings of Christianity, over-the-top public displays of prayer and using your faith to generate fame and fortune would give Jesus Christ no small headache. It's completely contradictory to what the Bible teaches.

    January 14, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Since when did that ever stop Christians from turning their back on the Bible? They cherry-pick it to death as it is!

      January 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • CR070809

      OH GOD SO TRUE

      January 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  8. james

    god helps privileged white kids win football games, but kills Haitians,Africans and Muslims?

    January 14, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • james

      is the Bible right and god is just punishing people? or was Charles Darwin right?

      January 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Ironicus

      It's because of the color of their skin. "God" hates melanin, I guess.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • SciGuy

      @James: the Bible is right. But God is not "just punishing people." His kindness and goodness is intended to lead us to repentance. He works his will in both good times and terrible times. At all times we live and move and have our being only through his grace. If for a moment he were to remove his presence, we would instantly perish. These are all principles taught in his words to man that we call the Bible.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Funny how I am an atheist yet I have not died instantly or "perished" or even disappeared. I am here giving you crap about your worthless belief and even more worthless "god"!!!!

      January 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • story55

      @sciguy – Since billions upon billions have not instantly perrished, will you now accept that your belief is very flawed? There's a kernal of truth atheists do not grasp, but you have to put that book down that was compiled centuries after Christ and go deep within yourself. You're not there yet. Good luck and God bless.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • SciGuy

      55: you might consider climbing way up out of yourself and digging deep into God's special revelation to us, the Bible. It was compiled over a span of centuries, with the NT being written from about AD 50 to AD 100. It is theopneustos (God-breathed, 2 Timothy 3:16) and profitable for your instruction. The billions who have lived and billions still living are all evidence of God's life-giving and life-sustaining grace.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Over It

      SciGuy - " If for a moment he were to remove his presence, we would instantly perish."

      I was taught that charming little tidbit in grade school. It is flat-out child abuse to scare little kids, or anybody for that matter, with that stuff.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • SciGuy

      @over: is it abusive to teach a child that if he puts his hand in the fire he will get burned? Or, that smoking may promote lung cancer?

      January 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Over It

      SciGuy,

      You have not a whit of evidence for your "God" vs. perish claim.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • SciGuy

      @over: If by evidence you mean scientific experimental evidence you are correct. What I do have is God's written word to us that declares it be so, and the billions of cases of frail humanity that show that we certainly do not have self-existence, which in turn provides strong inductive support to the presence of a being with such inherent "being-ness" who sustains us all.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • story55

      @SciGuy – I encourage you to move beyond books into the spirit of God. You're obviously wrong about the perish claim, since we're all here. So, follow the teachings to be humble. Perhaps you would find enlightenment in a more recent missive from God, Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. God bless.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Mirosal

      So, you're using a book that must be true because the book itself says is true? Would you care to borrow my compass so you can draw that perfect circle?

      January 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • SciGuy

      @story: Please elaborate how my claim is wrong. When I instruct my children that their next meal depends on my providing it, it is no proof that my instruction is wrong when I provide that next meal.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • SciGuy

      @mirosal: I already have a compass, but thanks. Also understand a bit about nonEuclidean geometry; it's fascinating. The Book's claim alone to be God-breathed doesn't prove that it is. But such a claim ought to be expected of a book that really is. And the internal and external evidences of its "God-breathedness" is overwhelming.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • story55

      @sciguy – Because you claimed people would instantly perish if they do not embrace your interpretation of God based on your culture's spiritual development. That has, obviously, been proven wrong since there are billions alive today who have not suffered at all for following a different path. You and your children are in my prayers. There is still time to save them and perhaps you. God bless.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • SciGuy

      @story: You say, "Because you claimed people would instantly perish if they do not embrace your interpretation of God based on your culture's spiritual development."

      And by this statement all who read here can back up about ten posts and see that this is clearly not what I said. Are you willfully twisting my words to appear to win an argument? Or, do you really have this much difficulty interpreting plain statements? If so, I can see why you avoid the word of God, since it can be considerably more complicated than my easy statement above.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • story55

      You're right – I did misunderstand what you wrote in that passage. Doesn't change the fact that your specific path is but one of many (citing a book to validate itself does not qualify as evidence). You are a child of God, none the less, and She loves you and I no matter what stage of the journey you're at – whether it's your literalist stage or a deeper, more embodying phase, or a phase of true enlightenment that masters such as Jesus and the Buddha and Krishna and others have demonstrated for us to emulate but not worship. God bless you.

      January 14, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • SciGuy

      @story: Who is this Jesus you speak of? And how do you know anything about him?

      January 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • story55

      Same way I know about Muhammad through the Qu'ran or Krishna through the Bhagavad Gita. Only difference is the one we call Jesus never wrote anything, so the interpretations of a very primitive people must be taken into account. That's why it's important to find this individual's power beyond the paper. When you experience it and don't simply follow a book, you too will be Christ. Good luck!

      January 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • SciGuy

      @story: then upon what basis do you classify Jesus as a "master?" The only writings you base that claim upon are the ones that you have denigrated throughout the pages of this blog. Are you cherry-picking the parts of the Bible that you like and ignoring the rest?

      January 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • story55

      I never said sacred written texts are useless. I said they're a good launching point. Obviously, the story of Jesus is the same as was told of god-made-men in prior civilizations, such as ancient Egypt. So it's important to turn within to understand what is true and what is simply mythology.

      January 14, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  9. yoloonda

    You hate Christmas!

    January 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  10. PumpNDump

    It doesn't matter. Tebow/Broncos are going to get a shellacking by Brady/Patriots. Within 2 years Tebow will be a backup quarterback only. He doesn't have the skills to be a top tier NFL quarterback, and everyone knows it. I recommend he relish the success he has had since it won't last long.

    January 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • yoloonda

      Perhaps like Brian Bosworth back in the day?

      January 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • opinionguru

      .....and the Steelers with destroy Denver!

      January 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Imagine

      @opinionguru – Maybe Tebow prayed to his god for slow healing of Big Ben's ankle?

      January 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  11. Joseph

    I think Tims a mediocre NFL QB, which makes him an elite American Football player. However when I see him all alone on the sidelines it makes me think he might have alienated his team. I mean seriously nobody talks to him. Maybe god let him make a decent easy to catch pass, but his beast of a receiver took it the other 65 yards, not Jesus. I still havent heard him give props to his team.

    January 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • Jason Crouch

      Here's some praise on Twitter just last week for his team: http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2012/01/tim-tebow-pulls-another-miracle-tweets-praise-for-his-team.html

      Here's another one: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/12/tim-tebow-my-teammates-make-me-look-a-lot-better-than-i-am/

      Also, every commentator I've heard on the radio has mentioned how much his teammates LOVE him, and how they play their hearts out for him, because when he is on the field, they always feel like they have a chance to win.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  12. Jim J

    If God isn't real, how did he create man in his own image? Checkmate, atheists!

    January 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Kresnov

      And how does that prove anything?

      January 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • PumpNDump

      What are you talking about? Obviously, you're late for your medication.

      January 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Rubicon

      God created Man in His own image. And Man returned the favor.

      January 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • nooneknows

      What the? "in his own image"?
      That is hilarious! No one has seen "god" so no one knows what that image might be.
      How stupid can you be? Oh wait, you believe in imaginary beings and think you can talk to them too. Yeah, pretty darn stupid.

      January 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • David

      Hahahahahahha!
      Hahahaha!
      (catching my breath)
      Hahahahahahah!
      (wiping a tear)
      Hahahahahaha

      Oh Jim, please tell me you are only 7 years old. Then it will be a cute thing that you said.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Peter

      This is the old chicken and egg thing we have here isn't it. One believes and one does not and neither can prove without reasonable doubt that the other is correct or wrong yet they will both think the other stupid.
      It takes the same faith to stand on either side. With that said, baed on this interchange, if there is a God I think you both may be in trouble. 🙂

      January 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • If horses had Gods ...

      C'mon guys .. Jim J is obviously being sarcastic LOL
      But if he isn't ... YIKES!!!

      January 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Imagine

      Hey guys, give Jim J a break! He's quoting Edward Current, who takes a pi.ss out of christians on YouTube.

      Checkmate, Atheists! – Edward Current
      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P47OC439x88&w=640&h=360]

      January 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • SciGuy

      No one with even a rudimentary understanding of logic could conclude that God does not exist. If ever there was a "time" when there was nothing, then there could only always have been nothing. Since there is something, there was never a time when there was nothing. Since we have no logical reason to believe that inanimate matter has an inherent existence, there must exist an eternal animate being. This doesn't prove that that being is the God of the Bible (though it is), but it proves that there is such a being. At least to anyone who is logical.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Ironicus

      SciGuy, why don't you check this out with your "logic" and tell us what you think:

      atheism.about(dot)com/od/argumentsagainstgod/a/GodScience.htm

      January 14, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Mother, Mary, and Joseph! I broke the code! Chad IS Edward Current!!!

      January 14, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • SciGuy

      @Ironicus: Summarize it for us. I could post 100 websites for you to visit as well.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Imagine

      Really-O? – Who's Chad???

      January 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  13. David

    Here is a perfect example of one of the most subtle tactics that the religious right has mastered – BE THE BULLY, BUT PAINT YOURSELF AS THE VICTIM. This idea that there is this throng of Tebow-haters is a myth created to again play the victim. Hate requires energy and emotion, and the fact is, pretty much all of us like/dislike Tebow as much as we would like/dislike a random name selected out of the phonebook. In other words, Tebow isn't important enough in my life to like/dislike.

    January 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Peter

      That's a human trait that has no religious or non-religious bounds.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • IceT

      It's passive aggressive, and I agree that the religion industry uses it to the full extent possible.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Ironicus

      The GOP does it every day.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  14. story55

    It's interesting that there is a long lineage of black athletes who have been very religious, some going on to become preachers, who have not garnered this much attention. Imagine if a passionate Muslim who did a lot of good for other people were to worship in the middle of a game. There's just a hypocrisy in our society that favors tall, good looking white men.

    January 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Peter

      While you see hypocrasy, please tell me the last time and team that had five overtime wins. Just that fact alone garners attention and certainly a man who was not a starter who was at the helm for those wins would be a bit special despite his religion or upbringing. Those are secondary considerations that make the story more Disneyesque. Then again, all those OT's were probably a racist plot. After all, when have people in such hard times and bad economy looked for heros anywhere they could find them? Certainly not in politics. 🙂

      January 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • maty

      But there is no Muslim athlete who prays during games- how have you already determined what the response would be if?

      January 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Rubicon

      Peter – way to miss the point!

      story55 – well said. Reggie White comes to mind.

      January 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • maty

      Also, Tebow's either a phenom or a talented football player- you choose-and has been the posterboy for a football renaissance in Denver. He's not popular because he's Christian.

      January 14, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • story55

      Your post has no relevance to what I wrote, but shall we exalt the Lions' Matt Stafford who orchestrated more 13+ come-from-behind victories this season than any team in history (and beat Tebow's Broncos 45-10)?

      January 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • story55

      @Maty – There were death threats and bigots' calls for companies to pull advertising (which Lowes so I'll never shop there again) from a show showing Muslims living normal, middle American lives. I have a good idea what the reaction would be.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Peter

      Hmmm...Rubicon...tell me OJ Simpson was not loved and admired. He was my hero as a ball player as a child. I dare say he was the hero of many as have been other non-white people. I had to reread the story to find out where racism is part of it. I couldn't find that seed so I wonder, why would one plant it?

      January 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • story55

      @Peter – I really don't think you understand what I wrote. Your posts make no sense and your last one is the equivalent of saying "I'm not racist. I had this black friend as a kid.". I'm not accusing you of being racist, btw, just stick to the question of why white Christians are celebrated for their faith but others are not.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Rubicon

      story55, I don't think Peter _wants_ to understand what you wrote.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Joseph

      II'd say the best thing a lot of the 90's era black athlete superstars did was become preachers. Mostly it was a complete 180 from their playing days where they were coke fiends (Michael Irvin and Dion Sanders come to mind). I'm glad they changed their lives around. Fact is, an athlete praising God for their athletic accomplishments is nothing new. But when it's someone who was acting this way far before they were famous, it's refreshing. Tebow was being a missionary and a charity worker before he won a Heisman. Before you act about how "racist" this is, why don't you tell me how many of those former African American athletes were doing charity work and praising God before and durring their playing careers?

      January 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Peter

      Rubicon, was that THE question. In my world, that is not the case. Religion. race, ethnicity, gender plays no role in celebrating someones passion for what they do. Because of that, I read this story about anyone of any faith. The main character happens to be Christian but the assumption of Story55 is that I cannot celebrate another or would not if this person was an atheist or a Muslim or Black or anything but Christian and white. What does he know of my love for sports in other countries and who I celebrate who are not white and christian? What I understand is that racism is not what some are and others are not and this post was certainly written by one who does not see or understand his own level of racism. Beyond that, when placing an alternative factual example to a racist remark is viewed as racist, then one can only assume that the original statement was of the same making. Now, is this something you can understand or is it simply others who cannot? Thanks for the back and forth. 🙂

      January 14, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • story55

      @Peter – history has already proven that minorities (even those acting with high moral fiber during their playing days) are not celebrated in the same way. History has already proven that Muslims who attempt to express their faith in public are demonized, mostly by Christians of all people who want to be able to express their faith in public. So, you're wrong on this one based on evidence. Sorry.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Christian Proud

      Story55, are you a Muslim?

      January 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • story55

      No. I'm a white Christian. I can just see beyond my worldview to the fact that there are countless paths to the source we call God. To exalt one and deny another is against everything Christ demonstrated.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • SciGuy

      @story55: you said "I can just see beyond my worldview to the fact that there are countless paths to the source we call God. To exalt one and deny another is against everything Christ demonstrated." This statement is demonstrably false with regard to Jesus Christ. He denounced in no uncertain terms the "worldview" expressed by the Pharisees, telling them that they were "of their father, the devil." He also plainly taught that he himself was the only path to God when he said "I am the way, the truth, and the light; no one comes to the Father but through me."

      January 14, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • story55

      @Sciguy – Until you put that book down written, rewritten, reinterpreted, and voted upon to include some sections and exclude others, there is no point in having a discussion. It is like talking to a 5 year old about quantum physics. I will pray for you.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • SciGuy

      @story55: until you listen to God closely through his written revelation, there is little hope of you finding the truth. I will pray for God to open your eyes. BTW, I'm reading Penrose's Road to Reality and understand something about quantum physics. But I need God's special revelation to know him. So do you.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • story55

      @sciguy – Unless you are reading the original texts in their original language, you are obviously wrong. I mean just look at how many people can't read at all in the world or how many Christians lived before the Bible and how few had access to it before the printing press and how many versions written by humans exist today!. To believe that God's Word comes through a piece of paper is the ultimate failure of your growth. When you experience what I am speaking of, you will have no need for the printing press. My prayers remain with you as you mature into spiritual adulthood. You just need to be humble and open yourself to God's love, not man's books.

      January 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • SciGuy

      @story: You're shotgunning now, story. I do read the "original" texts in their original language. Of course, we don't have the autographs, but I know enough about textual criticism to know that I hold in my hands that which is 99.44% true to the autographs as they came from the God-inspired writers hands. You will have to tell me the answers you raised, you certainly haven't yet. ("How many people can't read at all in the world?" "How many Christians lived before the Bible and how few had access to it before the printing press?" "How many versions written by humans exist today?"). Of course none of the answers to these questions bear any relationship to the objective reality of the written word of God that we hold in our hands today, and our responsibility to read it and interpret it correctly–an area in which you by you own admission are abjectly failing.

      Your openly arrogant assumption that you are spiritually superior to me tells the reader much more about your relative spiritual progress than you will be able to confess.

      January 14, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • story55

      You're fluent in Koine Greek, sciguy?!? I don't think I've ever met such a person – or perhaps you are just lying (which is a sin) . When you understand that what you call God's grace is merely a force amidst all life and accessible to all through so many paths, you will release from your need to convert others to your path or train your children in your path. They will find God in their own way.

      I said nothing of my owni spirituality. I simply speak with regard to truly enligthened gurus, shamans, and mystics I have studied. I do not hold a candlle to them. A book is a good tool to use for a while, so do not feel ashamed for relying it at this stage. We all have our crutches. God bless.

      January 14, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • SciGuy

      @story: I think "fluent" implies one can speak it, even think in it. One does not have to be fluent to be able to read it, translate it, and study it in the original, all of which I've done. I'm interested that you say lying is a sin–what do you base this upon?

      God's saving grace is only available through Jesus Christ. I don't have a "need to convert others," but I am commanded by God to give testimony to the claims by Jesus that he is God's only way to salvation. And I will most certainly train my children in that path. Just as a responsible parent feeds his children milk and not poison, so I have fed them spiritual milk and meat, rather than poison such as you espouse.

      I said nothing of my owni spirituality. I simply speak with regard to truly enligthened gurus, shamans, and mystics I have studied. I do not hold a candlle to them. A book is a good tool to use for a while, so do not feel ashamed for relying it at this stage. We all have our crutches. God bless.

      January 14, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • SciGuy

      haha. Ignore that last paragraph in previous post; that was a dangling leftover from your previous that I was using to reply.

      January 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • story55

      According to your religious text, lying is a sin. If you espouse to believe in a book, you should embrace it all.

      You assert your claim about Jesus based on something someone wrote many years after he passed. You have no evidence for your claim. Tehrefore, your claim cannot be submitted as true.

      Your last statement is deplorable. What horrible behavior calling my relationship with God "poison". It turns out that you are no Christian. I will pray for your children.. Horrific statement to make about another's spirituality. I am sickened. Whatever "god" would compel you to write that is not God. You have been deceived, perhaps by Evil. I'm done.

      January 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • SciGuy

      story: you say, "If you espouse to believe in a book, you should embrace it all." Interestingly, I do. However, you don't. You claim Jesus is a master, based upon (apparently) certain teachings of the Bible. But you contradict Jesus own teaching of his exclusivity contained in the same Bible.

      I hope you are done, as you claim, for your nonsensical, contradictory posts here are profitable for none.

      January 15, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  15. Ted

    Honestly, In know way would I ever want any kid, or even my own to look up to a pathetic stuck up god fearing loser like Tebow. He didn't get the memo that Santa Claus the Easter Bunny and God don't exist

    January 14, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Peter

      I agree. Why try and emulate this guy, this loser when you could be here sniping at the guy. Who wouldn't want to be like us? Just other losers I'm sure.

      January 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Richie

      Did you get the memo that he does? 85% of the people on earth believe in a God but you are correct. You arrogant Jerk

      January 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • Joseph

      I can't wait till my kids grow up to be self absorbed atheists, unlike those holier than thou Christians! Every one knows God doesn't exist, and you can't prove otherwise, so don't argue!

      January 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Ironicus

      I think the memo-distribution system doesn't work at all. I've never gotten one myself. You?

      January 14, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Michael

      @Peter and Joseph, how ironic that you're athiests and yet bear the same name as two of the most Godly men in the Bible...

      January 14, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Bizarre

      Michael,

      Is it also ironic, then, that you bear the name of a gruesome slasher (Myers) and a dog killer (Vick)?

      January 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  16. ashrakay

    I'm thankful to Tim Tebow for showing that even people with mental disabilities such as paranoid delusions and schizophrenia can still be highly successful in life.

    January 14, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • maty

      I am sorry to hear about your developmental difficulties.

      January 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  17. Please Stick to News CNN

    Please stick to the news… I turn to CNN.com for NEWS not the lies of ancient mythology from fundamentalist bible bangers, I would go to FOX.com if I wanted that…

    January 14, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Rubicon

      So why did you take the time to read a story on the CNN Belief Blog?

      January 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Rubicon, 1) The article shows up on the cnn.com homepage as a top news article. 2) Insanity must be monitored and put in check even if the people doing the monitoring would rather be doing other things with their time. When a news organization puts out faulty news that lacks facts to support the story, is your solution to just ignore the story?

      January 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Joseph

      This is put up here because, sadly, our fellow Americans care more about this kind of "story" than war in the Middle East, crumbling European economy and an upcoming Presidential election (though, I'd rather watch a Tebow story any day than listen to one-sided arguments about who "won" in what state.)
      This is America, not just CNN

      January 14, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  18. NaySay

    What expert reasoning. 🙂 Now I know that if the Saints beat the Broncos in the Super Bowl it will be clinching proof that God prefers the worship of Catholics, after all. Listen, whoever wrote this - did you ever watch a football game in your life?

    January 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  19. story55

    Tebow does a lot of good stuff for people, but I don't understand how he reconciles his actions with the clear directive in the Bible to not be like the hypocrites who pray in public for all to see. That is what tebowing is.

    January 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • David

      You have hit it on the head. "In your face" religion is the reason why I don't respect conservative Christianity. If you feel the need to have to sell the product, maybe there is something wrong with the product. If the product is as good as you say, it should sell itself.

      January 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • story55

      Good point, David. If we look at the Sufis, mystics, and Buddhist masters for example, their spirituality is within. It does not need ideological leaders or followers to sign up. Most fundamentalists are very young in their spiritual awakening, so it is not their fault, but such behavior should not be seen as aspirational. It should be seen as a crutch until something deeper emerges within the person.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Jason Crouch

      You are misusing that passage. Jesus was instructing people not to pray like the hypocrites ONLY to be seen by others (i.e. in a disingenuous way). If anyone can illustrate that Tim Tebow is a hypocrite, it might give some weight to your argument. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, "Pray without ceasing."

      January 14, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Peter

      I guess we first have to know if one prays in public for himself or others. I believe the bible frowns on praying as a public display for others. Praying in public very well can still be personal and NOT for the display of others. Just becasue we can see someone do it does not define it as a public display for us. It could be a very personal display without care if there are others or not to observe. Then again, if one hates religion there is no justification at all. So naturally, our own biases only allow us to see the event as we wish to see it and has no merit as to authenticity of the one giving thanks or accuracy of the event.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • story55

      If Tebow were interested in praying for himself and not display, then he could easily close his eyes on the sidelines when cameras are not on him after the touchdown. Instead, he puts on a big theatrical performance like a pharisee and, according to the Bible, a hypocrite. I don't see the word "only" in the Matthew verse, so that's your interpretation to suit your desires.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • story55

      Also – I have no doubt he has the best of intentions. Like many televangelists who close their eyes and pray very intently for the cameras to see, I think he believes he is being genuine. It's just a young person on an early stage of awakening who needs all the external attention connected to his spiritality. As he matures spiritually, he will grow to see the hypcrocricy of these theatrical displays.

      January 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Joseph

      I know quite a few people, Evangelical, Catholic, Eastern Orthadox, Jewish, etc who pray publicly. I'm pretty sure, unless you have footage of Tebow grabbing a camera man to photograph him praying, he's not doing it "for the world to see", but because he fully believes that he is doing the right thing by pouring out his heart to his diety in prayer. That's not uncommon, or a sign of arrogance. Quite frankly, you can find a bible verse to suit any situation, but be wary of being judgemental "Least ye be judged first"

      January 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • story55

      Tebow has no need to grab a cameraman. He knows they're all waiting for him to put on his spectacle for them. They're fixed on him every second of the game. Your argument does not withstand scrutiny. The charge of unintentional hypocrisy remains valid.

      January 14, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  20. Mopery

    I would have no problem with Tim Tebow giving credit to God every time the Denver Broncos win, if he were also willing to place the blame on God every time they lose. Just once I'd like to see him say, "I'd just like to ask my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ one thing: What the hell, man? Why didn't you use your magical powers to give us the win against the Patriots? You really let me down today, God..."

    If God is going to get all the credit for their wins, then He deserves all the credit for their losses.

    January 14, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Indeed

      January 14, 2012 at 3:42 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.