Why The Denigration of Tebow the Christian?
- Posted by Jeff Carter
- on January 15th, 2012
I guess I don’t understand all the Tebow hype. The kid had a great college career and is now in the learning process of becoming an NFL QB. He is not unlike a lot of kids that make the jump from college to pro. The quarterback position is the most difficult on the field because not only does it take great athleticism, but you have to be smart. Interestingly, a lot of failed quarterbacks go on to become great players at other places on the field. The interesting thing is Tebow took a so so team to the playoffs. That’s what should be hyped.
Tebow isn’t a classic NFL QB. He has a strong arm, but not an accurate one. When you compare his throwing motion to other successful NFL QB’s like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, the Manning’s, or Drew Breese, he doesn’t yet compare.
But, boy is the guy a winner! You love to have motivated guys like that as a teammate. What they lack in physical skill they make up in sheer determination and motivation.
Tebow is derided because he is a very conservative Christian. I don’t find that fair at all. There have been plenty of athletes that have used the platform of pro athletics to serve as a place to witness for Christianity. Almost every Kentucky Derby rider when interviewed after the race in recent years says something about thanking the Lord. Many athletes point to the sky after a touchdown. I don’t think they are pointing to a moon or sun God. When Tebow kneels down and says a short prayer, he means it. It isn’t unnatural for him and is part of his daily living. Many athletes, like Sammy Sosa, made it part of the show.
The press has lead the attack, and I feel that it is more of an opportunity to go after the right wing Christian conservatives they love to scorn. They are just using Tebow as a means to an end. What really drives them nuts is that Tebow actually practices what he preaches. He was a missionary. A home schooled kid. He did well in school. He wins games. That has only caused the press to dig more and sharpen their attack.
Of course, their attacks have done exactly what Tebow desired. He has opened up a new dialogue for people to talk about and perhaps re-discover their faith. I have seen this effect even in non-Christian communities. That’s not a bad thing since most of the basic “how to live your daily life” tenants of all religions are very similar. Maybe Tebow will raise the public discourse? Or not.
The mainstream media has tried to link Christianity to winning and losing. Tebow hasn’t. In my personal life, God has never determined if I was successful at doing a trade or investing in a business. Religion isn’t about winning and losing. Actually, when you find yourself praying that a trade will work out or a business won’t fail, it usually does. Your prayers are stimulated because subconsciously you are looking for some solace in failure.
In the 2008 election, Sarah Palin was lynched by the mainstream media because she was a Christian conservative that lived out her beliefs. She speaks freely about them. I think Tebow will eventually get the Palin treatment. However, it’s far easier to try and take down a political rival than a professional star.
Today, there was an article on Aaron Rodgers, the fantastic QB of the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers is also a devout Christian.
Rodgers hails from Chico, Calif., an idyllic pristine town in Northern California about a three-hour drive from San Francisco. He still has roots there. His father, Ed, is a chiropractor, and his parents raised their three sons in a devout Christian household
The only incisive passage book is Rodgers reflecting on his religious beliefs, “I like the saying from St. Francis of Assisi, ‘Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words.'” In Rodgers’ case, words have seldom been necessary—he doesn’t discuss his faith unless asked.
There aren’t degrees of Christians. Either you believe or you don’t. However, some people choose to practice that belief a lot differently than others. Rodgers expression of Christianity doesn’t offend people because he doesn’t challenge them. Tebow’s outward expression challenges them. Sometimes what they find inside themselves isn’t pleasant, and they react violently.
My own personal style of Christianity is more like Rodgers than Tebow’s. In fact, I rarely attend church anymore. The religion of my upbringing no longer reflects the way I view Christianity anymore. Like everything else in this politically charged time, it has become a political pulpit that sends a message about God intertwined with government rather than a vehicle to help you worship.
Maybe that is why I am so intrigued and engaged with the entrepreneurial community. Religion and politics really aren’t a part of the conversation. It’s all about an idea. The code of ethics that I follow in the entrepreneurial community mirrors the code of ethics for leading a good life. Treat people right and they will treat you well. Offer resources freely and the community gives back to you. Interesting when you think of it that way.
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Jeffrey Carter is an angel investor and independent trader. He specializes in turning concepts into profits. He co-founded Hyde Park Angels one of the most active angel groups in the United States in April of 2007. He previously served on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Board of Directors. He has done market commentary for (More...)