The Lamb of God is about to get fleeced
There was, apparently, an eleventh commandment. That commandment instructed that Thou Shalt Not Doubt Tim Tebow. This was certainly true when the Chosen One was at Nease High and walking on water throughout the Swamp in Gainesville. On his way to two national championships and three appearances (and one win) at the Downtown Athletic Club’s Heisman Awards, Tebow always came out on top, both as a player and as a representative of his Evangelical faith.
Many have run afoul of this commandment throughout the years. Clay Travis became a pariah when he asked Tebow, straight up, if he was saving himself for marriage at SEC Media Days in Birmingham this past Fall. Opposing defenses were taught not to doubt the power of the jump pass and Les Miles and crew never quite learned. In 2008, defensive coordinators were shown you couldn’t try to stack the box against the Holy Moyel’s awkward passing delivery. And, in a modern day ascension to the draft, Tebow shattered noted headcase Vince Young’s BCS record for total yards in this year’s Sugar Bowl with 533.
If you doubted the power of the Tebow, or the veracity of his faith, you were likely going to come up as a loser. But that was when the Lamb of God was an All-American amateur — both literally and figuratively. Clay Travis is questioning his holiness again with an article released Monday noting that Tebow is going to shove his religiosity and beliefs down audiences’ throats with a $2.5M Focus on the Family anti-abortion ad currently scheduled to air on the Super Bowl.
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Now, I’ll note that I do not in any way think this advert will make it to air, and I highly doubt that FOTF ever intended it to do so. An ad like this one (which will likely recount Tebow’s remarkable amateur career and missionary work and note that none of it would have occurred had he been aborted), benefits greater from the viral interwebs. Much like the famous “Daisy” ad warning of nuclear holocaust only aired once but was repeated constantly in news broadcasts, this ad will be common knowledge thanks to TV news and Youtube long before it ever airs (if it airs at all).
Yet, what I find more interesting to watch is whether or not Tebow will be received in a positive light. This country is, by and large, one that supports a woman’s right to choose. Notwithstanding Christian religiosity that, in some segments, reaches a level of saturation and even fanaticism that is matched only by the Islamic right in countries like Afghanistan, the United States still does not want other people’s morals shoved down its collective throats.
Tebow has, in the past, been a paragon and beacon for all that is good regarding Christian charity; however, we have in the past conceded to him his sins and brushed them aside. He has been known to taunt opponents and is perhaps the most blatant player in history when it comes to unflagged excessive celebration. His flirtations with his own personal Mary Magdalene (that would be Ms. Erin Andrews) even may have crossed the lines of good behavior at times, though I believe him when he says he hasn’t consummated his lust.
The key point is that he has always been a shining light showing people how to properly act. In his opening night on the professional stage… before he has even signed a contract, Tim Tebow is going to invade the airwaves and interwebs with a message on how Americans should live their lives. And that message is not a terribly popular or non-controversial one. So what will be the reaction?
For one, Tebow will be hurting his professional stock. The moment he shoots this commercial, he’s gone from being everyone’s All-American to being a controversial, religious lightening rod. And it is a further reminder that, however admirable his dedication is, Christianity will always come before football and, more importantly, the employer about to sink millions into him. All in all, I know Tebow is someone who honestly does do what he thinks is right, but what is right and what is prudent, with respect to his career, are often going to be in conflict.
We’ve seen athletes bring the religion in the past, and I think few have been able to avoid being mocked or questioned (think Colt McCoy saying losing was all in God’s plan after this year’s BCS Championship or Janzen Jackson suddenly embracing God at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes prayer meeting after being arrested for armed robbery). Tebow has never been mocked, but he also has never outwardly judged others as he is about to do by affiliating with a fanatical organization like FOTF for something like an anti-abortion advertisement. It will be quite interesting to see what happens from here.