Seldom a day goes by without reference to the Tebow ‘controversy’. What controversy? A football player who wasn’t the victim of an abortion and believes in God celebrates his successes after important plays.
Controversy is a quarterback who slaughtered dogs–even the family dog–and was forgiven in the blink of an eye. Controversy are the exhibitions of pelvis and penis shaking, taunting, insulting displays pretty much if a player hiccups, let alone if he makes a spectacular play.
Controversy is that as a people, Americans have come to believe that religious freedom means an enforced avoidance of any reference to the possibility that a greater force might guide us–and that for Christians, the greater force is God, and the way to reach God is through prayer.
Keeping politics out of the Tebow ‘controversy,’ which is a manufactured spectacle, is virtually impossible, but I swore to try. My political understanding of the situation shouldn’t become one more reason to gleefully condemn the young man. And if I sound like what some would call one of those religious nuts–I’m not that, either. My father, the world’s biggest s.o.b. and appropriately rotting in hell, decided when I was six that I was an atheist; I’m not, but I’ve fought my own faith for years. The fact that I lived under hatred and bigotry has taught me that whether or not I believe–everyone should have the right to do so.
And everyone who doesn’t believe, who is given the right not to believe–should understand that freedom on one side only is intellectual slavery. How dare a Bill Maher attack Tebow when he likely would support those burning American flags or crapping in public at protests as being entitled to their freedom of expression?
How dare commentators harp on a controversy that would not be labeled a controversy if they themselves hadn’t contributed to the outcry? The Lambeau Leap is well and fine–great that the players take their triumphs to the fans. Those dances I find offensive–more power to the players who exult in their athleticism. But leave Tebow alone. He has as much right to celebrate his moments as anyone. Anyone.
And if his celebration involves kneeling and praying–who is he hurting? Who, really, is he offending? Those who say they’re offended can go get a drink. Go to the bathroom. Blink their eyes. And the horrifying image of a man who can accept that he’s not Lord of Lords in the grand scheme will be over, the offense wiped away by all the dignity and humility shown by the next players to celebrate.
There is no Tebow controversy. There are only poor-spirited individuals who don’t understand that if they dictate actions, if they define freedom–all actions are despicable, and there is no freedom.