December 19, 2011

#Tebow - an anti-Catholic?

Frankly, I was glad for the New England Patriots' takedown of Tim Tebow and his Denver Broncos yesterday. And, it happened as I and millions of other NFL fans knew it would: The opponent got far ahead of the Tebowites and forced him to come from well behind by passing.

That said, in light of that, over at ESPN's Grantland, Charles P. Pierce has a great take on Tebow's religiosity, and how he's not "a Christian" but a specific, narrow slice of Christian. And, if Timmeh is like his old man and his old man's "ministry," he is, per the title, an anti-Catholic:
Let us be quite clear — Tim Tebow adheres to a particular form of American Protestantism. He belongs to — and proselytizes for — a splinter of a splinter, no more or less than Mitt Romney once did. This particular splinter has a long record in America of fostering anti-Enlightenment thought, retrograde social policies, and, more discreetly, religious bigotry. To call Tim Tebow a "Christian," and to leave it at that — as though there were one definition of what a "Christian" is — is to say nothing and everything at once. Roman Catholics are Christians. So are Lutherans, Episcopalians, Melkites, Maronites, and members of the Greek and Russian Orthodox faiths. You can see how insidious this is when discussion turns to the missionary work that Tebow's family has done in the Philippines. This is from the Five Priorities of the Bob Tebow ministries, regarding its work overseas:
It is the goal of the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association to preach the gospel to every person who has never had an opportunity to hear the good news of eternal life in Jesus Christ. Most of the world's population has never once had the opportunity to hear the only true message of forgiveness of sins by faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.
It so happens that 95 percent of the population of the Philippines is Roman Catholic. Catholic doctrine just happens to be in conflict with what Bob Tebow and his son preach in regard to personal salvation. ... Bob Tebow's goal is not to convert unbelievers. It is to supplant an existing form of Christianity. So who's the actual Christian here? This is not an idle point to be made. Down through history, millions of people have died in conflicts over what a "Christian" really is, which is what so exercised (James) Madison, and also what brought down a lot of Hitchens' wrath upon religion in general. History says that as soon as you start talking about "the only true message" in this regard, you guarantee that, eventually, people will get slaughtered in the town square.
A long quote from the article, but well worth it, in part to show that, like Rick Reilly, there's a few thoughtful sportswriters out there who can put sports into a larger context. Any sports writer who knows his or her religion enough to reference John Chrysostom deserves a kudo and a long quote. And, most red-state types whom Pierce excoriates in his book or over at Esquire are probably clueless about who Chrysostom is.

And, Pierce is right, Tebow's religion is fair game in the public square, just as is Christopher Hitchens' political hypocrisy, even more than his atheism. As Pierce notes earlier in the column, a Christian can always pray on the other side of a metaphorical or literal lake in another metaphorical or literal village. (Or, in his closet, as Jesus himself says. Funny how the Tebows of the world overlook that one.)

1 comment:

Gina said...

The philippines is not 95 percent catholic, it is 80 percent catholic