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Saturday, December 10, 2011



Tim Tebow is not a rookie. This is his second year. Good article despite the lapse. (Even Homer nods, if you want another classical reference.)


While I was still a Protestant, and just before I entered the "gravitational pull" of the Catholic Church, I could not help notice that (1) John Paul II was only attacked in the media for doing good and stating the truth, and (2) the people who attacked him had such a distorted view of right and wrong that their very attacks were a testimony to him. I had to conclude that, contrary to what my upbringing had predisposed me to believe, John Paul II had every appearance of being one of the "good guys". Much the same applies to Tim Tebow. Neither John Paul II nor Tebow were immaculate conceptions, and both have their flaws, but their enemies have convinced me that they are both friends.

sports drone

People worship sports. It is an idol. That so many care about such trivial nonsense is an indictment of our culture.

We know more about who caught which ball when then we know about the ten commandments or the corporal works of mercy or the parts of the mass.

Where our treasure is...

David Elton

When you go to work, you don't usually make a display of your religious beliefs. Roger Staubach was a evangelical Christian, and everybody knew it, but he did not behave like Tebow does. I don't like it when players kneel or point skyward after scoring a touchdown, or chat about Jesus at the post-game press conference. I think it trivializes our faith. Play ball, Tim!

David K. Monroe

If Tim Tebow feels that he should honor God in some way during the games he plays, and the action that he takes does not actually interfere with his playing the game, then it I believe is incumbent on us to suspend judgment on it. Some may think it is a sincere display of honor to God, others may think that it is a showy display of false piety, and still others may think it is a misguided attempt at evangelism, but none of us really know the thoughts and motivations of Tebow's heart. If he is not actually violating some reasonable expectation of sportsmanship, the no one has any genuine basis on which to condemn his actions. And mocking his actions as at least one other player has done is clearly a violation of the standards of tolerance that are supposedly reasonable to expect in our society.


Terrific piece! Thanks.

Dan Buckley

The priest's comment should be handed to everyone enrolling a child in CCD.

David Elton

The priest's comment about sports vs. CCD is confirmed by the head of CCD in our parish. If there is a conflict between CCD and sports, she says, CCD doesn't stand a chance.

Carl E. Olson

People worship sports. It is an idol. That so many care about such trivial nonsense is an indictment of our culture.

Partially correct, I would argue. The problem is not that sports are inherently bad, just as it's not that money, food, sex, music, country, movies, and so forth are bad. Idols are anything that replace God and/or take a place that is not warranted by their nature. So, I would say that some people make sports into an idol, but that sports are not inherently idolatrous. Nor are sports simply "trivial nonsense"; on the contrary, sports are good and wholesome in their proper place and what undertaken in a good and proper way.

David Elton

Agree that sports is not "trivial nonsense". Sports and recreation is one of the categories of "human goods" which all human societies have valued. See Germain Grisez.


@David Elton

Generally speaking, I agree.

However, now that the question has arisen, it is impossible to put the genie back into the bottle. If Tim Tebow were to react to criticism by refusing to talk about God at all, it would amount to denying Christ. Yes, of course Christ can be denied in a thousand other ways, but this is a very real and concrete circumstance. He must not back down now, nor do I have any suspicion that he will.

Carl E. Olson

Here is another important point that I think should be recognized by Christians: not every Christian athlete need handle himself in the same way that Tim Tebow does in order to be a faithful witness to Christ. Tebow's expressions of faith strike me as being completely natural to him and coming from a very real and lively faith. He isn't just saying it to earn brownie points. But another Christian athlete might just as well share his faith in a less conspicuous or immediately obvious manner--and that is just fine. In other words, all Christians are called to evangelize, but within the real limits of the personalities, talents, and contexts of who we are and what we do. We can see this very well in the lives and example of great Saints, who use very different abilities and approaches to proclaim Christ and share the Gospel.


A Test: To what do you devote your Time, your Talent and your Treasure? The answers to those three questions show what you value. If more of your time is spent watching spectator sports than worshiping God, are you an idolator? Same question about what you spend your money on. Maybe some food for thought.


Today I am no Tim Tebow fan. Why? I'm a Bears fan.

David Elton

Can't wait to see this guy against the Patriots next week.

Emilio Perea

I know it's off-topic, but Roger Staubach's brand of "evangelical Christianity" mentioned above is actually of the Catholic kind. :-) He's in my mom's parish.

Mark W

"I don't like it when players kneel or point skyward after scoring a touchdown ... I think it trivializes our faith."

I played soccer into college at a respectable level. I only met a couple of people that pointed skyward or crossed themselves after scoring (alas, as the goalkeeper that they'd just scored against, I had a birds eye view). Not once did I see anyone do something like that - on the field - that was anything less than heartfelt. It may trivialize the faith from the sofa in the comfort of your living room, but from standing on the field with them it was quite real. (Mine is a small sample, I'll admit, and rather far from the professional level.)

And Staubach is, was, and ever will be Catholic. He's where the "Hail Mary" pass got it's name.

Alexis Mauldin

My husband is a Naval Academy grad who was a plebe during Staubach's senior ("firstie") year (ahem, the year after the Midshipman led by Roger the Dodger lost the Cotton Bowl and national championship to The University of Texas).

Roger went to Mass every morning during his "career" at the USNA. My husband says he was a really nice guy who did not give the plebes the grief (and we're talking serious stuff) that most of the upper classmen threw at the newbies.

Speaking of good Christian influences in professional sports, the San Antonio Spurs had some great role models in David Robinson, Avery Johnson and Malik Rose. Avery was leaving the doctor's office and my mom was in the waiting room anxious over her own problem (orthopedic). This was in 1999 and the Spurs had won the NBA Championship in that 'short' season. Avery came over to my mom, knelt beside her, took her hand and prayed for her peace and healing. My mother is no basketball fan, but Avery just glows and his prayer really gave her a peace.


As far as workplace evangelism goes, obey the limitations imposed on us by our employers while on the employer's time. Christ is not honored by making ourselves into thieves by cheating our employers out of the labor they are paying us for. However, if we can evangelize at work without undermining the job we are tasked to perform, do it. Thus, Tebow should not be condemned for public displays of piety while on the job, so long as those displays do not interfere with him performing his job, and they clearly don't.

For some, however, workplace evangelism conflicts with performing their duties. These should refrain from evangelism while on the clock, and evangelize while off work. "To everything there is a season."

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