The Test of Tebow

by Erik Manning

Lately there’s been a stir on the interwebs surrounding a Mr. Tim Tebow, the professional football player that so many love to hate. Since he’s come into the spotlight, I’ve honestly been surprised and honestly made a bit uncomfortable at some of what strikes me as irrational hatred directed towards Tebow. A few weeks back, George Weigel went ahead and said what I’ve often wondered:

No, Tim Tebow is a target of irrational hatred, not because he’s an iffy quarterback at the NFL level, or a creep personally, or an obnoxious, in-your-face, self-righteous proselytizer. He draws hatred because he is an unabashed Christian, whose calmness and decency in the face of his Christophobic detractors drives them crazy. Tim Tebow, in other words, is a prime example of why Christophobia—a neologism first coined by a world-class comparative constitutional law scholar, J.H.H. Weiler, himself an Orthodox Jew—is a serious cultural problem in these United States.

I’ve thought this never really wanted to express it out of fear of looking like some gooftball christian with a persecution complex. But a look around the internet, and you see some pretty venomous stuff written out there, such as this ugly, hateful rant by Jeff Pearlman (who has written for Sports Illustrated and ESPN.com).

Tim Tebow scares me, and judging from his father’s website, his upcoming Super Bowl ad and mounting knowledge of his way of life, he should scare you, too. Tim Tebow doesn’t play football merely for the joy of the game. He plays football because he wants to spread the word of Jesus Christ. But not merely spread it. He wants you to accept it and, if you don’t embrace it, he wants you to think again about embracing it. And, if you still don’t embrace it, he wants you to think again. And again. And again. If, in the end, you’re still not sold, you will burn in hell. This is not merely Tim Tebow’s opinion ”but he knows it, in his soul and heart and mind. Christians who accept Jesus will spend an eternity in bliss. Those who don’t are doomed.

Some call this faith.

I call it f***ing insanity.

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