God’s Favorite Footballer

The greatest single argument for atheism in the modern age is the Tim Tebow Fan.

I have never enjoyed watching football. Yet I am not here to offer justification for my distaste for professional sports, but rather for one particular professional athlete’s supporter: namely, the dreaded creature known as the Tim Tebow Fan.

The question on everyone’s minds is, naturally: Why do hipstercons emit such disdain for the glorified miracle worker, Tebow, and his devoted fans? To wit: it is the thought that yesterday, while many humans were starved, butchered, crushed, oppressed–and none of them were my personal enemies, dammit!–God took time out of his busy schedule to help the Broncos win victory through the arm of his anointed servant, Tim Tebow.

Surely the works of the LORD are wondrous and mighty; by his servant Tebow he hath wrought victory for the Broncos in overtime.

For the LORD hath raised Tebow up, and proclaimed him chosen among all football players.

Tebow fans merit such condemnation because they neglect to consider the problem of evil. Evil exists, and it often prospers. Good exists, and is often crushed. Pointing to the good Christian’s success as an example of God’s favor (thus demonstrating God’s existence, etc.) is sure to backfire: indeed, self-identified Christians who revel in Tebow’s success should probably refer back to the Gospels that they and their favorite athlete profess to believe in. When asked about the victims of a collapsing tower, and if those crushed under the weight of circumstance were being punished by God, Christ did not only dispel this notion, he told his followers that if they did not repent, they too would surely perish. Cease looking for God’s favor in mere chance; instead, tend to your own souls.

The failure of Tebow fans to recognize the problem of evil and chance is doubly annoying because the stakes are so very low: a mere football game, an entertainment, is enough to divine the favor of the gods, it seems. Divination hasn’t gone anywhere; we still cast lots to find the gods’ favor. Only now, we use a football.

And he rose from his knee in the endzone, and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a Super Bowl trophy, and lighting upon him:

And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Tebow, in whom I am well pleased.

Then was he led up to the ESPN studio, to be interviewed of sports journalists.

Tebow 3:16-4:1

In short, why is it wrong to be a Tebow fan? Because, when your theology cannot stand up to the nuanced distinction of a Saturday Night Live skit, you have forfeited your right to ask that question.

10 thoughts on “God’s Favorite Footballer”

  1. I understand your point, but, honestly, you generalize far too much. Many Tim Tebow fans are merely happy to see a good guy succeed in professional sports and actually be humble about it.

    This article is really beating a dead horse. Tebow has proven himself as a good man and a good football player. Moreover, Tebow is not the first or only professing Christian to play the game or win a huge following. If there is anyone obsessed with Tim Tebow, it is his critics.

  2. I second Alan’s notes, this article is based on a superficial gloss of the real Tebow fan. Find for me evidence that they look for God’s favor in Tebow’s success. I don’t see it.

    If anything, I think Tebow fans show a healthy ability to enjoy the secular realm as blessed by God for it’s own sake. They like football, and they like seeing a guy who plays football with an awareness that his life is not his own. I can’t know all of their motives (or Tebow’s), but nothing in their celebration of the game or of Tim seems show a lack of awareness of the problem of evil

    Hispstercon can do better. Why this fluff?

  3. Isn’t this the equivalent of judging Ron Paul by his wackiest supporters? I don’t see these folks as representative of anything beyond the corner of fundamentalism they claim.

  4. I’m pretty sure this article is addressed to fans, not Tebow himself. It’s an outright condemnation of those extremes Smith pointed out and a chastening for those who would keep such excesses under wraps. I’m thankful Tebow’s not a thug; I hate these divination shenanigans–they are more common than they should be.

  5. Hmm, I understand your objection; I do not think so, Mr. Nicholson, but perhaps you simply keep better company than I. Truly, after the Broncos-Steelers game, I was greeted by a virtual barrage of Tim Tebow idolatry, most religious persons invoking his performance as a manifestation of divine intervention. In my less virtual reality, these sentiments were echoed by coworkers, friends, and even family. Though I do not suppose that this part ought to be taken for the whole of Broncos supporters, it is significant enough to identify and denounce.

    Evangelicals at large are guilty of invoking “God’s will” or attributing good fortune to “a God thing,” etc. That Tebow has been vilified lends a sort of sentimentality to his victory; Christians want him to win, because they always see themselves as the underdog. And why not? Why not, for a change, can’t God let us have a real, open, devout, successful Christian to hold up as evidence that God hasn’t forgotten us? It’s like a Christian film come to life.

    In the bitter cold religious “neutrality” of the public square, a bit of “a God thing” warms our hearts. It’s warm in hell.

  6. Some people may honestly think that these “coincidences” are proof. At best, I find that questionable and at worst, it’s a dangerous train of thought. Those fans ought to be critiqued to an extent.

    However, there are many people making those comments purely out of a humorous intent. Some genuinely believe it is humorously coincidental that his statistics measured that way. Others — the ones you are critiquing — ask, “Or is it?”

  7. People complain when the wicked prosper. Other people complain when an outspoken Christian prospers. I am complaining that you are complaining without merit.

    Tim Tebow fan isn’t an argument for atheism or bow-ties. Tim Tebow fan is an argument for Tim Tebow. They like him and they like to watch him play.

    I hesitated even to respond wondering if you are being serious or joking. In case if you are being serious, answer this, what was Jesus doing while the little ones played and nestled in his arms while there are those whom Jesus could have healed in that time? Jesus playing with kids must be the greatest argument for what? Jesus must have been ignoring the problem of evil and suffering?

    Ok. Lets say that you are challenging the notion that God was behind Tebow’s heroics. To say there too much evil in the world and therefore God cannot be behind Tebow’s heroics is a non sequitur. It is not even a valid argument or an implication.

    I don’t know if God is behind Tebow’s heroics. I would actually lean towards He is, especially after how Tebow handles defeat in the fashion of, thou He slay me, I will still worship Him. Can’t God choose to honor those that honor Him?

  8. Tebow volunteers a lot of his time to charitable causes every where he goes. He’s just a downright overall good guy, and a good football player (although some might disagree with the latter part of my statement). He should have more fans. More people should be striving to be like him.

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