I should preface this post with the following. I would consider myself a fringe Tim Tebow supporter in a few senses. I found him to be an exciting player in college and the fact that I got to see the triple option run in the NFL for a few months was pretty awesome. It was like being stuck in the 1930s for a while.
I also think Tim Tebow is probably a decent guy. He seems earnest in his beliefs and I would have to disagree with those thinking that he’s a fraud or a phony when rumors swirled of him requesting a trade from the New York Jets. Face it, the guy’s dream was to be a QB in the NFL and he was relegated to being a punt protector for the majority of the year. No aspiring QB is going to agree to that deal unless they were likely promised some type of shot at starting, one in which Tebow did not receive.
So I get why he’s miffed even though I find him to be a fairly, politely mediocre (and realistically adjectives much worse than that) QB who has amazing athleticism and not much more.
Actually, I will add that the man does exude a lot of charisma and his fans have turned into devoted followers who will promote the Tebow brand. In fact when it comes to the pro-Tebowists, it’s not too far to think of them as akin to the followers that Ron Paul has. I mean, he already has Skip Bayless in his corner.
But obviously given Tebow’s devout evangelicalism, his pure charisma and his status as a football player; a lot of those followers seem to secretly hope that Tim Tebow runs for some type of political office in the near-future. As in, as soon as the conclusion of his playing career (voluntarily or involuntarily) which could probably happen before the 2016 Presidential election.
For what it’s worth Tim Tebow is not closing the door on that option.
Yet how is all of this related to the Tea Party Caucus or the Tea Party Movement that took Congress by storm in 2010? Getting there.
Even though Tim Tebow has a throwing motion that resembles more of a starting pitcher as opposed to quarterback, a completion percentage south of 50% (above 60% is considered the bare minimum for average NFL QBs) and a seeming inability to grasp non-option offenses (which are considered too gimmicky to run after college); a large segment of people thinks there is something else at play that is keeping Tebow on the bench as opposed to the playing field.
As stated earlier, Tim Tebow is likely equally—if not—more for his faith than his play. In fact a meme of people bending on one knee and prayer, called Tebowing, actually was a real thing that took over social media. This is 2013 after all, right?
Okay to be fair, the comments on PFT are as similar to those on Yahoo! in the sense that it’s almost nothing but an internet flamewar. Yet over 100 people liked the post by “crappygovernment” and whether the likes are sarcastic or genuine remains to be seen. The dislikes obviously speak for themselves and it’s worth noting that one of the other QBs mentioned, Jay Fielder, is Jewish and Bernie Kosar (of the Cleveland Browns) was mentioned for unknown reasons. Granted though I shouldn’t expect anything more from a PFT commenter named “crappygovernment”.
But the so-called “persecution” of Tebow is still a myth that continues to be swirled around the internet. It doesn’t affect our lives in the slightest, but it’s a slight annoyance to those who are fans of football.
What does affect us though are the people who we elect into public office. The embracing of Tebow by the so-called “religious right” is symbolic of the current Tea Party caucus that continues to cost the Republican Party elected seats. Of course Tim Tebow isn’t the reason why people such as Jeff Duncan were elected; but there is a correlation that I can stretch and maybe grasp if you stay with me here.
We’ll use Duncan, a freshman Congressman who is set to begin his second term tomorrow, as our first example. At the widely unneeded “Muslim Radicalization” hearings hosted by New York Rep. Peter King, Duncan had this to say regarding Sharia Law:
While warning of “the threat of Sharia law to the U.S. constitution,” Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) emphatically declared that he was “astonished” and “outraged” at the Obama administration’s “continued failure to single out who our enemy is.”
But Duncan also insisted that nobody on his “side of the aisle” was intent on attacking Islam in general.
Yes Duncan accused the Obama administration of not putting out who are enemy is and regardless of Duncan trying to save face by stating that he wasn’t attacking Islam, he still basically did. Duncan, a Southern Baptist, in fact touted what he said on his official website.
But Duncan is still a nondescript backbench Congressman who you wouldn’t have known unless you read Do Not Ask What Good We Do by Robert Draper (a must-read) or live in his district.
Then there is Michele Bachmann who might as well be the face of the Tea Party Movement who believes President Barack Obama is trying to impose Sharia Law in America…whatever that means. Of course Bachmann, to her lack of credit, did not specify a simple example on how President Obama is going to do just that.
We roll our eyes at these comments, but just look at the positive comments promoting Bachmann’s “fighting spirit” or blasting Huma Abedin for no true reason. I’ll even add this image in case you don’t want to click on the link.
Other comments show that these people, the religious right, has this sinking fear that they are “losing their country”. These people believe that those who are stepping up to fight Sharia Law (a debunked and prejudiced conspiracy theory) are being persecuted for being Christian. In fact I would not be surprised if any of these folks (whether it’s King, Duncan, Bachmann or other fear-mongering politicians) truly believe that America is being taken over by Islamic extremists.
That’s the mood of our country, or at least one if its major political parties.
Now how does this relate to Tebow? His ability (or lack thereof) to play QB and Republican investigations into Sharia Law, are two completely different and irrelevant debates.
But it shows that as the country continues to diversify, people tend to get scared of the overall change. It’s not a unique issue that is central to our times either. Yet, the religious right has gone to inane ways to paint themselves as the victims of this cultural change. Whether it’s Tim Tebow or just America in general, there lays this ugly belief that a phenomenon is taking over this nation that will turn us away from religion.
In a few years, America will likely be much more diverse, have legalized gay marriage, have (hopefully) more minority politicians, may have legalized marijuana, fight for more comprehensive gun reform, and will just have had two completed terms of the nation’s first African-American President. By all shapes and sizes, America will have progressed an awful lot (after regressing for so long in delaying issues such as marriage and the refusal to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell until 2011) in the span of a decade or two.
Yet while the rest of the country is excited to move into a new day & age, a small but loud segment of the population is attempting to hold us back again. The religious right is far different than actually religious people. I’ve been lucky to know that most of my religious friends believe in fighting for love not hate and acceptance not dismissiveness.
But the Michele Bachmanns of the world, don’t see it that way. They truly believe that they are losing their country when in fact all their country is doing is evolving.
Wait, maybe evolution is the problem after all?