It’s my favorite day of the week: NFL Sunday. I don’t go to church on Sunday. The church of football comes to me via my television. Jets quarterback Tim Tebow brings church with him on Sunday onto the field with a display of public prayer-part touchdown celebration, known as “Tebowing.”
Tebow didn’t invent the name. CNN relates that a Denver Broncos fan living in New York, Jared Kleinstein, was one of the originators of the meme when he started the website, www.tebowing.com. Kleinstein even defined the term: “To get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.” He posted a photo of himself “Tebowing.”
Will Kleinstein and millions of others, including those who have made money off the phenomenon, Tebow no more?
The New York Post reported Friday that New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow has trademarked Tebowing.
This is what happens when you become a backup quarterback in the NFL. Or perhaps it is just more of the money-grubbing hypocrisy we’ve come to expect from right wing sorta-Christians. Rather than kicking the money-changers out of the temple, Tebow has brought them onto the field, into the temple, with him.
I’ve defended Tebow here in the past. It meant a great deal to me when this paragon of proselytization admitted that his god wasn’t winning him football games. I mean, that put him a step above Rick Perry, who thinks God makes it rain on Texas, or Glenn Beck who said Japan’s earthquake was a message from some god or other, or Michele Bachmann who thought God told her to run for Prez only to see her humiliatingly defeated.
I mean, yeah, the guy prays and talks a lot about his god in public, but at least he seriously did not think that by all his worshipful antics he was somehow swaying the wrathful sky father to favor him over some other team.
People have had a lot of fun with Tebow, and why not? He has a lot of fun with himself (and I don’t mean that in any improper ways). They’re going to have a lot more fun with him now.
I mean, trademarking an on-field celebration? Or look at it another way: trademarking a prayerful pose?
WTF? Is this what Jesus died for, so Tebow could make a buck off kneeling with his elbow on his knee and his head on his fist?
He’s lucky he chose football instead of baseball, where all you can do is pump your fists as you round the bases.
Well, perhaps, if they turned into memes. But you don’t see a lot of people break into spontaneous rodeo moves when something fabulous happens.
ChicagoNow.com said last year that just because Tim Tebow is religious does not mean you have to be. Tebow disagrees. This was Tebow’s less than satisfactory, excuse-making reasoning:
“I knew that this stuff that had been talked about, but I didn’t know everything had gone through,” he said on Friday. “I knew it was something that was cool for me in the past; but it’s not something I do as Tebowing. It’s something I do that’s prayer for me and it got hyped as Tebowing. I think one, more to control how it’s used as well. Make sure it’s used in the right way.”
Doug Farar at Yahoo Sports opines that “the intention of prayer shouldn’t be a copyrighted exercise,” and I agree. I mean, it’s silly. It’s okay to “Tebow” for prayer but you can’t “Tebow” for any other reason? How do you judge intent?
“Sure I was praying, officer! Can’t you tell?”
Sure, there have been money-making operations based on Tebowing and sure Tim Tebow himself hasn’t been making money off it like others have, but that’s apparently going to change. This is not an example of turning the other cheek. This is not an example of offering somebody your coat when they steal your clock.
This is an example of slapping others and taking their cloaks because, well, that’s what they’re doing.
At the time, Tebow tweeted that he “loved it”, speaking of the Tebowing phenomenon. I guess now that there is money to be made off prayer he wants in. It’s not that money is being made off prayer, whatever he says. It’s that other people are making money off prayer, and he isn’t.
When Kleinstein, one of the guys who invented the meme that helped make Tebow so popular, applied for a trademark, Tebow’s XV Enterprises (XV for his jersey number 15) opposed him in court. No, there’s no “love it” anymore. Now it’s, “hate it.”
I remember when the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank asked if God had forsaken the Republican Party. I’m more of the opinion that the Republican Party – and all those Evangelical Christians who make up its rank and file these days - have forsaken God.
Tim Tebow says he loves his god; says he is everything to him. So he become a rich man, the kind his god says can’t get into heaven.
And then, rather than do what the god he loves says to do, and pray in private (Matthew 6:5-15), Tim Tebow goes out in front of millions of people and prays in public. And he says this is doing it the right way.
But Tim, Jesus begs to differ.
And not only does he have the audacity to pray in public against the clear-cut and unequvocal denouncement of such activities by the god he loves, but he trademarks it! Oh Tim…it’s between you and your Lord but I would not want to be you on your Judgment Day.
Cracke, crackle, crisp, crisp.
Then - yes - then, this already-twice-over-hypocrite has the further gall to demand to be make money off his rejection of his lord’s directives. We could argue that Tebow didn’t even invent the word “Tebowing” because he didn’t, but my guess is that would be the least of Jesus’ concerns.
What would Jesus say? Dude, you do not wanna know. Trust me. You do not wanna know.
If conservative Christians wonder why the rest of us say they’re not really Christians at all, they have only to look in the mirror. And Tim Tebow: that especially includes you.