Tim Tebow And The Fall Of Western Civilization

The New York Jewish Week finds both religious and political significance in this week’s game between Denver and New England:

Next Sunday, the Broncos host the New England Patriots in a game coveted so much by the networks that NBC and CBS sparred in unprecedented fashion over who would get to broadcast it.   And why not?  While the Patriots are adored by their fans (myself included), to many nationwide they are regarded as the Sons of Darkness, with their perfectly coiffed Hollywood quarterback and their brilliant – one might say diabolical – hoodie-clad coach.  And, oh yes, the most identifiably Jewish owner in sports.  Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Bob Kraft are all upstanding citizens, moral exemplars in their home communities, but in this Oberammergau of the Rockies, they are playing the role of Pilate.

People are always looking for signs of God’s beneficence, and a victory by the Orange Crush over the blue-clad Patriots, from the bluest of blue states, will give fodder to a Christian revivalism that has already turned the Republican presidential race into a pander-thon to social conservatives, rekindling memories of those cultural icons of the ‘80s, the Moral Majority and “Hee Haw.”  The culture wars are alive and well, and, if the current climate in Washington is any indicator, the motors are being revved up for what will undoubtedly be the most cantankerous Presidential campaign ever.  When supposedly well-educated candidates publicly question overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change and evolution and then gain electoral traction by fabricating conspiracies about a war on Christmas, these are not rational times.

Into the middle of it all rides Tebow.  Absolutely confident that God is on his side, he comes across as a humbler version of the biblical Joseph, who, in this week’s Torah portion, audaciously lays claim to being the Chosen One, and then goes out and proves it.  Tebow’s sanctimonious God-talk has led even pious peers like Kurt Warner to suggest that he cool it. Joseph could have used the same coaching.

If Tebow wins the Super Bowl, against all odds, it will buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants.  While America has become more inclusive since Jerry Falwell’s first political forays, a Tebow triumph could set those efforts back considerably. 

This all makes it sound like a win by Tebow will be a win for the religious right, meaning bad news for the civilized world. Personally I think it is just a game and Tebow’s religious beliefs are not very important. There is a culture war, but it will not be fought on the football field. I’ll be rooting for Tom Brady and New England but not for any religious reasons. I’m rooting for Tom Brady because he is a Michigan man. Go Blue!


  1. 1
    Captin Sarcastic says:

    I agree with Tebow that God doesn’t give a crap about the outcome of a football game. If for one second, Tebow or the Broncos indicated that THEY believed God would help them win because they are more faithful, I’d root against them just for that petty arrogance. But I am a Broncos fan, and I respect Tebow’s faith, though I don’t share it, and just because others want to couch their games as religious tests, falling into that trap, on either side of the equation, is just as petty.

    I don’t hate the Pats because they are a blue state Godless team, I hate ’em because they keep beating teams that I like, then I add reasons for fun, like Brady’s… Bradyishness.

    Root for the Pats because they are your team. I’ll root for the Broncos because they are my team. Leave the silliness to the silly people. Good luck!

  2. 2
    John Sonntag says:

    RT @ronchusid: Tim Tebow And The Fall Of Western Civilization #p2 #p21 #topprog http://t.co/eJ7aIrmp

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    If I had been a Denver fan I wouldn’t change due to Tim Tebow’s religious beliefs. I’ve never seen this as an issue. I object when politicians try to impose their religious beliefs upon others. They have the power to do that. A football player does not.

  4. 4
    Jim Z. says:

    We current and/or former Bronco fans will take any win, achieved however, or with whatever roster.  The team seems to have a penchant for drafting failures, firing decent QB’s, and forgetting that defense is part of the game (whatever happened to the Orange Crush, a now distant memory?).  It’s easy to forget that there are 32 NFL teams, all trying to find new or recover past glory, and only a few can reach the conference finals much less the Super Bowl.  Many in Colorado no longer see the team as a symbol of the state as it once was, there are better things to do with one’s time and energy.

  5. 5
    Derek Gendvil says:

    Tim Tebow And The Fall Of Western Civilization – http://t.co/ObIEPFPL (via @sociablesite) Go Drat Pack if we play the Broncos!

  6. 6
    Grung_e_Gene says:

    This quote has been altered see if you can recall the original.

    “I don’t think he’s been that good from the get-go. I think what we’ve had here is a little social concern in the NFL. I think the media has been very desirous that a *christian* quarterback do well. They’re interested in *christian* coaches and *christian* quarterbacks doing well. I think there’s a little hope invested in *Tebow*, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he really didn’t deserve. The defense carried this team.”

    Now, ask yourself if this quote was passed along what would the reaction of Faux News and right-wingers be?

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    That’s obviously a twist on the statement about Donovan McNabb which got Rush Limbaugh fired from ESPN. I’m not sure what the reaction from the right would be. It would be a rather ridiculous statement, but right-wingers will often defend ridiculous statements from Limbaugh.


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