For some time now the media airways has been swamped with conversations concerning a controversy surrounding the football player Tom Tebow, a quarter back for the Denver Broncos and a highly religious man who publicly displays his religious conviction at every football game. His most famous antic is to engage in sideline prayers before each game, and, as a result of his success in the game, especially during this football season, these prayer antics are magnified and promoted as the casual factor behind his achievement. His supporters have credited his success solely to his God answering the prayers he offers before each game. However, is there a God who is really responsible for Tim Tebow’s success? Is this God a fan of the Denver Broncos? According to Tim Tebow, the answer is yes. As he said, “he’s not doing it—God is doing it through him” (The American), as if he is “highly favored”. Indeed, to Tim Tebow and his evangelical religious fans, God is certainly on his side. Thus, he has become proof of the existence of a living God; a God that listens to prayers, at least, Tim Tebow’s.
Of course, this public display of his religion has not gone unchallenged. Many critics have commented on Tebow’s use of a secular sport as a means to promote his religion, Christianity, which, they argued, divides the fans that are there just to enjoy the game. On the other hand, others think that Tim Tebow’s action is an act of free speech. He is not praying for anyone but himself. Nor is he asking others to join hand in prayer. To this I agree. He is not stopping the game, to engage in his prayer antics. So, should we care that Tim Tebow engage in sideline prayers before every game? I don’t. The fact is, highly religious sports players always display some form of their religious conviction just before start of a game. Soccer players, for example, are often seen making the sign of the cross and looking up at the sky. God please help be win this game!! Is this public show of faith supposed to better their chances of winning the game? Not by a long shot. Often the team will get its ass thrash, regardless, and Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos is no exception.
Indeed, with all the hype surrounding Tebow and his religious convictions, “the person we’re all talking about has faded away”. The focus is now on the supernatural as opposed to the person that is actually responsible for the achievement, Tim Tebow. Atheist David Silverman is correct when he asserts that Tim Tebow is denying himself credit for the hard work and years of practice that he took upon himself in order to become thegreat football player that he is today. Since this is the case, should we be concerned as to whom Tim Tebow and his fans want to attribute his success to. I do not know about you, but I am not.
Nevertheless, despite believing that Mr. Tebow and his evangelical religious fans are engaged in wishful thinking, let’s, on the other hand, give them the benefit of the doubt. Thus, here is what I really think about the Tim Tebow issue. If Tim Tebow and these evangelicals’ assertions are correct, in that God (whatever that means to Tim Tebow) is answering his prayer and is responsible for him winnings these football games, then this is a very strong case for why I am an Atheist.
What do I mean? My atheism is not only based on one issue; the inability for those who assent to the God claim to prove his existence. The fact is, even if God, as the Christians describe him, exists, then the way they claim he works makes him, in my humble opinion, a candidate not worthy of worshiped. I don’t want God to work in mysterious ways, but instead in sensible practical ways. The questions become. Since God can and is interested in making a successful football player even more successful, can he fix the suffering conditions for the rest of humanity? Can he or would he change the condition for the many human beings who are being oppress, as we speak? Can he do these things but choose not to? Can he descends from his “loftiness,” create a direct connection so that he can heal the children whose parents faith is so great that they prefer to engage faith healing? Can he, but instead choose not to? Of course, faith healing parents’ display of faith, on the face of it, vastly surpasses that of Tim Tebow’s. Yet God refuse to intervene on their behalf. What about the starving children in Africa and other third world countries. Are they not worthy of God’s “grace”?
So tell me, why God takes time out of his busy schedule to help a football player win football games and refuse to take the time out to heal innocent children? Why does he not take time out to help those children who have lost their parents and cannot find food to eat? Yes, you tell me! We can indeed create a never-ending list of important and ethical things God should have been doing with his time. Fixing football games is not one of them. The fact is the Tim Tebow saga proves nothing of a God, and those who insists that it does will have to deal with this dilemma. The Tim Tebow saga is an argument against a kind and loving God. Certainly, if God exist and is indeed working through Tim Tebow, religious people can keep him. If that’s the way God truly operates, he deserves not an iota of worship.