Friday, January 13, 2012

What if Tim Tebow were Muslim?

via Salon.com by Marcus Cederstrom


"So Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf stood up (or in this case, sat down) for his religious beliefs. He made his religion a visible aspect of his life and a visible aspect of his professional basketball career. Just like Tim Tebow. The difference of course being that Tim Tebow was satirized on “Saturday Night Live.” Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf had his home burned down and felt blacklisted from the NBA."

"But as Tebowmania makes its way into politics, sports, religion and the everyday life of the mainstream United States, it is important to think about how we approach religion in this country. How we approach religious freedom in this country. Do we accept freedom of religion, any religion? Or do we accept freedom of Christianity?"

24 comments:

  1. As a Christian, I'd respectfully submit that we don't get a lot of tolerance either. No one likes an exclusive person, and the Christian faith is a bit exclusive. As in, we think the only way to salvation is through the life and work of Jesus Christ.

    On the other side of that (I don't know the NBA player you are talking about) burning down someone's house because of what they believe is reprehensible. Islam is another exclusive religion: "There is no God but Allah," but exclusivity is no reason to act like that.

    Everyone should be free to practice their religion in this country. But just so you know, I don't exactly get a standing ovation when I talk about my faith either. ;-)

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  2. I don't mean to minimize your faith at all but I do think discrimination against Muslims ends up being of the more violent and hateful sort. I don't think anyone's ever stood in the way of a Christian church being built in the way mosques have been.

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    1. Oh no...I know you weren't.
      And yes, not HERE in the United States no. Worldwide Christianity is actually the most persecuted religion. At least so says Der Spiegel, a German newspaper, not a Christian one. I mean, not that that...proves anything. "We're more persecuted so therefore we are (right/able to persecute others/better/what have you)" No...not at all, but it just, I don't know, should be balanced. Not the persecution. How we VIEW persecution.
      Anyways. Yes. Muslims. It's dumb how some people react towards them. Ok, it's more than dumb, it's pretty horrible.

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  3. I live in the UK so didn't know this story..the picture and your description told a thousand tales..Jae

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  4. Religion and freedom don't seem to like one another. Religion doesn't seem to like a great many things.

    When Tebow is on that knee, what is he praying for, I wonder--to win?

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    1. I sincerely hope not. I don't think he's that shallow. Quite actually I admire some of the missionary work he's done. I just think our attention on Christianity being attacked is misguided.

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  5. Then, why is he on his knee all throughout a ball game? I assume he doesn't do it when he's shopping or watching a movie, so this suggests that his prayers are related to the game.

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    1. It's possible but also it's a large public stage for him to display his faith.

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  6. You know, that might be it because although he just looks asinine to me, I suppose he might be using his athletic prowess to attract young people to accepting his religion.

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    1. And yet it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if Muslims and others could get away with doing the same.

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  7. Oh, no, if one football player gets to fall to his knee in an on-field religious observance, then they all should get to do the same. That would certainly prove which god was the true god.

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    1. Not....really (says the dissenting Christian of the bunch ;-) God does not necessarily make his followers win every game/debate/battle/what have you.
      And perhaps if you wonder what exactly Mr. Tebow prays about you ought to read some of his interviews where he says he prays that he'll do his best. AND the bible does say to "pray without ceasing," so he should also do it while shopping and watching movies.

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  8. "you ought to read some of his interviews where he says he prays that he'll do his best"

    Thanks for letting me know. Although I was mildly curious about what he actually does down there (since praying to win a football game seems to absurd for words, although people no doubt ask God for much less than that), I see no reason why I should have an interest in his thoughts since all I really know about him is he's young, white, an evangelical Christian, plays football for some professional team, and frequently prays by getting down on one knee on the sidelines.

    "AND the bible does say to "pray without ceasing," so he should also do it while shopping and watching movies."

    The Bible also says to pray in secret as opposed to making a spectacle of yourself through overt religiosity. To me, Tebow doesn't represent piety but in-your-face evangelicalism, and this conclusion leads me to assume (based upon surveys of evangelicals) that he would probably like nothing better than to make life miserable for nonbelievers such as myself. I also think that the definition of prayer could be construed to go beyond verbal statements and requests (even when the words are spoken inside one's head) and into actions and attitudes, hopefully by inspiring one to be a good and kind person instead of a hater who hides behind God rather than taking responsibility for his viciousness.

    By the way, you mentioned the intolerance that is directed at Christians, and, given your blog name, I was wondering if you're not talking about life in Germany because Christians are the oppressors in America. I'm hardly saying that no Christian anywhere in America was ever treated badly due to her religion, but that the number is minuscule compared to the number of nonbelievers who are oppressed for objecting to bad behavior in the name of Christ.

    Thanks again for answering my question.

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  9. This time I remembered to check back here...good thing...

    Well, yes, the bible says both of those things. So, they have to sort of work together. The verse about "flaunting your prayers" was directed to the religious leadership at the time who often tried to outdo one another in piety. That kind of piety doesn't quite get you the amount of respect it did in that day (I mean, look at your own reaction to Mr. Tebow). And, I'm thinking that all the kind things Mr. Tebow does off the field would sort of minimize the worries you have about his making your life miserable.

    You can by the way pray to win. God can also say no. I might have prayed that my brother would win a wrestling match back in his high school days...especially if he was having a bad day. God sometimes said no. :-)

    No. I'm from America. I just really really like Berlin. :-) The magazine article I mentioned is from a non Christian magazine, but it is talking about persecution worldwide. Christians are the most persecuted religion...worldwide. Now, America...is pretty tolerant. I often don't have to worry about expressing my views...and rarely do. But, like I said earlier, it certainly isn't because I get a standing ovation when I talk about them. It's more because I know I probably won't get killed. I do get some dirty looks and often very annoyed people yelling at me, but that's the extent really.

    I'd like to know how you can say "Christians are the oppressors in America." I mean, if I knew an atheist killed someone I wouldn't walk around going, "Oh my WORD! Atheists must all be murderers!"

    Wow, Ben you are a SPORT for letting us take over your little defenseless post. hahaha!

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    1. I appreciate a good debate :-)

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    2. Just for that I left you are "heart" on this post.

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  10. "Wow, Ben you are a SPORT for letting us take over your little defenseless post. hahaha!"

    Yep, thanks, Ben.

    "Well, yes, the bible says both of those things. So, they have to sort of work together. The verse about "flaunting your prayers" was directed to the religious leadership at the time who often tried to outdo one another in piety."

    Are you saying that Jesus didn't mean it for Christians today, or are you saying that praying in the closet can include praying before millions of football fans if your heart's in the right place? I'm often astounded by how easily Christians seem to step around Biblical commandments. I mean, if by "pray in secret," Jesus didn't really mean pray in secret, I wonder about stuff like adultery. Maybe if your hearts in the right place, adultery is okay?

    "You can by the way pray to win. God can also say no."

    Well, on the one hand, you, as a Christian love other people just as much as you love yourself (right?), but on the other, you think it's okay for you to leave off praying for people who are starving to death, being tortured, etc. long enough to ask God to help you win a game or find a parking place? One more thing about your position that really puzzles me is, if you ask God to enable you to win a game that the other guy would have won by skill and talent (if you didn't think he might better, you wouldn't be praying for help winning) aren't you asking him to help you cheat?


    I'd like to know how you can say "Christians are the oppressors in America." I mean, if I knew an atheist killed someone I wouldn't walk around going, "Oh my WORD! Atheists must all be murderers!"

    I've never heard of an atheist killing or oppressing anyone in the name of atheism, whereas if you will be so kind as the run the links on my last post (the one before the current one), you will find all but limitless resources for learning about viciousness in the name of Christ.

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    1. Apologies for not getting back to you in time...I've yet to figure out how to get blogspot to send me an email when people reply, but only on certain blogs. :-/

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  11. Public Prayer: God did mean it for Christians today. He meant the whole thing for Christians today. We just have to read the whole thing as one book. And obviously public prayer is not going to gain you the amount of positive fame and power it did back in that day.

    Prayer in General: 1. Well, it's like a relationship with your Mom and Dad when you are a kid (we think of ourselves as God's children). Sometimes you ask them for important wisdom or help in volunteering to help deliver food to old people or something. But sometimes you ask them for a piece of cake. I mean, if you looking at God as a father who loves you, you can sometimes ask for silly things. 2. No, you wouldn't ask to cheat, because you'd want to win by actual skill. Again, sometimes God says no. If the other guy is more skilled, God will probably say no.

    Oppression: Well, first off I never said atheists killing in the name of atheism (which would be virtually impossible by the way), I just said, if I knew of an Atheist who killed someone I wouldn't go around saying "Oh no! All Atheists are murderers." That would be outrageous. However, the fact that you and freaking everyone can walk around freely and talk about how evil and horrible and vicious and blah blah blah Christians are, is kinda proof that you are pretty alright here in America don't you think? I mean, I'm not stopping you from saying this sort of nonsense. Freedom of speech, my friend, and I will defend your right to say stuff like this.

    I will check out the posts, but just so you know, I studied history as my major in undergrad, so I've probably seen it all. Regardless, the most oppressed religion worldwide is Christianity. I'm not saying that MEANS anything, it's just a mistake to say that Christians are the biggest oppressors worldwide. Also, don't hear me saying I condone any of the "viciousness in the name of Christ," for the record, I don't think Christ does either. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say he DEFINITELY doesn't.

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    1. I appreciate the time you've put into your response, but I'm going to bow out of the discussion for now. Thanks much.

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  12. And the winner and still the king of the cage... HEATHER!

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    1. hahaha...I don't know if that's exactly fair, but thanks anyway.

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    2. You need to know that the word verification for that was "bacen" not "bacon" but pretty close!

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