Sunday, December 11, 2011
America needs Tim Tebow. In the midst of a deep recession, a national mood of cynicism, a farcical election campaign and a supposed apocalypse in 2012, Tebow inspires. Before watching his magical 20 yard touchdown run to beat the New York Jets in the last seconds of the game, I could have cared less about the Denver Broncos and their anemic season. Tebow's flagrant proclamations of his faith in the media and on field demonstrations of piety have inspired both ridicule and awe on a global level: see tebowing.com. I'm sure God doesn't care if the Broncos win or lose, but Tebow's evangelical zeal has given him unwavering faith in himself. He is neither arrogant nor egotistical and with Tebow at the helm, Denver has won 6 of its past 7 games. Sports pundits across the nation have scratched their heads in disbelief as a quarterback with terrible mechanics and a low pass completion percentage continues to win games against formidable opponents. Of course, if he were losing, he would simply be the laughingstock of the nation.
Karl Marx wrote that "Religion is the opiate of the masses." When I think of evangelicals, Ted Haggert of the New Life Church comes to mind. His relationship with a drug dealing male prostitute exposed his true hypocritical nature. I think of crazed humans speaking in tongues awaiting the rapture to save them from this earth filled with sinners. But faith in a higher power channeled into service to humanity has given us our most iconic figures. Preacher Martin Luther King catalyzed the civil rights movement; Mother Teresa served God in the form of the the most destitute human beings; Gandhi harnessed his profound faith to free India from British Colonialism. Tim Tebow merely passes a football. He's no saint, but his purity of spirit in raising the level of his team's play, despite the obvious flaws in his game, make him an inspirational leader. As the recession churns on and America's zeitgeist plummets further downward, the powerful optimism of a young quarterback is worth paying attention to.