I’ve placed a Tebow moratorium on myself lately.
I don’t want to talk, think about or otherwise ponder anything related to the former Broncos quarterback, whether it’s his throwing motion, mentions on TMZ or his relationship with John Elway.
But I value history, so I can’t let his Easter Sunday appearance at the Celebration Church’s Easter celebration pass — particularly his answer to one question — what needed to change culturally in America.
“First and foremost is what this country was based on: one nation under God,” he said, according to the Associated Press.
It’s appropriate that he gave the speech in Georgetown, Texas, just a sidearm pass from the state capitol building in Austin, where the seeds of historical revisionism bore its intended fruits two years ago with changes in the curriculum to be used in Texas schools and textbooks — regardless of how erroneous and incomplete the conclusions of the historical revisionists were. (Google “David Barton” and you’ll learn a lot more about their movement.)
Shall we get into the fact that “One nation under God” was not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954? That “In God we trust” was not made the official motto of the United States until two years later, in part as a response to the threat from nations under the the rule of Communism, a concept that defines itself as atheistic? That some of the key Founding Fathers had their thoughts influenced by a streak of deism relatively independent of church or denomination? That the Constitution’s first amendment prohibits the legal “establishment of religion? That the and that the unofficial national motto to come from their years had little to do with any almighty, but a powerful Latin phrase of unity for the disjointed former colonies: “E pluribus unum,” or, “out of many, one”?
Of course, the audience, estimated at 15,000 by multiple reports, lapped up Tebow’s comments. So will many others, who crow, “Right on!” It doesn’t mean they’re correct.
This perspective is the part of Tebow that I didn’t want to know about.
I’m thankful that in his press conferences as a Bronco, he didn’t traipse into matters of science and history, that he stuck steadfastly with the here and now and stayed on his general Christian sentiment regarding salvation and helping others. I’ve met few subjects who stayed more on message in his dealings with the media than Tebow, even though it often yielded a parade of milquetoast quotes that were distinguishable only in the details of those that he helped. If you were looking for the story of a humanitarian, Tebow yielded vignettes in abundance; if you wanted a dissection of why the zone-read option worked for a few weeks and then fizzled at the holidays, you were best served by talking to others. Football was — and remains — a vehicle for his true message.
As long as the message remains about general faith and good works, that’s all right. But he’s better off staying away from the hot-button issues. He already meandered there by aligning with Focus on the Family for a commercial during Super Bowl XLIV. Yes, it was a soft-sell ad, but it was still an association with a group known for, among other issues, promoting “reparative therapy” to attempt to change gay people to straight, a practice debunked by both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.
In these polarized times, history and science have become drawn into the religious-vs.-secular tug-of-war. If Tebow values reaching more people with his overall message, the less we hear from him on those two topics, the better. Based on what his statement Sunday revealed about his historical perspective, speaking will only damage his cause.
Faith and intellectualism are not mutually exclusive properties, but in a society whose understanding of history and science continue to grow, it’s not advisable to be on the flat-earth, molding-history-to-suit-one’s-narrative side of the argument. That will only repel many of the souls he’s trying to save …
… Broncos tight end Julius Thomas did the right thing by working out with Peyton Manning last month, even though he was at the brink of surgery. But the fact that a high ankle sprain suffered six months ago bothered him to he point where he needed surgery is cause for concern.
Barring long-term injuries to both Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen, the Broncos don’t urgently need 2012 production from Thomas His ceiling remains high — one look at the training-camp tape from last August reveals that.
But missing further practice time with Manning will damage his cause, and a six-month struggle with an injury initially diagnosed as a high ankle sprain recalls memories of Wesley Duke, the über-athletic former Mercer basketball player who scored a touchdown at Buffalo in December 2005 but whose career was derailed by multiple torn anterior cruciate ligaments.
… On the whole, I don’t trust a guy with the handle “Incarcerated Bob.” Something about the name “Bob” just doesn’t scream reliability.
Nevertheless, I will take no sides in the ongoing Pro Football Talk-vs.-Incarcerated Bob feud. Off-hand, I’d be inclined to side with someone who doesn’t hide behind a ‘Net handle, but I’ll be damned if I take the side of someone who speculated in March 2008 that I was unemployed potentially because I was “deemed to have not done enough to respond to mounting criticism from beyond the organization of coach Mike Shanahan.”
I had to answer multiple questions about that little piece of yellow journalism for weeks after that. Thanks for making an awkward time in my life worse, Florio …
… Based on the current popular music my 11-year-old nieces chose to play when they visited over Easter weekend, the inventors of Auto-Tune ought to be wealthy enough to buy an NFL franchise by now …
… A good friend of mine messaged me Sunday night, writing, “If watching re-runs of MacGyver is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” Knowing he was watching them on-line, I replied, “It’s a shame Netflix no longer has Coach re-runs. I could go for the episode where Luther spills grape juice on Christine’s sofa.” Instead, my search for ignorable background noise and stained cushions led me to the Seinfeld episode “The Couch,” wherein disgraced restauranteur Poppie relieves himself on Jerry’s sofa …
* The column is otherwise known as “In My Less-Than-Humble Opinion,” because if I’m posting it here, how can it truly be humble?