I revise and expand my comments about Tim Tebow for this week's Scripps Howard column:
You know who would love to see Tim Tebow take it down a notch? Jesus.Ben suggests that "Tebowing should be more emulated than scorned" in his take. You'll have to click the link to read the whole thing.
At least, that's what the Bible seems to suggest in the sixth chapter of Matthew. That's where Jesus talks to his followers about prayer, and warns them against ostentatious displays: "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
Tim Tebow is, by all accounts, a man of great and genuine faith so perhaps he knows better than Jesus how to properly worship Jesus.
That seems unlikely, however.
Taken to its logical end, though, we would ask Christians to shut up about their faith entirely and stick it in a deep, dark hole. That's both unlikely and undesirable. Faith cannot, ultimately, be silenced.
But most of us have learned to live with boundaries -- to avoid thrusting our religion into arenas where it is unexpected or unwelcome. If you make a big sale at work, for example, you're unlikely to bend on knee in front of co-workers and customers to start giving thanks to God.
That would make them uncomfortable, and would be kind of rude as a result. Rudeness, in turn, makes few converts and conversions seem to be the point of Tebow's enterprise. Why be counterproductive? Tim Tebow, then, is the NFL equivalent of the telemarketer calling at dinner. He's free to make the call, but no one should be surprised if many of us are turned off by the salesman and his pitch.