Mr. wOw Ponders the Saints: Tebow and Romney

Wishing he could just touch the hem of their garments!

“YOU MUST not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others/But when you pray go into your room and shut the door and pray to your father who is in secret. And your father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:5 These are the words attributed to Jesus himself about public displays of religiosity.

Last Sunday, while Mr. wOw was getting himself ready watch the Golden Globes, he found he was inexplicably chipper. Sure, my nasty cold had reared its snotty head again, but I gulped down a lot of cough medicine (I also wanted to be stoned for the GG’s), and ignored it. My good mood came from unworthy thoughts, I have to admit. Really, I’m ashamed. I was happy that football’s divinity, Tim Tebow had lost big, and that his team would not be moving on to the Super Bowl.

I think most of you know me. I don’t get pleasure out of other people’s misfortunes. Even kind of “bad” people. (I wouldn’t want all the sordid facts of my life put up to the light. Unless I was shining that light on myself!) And Mr. Tebow isn’t bad. Just … misguided.

Not misguided in his faith, which is a wonderful thing to have, I am always assured. But his gratuitous kneeling and praying on the field, in full sight of thousands, makes me want to puke. In the first place, he is disobeying the Lord, which is very surprising. Mr. Tebow seems like one of those people who believes in the literal translation of the Bible. More than that, his highly visible genuflecting seems to suggest that Jesus is watching the game, and when Tebow wins, it’s because the athlete prayed so hard for it. Really? That’s what Jesus does in his spare time? Helps out exhibitionist football players? I mean, forget famine and crime and poverty. Forget all the millions who pray to God everyday that they have enough to feed their children. Maybe JC feels he can’t do anything about the really bad stuff, so he’ll lend a hand to Mr. Tebow, who has, after all, made a nice commercial for the hate group Focus on the Family.

The disheartening aspect of Tebowmania is that a lot of people believe just that. Jesus loves Tim, and helps him win football games. Now, many of these people are struggling in their own lives, with health and money issues. Their prayers are not answered. Is Tim Tebow, the young millionaire, worthier of God’s attention than the needy who also honor the Lord? Apparently so, and apparently nobody minds. Or at least they don’t say so out loud.

Also — if you believe in predestination as many Protestants do, the games’ conclusion was already writ by God. So you are asking God to forget what He wanted and do what you want. And if you don’t believe in predestination, you are cheapening God, thinking He has nothing better than to interfere in a football game. In any case, you are deeply diminishing God.

Interviewed after the game, Mr. Tebow looked red-faced and sad, near tears it seemed. But he held up bravely and answered a lot of questions, when surely he just wanted to go home and cry, “Lord, why hast thou forsaken me?” I honestly did feel his pain. But then, I got over it.

I have a theory — let’s make believe I’m a believer — I think JC got tired of Tim’s histrionics, and busied himself elsewhere. Perhaps He prevented a rape or a murder, or caused somebody to go to the doctor, and catch that potentially fatal disease early. Maybe He did nothing more dramatic than give a usually depressed and stressed out person one happy day.

Thank you, Jesus! (Sorry it had to be at your expense, Tim.)

Oh, oh … one more thing, one more little event that put Mr. W in a GG mood. I was astonished by the little, not-much-reported-on item about presidential candidate Mitt Romney. During a campaign stop, a woman, who said she was jobless, caught Romney’s ear. Her plight was such that he handed her $50.

Whew! What are the words to describe this? Royal? Condescending? Elite? A shameless PR move? Gee, all the Romney accusations against President Obama. Who the hell is Marie Antoinette now? Can you imagine the reaction from the Right if Obama had handed somebody money at a campaign event?

And wait a second, Mitt — weren’t you “entitling” this woman? Shouldn’t you have told her to save her gas money and her time and go find a job without expecting hand-outs from the rich and/or the government?

There is something seriously lacking in Mr. Romney. Although he appears less scary than Newt Gingrich and Richard Santorum, Mitt is missing that vital “get a clue” chip. He’s like — Mormon Barbie.

Which is why I believe the GOP race for the White House is far from settled, no matter how well Mr. Romney does … anywhere.

97 comments so far.

  1. avatar Mary says:

    Mr. Wow, Of course  am late to respond, but  gotta tell ya, you are dead right, you hit the nail on the head and as always a great post that is relevant!

    Similiar discussion came up for me recently  I live in a Bible Belt which is filled with the Church of Hypocrites.  I know I have said that before.  I am sort of affiliated with a church but not seriously enough to say it is my church.  Anyway I had to redo my resume and of course references.  I had a hard time thinking of three that i would consider honest, forthright individuals that I could actually say I trusted to give a fair evaluation of my abilities in a honest way.  I know many I could put that would be OK, but I was realy thinking hard to come up with 3 who I could absolutely , with no regret say were the best.  Then I ran into two people I haven’t seen for a while.  It hit me, I know these two people pretty well, they do attend a church and I know that they are deeply religious people.  Never once have I heard them say “I’ll pray for you” or ” blessings” or any such pat replies or offerings.  These two live their religion and you can see it in everything they do.  Rare oh so rare.   The world is lucky to have these two. 

    Interesting to watch the politics .  Today Gingrich won South Carolina, who would have thought this was possible?  But they are all gearing their politics to the funtamentalist which is the only platform they realy identified in all of the primaries so far.  I find it rather obsurd and shameful.  Like Baby, I would consider Rand Paul, it would be hard, but a possibility.  The others simply frighten me.  I would have to vote Obama.

    At any rate thank you for you absolutely right on post.     
         

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Mary…

      I remain fascinated with all concepts of religion and faith.  The religion part is usually negative.  But I do have respect for those who have faith–a faith that doesn’t condemn or threaten. 
       
      Gingrich.  Scary man.  Believe me, if he became president–and yes, that’s possible–people wouldn’t experience the slow disappoinment of  those who supported Obama.  Within six months he’d be the most despised man in the world and even Republicans would be shuddering.   But–the goal is to oust Obama, and if Repubs think Gingrich can do it, they’re  content  now to allow this meglomanic into the White House.  

  2. avatar JCF4612 says:

    In the fullness of time, this Tebow nonsense will pass. Am always amazed by fools who have escaped some sort of disaster or near miss (a bus collision, plane crash, tornado, ship sinking or whatever) to cross themselves and proclaim that God was looking after their personal survival. So what about the other suckers who died in the same tragedy?

    Athletes need to keep their religios pursuits off the field, as should political candidates. 

    Thank you, Mr. Wow, for a fun read. It had not occurred to me to get stoned for the Globes, but in retrospect that would have helped stave off the moss that grew on my face.

    Back to Tebow and the sports front … could you report with sufficient frequency to keep the non-sports addict vaguely clued in on what’s cooking. Thanks in advance.  

  3. avatar Frannie says:

    Can’t type because I can’t stop laughing about “Mormon Barbie”

  4. avatar D C says:

    Do you get upsent when you see a family join hands and say grace over their dinner at a restaurant?  I just wonder, my father in law used to have us do that every time we ate, even in public restaurants.  I really don’t care of Tim Tebow feels the need to kneel and say a “thank you God” whevever the moment hits.  I think it’s a whole lot better than watching some of these guys do the pelvic thrust dance in the endzone after a touchdown.  Or act like they’ve just shot down their opponent with twin pistols, or whatever their happy dance is. 

    If Tebowing upsets you, do you get just as upset when you see a mulim woman walking around in a headscarf?  Because she’s exhibiting her faith just as openly, if not more so, than Tebowing.  He only does that now and then.  The woman wears her scarf whenever she’s in public.  What about that guy that wears the yarmulke?  Or those guys with the turbins their floor length hair is wrapped up in? 

    Do public displays of all faiths upset you, or just Tebowing?  Go watch the Jimmy Fallon Tebowie video.  That should make it all better. 

    • avatar D C says:

      Make that  “Muslim” woman…

    • avatar TheTexasMom says:

      None of it bothers me and if the truth be told most people would think, if they knew my prayers, that my prayers are for things way less important than the outcome of a professional football game.   If we were to line up the world’s prblems, mine would be so far back in the pack my turn would never come so in oter for me to have ture faith in my prayers I have to believe God can mul-itaks and hear mine along with others.   I see God as this all knowing parent who can filter through the mess and get to the bottom line.

    • avatar Mary says:

      DC, nope it doesn’t bother me, I see this every single day.  I see people pray in McDonald’s, Subways, and every restaurant in between, to each his own.  It always kind of perplexes me to see the Amish wear their Kaps, and no button dresses with heavy black stockings and black shoes in the dead heat of summer. They say they are not to conform but to be plain as to not stand out.  Well excuse me, They are standing out. The women cover their head the same as Muslim women do as is dictated by the bible Corinthians, off hand don’t know exact scripture and not going to look it up.  To me, we do not live in Biblical times, I am sure that there were good reasons then and those reasons are antiquated now and make no sense.  But, if they want to be hot and uncomfortable , that is fine with me.  Then we have the Conservative Mennonites here that think they are better than everyone else in the whole world and go door to door to tell us how evil we are because we do not attend their church and we dress with our knee caps showing .  Okie dokie,  well same women wear their dresses down to their ankles or mid length from knee to ankle, wear a hair covering, fine, Ok no problem but I sure as heck scratch my head when the dresses they wear are absolutely see through.  Put them all on the buses to Florida in the Winter though and those dresses and Kaps and black stockings and dresses that are pinned to stay closed come off pretty quick for the beach clothes, and that my dear is the story.  It is all a show of pious carp . Just another example of grandstanding religion for the sake of grandstanding religion.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear DC…

      I have yet to meet woman is Muslim garb, or a man in a yarmulke who has said to me, “My God is stronger than your God, and by the way, I had a great accomplishment the other day, just because I prayed to my God.  He ignored the murder down the street just to make sure I succeeded.”

      Saying grace over dinner, even in a public restaurant would not want to make me puke–which is the phrase I used.   And I said above I have absolutely no issue with things like Nativity scenes at Christmas.  In fact I find them charming. 

      Mr. Tebow’s faith does not bother me.  His use of it as propaganda does. 

      And so does his affiliation with Focus on Family, a thinly disguised hate group. 

      But I’m sure–and I’m not being bitchy–he is a nice kid.  Maybe he’ll live a little and learn somethiing about the human condition and the real message of Jesus.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        A really not-so-thinly veiled hate group. It and the others. One of which is one of the many reasons why Pastor Perry didn’t last long in the race.  Not everyone is into hate in this country or, to be more precise, into the hypocrisy of hate veiled as religious love. I cannot believe people fall for the “hate the sin, love the sinner” crap. If the sinner doesn’t give up the sin, they hate the sinner. And start quoting biblical passages about how god demands they be put to death. And at one time in this country, they got away with it. And still do occasionally. 

        I no longer even like the “grace at the dinner table” simply because through the years the dinner table was set off the misery of others so to speak. 

        Baby Snooks has been around as you know. Including in  the pawn shops. You’d be surprised how many “diamond-encrusted” crosses are in those display cases. Quite a few no doubt hocked after hubby got caught and sent to prison along with his “Christian business values.”

  5. avatar chipgiii says:

    I’ve been watching pro football for 45 years, and every season there are many players who take a knee, do a little prayer, make the sign of the cross, or look up into the “heavens” and make the sign of the cross.  The past two years it is suddenly a big deal?  Why?  Who cares?  He is harming no one, and I am one of very little faith.  So TT has become a target of the media, and received scathing ugly attacks – civil media I guess not. 

    The one disservice is putting a politician and a football player in the same piece.  One is playing a game on a field, and in the big scheme of things the outcome will have zero effect.  The other is playing a game to get elected, and that could have huge implications food or bad. 

    Mr. Wow, not my favorite piece of  yours.

    • avatar chipgiii says:

      ouch should be….”huge inplications good or bad”

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear chipgiii…
      The reason why it’s suddenly a big deal is that Mr. Tebow has made it a big deal.  His posturing cannot be ignored.  Nor can his support of Focus on Family.  He put himself in the crosshairs. 

      Please see my responses above, or anything else I have ever posted.  Though I am not a believer, I do not object to those who believe.  Quietly.  As Jesus advised. 

      As for a politician and a football player being in the same post–what’s the diff?  I might add an actor, too.  All public performers.  All playing to the crowd.  All following a script.  And most of them, great big hypocrites. 

      Not that this makes them bad people.  Only human.  

      Huge implications?  I’d say it’s pretty huge that millions of people believe God watches Tim Tebow play football. 

      Sorry you didn’t approve of this piece.  We all want to be like and loved and appreciated.  But we must all must speak our minds.  Or kneel at a stadium.

      Best to you,
      MR. W.

       

      • avatar chipgiii says:

        Mr. Wow,

        TT has done that kneeling stuff since his first year in college, probably did it in high school.  I don’t really pay much attention to it.  I just think that he’s all of 23 or 24 and people are brutal on this guy.  Read through some of the posts on here and there is borderline hate.

        I respect everyone’s right to civil debate on any topic.  I said it wasn’t one of my favorite pieces by your, not that I didn’t approve.  Heck half the fun of reading stuff is the disagreeing. 

        My religious position is pretty simple: don’t preach to me and we will be fine!  I am not against God, it is the middlemen that frustrate me.

        As for Romney, he is my preferred republican at this point.  The GOP is really a huge disappointment to me this time around.  The media frenzy to find dirt, and the frenzy for each of them to throw that dirt, boggles my mind.  I use to think there were kids that were jerks when I was a kid: always telling secrets and trying to find things to make fun of other kids with.  Now I wonder if many of them were journalist honing their skills for later in life. 

        Anyway, the good news is I do appreciate your refreshing honesty, and even if we don’t always agree – it doesn’t lessen my respect one iota for you or your perspective.  Keep writing!

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Chipgiii…

        Thank you for your sensitive and respectful disagreement. 

        Romney?  No dirt on him except  he is a zillionaire and has no concept of real life.  Look, that’s okay if he could be a fair and honest president. 

        Maybe he can.

        I will keep writing. 

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Romney may not be kneeling, yet anyway, but he does talk a lot about “tithing” so what’s the difference? As for his “tithing” apparently it is to non-profits run by the church. Rather than the church itself. Anything for a tax deduction even when you’re only paying 15%.  They’re both hypocrites. The politican and the football player.

  6. avatar J G says:

    I liked the piece, Mr. Wow.

    I respect your opinion but I personally don’t take offense at TT kneeling and praying.

    Honestly, if I have to be really honest, I wish I had that strong of a faith in God. (I wouldn’t pray for my team to win, but I would pray to keep everyone safe)

    Anyway, I do pray privately, very privately. But sometimes I’m just not really present.

    I admire anyone who doesn’t force their beliefs down our throat yet has firm beliefs of their own.

    ~Peace~

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear  JG…
      Thanks.  To be honest, I wish I had some faith myself.  Just not “religion.” 
      I respect your opinion, too.
       
       
       
       

  7. avatar D C says:

    Regarding football and prayer:  There are two high school football coaches in my family.  After seeing what happens to a man just trying to do his job when the team fails, you can bet your bottom dollar I have prayed for a little divine intervention from time to time in desperation.  When your job depends on 16 year old boys winning a game, and nobody takes into account that this one is worried about flunking math and losing eligibility, and that one’s girlfriend just told him she’s pregnant, and this other one’s dad got drunk last night and beat the hell out of mom… no, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve asked God for a little help now and then to win a stupid football game, because it meant my loved one might be able to keep his job a little longer.  Now, whether I believe that God is actually paying attention is a whole ‘nother question.  Honestly, I’d rather he be listening to that mom in the hospital who is praying that her baby with cancer can get through the chemo and come out whole on the other side.  But that doesn’t stop me from thinking “oh please God please can we just win this one time?”

    • avatar chipgiii says:

      “There are no atheists in foxholes.”  My guess is that most people share similar experiences and similar moments of prayer.  And I suspect that most who deny doing something like this are kind of like those who say money ain’t important – most of them tend to lie about other things as well. 

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear DC…

      Understand all you are saying.  But…did you pray in the street, or did you pray at home, or at church.  Did the world know you prayed?  Or was it just you and God? 

      • avatar LandofLove says:

        Good point, Mr. wOw, and I think it’s really at the crux of this discussion. People can pray at home, at their place of worship, silently under their breath, etc. But why make a public show of yourself in a setting where others may have very different religious beliefs, or none at all?

      • avatar chipgiii says:

        LandofLove, Mr. Wow,

        There is no pleasing everyone.  President Bush was applauded for being “forthright” in his religious convictions and criticized for wearing it on his sleeve so to speak. It just depended on who you asked.  People chastised President Obama for staying with a church and Pastor Wright for twenty years; others applauded his attendance for what they saw as President Obama seeing the bigger picture, faith.
        Heck when Mother Teresa died there were those in Calcutta who were not sad; they felt she embarrassed Calcutta by bringing so much attention to the dismal state there and the many starving people.  She embarrassed them, in their eyes. 

        I am not comparing Tim Tebow and Mitt Romney or either president to Mother Teresa, I am just saying that there is no right way to profess one’s faith, or deny having faith – somebody ain’t gonna like it.  It is all about what we, as individuals, think acceptability is – and we know that differs from person to person.

        Personally I am okay with believing in some deity, I just can’t understand how people can do it through all the middlemen (church, pastors, etc).  My reason is simple (but so am I), preaching faith and forgiveness and sin with the belief that it is all to be forgiven with the acceptance of Christ as a savior seems to give too many a license to misbehave in the meantime…including those of the cloth.

        JMO which in the big scheme of things, means nothing!

         

      • avatar D C says:

        When that kind of thing takes place, I’m usually standing (or sitting) in a high school football stadium surrounded by people, and I might either look up to the sky and place my hands in “prayer position” or I might bow my head.  I’m sure anyone who was paying attention to me rather than what was happening on the field might think I was praying, or having a gall bladder attack… whatever. 

        See, I’m not one who thinks it is a great thing to make a show of faith.  But at the same time, I don’t think you should be verbally flogged for doing it either.  Tim Tebow, and many other professional athletes are, whether they want to be or not, role models.  Some of them, like Barry Bonds are quite vocal about not wanting to be a role model.  He probably doesn’t want to be a role model because he wants to get his steroid thing on without anyone paying attention.  But like it or not, people who idolize sports figures are going to put you in that role model spot.  So Tim Tebow is a role model, and according to his religious beliefs, he believes that modeling the behavior that shows his faith and his preference to get down on his knee to pray or say thanks to God for WHATEVER he thinks God is responsible for in his day, is what he should do. 

        If everyone would just go on about their business and stop being so INTOLERANT of other people’s personal choices then Tim could do his thing and it wouldn’t be on the news. 

        TOLERANCE… what a concept, eh?  Tim Tebow can bow his knee, you, Mr. Wow can hold hands and kiss Mr. B on the streets of Redneckville, TX, without fear for your lives, that interracial couple over there can walk down the street in Vidor, TX without getting dragged behind a truck… my son could do his autistic thing at school without being bullied… it’s amazing what could happen if we all were a little more tolerant of each other. 

      • avatar chipgiii says:

        DC,

        Amen to tolerance!  Pun intended with the hope it taken with a touch of levity.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear DC…
        I sure hope I have not come across as intolerant.  I’m not.  TT can go on–and has every right– to kneel and pray publicly.  It irks and annoys me, because of what it represents–the craziness of “religion.”  (Not faith.)  It’s like people who survive  a plane crash or some other disaster, in which many others have perished.  “I lived because God was with me…I prayed, etc.”   Really?  Out of hundreds, God chose you?  Everybody else deserved to die in agony? 

        How tolerant is Mr. T?  Not too, what with his support of Focus on Family.  But I would never ever ever deprive TT of his public display. Or try to pass a law to deprive him of his right to worship.  I’d be horrified if anybody tried to do that.    I am not intolerant of his faith.  I can’t abide what people seem to think his performance means.   But…I’m only expressing my opinion.  In this Christian country, I am in the minority, so I’m told. 

        I don’t hold hands or kiss B. in Chelsea, NYC–Gaytown. Forget about Redneckville. I’m not into PDOA.  And yes, I also think about people who might be uncomfortable with that.  I’m not sixteen and silly anymore.  Just give me my rights as a law-abiding, tax-paying American.  Allow me the same right to marry as a heterosexual Death Row inmate.  And although it is not my style, if I wanted to kiss B. in a football stadium, I’d  expect that human right to be accepted without a baseball bat to my head,   Then somebody named Mr.Non-Wow could write a column about the annoyance of my degenerate display.

        And that would be fine. 

        Tolerance?  DC…we’ve still got a long way to go. 
        But, I live in hope. 

        Best,
        MRW

         

  8. avatar Jon T says:

    I’m not a particularly religious person, but I’m actually going to take up a little for Tebow. He may in fact be trying to turn his faith into an act of showmanship. Or maybe he’s always practiced his faith this way, and the only thing that’s changed is he now has a worldwide audience paying attention. I guess I’m saying that either way he shouldn’t have to apologize for it. As long as it’s not at the expense of others, he’s an individual who has a right to express himself freely.
    By the same token, the folks who defend his right to make public demonstrations of his faith can’t then turn around and get angry if someone who doesn’t as they do go public with their own beliefs, or lack thereof. A person should be able to declare themselves an atheist or agnostic without being accused of “attacking Christianity.” The courtesy has to be extended both ways, or no one gets to complain at all. Of course now I’m getting all preachy, but I’ll stop there. :-)

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Jon…

      Not “preachy” at all.

      And even if you were, so what?  

      That’s what we’re here to do–opine and preach and carry on.  Get it off our chest.  Maybe learn something.  (I know I always do!) 

  9. avatar J G says:

    “………..Just give me my rights as a law-abiding, tax-paying American. Allow me the same right to marry as a heterosexual Death Row inmate…………..”

    Very Powerful words.

    Amen to the above quote.

  10. avatar Katharine Gray says:

    Mr. Wow, your message would carry much more weight if you could establish how  Tim Tebow and Mitt Romney are hypocrites.  Because indeed, it is unseemly for hypcrites to pray in public pretending to be virtuous when they are not.  I have not read that Mitt Romney went to an Easter Service and then went home and put a cigar in a woman’s twat who wasn’t his wife.  Nor have I read that Tim Tebow is engaged in a dog fighting enterprise or even buys a lid or two of pot.   Or cheats on his wife (which he does not yet have). 

    Your message seems to be that anyone who  makes his faith known to the public is a hypocrite. Because only hypocrites pray in public.   Was Martin Luther King a hypocrite because he prayed in public? I think not.  Circular reasoning.   I will grant you that some religious leaders have exibited hypocrisy.  I don’t think that you have proven that Tim Tebow or Mitch Romney are hypocrites simply because they make their faith known to the public.   

      

       

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Katherine…

      I wasn’t out to “prove” anything.  How can I, when the very core of my iffy disbelief in HIM, rests on the fact nothing about HIM can be proved.    I was quoting the Bible, which is taken literally by millions–or so they insist. 

      Mr. Tebow can pray anywhere he likes.  He does!  I don’t particularly care for his public display–which is quite different than going to church on Sunday.  I was expressing my personal distaste. And that means nothing.  Except to me.

      As for Mr. Romney, he doesn’t pray in football stadiums.  I was offended by his act of handing a woman $50 dollars, at the very peak of criticism that he–fabulously wealthy– doesn’t know anything about normal people and normal lives.  In his defense, I’ll say what politician does?  Once they become politicians and make a nice salary, and get their name and picture in the papers, they are no longer “one of us.”    And that’s okay.  Just admit it, and then do something to help us.  And I don’t mean a random public handout. 

      Thanks for chiming in,
      Mr. W.

      But please–spare me the word “twat.” 

  11. avatar maytaguide says:

    Mr Wow on Mitt: a “Mormon Barbie” — that’s great!