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A Limbaugh Moment from a Sportswriter

February 4, 2010

Jeff Pearlman wants Tim Tebow to fail:

Tim Tebow scares me, and—judging from his father’s website, his upcoming Super Bowl ad and mounting knowledge of his way of life—he should scare you, too. Tim Tebow doesn’t play football merely for the joy of the game. He plays football because he wants to spread the word of Jesus Christ. But not merely spread it. He wants you to accept it and, if you don’t embrace it, he wants you to think again about embracing it. And, if you still don’t embrace it, he wants you to think again. And again. And again. If, in the end, you’re still not sold, you will burn in hell. This is not merely Tim Tebow’s opinion—but he knows it, in his soul and heart and mind. Christians who accept Jesus will spend an eternity in bliss. Those who don’t are doomed.

I’m not a big horror flick guy, but Tim Tebow isn’t exactly Paranormal Activity.  Despite his pronounced “fear”, Pearlman never actually tells us what he’s afraid a powerful Tebow will do, so we’re left to speculate.  I gather that Tebow’s potential opportunity to spread his “damaging craziness” from a much larger stage is what gives Pearlman the willies.  To quote Ridley Scott, “what’s that mean, then?”:

…we need to stop embracing this dogmatic lunacy merely because it comes from the mouth of a supposed “good guy” jock. I don’t care how nice Tim Tebow is. If he’s in an ad for Focus on the Family; if he believes homosexuality is sinful and women are here to serve their men and Jews and Muslims and agnostics and the rest of us are sinful, well, to hell with him.

I surmise that he doesn’t want anybody thinking non-believers are going to hell or being anti-gay or thinking “Jews and Muslims and agnostics and the rest of us are sinful” (quick interjection: I’m pretty sure Christians think everyone’s sinful, Jeff) or being misogynistic because of Tim Tebow.  Sort of like how I don’t want anyone to believe that conservatives are racist or that meat equals steroids or that big banks “took our money” (that’s took in the stealing sense of the word) or that all Tea Partiers are fat because of Bill Maher.

A question, though: would any of the Christian beliefs Pearlman mentions have any real-world consequences?  The only thing that makes sense is to suggest that Tebow would have influence on the gay marriage debate.  Is it a real problem that Christians think non-believers are going to hell?  I guess if you consider it more than a minor inconvenience to have to be a jerk to somebody who’s trying to talk to you about Jesus, or, more realistically, if you think that foreign missions actually hurt places like the Philippines more than they help.  Misogyny?  Thinking people are “sinful”?  That fails to even register.  But, in regard to gay marriage or the Philippines:  those are real arguments.  That’s not “dogmatic lunacy”.  The only legitimately crazy beliefs Christians allegedly hold are the ones that Pearlman either made up or just got wrong.

So, if I were Pearlman (a Jew), I’d be a lot more scared of Ali Khamenei than Tim Tebow.  If you want to see some real women-and-Jew-and-people-of-other-faiths-haters, that’s where you’re looking.  This whole deal is just wishful thinking from an opponent.  The tip has certainly been blunted on the stick that is the definition of dangerousness.  Tim Tebow doesn’t seem to fit it at all.

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