“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.