Did Saturday Night Live’s Tim Tebow Skit Go Too Far?

Living in Colorado, I get more than a healthy dose of Tim Tebow Mania. I’ve written about the Tebow phenomenon before, but now, Saturday Night live has chimed in with their own skit:

Some, such as the perpetually offended Pat Robertson, came out guns blazing after the skit aired, saying it was an affront both to Tebow as an individual and to Christianity as a whole. Now, I’ll admit I’m pretty hard to offend, but as a Christian I thought it was pretty funny.

I also thought it had some reasonable theological arguments to make. “You guys have got to meet me half way here,” says Jesus to Tebow and the Broncos, thanking them for prayers, but requesting that they do their half to win the games. Too often, people treat prayer like a deposit in a cosmic vending machine, casting the request out into the cosmos with the hopes of a magical answer that aligns with their desire.

This is not my understanding of the Christian faith, as I wrote in another recent post, “Christians, Take Up Your Mats and Walk,” Jesus requires something of us, and is not simply a fulfiller of fanciful wishes.

I also appreciated the point made by Jason Sudekis’ Jesus, pointing out that he basically goes where he’s called most these days. This means, of course, Jesus can be found most often influencing the outcome of sporting events, entertainment award shows and the like.

Sure, it was irreverent, but satire like this is usually the best tool for cutting through to the real truth of the matter. Though Tebow himself admits he doesn’t think God affects the outcome of games, Jesus points out in the skit that it may not be necessary to be quite so in-your-face about our own piety.

Oh, and let anyone accuse SNL of poking fun without giving Tebow a chance to respond, he’s since been extended a formal invitation to host the show himself.

I’m interested in what others think about the skit. Does it have osmething important to say? Did it go too far? Is it even funny? Sound off and be heard!

About Christian Piatt

Christian Piatt is the creator and editor of BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BIBLE and BANNED QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS. He co-created and co-edits the “WTF: Where’s the Faith?” young adult series with Chalice Press, and he has a memoir on faith, family and parenting being published in early 2012 called PREGMANCY: A Dad, a Little Dude and a Due Date.

  • http://www.travismamone.net/ Travis Mamone

    The SNL skit’s right on the money!  Pat Robertson’s just playing the old “Poor pitiful privileged me” card again.

  • Kris Pierson

    Agreed on all points. Another good line by Sudekis’ Jesus: “What do you get for the man who sacrificed everything?” A good reminder for the season. We can never forget that Jesus was born so that his life would be sacrificed for our sake. He owns us, not the other way around. Meeting him halfway in our struggles is the least we can do.

    By the way, FYI to Robertson: The sketch wasn’t sending a message of “don’t ask Jesus to help.” It wasn’t even mocking Tebow. In fact, Sudekis does (I think) a wonderful portrayal of Jesus – he affectionately teases Tebow, and his teammates. He also gives praise back to the kicker and admonishes the team to do the same. It is a portrayal of Christianity that every soul on earth desires – a close, loving relationship with our Savior.

    Final point which underscores the ridiculous and short sighted nature of Robertson and 700 Club staff reaction: The comment on how something like this would be received in Islamic nations if Muhammad was similarly portrayed was bigoted. Look in the mirror, Pat.

  • Gayle

    I think we are called upon to thank God for our victories. A favorite in our household is Carrie Underwood. She always thanks God for her success and her career has skyrocketed. The country western music industry has many singers/songwriters that have openly praised God, for many years, really. I was forced to listen to country music as a child in Montana; now that I am older I appreciate the values sung about in most of that genre’s music.

    Why should sports be different? I’m tired of hearing how many fights, murders, adulterous relationships and now child abuse allegations that some sports figures are engaged in. Tebow has made a big positive splash into the media that is continuing to make waves; here are some examples from today’s paper, alone:

    From today’s local newspaper, The Chieftain, and local clergy’s responses to the Tebow hype: Pastor John Snyder of New Life Bible Church quoted 2 Samuel 22:50, about David’s thanking God for his victories with the  sword, Snyder added some prose of his own, which says, in part: “Was the Lord pleased with that man’s praise? The Lord gave him victories the rest of his days!…”

    Another article in Today’s Chieftain quotes Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins: “It seems to be acceptable to mock Tim and the way he represents his faith but it seems to not be acceptable to mock other faiths. I think there’s a disconnect with the way the Christian faith is handled rather than how other faiths are handled.”

    All this press is putting a focus on praising God. Be it positive or negative, all press is good press. Although they are both current news topics, I hope Tebow continues to get more coverage than Sandusky…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Seth-Hood/100002396008188 Seth Hood

    I understand both sides but Pat makes me wonder, what exactly WOULD a Muslim think about this? In any case, as a christian, some parts were funny, but I personally think some parts went a little too far….I just dont wanna see MY GOD disrespected….but its gonna happen until He returns.  And for the record, I don’t respect Pat as a “evangelist” AT ALL.


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