Wearing your faith on your back: the Tim Tebow “Jesus” shirt

It’s the latest sensation for some devoted — and devout — football fans:

Tim Tebow delivered another miracle for the Broncos on Thursday night – at least that’s what many of the quarterback’s devout fans believe.

After doing next to nothing all game, Tebow took his team the length of the field, scoring the winning touchdown in the final seconds.

As Rick Sallinger of CBS News’ Denver affiliate CBS-4 reports, to fans in Denver, Tebow has been a savior. After a 0-3 start, the Broncos have now won 4 of last 5 since he was made a starter, including Thursday’s victory over the New York Jets.

The New York Post’s headline, “God help him,” wasn’t just a battle cry for the paper’s hometown Jets, it was a shot at Tebow’s outspoken Christian views, which are written all over his face – literally. The star quarterback has appeared with scripture written into his eye paint.

“He almost views himself as kind of a vehicle for God,” says senior Sports Illustrated writer Damon Hack. “He thinks playing quarterback is kind of like an opportunity to talk about and display his faith.”

Tebow will often get down on one knee and pray after a big play. “Tebowing” has caught fire with fans, including a website that catalogs imitators all over the world.

“The kid that Tweeted me with cancer and said, you know, ‘I’m Tebowing while I’m chemoing,’ How cool is that?” noted Tebow in a recent interview.

But not everyone is comfortable with displays faith on the field. Tebow has been a lightning rod since his days at the University of Florida.

And now, a new Tebow-trend is raising eyebrows, even among some of his fans. Diehard Tebow fans have taken to wearing altered versions of the quarterback’s number 15 jersey which have his name replaced simply with “Jesus”.

To some, it may be a sign of both their deep Christian faith and their love of Tebow, but some Christians argue it goes too far, making an idol out of a football player.

“I don’t know what to think about that because I don’t know where people’s hearts are,” Tebow told the Denver Post in response. “It’s important to not judge without knowing their hearts. If their heart is to honor the Lord, then it’s a good thing. Only God can judge because only God knows what’s truly in a person’s heart.”

Read more.

  • George

    There is so much hate out there in the media and from the left for this quarterback because he is a Christian and not ashamed to admit it. Good for him and his success.

    Examples:

    1) ““There is a growing polarization around religion in society and you are seeing this acted out around Tim Tebow,” said Tom Krattenmaker, a Portland, Ore.-based commentator on religion and society.”

    2) “I think he has become a lightning rod for people who disagree with the increasingly public role of faith,” said John Green, a University of Akron (Ohio) political scientist who has long studied religion and public life.

    “It’s also quite possible that this has little to do with him personally. Over the past couple of decades there has been a steady increase of non-religious people in the U.S. Some of who are atheists and agnostics, some who are indifferent and some have spiritual and religious values, but don’t care much for organized religion.”

    3) Comedian Bill Maher, someone who deeply mistrusts all religion, suggested the Republicans draft Mr. Tebow to run for president. “Tim Tebow is so cuckoo for Christianity that he used to write Bible verses in the charcoal under his eyes. Creepy to some, but for redneck America, they couldn’t love this guy more if he was sculpted out of bacon.”

  • Henry Karlson

    I hope my fear is wrong, but whenever I hear about Tim and his antics, I feel Tim just does it for the attention. He seems to be exploiting Jesus for the sake of his own career. He keeps getting a media spotlight for it, and he can play the victim all at once. Jesus warned about people who liked to trumpet their religiosity for attention.

  • Oregon Catholic

    While I’m sure Mr. Tebow is a wonderful fellow this kind of fawning makes me sick. Our society has this sick need to put people up on pedestals and form a cult of celebrity around them. They invariably fall and disappoint because they are only human and live their life under a microscope. All the celebrity and attention and ‘specialness’ creates unhealthy pride. We do these people and ourselves no favors to treat them like this.

  • naturgesetz

    I’m not a football fan. Maybe I’ve seen Tim Tebow’s name in the papers once or twice, but all I know about him is what I’ve seen in the article here.

    I understand why the secularists are unhappy with his and his fans’ professions of faith, but I’m shocked at the negativity here.

  • Jake

    I suspect this too shall pass. A few years ago it was the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) bracelets and shirts. I haven’t seen one of them in a long time and I live in the deep south Bible Belt of the country.

    The items are bought, worn, washed, fade and get holes in them, worn for mowing the grass and washing the car, and tossed out.

  • Will

    It seems a little strange to have “Jesus” on the back of a football jersey. Like those who act as if God roots for the Catholic college when they play the public college. Tebow looked terrible when the Broncos played the Lions. All the analysts thought he should never start another game. Everyone did say he was a great guy, though. As with many things, we will see how well his football career does over time.

  • Irish Spectre

    Yes, it’s risky to put Mr. Tebow on a pedestal, he being made but of clay and all, and it’s hard to forget the somewhat spectacular recent falls of Frs. Corapi and Euteneuer, not to mention the sheer corrupt whackiness that was learned about Fr. Marcial Maciel after his passing.

    THAT SAID, as the parent of three football-playing sons (one of them a high school QB) living in the midst of Patriots Nation, where Tom Brady’s a deity in his own right, I for one am perfectly happy to see TT out there, front and center, w/ his faith on his sleeve; taken at face value (as risky as that might be), I’ll take TT over TB any day from the perspective of the values which they respectively represent, the former having the audacity to “…view[s] himself as kind of a vehicle for God”, and the latter not necessarily a bad man, but really just another jet-setting billboard for conspicuous consumption.

    What Tim represents is far better aligned with the Catholic Christian values that we’re trying very hard to advance at home, very much contrary to the hollow popular culture values with which our kids are otherwise endlessly assaulted. That Tom’s the Catholic one of the two is merely a quaint irony.

  • http://denythecat.blogspot.com Brian Sullivan

    I prefer the jerseys that say Isaiah 53.

  • Tebow Fan

    I think this one is by far the best Tebow Jesus shirt out there… Http://SportsCrack.com/tees_jesus15.html

  • Carl

    If you profess your love of Christ in the world today, you open yourself up to attack. That statement is amazing in a country which is supposed to be one nation under God and a country whose money has IN GOD WE TRUST. Yes, you will be given scrutiny. However, I think Archbishop Dolan in his first address as president of the USCCB had a lot ot say about our need to carry the Church and her teaching out into the world. Should Tebow keep his faith hidden under a basket? Also Father Barron had a lot to say about taking our faith out into the world in his excellent DVD series which was on last night on EWTN and has two more shows on this evening as well, Catholicism. Yes, if he stumbles in his faith, he will face greater scrutiny as all do who are willing to follow Christ and take the hard truths out into our secular world. But what of those who believe and keep in hidden. We who profess our belief have been given this gift of belief by God and if we are given gifts, we, like the folks given treasure, are not supposed to bury them only to give Him back what he has given us tarnished by the process of hiding our faith. I think of it kind of like those who stay on the sideline, or worse, support the evil, while babies are being slaughtered and we have the power as Catholics to end legal abortion and do nothing.

    What really is starting to irk those who do not like Tebow is that he seems to find a way to win even as the experts scream he has no talent. Doesn’t God use those who are on the low end of the spectrum of talent as judged by the world more often than those the world sees as great and gifted for His own purpose? You don’t have to make Tebow an idol, but we can acknowledge that it is good to see a young man seemingly devoted to God. And some here who have preached against judging others seem to want to judge this young man kind of harshly. I say good luck Tim, keep on winning and stay strong in your faith. Remember, he has been doing it this way since he was winning for his high school team and all the way through college. And before that, his mother was advised to abort Tim and said that this was not possible as he was a human being who deserved to have his chance for life. It was up to God. Seems like God has been around his life from conception. More here for those ill informed on Tim… http://www.cbn.com/700club/sports/archive/TimTebow2011.aspx

  • Richard Coffin

    It is GREAT


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