Tim Tebow’s Surely Not the Only Talented, Generous Athlete Out There November 30, 2009

Tim Tebow’s Surely Not the Only Talented, Generous Athlete Out There

Looks like Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow put more Bible verses under his eyes over the weekend:


Actually, the verses under his eyes were from Hebrews. But whatever.

I still don’t believe he would’ve been able to step onto that field if the words “There is” and “No God” were written under his eyes no matter how good he was.

But a recent article about him by Andy Staples raises another point:

Whether you consider him genuine or fake, Tebow, at the end of the day, is a Heisman Trophy-, SEC- and BCS-title winning quarterback who goes to class, goes to church and circumcises people less fortunate than him. More people should be so intolerable.

Going to class? Not really that impressive. Most athletes do go to class.

Going to church? Why is that a good thing? It’s not. Let’s move on.

Circumcising others? It’s debatable whether that’s a good or bad thing, but I think most readers would put that in the “bad” category.

Helping those less fortunate? That is impressive and he deserves credit for that.


I would be shocked if Tebow was the only talented athlete who did volunteer work like this. Surely there’s an atheist athlete also at the top of his game somewhere who helps others at the same level.

The difference is that an atheist athlete would likely face retribution from his teammates, coaches, and fans if he wore his atheism on his sleeve like Tebow does with his Christianity.

There’s a double standard and, as a result, I don’t know anyone who fits that bill.

It’s fine to give Tebow credit for his football talent, and it’s nice that he’s giving back to others. But I seriously doubt he’s the only one. Let’s not go overboard with the praising of him.

(Thanks to Indy for the link)

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  • Claudia

    Actually the article says that he circumcises people less fortunate than him, not that he helps them.

    I agree they are less fortunate, given that they are likely babies helpless against a massive football player with a sharp object cutting into their genitals.

    Or it could be a typo. Here’s hoping!

  • Yes, I really hope he’s not actually out there circumcising random people.

  • Jake

    Why is it that when the article mentioned that Tebow “circumcises people less fortunate than him,” I suddenly got the mental image of him doing drive-by circumcisions, or circumcising homeless people in a dirty back alley somewhere?
    Not the nicest image to start you day with…

  • John Perkins

    Pat Tillman was an atheist football player at the top of his game when he volunteered to fight in Afghanistan.

    He has been labeled an American Hero, but it’s rare that anyone mentions his atheism.

  • Epistaxis

    Whether you consider him genuine or fake, Tebow, at the end of the day, is a Heisman Trophy-, SEC- and BCS-title winning quarterback who goes to class, goes to church and circumcises people less fortunate than him.

    What what WHAT?

  • I personally am appalled that genital mutilation is considered a good and generous thing.

    Jake, I too go the same sort of image. I was thinking, well damn he was born with a great body, good health, a sharp mind, a supportive family… hmmm, most of the world is less fortunate, does that mean he will be taking a mohel interest in me… he better not… I’m a bit attached to my foreskin and feel fortunate about that.

  • My reaction was identical to Epistaxis’.

    Is this guy a trained medical professional in some way? Or just waving a razor around? Seriously, who “circumcises people” as part of their volunteer work?

  • Gabriel

    The fact that as a christian athlete who is at the top of his game and he isn’t raping co-eds would normally be enough for the media and many others to praise him. So many top athletes have no sense of right and wrong and have no morals at all that it is always impressive when they behave in a manner that doesn’t shock society.

    Anyone who wants to answer Tebow in a way that he can understand should just hold up a sign with Matthew 6:5 written on it.

    Pat Tillman is an actual hero and what was his reward? Fellow players called him a chump when he volunteered and the Army lied about his death and tried to cover up his atheism.

  • Kaylya

    I was thinking the circumcision thing was a joke, but it looks like it’s not, exactly. But neither is he out there with a razor blade cutting off foreskins.

    He assisted doctors with the procedure at his father’s orphanage in the Philippines, by snipping the thread for the stitches

    Designated suture cutter seems pretty reasonable for an untrained person to me.

  • Kayla,

    What part of all this is reasonable exactly? Why are protestants still circumcising? Makes no sense. The whole thrust, if I can get away with that term in this context, of the New Testament is to free man of the law and lay down a new covenant. The only ritual mandated by the new Testament according to all but fringe theologies, the eucharist…

  • Tim Tebow is the second coming of Christ, or is at least treated as such by the media. Deadspin has articles on the Tebow Messiah Watch.

  • Edmond
  • Reginald Selkirk

    Actually, the verses under his eyes were from Hebrews.

    I think he changes them from time to time. I suggest Matt 6:5-6.

  • TXatheist

    Pat Tillman…RIP. Texas Longhorn qb Colt Mccoy signs apparel with some colossians verse I think. Geesh.

  • Revyloution

    Who’s Tim Tebow? I don’t follow hockey, so I’ve no idea who he is.

    And in the same vein, who is this basketball player Tiger Woods? People on the radio were talking about him having a car accident, but I’ve never watched him either.

    To be slightly more serious, why the hell do people care in any way about people who play sports? I just don’t get it. I do love to play sports, and I enjoy seeing a live game, but seriously, the amount of attention and money this endeavor gets is far beyond its real worth to society.

    Rather than have a prominent atheist sports star, I would rather have sports be a smaller influence on our daily culture.

  • HumanistDad

    Lance Armstrong is an atheist.

  • Revyloution

    Lance Armstrong is an atheist.

    I’ve heard that, but I don’t follow water polo either.

  • Alec

    I don’t know if this counts, but I’m on my high school tennis team, I’m an atheist, and I do plenty of volunteer work… 🙂

    However, I do not circumsize the less fortunate.

  • As others have pointed out, Lance Armstrong and Pat Tillman are/were both atheists. The difference is, they don’t wear it on their sleeve like Tebow does.

    I’m not sure the Christianity is a factor here. The fact is, the media loves Tebow. He’s the hot college athlete right now. He follows in the steps or Reggie Bush, Vince Young, Brady Quinn, etc.

    What I want to know is why only HIS philanthropic acts are made into such a big deal by the media.

    Reggie Bush donated a large sum of money to rebuilding New Orleans soon after he signed with the Saints. He got a pat on the back, but it was a minor story.

    Vince Young went back to Texas to finish his education, hoping to set a good example for others that come from his background. It was a non-story.

    I’d consider both of those acts better than going to church and circumcising people. So why does Tebow get all the philanthropist credit?

  • chris

    I’d have some respect for Tebow if he was out there fighting for infants’ right to genital integrity.

    Circumcising? Like I needed a reason to detest him any more. But its okay, right, to mutilate babies…as long as it is done in the name of Christ.


  • While I’ve never performed a circumcision before I have dreamed of castrating specific people for the betterment of society. What does that make me?

  • Tizzle

    @Lagunatic: A woman, I think.

    @circumcising: lots of people still do it. It’s totally not my issue*, and I’m happy to agree with nearly everyone here saying it’s bad. But it’s something done within the church. Next to dog-fighting and coed-raping, which I understand are the main things other athletes do(?), it’s practically benign.

    I wonder if this stunt helps his pro-football drafting possibilities, by being a well-done publicity stunt (meaning it worked, we are talking about it), or if he was already at the top of the list. I believe (with no scientific evidence, but I’d be happy to change) that fame makes people crazy or weird.

    *I’m a lesbian without kids

  • Tizzle said:

    I believe (with no scientific evidence, but I’d be happy to change) that fame makes people crazy or weird.

    I’d be more inclined to thinking the crazy weirdness makes them famous.

  • We Are The 801

    Since when has circumsising people become a great act of charity???

  • I don’t think “There is no god” is a fair comparison to a bible verse. It’s too negative. I don’t think they’d let even St. Tim write something like “Islam is false” or “Buddha was wrong” under his eyes. Maybe a message like “Science rocks” or “Trust in humanity” would be a better comparison.

  • Asked about a teammate’s attempts to gouge an opponent’s eyes, team captain Tebow replied “I don’t think that we did anything in that game that they didn’t do.” This shows that he has taken to heart the One True Christian Value – “It’s Us against Them.”

  • TXatheist

    Annika Sorenstam is an atheist athlete. Revyloution, she played football 🙂

  • muggle

    I still don’t believe he would’ve been able to step onto that field if the words “There is” and “No God” were written under his eyes no matter how good he was.

    Not only would they not let him on the field, they’d probably crucify him. Well, figuratively speaking in the media anyway.

    I’m with Revyloution on this one. Enough with the damn sports already. Especially when they interfere with my television viewing pleasure. If they go into overtime, they have to stop so the show I tune it to can air — on time. Especially “Cold Case”. I’m sick of watching “Amazing Race” because everything’s an hour late due to some Goddamn game I didn’t care about.

    Lagunatic — what Tizzle said.

  • Brian Macker

    “That is impressive and he deserves credit for that.”

    Why is that impressive? Anyone who pays taxes does that, plus helps people more fortunate also, plus helps the outright criminals that are politicians.

    In fact, anyone who has a job in a free economy helps, in fact, helps the less fortunate even if they never spend a dime on charity. That cannot prevent it. They cannot prevent the fruits of free trade from accruing to the benefit of the poor.

    Most people don’t seem too impressed with Carnegie, they call him a robber baron, yet he actually gave away substantial portions of his earnings starting at age 30.

    The sad thing about it is that Carnegie did more for the poor as a businessman than he could ever do giving away all of the small proportion he kept as profits of his total effect on the economy. So if we could erase his legacy as a businessman and only keep his charitable contributions then the poor would be worse off.

  • Well his bible verses under his eyes didn’t help him against Alabama….

  • chris

    I guess Tim Tebow’s career died for our sins yesterday.

    And the good lord sayeth, “Alabama is holy land. Its people, my people. I will lead them unto victory on the fields of college football.” –Chris 4:20

  • scott

    I really feel sorry for you. Why are you so threatened by Christianity?

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