Wednesday Morning Applied Religion Poll – Tim Tebow edition

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past two years, you know the basic factoids about Tim Tebow. Unless you’ve been consciously avoiding all conversations about sports or religion for the past several months, you are also probably at least somewhat aware of the non-stop insanity/hilarity/horror/miracle/thingy that is the Denver Broncos’ football season, and Tim Tebow’s role in it.

Vote on what this all means, below the fold!


  1. That Bears game made a believer outta me. The scales fell from my eyes and I could clearly see that those that be with Tebow are more than those that be against him.

  2. Well, it’s not been working for BYU of late, so all that divine help had to go somewhere.

  3. How can god be with him when he openly flouts the 4th commandment? Unless of course he’s a JW or a 7th Day adventist.

  4. I guess I’ve been hiding under a rock, though I have seen the name Tebow here and there. I take it he plays for the Broncos?

  5. I didn’t vote that option, but if the Broncos beat the Patriots this Sunday . . .

    I picked the Jesus appearing option, but only if the nun outfits are part of it.

    The Broncos have scored the same points per game with Tebow as they did without him (about a point less, actually) – but their defense has allowed a touchdown less per game. I’m trying to figure out who the defensive player is who is getting divine help, but I don’t know yet.

    Otoh, Spencer Larsen is Mormon and was a linebacker for the Broncos, but he’s a fullback now – so he’s part of Tebow’s protection. I vote for Larsen as the source of divine help, since we all know it’s all about us.

  6. @ron– how could you know of a surety that he flouts the fourth commandment, unless you are flouting it by watching him? I mean, this could all simply be a vast media conspiracy to give him the appearance of being an evil fourth-commandment-flouter…

  7. All the doubters should read this story:

  8. “The Broncos have scored the same points per game with Tebow as they did without him (about a point less, actually) – but their defense has allowed a touchdown less per game.”

    While it’s easy to simply attribute this to better defense, Tebow’s offense isn’t turning the ball over and is holding the ball longer thus giving the opponents less opportunities to score.

  9. The only story I’ve heard about Divine intervention for an athlete that sounded at all plausible to me had nothing to do with the outcome of the game. Basically the story amounted to little more than, “I think God helped me sink that 3-pointer so that I would have the self-esteem to keep my standards high for the remainder of my teenage years.”

  10. A Mormon fullback? Angels in the Backfield, Ray.

  11. Re: the survey– Whew! For a moment there I though that last option said “slaps”, not “zaps” (glasses in the other room), and was wondering if you were painting Him as some divine lecher, slapping cheerleader-bottom…

  12. Why can’t God bless someone to play at their capabilities without favoring any particular team?

  13. Kevin Barney says:

    I was at a sing-along Messiah with my SIL [who also follows sports] Sunday, so we missed most of the Bears game. Afterward there is a sports bar down the street where we eat dinner (it’s a tradition!), and we arrived just as regulation was ending. (Our table even had its own dedicated TV; very nice). After seeing what happened to my Bears, I’m tempted to believe. But I voted for waiting to see it again against the Pats…

  14. Ron – the sabbath of the 4th commandment is Saturday. No idea if he flouts it though. But I think most Evangelicals interpret the sabbath requirements different from Mormons. (Remember that they think how Christ fulfilled the Law of Moses in a slightly different way)

  15. For the most part, Heavenly Father doesn’t care about sports. He allows BYU athletics to exist solely for the purpose of providing the church with a real life example of the pride cycle. All are blessed.

  16. As an FSU grad, I was convinced for years that God had sent Tebow to punish me for my lack of faith, my pride in feeling better than others, and my willingness to hope that someday someone would write something thoughtful and interesting about a post-heterosexual LDS theology.

    Last night the notification light went off on the Liahona I keep under my bed, and the message written thereon indicated that if the Broncos win, it is a sign of God’s hot displeasure with Tom Brady’s abuse of his divine good looks, but if the Broncos lose, it is God’s way of warning Christian’s to not put their faith in the golden calf or any other golden part of Tim Tebow’s legs. There was also a footnote at the bottom of the Liahona indicating that FSU’s two consecutive victories over the Gators indicate that God has forgiven me for 78% of my sins, but He is still hottly displeased (what other way is there to be divinely displeased) about my reading of LDS blogs. He also said that one of my church socks is under the bed and that I should take my meds.

  17. FSU and Liahona may not be used in the same comment. The blog will explode.

  18. “Why can’t God bless someone to play at their capabilities without favoring any particular team?”

    Because in the last game, God didn’t so much bless Tebow as curse Marion Barber. If you buy the idea of divine intervention, then you have to buy that God is not willing to just make people play at their best, he wants Marion Barber to suffer.

  19. I can understand that. Barber can suffer. It’s ok with me.

  20. One thing is for sure, if the Divine Countenance is smiling on Tebow and the Broncos, He has certainly abandoned the Seahawks, whose late in the season desire to win has lifted them out of a lottery pick, and also out of the playoffs.

  21. I haven’t been AVOIDING conversations about sports, but I’m certainly not follower. Never heard of him until this post.

  22. For the last two months, I’ve woken up nearly every Monday morning (and on one occasion, Friday morning) anxious to see the Broncos score, and find myself relieved to see that they actually won by a close margin. (Since Denver often plays in the later set of games, and I live across the Atlantic, I usually go to bed with the Broncos down at halftime. and Tebow with something like one reception for 10 yards and one interception.) I then watch the highlights of that game, and that game alone, on nfl’s website.

    When I reflect on it, there are several things to unpack here.

    First, for a number of reasons, I don’t follow NFL football. And I’ve never been a Bronco fan. So the fact that the first thing I do on a Monday morning is check the Bronco’s score is really astonishing and a good testament to how big the story is. And second, the fact that I’m always nervous to find out they lost is generally representative of how tenuous this whole thing is–many of us are convinced that this dream will soon be popped and everything will go back to normal. I mean, have you seen him throw!!! And yet, I’m always relieved they won, because it is so, so great to see something so silly and unpredictable (sports), which we think can be analyzed and understood like any form of science (see all the analysts and “experts,” etc.), end up being, well, silly and unpredictable.

    And the ingredient of religion makes the thing all the more inexplicable. I’m generally a reverent agnostic when it comes to tracing divine intervention, but this thing even makes me hesitate. As someone has pointed out: if God wanted to send a message to a “Godless” nation, what better way to accomplish that than by hijacking that nation’s most popular sport? The sad thing is, I’m only half-joking. I can’t explain it.

    I voted to wait until after the Patriots game. And if they win, I’ll vote to wait until after the first round of the playoffs. etc.

  23. Shawn Tucker is officially banned from BCC for admiting to being a ‘nole. It is a sin like unto murder.

  24. Tebow is Chariots of Fire for rednecks.

  25. With Peyton Manning out this year, and the Colts at 0-14, God had to send his grace somewhere…..

  26. Mark Brown says:

    Tsk tsk. Bronco fans have such short memories.

    In 2009, new coach Josh McDaniels led a very mediocre Broncos team to a very improbable 6-0 start, including an overtime win against New England. And where is he now, hmmmm?

    I love Tim T. as a person, like him as an athlete, and hate him as a QB. This won’t last, so we might as well enjoy it while we can. After all, look at Austin Collie. Has he suddenly stopped doing the right things on and off the field?

  27. What’s wrong with Collie? Did he start reading BCC?

  28. I thought Tebow was a college player. Aren’t the Denver Broncos a pro team?

  29. God doesn’t operate through wide-receivers. Duh.

  30. Oh Cynthia, please.

  31. Mark Brown is just a hater. Probably a godless liberal who doesn’t even watch football, or understand the game.

  32. In the middle of the dissertation:
    “I’m generally a reverent agnostic when it comes to tracing divine intervention.”

    And as far as wide receivers go, God doesn’t answer prayers. He just tells you what to pray for.

  33. Shawn Tucker’s comment #16 is pure win.

    I know Tebow is a football player, but my knowledge pretty much ends there. This confirms what I have long suspected, that I am a godless liberal. Sigh.

  34. Mark Brown says:

    Scott, the correct term is gator-hater. And yes, it’s bone-deep.

  35. #32: right, the whole “the object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them” thing. How could I forget.

    And sorry for the dissertation. I can get wordy when I’m freed from the semester.

  36. Well, I was in humor mode. I’m not sure I agree with this classical view of prayer. But it’s popular.

  37. But it’s in the Bible Dictionary! How could you not agree with it?!?

  38. Mark Brown is also hereby banned from participation at BCC. He may apply for reinstatement the next time the LSU Tigers have a worse year than the Florida Gators (in football; other sports don’t matter).

    Melissa, I have my eye on you!

  39. Mark Brown says:

    next time the LSU Tigers have a worse year than the Florida Gators (in football

    So, a lifetime ban, then?

  40. Mark, I was going to say something about praying to Steve Evans, but then Ben would throw the Bible DICTIONARY at me.

  41. kevinf’s #2 for BCotW (unless he’s an admin and I never realized)

    I don’t follow football, and luckily the husband prefers the 49ers. But nonetheless, I think this whole “we’ll never lose” is more due to making side deals with the other teams than God giving him magical powers to predict the future.

  42. “making side deals with other teams”?

    Really? You think “other teams” in the NFL would trade away their playoff hopes and intentionally lose just to perpetuate Tebow’s fame and mythos? Why would anyone do that? You think Tebow’s got enough money to bribe half the NFL?

    Trust me. He doesn’t.

  43. Mommie Dearest says:

    How many more games does the NFL season– er, do the Bronco’s have?

    Also I second Shawn’s #16 for the weekly comment prize thingie.

  44. I just wish more losing athletes would blame God.

    “I think we woulda had this game, man. We played lights out. But God made me fumble those times.”

  45. EmmaNadine says:

  46. I nominate Thomas Parking #44 for comment of the week, assuming that y’all are still doing that.

  47. #45 That. Is. Tremendous! #45 is a breathtaking example of #44

  48. I am glad to see some banter at BCC about real college football teams. BTW, who are these cougars and utes that I sometimes read about? Jr. high school teams?

    I had a sign at Tebow’s final game in the swamp: “Tim, will you marry my daughter?” Actually I didn’t, that is a lie. But I was at the game. It was fun to watch Tim Tebow punish Shawn Tucker (#16) for his sins.

  49. I believe The Tebow is true, with every fiber of being.

  50. Even though I pretty much do avoid conversations about sports, I’m usually exposed to them through my sister and dad–but I hadn’t heard of this guy until this post either. I couldn’t care less about sports, but the thing that irritates the crap out of me is that those athletes get paid more than teachers and day care employees. However, I see no reason why God wouldn’t be “with” an athlete just as much as he could be “with” anyone else who’s trying hard at the thing they do.

  51. The question is whether he’s “with” Tebow more than he is “with” Tebow’s opponents.

  52. Yeah, I’m gonna say no to that. I could obviously be wrong, but I feel pretty certain that God doesn’t care even a little bit who wins. :)

  53. Brandon is granted permanent lifetime freedom from banning. Go ahead and say all those things you’ve wanted to about Steve Evans’ hygiene, Brandon. You are good to go.

    Brown and Tucker are no doubt headed for outer darkness. You could pray for their souls, but I don’t see the point, really.

  54. Sorry, John, I’m team Shawn/Melissa on this. Just tell me Skip Bayless won’t be there in OD with us.

  55. Brent, it won’t matter if he is or not, since everyone there will have Dicky V playing full blast on loudspeakers implanted in your ears for eternity – rotating with a loop of all the spam comments here at BCC being read by DKL.

  56. Miri,

    I couldn’t care less about sports

    I won’t say, “You’re dead to me,” but this is certainly a big black mark on your record. I can accept this sort of perverted preference by just assuming that you’re an unhappy person who never got what they hoped for on Christmas or something like that.

    the thing that irritates the crap out of me is that those athletes get paid more than teachers and day care employees.

    Okay, now you’re dead to me.

  57. “rotating with a loop of all the spam comments here at BCC being read by DKL”

    I have that as my ringtone!

  58. 55, Or endlessly watching the “All He Does Is Win” track and eating our hearts out over secretly knowing how awesome it is.

  59. My aunt just posted this on Facebook–it seems to suit the discussion:

    TEBOW JOKE: Tom Brady, after living a full life, died. When he got to heaven, God was showing him around. They came to a modest little house with a faded Patriots flag in the window. “This house is yours for eternity Tom, said God. “This is very special; not everyone gets a house up here.”

    Tom felt special, indeed, and walked up to his house. On his way up the porch, he noticed another house j……ust around the corner. It was a huge 3-story mansion with Orange and Blue sidewalks and drive ways, a 50 foot tall flagpole with an enormous Broncos logo flag waving, a swimming pool in shape of a horse, a Broncos logo in every window, and a Tim Tebow jersey on the front door.

    Tom looked at God and said “God, I’m not trying to be ungrateful, but I have a question. I was an all-pro QB, I won 3 Super Bowls, and I even went to the Hall of Fame.” God said “So what’s your point Tom?” “Well, why does Tim Tebow get a better house than me?”

    God chuckled, and said “Tom, that’s not Tim’s house, it’s mine.”

  60. I’m already quite convinced God hates Cleveland. Who am I to say that he isn’t a Broncos fan?

    /watches the 1997 World Series again
    /weeps openly

  61. “I’m already quite convinced God hates Cleveland.”

    Matt B has a good grasp of the obvious.

  62. Shawn Tucker (59),
    I love jokes where John Elway is God!

  63. I’m so glad that Tom Brady (God’s nephew) and the Patriots finally settled this whole Tebow issue. Now I can be convinced that there isn’t a God.

  64. Ben, it isn’t that there isn’t a God, but that the Mormons are right. Every word of it.

    Also, God must be a forgiving God, because he actually let the Colts win one against Tennessee. 1 and 13 is something to cheer about in Indianapolis.

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