Rich Lowry (the National Review editor, not Herman Cain’s economic advisor) has some words to say about Tim Tebow.
An evangelical Christian, Tebow wears his faith on his sleeve. At times during his college career, he literally wore it on his eye black — “John 3:16,” for instance. Tebow does this out of a sense of obligation to his faith. It is ultimately a statement of modesty and, as such, profoundly out of step with a culture of self-glorification and ostentation in our sports and in our society.
This is everything I think is right and wrong in thinking about Tebow. Yes he wears his faith on his sleeve. No, it doesn’t come across as a “statement of modesty.” It comes across as “self-glorification and ostentation in our sports and in our society.”
I don’t quite see how Lowry confuses this. I guess maybe idolizing a deity versus yourself makes the act more modest. But religion is a private thing to most people. I don’t think most Americans differentiate self-aggrandizement and conspicuous displays of devout devotion in the sense that both are people making strong statements about their self-conception that don’t seem to accord with propriety. It’s annoying.
By any reasonable standard, though, Tebow is a blessing. He won’t be getting arrested for groping a woman at a Halloween party (Julian Edelman), for accidently shooting himself with the Glock he smuggled into the dance club (Plaxico Burress), or for running a dog-fighting ring (Michael Vick). He won’t be taking performance-enhancing drugs. He may or may not continue his success on the field, but he will do everything he can to respect his teammates and his God.