Of Barack Obama and Tim Tebow

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Last week, on Thanksgiving, President Obama delivered a message to the American people.  It ran eleven paragraphs and 503 words.  None of those words was God.  Obama thanked the men and women who defend the country; he thanked volunteers at soup kitchens.  All of that is well and good.  Thanksgiving is about celebrating community.  But more than anything, it’s about celebrating the benevolence of God.

At least that’s what George Washington said in declaring it a national holiday.  The day of Thanksgiving, he stated, was to “be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation …”

Upon seeing Obama’s God-less message, I tweeted, “Unreal that Obama doesn’t mention God in Thanksgiving message. Militant atheist. To whom does he think we are giving thanks?”

The “militant atheist” part of the tweet was based not only on Obama’s omission from the Thanksgiving message.  It was based on Obama’s long history of dislike for religion: his comment that small town Americans are bitter folks who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment”; his speeches in which he portrayed the Bible as out of touch and ridiculous, suggesting that the Sermon on the Mount would force the shutdown of the Defense Department; his support for radical Muslims at the expense of Coptic Christians in Egypt; the list goes on.

My tweet, needless to say, caused consternation on the left.  Aside from the usual nutcases who cannot write anything without four-letter words, liberal outlets like Mediaite and Gawker suggested I was crazy for mentioning Obama’s comments.

This wasn’t just the Obama Defense Mechanism kicking in.  This was something larger than mere politics.

On Sunday, I sat down to watch the Denver Broncos play the San Diego Chargers. I noticed the same sort of virulent anger as I had experienced after tweeting – only this time, it was directed at Denver QB Tim Tebow.  Now, Tebow isn’t the world’s greatest quarterback.  He’s not Aaron Rodgers or even Ben Roethlisberger.  He’s a mediocre passer and a good runner; he’s a possession QB.  He wins.  And he’s always polite.

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  • David M

    God is Christian but Barack had islam and allah in his mind and could not mention because of election year 2012.

  • intrcptr2

    Nice post, Ben; calm, understated, and absolutely true. I agree about Tim, and his place in the NFL and America. I recall a similar firestorm over a few pro-life TV ads he and his mother filmed; pitiable.

    One minor quibble, coming from a Christian. The goal of the Left is to replace true religion with its own. Evangelicals often get ridiculed for preaching "a relationship" with God,as opposed to a religion which distances man from His creator.
    But Adam and Eve walked with God, Abraham was called friend by God, and Jesus told his students that soon he would call them friends as well.
    Obama does not know God, and Tim does; that is simply fuel to the fire for so many of your Twitter friends, as both the TaNakH and Brit HaDashah claim.

    • Jim_C

      What's your evidence for claiming that Obama doesn't know God, but Tebow does?

      • intrcptr2

        His definition of sin is pretty solid evidence to begin with, but my own conclusion comes from the race back in '08 and his response to the furor generated by his association with Jeremiah Wright (And no, I do not take him for a pastor, or any such thing).
        Remaining in that place for 20 years, picking him as his spiritual advisor (And then dumping him when the heat got too high), and ultimately claiming to be completely ignorant of Wright's racism and other anti-American rhetoric tagged him as an inveterate liar and hypocrite in my mind. For me Wright is a heretic.

        As for Tebow's knowing God, my evidence is a good deal thinner, but the media's focus on his faith, and the pro-life ads he filmed with his mother, strongly point in that direction.

        I've never met either man, so I can only go on what I've seen, and this is how it looks to me.

        What is your evidence that I've misjudged either one?

  • theleastthreat

    Speaking generally, the Left has its own morality. Not one that I care for but it is a moral code. They are willing to punish apostates and are merciless toward heretics and infidels. To them, it is not "What Would Jesus Do?" but more like "What would Comrade Jesus Do?". I can't do anything about how they think but I watch them the same way I watch the Taliban.

  • tanstaafl

    I like Tim Tebow because he is an underdog, who the "experts" claim is not talented enough to be an NFL quarterback.

    I sort of admire a person who exceeds expectations rather than someone who constantly fails to meet them.

  • StephenD

    What is surprising is that here is a World Leader and he disregards G_d. I can't imagine thinking you can get away with that for very long. He pays lip service and claims to be a Christian and then denigrates it by claiming his description of "values" is the moral code that controls his heart rather than the values that transcend any one person.

    Psalm 14:1-3 The fool says in his heart "There is no G-D." It goes on to say "The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if any act wisely, that seek after G_d."
    It is obvious that if he measures his nature against the "values" he has conjured he clearly does not "Seek after G-D."

    • Jim_C

      Many of our Founding Fathers were far more contempuous of religion, and unlike Barack Obama, there's actual letters and documentation for it.

      • tagalog

        Do me a favor and provide a quotation from one of those "contemptuous" Founding Fathers showing their contempt for religion, will you?

        • Jim_C

          "I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology." Jefferson

          "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites." Jefferson

          "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus…will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." Jefferson to Adams

          "Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind." Adams

          "Indeed, Mr. Jefferson, what could be invented to debase the ancient Christianism which Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and Christian factions, above all the Catholics, have not fraudulently imposed upon the public?" Adams

          • Jim_C

            Can you imagine any politician today with the guts to say any of this? Note: they do not denigrate the Creator–but religion was quite clearly to them a bugaboo to be carefully managed. Kind words for certain audiences, candid words when in like company.

          • intrcptr2

            Yeah, we all know about Jefferson, but you are pretty clearly misreading Adams.

            Two does not make many, at least not in my math book.
            And anyway, anyone with a proper knowledge of God alreay knows that "religion" is opposed to Christ, no matter the scriptures or vestures…

          • tagalog

            The first and third quotes could justifiably be said to be contemptuous of the Christian religion, so there's two.

            The second quote is about coerced uniformity and uses Christianity as an example. It expresses no contempt for religion, but is critical of church practices.

            The fourth quote is about the secular nature of the state governments and is not contemptuous of religion, in fact, the quotation makes no reference to religious belief at all.

            The fifth quote is drafted in that 18th-Century syntax that the modern mind finds confusing (or at least my mind does), but it appears to say that original Christianity, that practiced in the first centuries after Christ, has been debased by pagan and Jewish frauds, and that of modern Christian sects. It is not clearly contemptuous of even Christianity, much less religion in general.

            So yes, you have two quotes by Jefferson, one Founding Father, long known to all of us as a Deist, a believer in the mechanistic, Newtonian, clockmaker theory of God, who attended church regularly anyway, but not more than one Founding Father.

    • Dianne

      Just a question here Stephen, why are you writing G_D instead of GOD? We're not banded from writing God's name.

  • tagalog

    Tim Tebow goes down on one knee and prays when good things happen for his team in games. People get upset about that. Why don't they get upset when a player scores a touchdown and does his idiosyncratic dance in the end zone? Some of those little dances are far weirder, annoying, time-consuming, and imposed on the public in a far more extensive way than Tim Tebow's sideline prayers. People only notice it at all because Tim Tebow is currently in the public eye, and people watch him.

    As the U.S. Supreme Court held in the case of Cohen v. California, a First Amendment case where a person wore a jacket in a public place with the words "F**k the Draft" written on it, if people find what is done to be offensive, let them avert their eyes.

    • Jim_C

      Because praying for a game outcome is just as ostentatious and absurd as a touchdown dance.

      • tagalog

        Oh, I'd say praying is much LESS ostentatious than a touchdown dance. Less ostentatious and FAR LESS absurd. Only someone with some sort of unresolved grudge against religion would say differently.

        • Jim_C

          Really? Do you seriously think God cares for the outcome of a football game, or awards games to teams with the greatest amount of faith? That is the HEIGHT of both absurdity and hubris, to think God would care.

          Whereas scoring a touchdown is a thrill which might make a person pull a pen from his sock and autograph the game ball.

          • intrcptr2

            Listening to Kurt Warner, I would suggest you haven't been paying attention.
            Besides, far as I can tell, Tebow prays whether he wins or loses.

            But, to answer your question, yes, God does care. Does this mean that He "awards" victory only to those who pray right, or more? Pretty hard to say, don't you think, especially considering how many teams seem to have "prayers" on both sidelines.

            It is not hubris when one takes God's word at its face that He does indeed concern Himself with out petty issues. The entire Bible is full of such things. The idea that God cares about certain issues and not others is utterly foreign to the Bible. The misapprehension you are suffering is thiinking that we humans fully grasp just what God is doing minute to minute within our individual and corporate circumstances.

            God's caring about us does not in the least mean that we get what we want every single time there is some conflict to resolve.
            If you have difficulty reconciling such things in your own mind, I suggest finding a Bible and reading it.

          • tagalog

            I don't know what God cares about, and neither does anyone else. It is the height of arrogant presumption to assert that God does not care about some particular thing, such as a football game. God is immanent and omnipresent. But since believing Christians believe that God's "eye is on the sparrow," it seems understandable that a football player might pray for some benefit in a game. In the Catholic high school I attended, our football team (and basketball team, and even for Heaven's sake the rifle team) prayed before every competition, praying for such things as to do one's best and not let the others down, and so on.

            My conception of God is not anthropocentric, so "caring" is something I haven't, in my human imagining of what God is like, yet reconciled with an impersonal God. But people far more intelligent than you or I have insisted that even if God is a force that is beyond human comprehension, He must nevertheless care about humanity in all its aspects. Personally I don't know, but I guess I find that believable. Obviously you think it's all a myth. Fine. Believe as you like and allow others to believe as they like. Remember Pascal's Wager.

  • mrbean

    Last tiome I checked the game was about winning. Philidelphia is 3 and 8 and I suppose Vince Young and Mike Vick are great QBs eh? A good quarterback is a guy who wins. TeBow will keep winning and Whitlock can go cry in his soup.

  • BLJ

    Obama is Lucifer so it is impossible for him to mention God. He is an evil person with no redeeming qualities.

    I love what Tebow is doing. The guy is a winner on and off the field.

    • Jim_C

      You are Lucifer.

      • BLJ

        Wrong Einstein, I am Spartacus.

      • intrcptr2

        Snappy comeback, there Jimbo; hope you didn't have an aneurysm…

    • Dianne

      I love Tim Tebow for his faith and trust in the Lord. There's another player that is a very fine Christian boy and shows it and says it, is Cam Newton. He's from Auburn and prayed with the players and taught the bible to children every week. Now Cam is playing for the Carolina Panthers, he is still giving thanks to the Lord for his ability to play, and saying to God give the glory. So like Tebow we have some ver ygood role models coming up in sports. I only wish there were more.

  • Nathan Shaner

    So, you people all realize that George W. Bush only mentioned God in 7 of his 8 thanksgiving speeches, right? And you also realize that your worship of Tim Tebow is idolatry, correct? Ok, have fun being lunatics.

    • Dennis X

      When you attempt to pimp God, one day He will demand his cut. tbow isn't the only christian or doer of good deeds in the nfl.

    • BLJ

      Nobody is idolizing Tebow. That is left for those who like Obama.

  • Roco

    This guy posts a tweet whining about Obama and watches a football game. Then he writes some vacuous article about both, picks up his paycheck and everyone nods.

    FPM is the easiest gig in the world.

    • wsk

      Why don't you crawl out of your parent's basement and go occupy Wall ST.

  • Justin

    I agree with Shapiro. BUT…as I think we would all have to begrudgingly admit, there have been many vile things done by people who publically professed to be devout Christians. There are a lot of people out there who are very turned off by the hypocricy of many supposedly devout Christians, and so they take that anger out on people like Tebow. Plus, I think there should be a healthy skepticism about people like Tebow. I want to believe he's as good a person as he appears, but I also thought Tiger Woods was a great role model (works ethic, husband, father, etc.) and look what happened there.

  • NotaBene

    Durrr, Obama can’t be a militant atheist, radical liberation theologian, and secret Muslim ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

    Pick one and stick with it or you’ll look stupid. Well, slightly more stupid…

  • PAthena

    It was President Abraham Lincoln who made Thanksgiving a national holiday, in 1863, not George Washington.

  • Jim_C

    Unlike Barack Obama, Thomas Jefferson was fairly contempuous of religion, though like many of his peers he recognized its value in maintaining social order and inculcating virtuous values.

    The fact is, if our president were as irreligious as Jefferson and many others of his place and time, you'd be riding him on a rail. But no articles bemoaning Jefferson or the other Founders who had little personal use for religion. Instead, people with nothing better to do comb Obama's Thksgvg speech for a reference to God and speculate like twits over his "real beliefs."

    • intrcptr2

      "virtuous values"? Come up with that on your own too?

      Do you not get it; how does it make sense for one to be contemputous of religion while simultaneously recognizing that it can make people virtuous? If it does in fact lead to people being good, why does it make sense to scorn it?

      Jefferson was too smart for his own good, beside being just as much a hypocrite as Obama. If there is one thing TJ had in his favor it is that he at least admitted that he despised the christian churches and the "scum" clergy who led them. Obama is simply a coward.

      Or are you just upset that a NEWS blog is not doing any current events articles on a man who's been dead for nearly 200 years?

    • FriendofGaryCooper

      What "real beliefs?" I doubt Obama knows what a "real belief" is. To the best of my knowledge, one didn't have to be a baptized Christian to be a member of the
      Trinity United Church in Chicago. All that was required(and probably still is) was/is
      the patience(read: sympathy) to sit through 20 years of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Sunday rants. Obama has also, not surprisingly,given numerous indications of his sympathy for Islam. And who are "the other Founders who had little personal use for
      religion?"

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    • tagalog

      My wife reports a humorous moment at the local convenience store. She observed the counterman discussing current politics with another customer. The counterman said he was going to vote for Sarah Palin for President this year, because by golly, if we have to have an incompetent as President, we might as well have one that is good-looking.

  • SaintsWillWin

    Tim Tebow praying with the opposing teams is not unique.

    Several players from both NFL teams will gather on the field, kneel and pray immediately after the game.

    A lot of times a camera at the game will pan over these players while they are holding hands and praying

  • CCB

    Rom 14:11 It is written: " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' " 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. It's time for Obama to recognize the real God before its too late. Pray for the man.

  • michaelle

    but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.
    Psalm 37:13

    If you don't repent Obama your day is coming.

  • wsk

    The Left will not stop until it replaces Christianity and Judiasm with moral relativism.

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  • chris

    you look like an idiot when you try to find political and religious agendas behind things when they're simply not there. it was a good speech don't take away from it by acting like a dumbass

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  • trickyblain

    It's statements like "Christians have higher moral value" that makes alot of folks ridicule Christians. Many Christians have outstanding virtue and others have have the "moral value" of rats. It's INDIVIDUAL works and deeds that determine moral value, not some collectivist label that blanketly covers everyone who calls themself a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist or Atheist.

  • Jim_C

    Actually, I know many Christians like yourself who love being Christian because it allows them to feel smug and superior. The label itself–just like grouping people into "the left" doesn't mean a damn thing, and only a fool considers the outer trappings and "testimony" proof of virtue.

  • StephenD

    trickyblain, I'd love to hear and discuss your thoughts on a small book I would have you read. It is called "The Abolition of Man" by C.S. Lewis and covers this topic of morals, values, individual or collective, etc.
    Seriously, I've noted before how you touch on this issue and I’ve wanted to respond but could never hope to put it into words as Lewis does. I think you'll enjoy it. BTW, he WAS an atheist out to prove Christianity wrong when he started this journey. Let me know when/if you read it. Thanks.

  • Jim_C

    Another of my favorites is GK Chesterton, who had a similar gift for keeping grave matters light.