Open Phones: Tim Tebow Believer

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Do you have an opinion on Tim Tebow coming to New York that's based on religion rather than football? Jets Fans: Phones are open. Call 212-433-9692 or post your comment here!

Comments [69]

Bocheball from nyc

I watch football to see the game, anything else is a distraction, including the endless freaking commercials which are far more distracting than anything Tebow could do. His is a momentary celebration, that should be practiced privately but if he wants to do it on the field let him, who cares. All the other mindless end zone celebrations are inane so why not add another.

But I agree with the poster who wrote what if he was Muslim and chose to celebrate?
I think the reaction would be a 'tad' different.

The bottom line for me is it was a stupid football decision. He's a lousy passer and teams figured out the wildcat last year and it's over, like Tebow's soon to be short lived stay in the NFL. Elway knew what he was doing when he let him go.

Mar. 28 2012 02:38 PM
john from office

jgarbuz + Dboy = a bromance, get a room guys.

Mar. 27 2012 04:46 PM
Dr. Kathy Rotter from New Jersey

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a liberal (and an agnostic on my best days), and I was appalled by your choice of topic and the tone with which it was discussed. The intro of "ticking the conservative boxes" and "listening to his faith until you might feel like throwing up" were in no manner neutral or fair to Mr. Tebow or your listeners. I have enough trouble trying to convince my more conservative friends that NPR isn't some sort of left wing propaganda machine without you helping. Mr. Tebow's faith is his business and if he chooses to profess it publicly then so be it. Further, football isn't the state and as such there is no need for separation of religion and sport.
When one person asked "what if he were a Muslim?" I was thinking the same thing, but I meant simply that you would NEVER use such a dismissive tone or make such veiled insults if he had been Muslim. I trust the tone would have been much different as it should have been now.
I do not share Mr. Tebow's faith but I will not participate in having it made fun of or chastised. What on earth could you have meant by "does he belong in New York?" It was an awful tone and one that suggested a bigotry NPR should never express.

Mar. 27 2012 04:00 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

idiocy x atheism = 1 Dboy

Mar. 27 2012 12:43 PM
Carol from Queens

CLK - Perhaps. It's not religion or religiosity I object to, but how fevered extremists have used it to shape the current Zeitgeist. There was a reason why the architects of our democracy proposed a clear separation of church and state.

Mar. 27 2012 12:40 PM

ideology x religion = jaggerbuttz

Mar. 27 2012 12:36 PM

Ann Moss from ClearLake, CA ~


Mar. 27 2012 12:34 PM

Carol, You have given me something to think about because when I see him kneel and pray I definitely do not see what you describe. Perhaps the people so incensed perceive him as you do.

Mar. 27 2012 12:30 PM
Carol from Queens

CLK - I agree with you - we're both of the same mindset. I am an atheist, but do believe in and see the beauty and need and comfort many get from their religion. My objection is not with Tebow or his prayers, but what it represents; this country has been hijacked by a particular sect of the Evangelical right with its smug intolerance of all those who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. This same group (which Tebow symbolizes, although he may not, in fact, agree with) promotes carrying concealed weapons and robbing women of the right to control their own bodies. Religion has become a political tool of abuse. Tebow's ability to do on the field what others of different faiths would never be allowed to do reminds me that we have lost religious tolerance, not gained it, and we have yet to hit bottom.

Mar. 27 2012 12:18 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

to Altoman

Most theater plays, movies and the fictional novels and scripts they are based on are "make believe." Just entertainment, but there are many who worship the theater life like a Golden Calf,and worship actors and entertainment celebrities like gods. If most of religion is "make believe," theater and entertainment, so what of it? As long as no gets hurt,what's the problem. It's only when religion is used to hurt someone else that it becomes a problem. If religion is just make-believe entertainment, so what? IF it entertains and satisfies and audience, that's good enough.

Mar. 27 2012 12:08 PM

And if I paraded around the football field holding the hand of my pink friend "Harold" whom only I could see, people would say I was crazy. I don't see the difference.
I guess that's what makes me a non-believer, faith is make believe.
Even children know what make believe is. The world is nuts, just look around the planet. When is society going to grow up?

Mar. 27 2012 12:01 PM
The Truth from Becky

Thank you Jawbone...that is the passage of which I was speaking.

Mar. 27 2012 11:54 AM

Carol, I think all of us who try to practice compassion and tolerance in everyday life (not so easy all the time here in would welcome the prayer mat. We could all use a bit more humility and love, and real christians welcome every one of the many "houses in their father's kingdom." People have a deep need for a spiritual life, or many people do anyway, and how they develop this and create a map of how to live in the world is unique and different for each. But I just can't believe Tim kneeling on the field is so disturbing. He has the freedom of free speech. And, He's not necessarily thanking God for whatever play he just made but probably just praising and loving the One from whom he believes he receives his graces. If we don't believe that, no problem. He's not asking us to pray along. I think my original post was just to wonder why people are so incensed. It seems disproportionate to what he is doing.

Mar. 27 2012 11:52 AM
cindy from westchester county

Football is Tim Tebow's job. He receives a salary and benefits. My question is: is it appropriate for this religious display in a work environment? Yes, this is sports & a different type of work environment -- however, if it is ok for Mr. Tebow, than what happens on the job for others. Is it appropriate for me to thank my God after a make a good point in a meeting at work? or if someone makes a sale in a store? what about a doctor making a good diagnosis?

Just something to think about.

Mar. 27 2012 11:46 AM
jgarbuz from Queens+

I will believe in God as long as Israel exists. No amount of "facts" will change me in that regard. If Israel goes down, the God of Israel goes down with it, as far as I'm concerned. My mother was saved by True Christians, but would never have allowed herself to be baptized even if turned over to the SS. For her faith alone, I continue to belief despite all the arguements and all the odds against it.

Mar. 27 2012 11:45 AM
Ann Moss from ClearLake, CA

This guy is a real wing-nut. You do not need to resort to magical thinking (ie. religion) to have community and charity. Maybe he knows defective individuals that to cling to religious vestigial appendages. But my family and I, confirmed non-believers, have no problem finding these things with others in the complete absence of any antiquated modes of thought.

Mar. 27 2012 11:43 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Jews are a TRIBE, which was formed from various peoples around the belief in YHWH, the invisible one God that created and rules the universe.
The step from polytheism to monotheism was a REVOLUTIONARY concept that took centuries to take hold in the West. Now the step from monotheism to atheism, or from one God to no God is not that big a step by contrast. Science has provided many of the answers that metaphysics and philosophy tried to tackle over many centuries, but required the supernatural to fulfill. Today many don't feel they need the supernatural for answers, but others feel that they need the supernatural to feel purpose in life, and to have hope that death is not final. It is all hope.

But why have a Golden Rule if there is no reward for being nice to others? Many believe that can be no social justice without reward in an afterlife.

Mar. 27 2012 11:41 AM
Carol from Queens

CLK - The political scene in this country has become a contest to see who is the more pious. The point is, you may like to see a Muslim rolling out a prayer rug on the football field, but do you really believe there would be no consequences?

Mar. 27 2012 11:39 AM
Lisa from New Jersey

Envy? I pity people who need a reason (i.e. wrath of God) to feel they belong, have a purpose and act "good" for religion and not simply because it is intrinsically good to be good. I want a role model for our society who gets media attention because he or she promotes good morals and values in a secular way, THAT would be something to envy.

Mar. 27 2012 11:37 AM
Angela Muriel from Manhattan

who cares, I'm atheist but if the guy wants to wear his religion on his fore head that's his choice. Many players have corporate logo tatoos and any number of stuff they wear or say.

Also, I hate that people think that anyone without faith in a religion is amoral, etc. There are all kinds of communities people create, a group of close friends is a community, an arts group, people who come together to make music, so much. Kindness and morals is not based on religion, it just makes for a better, more pleasant place to exist as a society.

Mar. 27 2012 11:36 AM

Re: Elle from Brooklyn
I asked my brother, a lifelong Jets fan, the other day whether or not he thought New York would accept Tebow's praying on the field. He said that if he wins football games, they will accept him. Period.
Mar. 27 2012 11:19 AM

I wonder how many fervent Jets' fans would accept a star Muslim player assuming an Islamic prayer position on the field or in the endzone after a key successful play....

Mar. 27 2012 11:33 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I think Jesus stated that prayer should be in private and not on display. As I said in my previous post, Christians and others will be judged on what their faith actually makes them DO, and not for public demonstrations of their supposed reliousity or piousness. Jesus reprimanded other Jews for hypocritical public displays of their alleged piousness, and this should be taken by those who claim to be Christians to be modest in their own actions, public or private.

Mar. 27 2012 11:33 AM
gene from NYC

I think all these over-paid celebrities, religious fanatics and nutjob sports fans should get down on one knee and thank their lucky stars anybody else in the world even gives a s__t about them and their pointless obsessions. I know I don't.

Mar. 27 2012 11:32 AM

Wow! I am struck by the condescension and hostility of most of these comments. Is his religion really in your face? I hear the word, "f..." on the street every day and ads that are overtly sexual and in my face, and that is just part of our diversity but does his prayer really upset all of you? I am weary of faith being the equivalent of being stupid and thoughtless. One could say the same of so many stances that we Americans take. Even in politics, people are not always that thoughtful, but rather spouting back sound bites they have heard. C'mon New Yorkers, don't be hypocritical. New York is diverse and we have much we can appreciate in each other, and if he were Muslim, it would be wonderful too.

Mar. 27 2012 11:30 AM

As long as his employer and the league allow members of all faiths to express themselves as Tebow does, or don't force others to be religious, then i'm ok with it. It's a privately owned league and company and as long as they don't break federal and state employment laws regarding religious discrimination then I don't see what the problem is. If you don't like it then turn the channel and watch something else.

Mar. 27 2012 11:29 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

@ Nick from UWS

I've been picking up on that too.

Mar. 27 2012 11:29 AM

My discomfort with public showing of religiosity is probably a carryover from my childhood spent in a Northern Protestant church, where we were taught that our actions should speak for themselves and our prayers should be in private, not used to impress others.

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
(Matthew 6:5-7 KJV)

Mar. 27 2012 11:28 AM
J Reilly from Bellmore, NY

Its just celebrity exhibisionism. Gaga wears a meat dress in public, Tebow prays in public. I'm not shocked.

Mar. 27 2012 11:27 AM

Brian, please address the fact that religon and ethics don't go hand in hand. This Tebow guy might be a "good" guy but what about all the other players, christan or not? The bible is fill with "negatives" also, like genocide and slavery.

Mar. 27 2012 11:27 AM
The Truth from Becky

This to me is equal to "celebrating" in the end zone after a touchdown, it should NOT be allowed on the field. Two faced Christians are making an exception and yes I am a Christian. If this were any other religious gesture it would be squashed like a bug!! ALSO, if Mr. Tebow reaaaaly looks deep into the Bible he will find Gods' objection to his public display!! Has to do with the distortion of your face so others can see that you are praying etc....this right at Holy Week. SMH

Mar. 27 2012 11:27 AM
John M Hamilton from Yonkers

I am not an Evangelical, but I want all the people in this country to express their faith. As far as proselytizing goes, I hope anyone who has a belief what would save people, would express it with respect and decorum, and put it in the public forum, and I hope people would desire to learn about the spiritual opinions of others. Why has expressing religious views become something offensive. I think it is sad if people try and silence people who wish to express their heartfelt thoughts.

Mar. 27 2012 11:26 AM
Nick from UWS

The impression I am getting from Brian's show in the last year is that he is struggling to contain his own burgeoning religious fervor and possible confusion by having many segments centered on religion. Brian, instead of discussions of Tim Tebow, why don't we hear something about your own beliefs?

Mar. 27 2012 11:26 AM
RJ from prospect hts

As an atheist, I *don't* find public expressions of religion an indication of a positive public image. Religion is frequently a mask for intolerance itself.

PS: I don't say he shouldn't do that--I'm a borderline 1st Amendment purist. But how would expressions of atheism be received by the supporters of his public religous expressions.

Mar. 27 2012 11:25 AM
Angelo from Astoria

Why is there a presumed notion that religion is automatically good? At least two of the callers have stated that he is good because he is religious. What is the basis of this observation?

Mar. 27 2012 11:25 AM
bernie from bklyn

@sheldon from bklyn- the reason why i think all missionaries are evil is because they are 'wolves dressed in sheep's clothing', so to speak. all missionaries have one goal above all others and that is to convert these people to their ridiculous beliefs. why not just help people for the sake of helping people?

Mar. 27 2012 11:23 AM
April from Manhattan

Sports bore me. So I find this more interesting than a regular sports show. I find offensive people hating white evangelicals. I know Latino evangelicals who think Obama is a muslim from Kenya. Or did until I weaned him from Fox. Do we hate black evangelicals too? Is this anti South? What if we referred to NYC as the Torah Belt? Would that be shocking? Anti Semitic? Seculars are intolerant. I'm a secular mystic. Definitely don't believe in that sexist, admittedly jealous, (Jungian Nathan Schwartz called him borderline), old white guy with a beard God in any of his forms, Judaism, Christianity or Islam. Been fighting and killing each other since the get go. Jews are usually the victims. I suggest they start trying to convert people too. Meanwhile, enough already with the hatred from anybody.

Mar. 27 2012 11:23 AM
Carol from Queens

Regarding prayer on the football field and prayer in school, I would like to see a Jew be able to daven, a Muslim be able to roll out a prayer rug, a Buddhist or Hindu light some incense under the same circumstances. This is not a christian country and I find these acts in-you-face offensive.

Mar. 27 2012 11:23 AM
Anna from Brooklyn

I don't follow sports, but why not just wait and judge him by his abilities and talent, not by what religion he is. YES, he's put it out there and it's up for discussion, but who cares-- it's a free society. I felt the introduction was very hostile and judgmental. I have strong faith the good people of NYC will get to know Tebow and make their judgment about him then. If Tebow can't come here, how accepting are New Yorkers, really?

Mar. 27 2012 11:22 AM
SteveH from Brooklyn, NY

Religion as a drug seems to have great appeal especially in this country.
Cult members should not be allowed force their beliefs on others in the media.

Mar. 27 2012 11:22 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Nick, again - you are missing the point, whether you like it or not - religion, like taxes, does exist and people will talk about it.

Mar. 27 2012 11:21 AM
David from Brooklyn

Why is Tim Tebow saying a prayer in the end zone any different from Catholic ball players crossing themselves before an at bat or a free throw???.......

Mar. 27 2012 11:21 AM
Enrique from Florida

I don't believe Jesus is a god, but I can promise you if he was, he wouldn't care about Tebow or some silly sporting event. It's ridiculous that this idiot or anyone thanks god for success in sporting activity.

Mar. 27 2012 11:20 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Three minutes for the Africa segment. More than three minutes for this silly segment.
Who the HELL cares about his religiosity? Why does the BL Show care? I don't. This is a waste of time.

Mar. 27 2012 11:20 AM
Rebecca from brooklyn

My issue with Mr. Tebow, is not his religiosity, but rather his hubris in making such a demonstration of thanking his deity on the field. I only hope that whatever deity there is spends more time trying to get food to starving children in Somalia rather than who wins a football game.
Hubris always wins in the end... the Greeks taught us that.

Mar. 27 2012 11:20 AM
art525 from Park Slope

I am not religious. I kind of cringe when I see him go down on his knees. I also kind of criged when you cast aspersions because he talked about his faith-when he was asked, not when he initiated it. It was distasteful that you said politicians say no more questions if they don't want to talk about it. Again he didn't initiate the questions. there is an ugly cast to all this. And it's fairly flippant. And again I say this as I guess I'd be labeled an agnostic.

Mar. 27 2012 11:20 AM
andy from manhattan

So WNYC is slipping into the linguistic abuse of the word "like", too? I count on better use of the English language than, "So are you one of those people who are LIKE '...'". Don't let good use of language slip, please however, "like", worthless this particular discussion is. I count on NPR to keep English strong, not drifting into "like" meaninglessness. PLEASE check yourself before you wreck the language!

Mar. 27 2012 11:19 AM
the_hme from Jersey City, NJ

I don't disagree with Tebow's demonstrations of faith because this is his choice. When I watch sports, I pray for my team if I am a big supporter, and that is independent of their beliefs or those watching. I'm more upset that the manager would think to bring him to Jersey. Our QB is Sanchez, not Tebow.

Mar. 27 2012 11:19 AM
Elle from Brooklyn

I asked my brother, a lifelong Jets fan, the other day whether or not he thought New York would accept Tebow's praying on the field. He said that if he wins football games, they will accept him. Period.

Mar. 27 2012 11:19 AM
Peter from Brooklyn

I just wonder how people would react to a devout Muslim doing a prayer after every touchdown or constantly speaking about his faith...

Mar. 27 2012 11:18 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I have no clue as to who Tim Tebow is as I do not follow sports at all, but I do know that (a) True Christians saved my mother's life in WWII during the Holocaust, and the only reason why they would do such a dangerous thing, to save Jews from Nazis, was because of their absolute faith in Jesus who in their view, laid down His life to save others, and (b) some of my best friends in Israel were and remain Christian missionaries who are still living there 30 years later -amazing to say - because they are awaiting Jesus in the "Holy Land," but have had five wonderful children all of whom have all served in the IDF while being Christians.

Anyhow, I agree that it is not what you say, but what you actually DO that matters, and there is no higher human being, in my estimation, than a TRUE CHRISTIAN who lives a true Christ-like life.

Mar. 27 2012 11:17 AM
Frank from NYC

Tim Tebow is a hero in the NFL because the right-wing team owners love the guy. For politics, yes, but no doubt more for the money they'll make off him.

Mar. 27 2012 11:16 AM
Drew from Brooklyn

Abortion was illegal in the Phillipines when Tebow's mother was there. That part of his mythology has been debunked. As a lifelong Broncos fan I was aghast when McD traded up to draft him. He gave the Broncos a better chance of winning. When the Broncos got Manning & put Tebow on the block I was happy to be rid of him. Why did he have to follow me to NYC?!?

Mar. 27 2012 11:15 AM
Nick from UWS

Here we go again...religion is the very definition of non-thought and unused intelligence; people believing what they want to believe because it's more comforting than reality, without a shred of critical thinking. Why are the activities of the brainwashed considered an important subject for discussion on this radio station?

Mar. 27 2012 11:15 AM
Sea from UES

Brian why don't ask Jews why they move to South Florida? Or ask Muslims why they move to Michigan?

Why Brian are you covering this? You have really lowered the bar here. From SCOTUS to this garbage? What the hell is wrong with you?

Mar. 27 2012 11:15 AM
Gabriel from Queens, NY

I am an evangelical liberal-leaning New Yorker. The Pastor of my church, Adam Burt is the Jets chaplain so yeah, I am very excited that Tebow is here. Maybe he can come speak at my church. Maybe even a two for one if he brings his friend Jeremy with him.

I think it's cool to have God in the limelight for a change. I am particularly happy that this evangelical is not the stereotype barefoot, gun-toting loon that wants to blow up abortion clinics. We are not all crazy.

Mar. 27 2012 11:14 AM
MNY from NY

This childlike religiosity will initially be viewed as a curiosity and then it will be accepted as eccentricities usually are in the tolerant Secularville that is NY.

Mar. 27 2012 11:13 AM



Mar. 27 2012 11:13 AM

I'm not religious by any means, but he's a nice dude and a good role model. This is NYC, we embrace all and what makes NYC, well, NYC.

Mar. 27 2012 11:12 AM


Less pro sports, too!!

Mar. 27 2012 11:12 AM

Why is this discussion ok? Why is it not religiously discriminatory? If Tebow was a Muslim, would you introduce a segment asking who's thinking "why is this Muslim coming to our neighborhood? why doesn't he stay in (fill in the blank)"?

Mar. 27 2012 11:12 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

Please stop talking about this person! NPR in general can't seem to stop covering him. If I want to listen to sports segments, I'll seek out a sports show, NOT The Brian Lehrer Show. Talk about the media contributing to a frenzy.

Mar. 27 2012 11:11 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Bernie - I'm not a big fan of missionaries but saying they are [all?] evil, is not nice.

Mar. 27 2012 11:11 AM
e atone from westchester ny

No one, not tebow or other, should be permitted to blatantly shove their religion, any religion, in anyone else's face which is what tebow does. Revolting!

Mar. 27 2012 11:11 AM



Mar. 27 2012 11:11 AM
Jenna from UWS

Brian, this "Call-in" is HIGHLY offensive.

Mar. 27 2012 11:09 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Unlike the Giants, the Jets as an organization and a team, do not have the discipline or the focus to deal with the media-hyped Tebow side show. This segment proves this.

Mar. 27 2012 11:09 AM
john from office

He claims to be a virgin, if true he needs a shrink, if not true he is a true christian.

Mar. 27 2012 11:03 AM
Anonymous from New Jersey

Keep your religion in your pants.

Mar. 27 2012 10:37 AM
bernie from bklyn

he's the son of missionaries. missionaries are evil, in my opinion. missionaries do lots of good for poor people but at too high an expense. their charity is not free and comes with a price, therefore it's not true charity.
he does put his faith front and center and that's a bad influence on kids. plus, he can't throw the ball.
terrible deal.

Mar. 27 2012 10:09 AM

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