Letters to the Editor for the weekly issue of January 2, 2011: One reader says Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow's displays of faith don't belong in the end zone. Another praises a recent cover story assessing world progress: Why must one be a prophet of doom to be recognized as a prophet?
According to my reading of The Monitor's View of Dec. 12 (" 'Tebowed' over"), unsolicited, uninvited public comments about one's faith are not only appropriate but desirable: "openly ... speaking about his Christian faith ... unprecedented devotion to sharing his beliefs in public...."
I find it incongruous when a winning boxer, after beating his opponent to a bloody pulp, performs a Roman Catholic sign of the cross, thanking Jesus for his victory. Would it be appropriate for a minister to interrupt his sermon to perform a "boxing exhibition" on the altar?
When I watch (televised) sporting events, I'm often surprised by the high degree of religiosity tolerated in a public venue. I don't expect to be preached to by my dentist while getting a cavity filled.
In this same line of thought, I would also prefer not to hear the racist ramblings of a Ku Klux Klansman during my kids' softball games. And I don't purchase tickets for a football game to unknowingly go to a prayer session. I simply want to view an athletic event.
Additionally, I don't normally elevate athletes to the status of hero. They are engaged in athletic competition and, through their individual performances, entertain and wow their audience. I usually reserve hero status for a selfless man or woman whose contributions and impact on society carry significant meaning or weight.
Integrity, perseverance, toughness – these are traits I respect in athletes and choose to see when watching someone like Tim Tebow. If Mr. Tebow practiced a little more integrity, he wouldn't be putting on "religious spectacles" in the end zone.