Readers Write: Tebow should kneel off the field; prophets of hope, not doom
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?
Tebow should kneel off field
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.
Years ago, my Jesuit educators taught their students to be "gentlemen." In their vision, gentlemen are not prone to grandstanding or exhibiting uninvited public displays that could be construed by an audience as unwanted or inappropriate.
Foisting one's beliefs or opinions on someone else, whether true or not, is not something a civil or gentlemanly man does. And this was taught by "men of the cloth."
Prophets of hope, not doom
John Yemma's Dec. 26 UpFront column, "The four-decade view of hope and history," is the best short summary of the world situation and prognosis that I have seen.
All my life I have heard the voices of impending doom that never occurred. Remember The Atlantic magazine article years ago showing the inevitability of chaos in Africa? One must be a prophet of doom to be recognized as a prophet.
Through the lens of Edith Hamilton, Aristophanes said: Come listen now to the good old days when the children, strange to tell,/ Were seen not heard, led a simple life, in short were brought up well.