An Analysis of Standards
By Dan Steinbach
On Sunday, October 23, Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos quarterback, gave praise to his God for an incredible victory. After trailing all game, Tebow rallied the Broncos to a victory, ending with two touchdowns, 59 rushing yards (including a two-point conversion), and a quarterback rating of 91.7%. The statistics, however, are not causing the recent Tebow-craze. This trend is actually a response to Tebow’s public demonstration of faith. Fans, and dissenters, tweeted, Facebooked, and are still blogging about the time Tebow took a knee.
But why the publicity now? Why, all of a sudden, is the bowing of a knee making national news? After all, Tebow is not the first celebrity to take a knee to thank his God. Tebow has even been consistent in demonstrating his faith in his career; from Florida Gator to Denver Bronco Tebow has always given God the glory for his wins and his abilities. While the public has watched, or dug, for any element of hypocrisy from Tebow, he remains above reproach. And that consistency? Has caused the craze.
It is interesting; however, that it is not just Christian sports stars under attack for demonstrating faith. Today, any Christian in the public spectra, including celebrity, politician, or athlete, is under heavy scrutiny by not only the media but also fellow Christians.
In 2009 former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, a self-titled Christian, was caught having an affair. The media tore him apart asking how he could show “such a lack of decency.” Sanford’s affair made him the laughingstock of the nation—yet former US President Bill Clinton’s affair was only a “private matter.” That inconsistency speaks volumes: Even the public holds Christians at a higher standard. Look at “10 Questions Worth Asking about a Candidate’s Faith,” posted in The Washington Post last month by Robert Crosby. This article evidences that if a person’s faith does not match his actions, the repercussions in public opinion will be huge.
Christians are also being attacked for living out their faith in the classroom. Former George Mason University Biology professor, Dr. Caroline Crocker, was fired for presenting the idea of Intelligent Design as a valid creation theory. Crocker refused to present evolution as indisputable and introduced the idea of a supreme creator. Although Crocker presented both theories she was reprimanded and let go from the college. In a world yearning for tolerance and open-mindedness, it seems at least problematic that a Christian world-view has been deemed intolerable.
So, what happens when an athlete or a politician or an educator is not consistent to his faith? He is ridiculed, mocked, and belittled. That is fair, hypocrisy should be considered reprehensible—yet, when a Christian holding the same public office is above reproach, consistent, and faithful to Christianity? Well, cases like Tebow or Crocker show that the consistent Christian is treated just like the hypocrite.
If Tebow desires to bow the knee to his God, then let him take a knee; if a candidate proclaims he is a Christian, hold him to it; and if a classroom is supposed to be tolerant and open-minded to every view, make sure it is.