The Global Language Monitor website says it acknowledges that the word Tebowing — the act of taking a knee in prayer during an athletic contest — is now part of the English language.
In today’s online world, that’s practically the equivalent of gaining acceptance to Webster’s Dictionary.
—Tom Weir, USA Today, 12-12-2011
It’s a bit of an exaggeration to say that being mentioned on the site is practically the same as being accepted into Webster’s Dictionary, but whatever, that’s not what I want to comment on in this entry.
Instead I want to comment on the phenomenal arrogance of Tim Tebow and so many in sports, entertainment, politics and public life. People of talent should be grateful they have it, and it is well and good that they give thanks. But there is a very big difference between that and praying for victory, pointing to the heavens after scoring, or giving God thanks in a victory speech. Does God really care who wins the Grammy for Best Rap Album or who carries the ball over the line in last Sunday’s game?
Thanking God for such personal achievements is tantamount to claiming to be chosen by god over all others, specifically given victory over your opponents by divine intervention. What are the implications of such claims? Did God rig the vote or influence the voters of the Grammys? Did the defensive line of the the other team lose their ability to block because they didn’t pray enough? What happens when the both teams pray a lot! To thank God for something that is essentially a personal achievement is to stake a huge claim. One had better be pretty confident, or the next time God may feel compelled to correct the misconception with a crushing defeat.