Comedian Bill Maher was showered with criticism and fury from Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow’s fans and fellow Christians here in Charleston and elsewhere after a profane tweet regarding the team’s blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Tebow has been a target of Maher’s for some time. (Maher is an adamant apathetic atheist.) He tweeted:
“Wow, Jesus just f***ed #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere … Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler “Hey, Buffalo’s killing them.”
Tebowing is a neologism derived from Tebow’s propensity for kneeling and praying. The origin of the phrase is credited to fan Jared Kleinstein, who posted a picture with friends on Facebook in which they mimic a pose by Tebow that was caught on camera following the Broncos’ improbable overtime victory over the Dolphins on October 23, 2011. The popularity of the picture led Kleinstein to set up a website showing pictures submitted by people depicting various interpretations of Tebowing all over the world.
Tebow, whose team suffered its second straight loss after a six-game winning streak, did not respond to Maher’s tweet. After the disappointing 40-14 road loss, Tebow tweeted:
“Tough game today but what’s most important is being able to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas everyone GB2.”
GB2 is a phrase Tebow has made popular that means God Bless + Go Broncos, according to his official website.
Tebow was born in the Philippines to American parents who were serving as Christian Baptist missionaries. While pregnant, his mother suffered a life-threatening illness. Because of the drugs used to rouse her from a coma and to treat her dysentery, the fetus suffered a severe placental abruption. Doctors recommended an abortion to protect her life, but she refused.
Tebow is the youngest of five children, all of which were homeschooled by their mother who instilled into the family staunch Christian beliefs. During his college football career, he frequently wore references to biblical verses on his eye black. In the 2009 BCS Championship Game, he wore John 3:16 on his eye paint, and as a result, 92 million people searched John 3:16 on Google during or shortly after the game.
Additionally, later, when Tebow switched to another verse, there were 3.43 million searches of Tim Tebow and Proverbs 3:5-6 together. Tebow stated of the searches “It just goes to show you the influence and the platform that you have as a student-athlete and as a quarterback at Florida”
Maher’s tweet prompted some to call for a boycott of his HBO political show Real Time with Bill Maher. His 2008 documentary, Religulous, mocked organized religion and he routinely jokes about religion on his show. Maher has not – and probably won’t – comment on the criticism.
While this author does not condone the content of Maher’s tweet, freedom of speech is protected on twitter. However, here’s a simple suggestion: for Christians sensitive to crude comments and profanity, don’t follow Bill Maher’s tweets. You will definitely be upset.