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Feb 03 2012

Tips for Tim Tebow

By Bob Avakian

Tim Tebow, quarterback for the Denver Broncos in the National Football League, is being widely, and seemingly endlessly, promoted—as an icon not only in the realm of sports but much more broadly.  I have followed sports, including football, for many decades now, and I cannot recall ever witnessing anything like this. In a highly orchestrated and concentrated campaign, Tebow is being held up as a “worker of miracles” on the football field but, more than that, as a “role model” and moral standard-bearer.

This hype around Tebow is completely and strikingly out of proportion to any demonstrated ability or actual accomplishments on Tebow’s part, in terms of performance as a professional football quarterback. If you have been paying attention not only to the arena of sports but to things more broadly in this society and the world, you should be able to quickly guess why this is: Tim Tebow is a religious fanatic—of the Christian fundamentalist variety—who aggressively promotes his medieval views and values in a way that is obviously considered useful by significant sections of the powers-that-be in the U.S. Among other things, during the Super Bowl (the American professional football championship) a couple of years ago, Tebow was the centerpiece of an ad whose purpose was to oppose the right of women to reproductive freedom, in particular abortion. The ad was sponsored by a right-wing Christian organization which aggressively opposes the right of women to abortion (it is also a fact, and highly revealing, that as a general rule the reactionary Christian fundamentalist forces that oppose a woman’s right to abortion also want to ban birth control).

This promotion of what is in reality a fascist outlook and program, in the form of fundamentalist Christianity, is aided by the notion—aggressively championed by some, and far too often unchallenged by others—that there is a direct connection between how religious someone is and how “moral” he or she is. Which avoids the critical question: What is the content of this morality? More specifically: What, in fact, is being promoted through the propagation of religious fundamentalism, including the kind of “Biblical literalism”—insisting that the Bible is the word of God which must be accepted as absolutely true, and as the standard for behavior, in every respect—with which Tim Tebow is associated? In reality, it is irrational, anti-rational ignorance and superstition—which denies well-established scientific fact, such as evolution, and is opposed to the scientific method and approach in general—as well as the insistence upon all kinds of reactionary, extremely oppressive and literally murderous values, social relations, and actions. And this is not something that should somehow be overlooked, excused, or minimized because Tebow works hard at being a quarterback (has a “good work ethic”) and supports religious charities (something reactionary religious fundamentalists often do).

Since one of the main ways in which Tim Tebow in particular propagandizes and proselytizes for his religious fundamentalism is through continual and prominent citation of verses from the Bible, I am offering the following tips for Tim Tebow, in terms of passages from the Bible he should cite and call attention to, in order to bring to light what is the actual content—the fundamental worldview, relations, values and morals—which are promoted, and indeed insisted upon, in the Bible.

Deuteronomy, Chapter 7; Exodus, Chapter 32; Numbers 31 (especially v. 13-18 and 31-35). These are just some of the passages in the Bible in which the God of this Bible insists that people who practice another religion, or who oppose or stand in the way of this God’s will, must be slaughtered and utterly destroyed—or, in the case of virgin women, raped and enslaved—without mercy.

Exodus 20:1-17 (this contains the Ten Commandments, with Commandment 10 of particular relevance); 1 Timothy 6:1-6; Ephesians 6:5-6; Colossians 3:22-24. Again, these are just some passages—among many which could be cited—from the New Testament as well as the Old Testament of the Bible, where slavery is upheld and treated as legitimate.

Deuteronomy 22:13-21 (in particular v. 20 and 21). Here is it said that women who are not virgins when they marry must be put to death.

Exodus 22:18 Women who are accused of being witches (sorcerers) must be put to death as well.

Leviticus 21:9 A priest’s daughter who becomes a prostitute, and thereby profanes her father, must be put to death.

Exodus 20:1-17, the Ten Commandments Commandment 10 (Exodus 20:17) treats wives (as well as slaves) as part of the property of a man (“thy neighbor”) which must not be coveted.

Ephesians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 14:34-35; Here Paul insists that women must be subordinate to their husbands, and in fact must be silent and subordinate in the churches. In 1 Timothy 2:11-15, Paul says that the subordination of women is because of the role of woman (Eve) in original sin, and that child-bearing and the pain associated with it is a punishment women must endure because of the sin of Eve in succumbing to Satan in the garden of Eden and seducing Adam into eating the apple (see also Genesis chapter 3, in particular v. 16). In these passages, as well as many others throughout the Bible, suffocating and brutal oppression of women is insisted upon and sanctified. And, as we see in Numbers chapter 31, as well as many other places in the Bible (such as Isaiah, chapters 10-14, and Psalm 137), the mass raping of women, and the murder of babies and little children, is not only justified but said to be righteous, if it is carried out on behalf of the supposed one true God.

Leviticus 20:13; Here it is said not only that homosexuality is an abomination but that homosexuals must be killed.

Proverbs 23:13-14; Exodus 21:17; Deuteronomy 21:18-21; Romans 1:30 In these passages—again, from the New Testament as well as the Old Testament—we are not only told that children must be beaten in order to keep them on the right path (“spare the rod and spoil the child”) but that children who are rebellious against their parents must be put to death.

Leviticus 24:11-16; Deuteronomy 13:5 Anyone who curses the God of the Bible—or who “blasphemes the name of the Lord”—is to be executed, as is any prophet who calls on people to rebel against God.

The book of Numbers—once again, particularly Numbers 31:13-18 and 31-35 In Numbers, perhaps even more than other books of the Bible, the maniacal and merciless bloodthirstiness of the one true God of the Bible is graphically shown, in his insistence on slaughter, plunder, rapine and rape. In Numbers 31, especially verses 13-18, Moses, the messenger and enforcer for this God, becomes furious with his followers because, in attacking the Midianites, they only killed the adult men and stole some of their property: go back again, commands Moses, speaking in God’s name, and massacre all the males, children as well as grown men, and kill also all the females who are not virgins—but as for the females who are virgins, carry them off as sex slaves (concubines) for yourselves.

Matthew 17:14-20 (also Luke 8:26-39) Here we see that Jesus is ignorant about epilepsy and seizures—he treats this as a matter of demon possession, as opposed to the true, scientifically established understanding that epilepsy has to do with chemical and electrical processes in the nervous system and the brain—and in voicing and acting on this ignorance, Jesus afflicts people with the cruel notion that their sickness is their own fault, a result of their own sinful conduct.

John 14:6 and John 15:6 Here we are told, by Jesus himself, that he is the only way to salvation. Those who don’t follow him will be condemned to eternal damnation, that is, endless torture: burning in hell, excruciating physical as well as mental pain, torment and anguish. (See also Luke 19:1-27, especially v. 27.)

The above are only some passages from the Bible—and many, many more could be cited—which clearly illustrate the truth that (as I put it in the book, Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World) the Bible, taken literally, is a horror. (I would be happy to provide Tim Tebow with a copy of this book.)

If Tim Tebow wants to truly inform people about what the Bible represents, let him cite the above verses of the Bible and acknowledge what they actually advocate. If he wants to claim that he does not insist on taking the Bible as the literal and absolute word of the one true God, then let him say that openly and without equivocation—and admit that the Bible is not a divine work, but rather the work of human beings, which is full of ignorance and superstition as well as the advocacy of all kinds of truly horrendous values, relations, and actions. If he wants to say that he does not uphold what is put forward in what has been cited here, then let him disavow not only these particular Biblical passages but indeed the Bible as a whole, for the words spoken in these passages are not presented in the Bible as deviations from the righteous path, advocated by enemies of the one true God. No, these are said to be the words of the Biblical God himself, or of those identified, in the Bible itself, as the most worthy messengers, prophets, and apostles of this God—such as Moses, Isaiah, and Paul—as well as the supposed son of this God, Jesus.

Meanwhile, enough with the incessant campaign to not only portray Tim Tebow as a far greater football player than he actually is, but also to portray him as a nearly god-like icon, serving as a moral example and compass. Enough of the morality, and all that is bound up with the morality, that Tim Tebow stands for and aggressively shoves in everyone’s face.

Bob Avakian is the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

 

11 comments

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  1. 1
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    It’s a perfect storm of religious conservatism and professional sports worship during an election year. And Tebow did such good work helping to circumcise boys in the Philippines.

    I haven’t the stomach to read his book, so I don’t know what is in there, but certainly let him publicly quote and defend all Bible verse like a lunatic Campus Crusade for Christ preacher, not just the stuff that is popular or acceptable to most. Let him expose himself like the short list of popular Republican morons have done, but for the entire Bible with prescribed punishments for the supposed sins.

    Really, they all should. Turn back to the Book and really read it.

  2. 2
    'Tis Himself

    Bob Avakian is more than the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. He’s also a Maoist authoritarian. He says in “Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy”:

    All this flows from the philosophical concept of opinions and conscience as private property. And when you have individuals holding ideas as private property, the greater social good is going to be interfered with and hindered, just as it is generally in the production and exchange of commodities.

    Avakian is against people having their own ideas. Everyone should click their heels, shout “Jawohl, mein Chairman!” and mindlessly follow the RCP dogma as expounded by the Glorious Leader.

    Consider the following run-on sentence:

    The struggle to reach communism does involve and require a conscious and organized leading group, a vanguard, which, if it is going to lead the advance to communism, must base itself not on a utopian ideal but on a scientific understanding of human society and its historical development, and the fact that this historical development, while not following any predetermined plan nor any transcendental will, has nevertheless led humanity to a situation where there is the possibility—not the inevitability but the possibility—of making the leap to communism; a vanguard which, on that basis, and through applying the scientific outlook and methodology of communism, brings this understanding to the masses of people, enables them to take this up and mobilizes them to wage an increasingly conscious struggle on this basis: to first overthrow the capitalist system and establish the socialist system, with the dictatorship of the proletariat; and then, while defending the socialist state against threats and attacks by remaining reactionary states and reactionary forces, within the country and internationally, to advance through a whole period of socialist transition to communism as part of, and together with, this same struggle throughout the world. [emphasis added]

    The Secret Police and the commissars will first determine who is “reactionary” and then “defend the state” against internal reaction. People like me who don’t follow the Holy Writ of Saint Bob will be the first to be put against the wall and shot when comes the revolution.

    1. 2.1
      Sunsara Taylor

      “Tis Himself” is wrong about Bob Avakian. Bob Avakian is a serious revolutionary leader and a wide-ranging thinker who, over three decades, has summed up what was done right and what was done wrong in the first wave of communist revolutions. He’s brought this together with broader human endeavor to develop a new synthesis of revolution and communism. Because of this, there is a radical alternative to the way the world is currently organized with its pockets of excess against a backdrop of starvation and disease, with its environmental destruction, with its mass violence against women, and its mass incarceration and wars of aggression waged by the U.S. Also, there is a strategy for making a revolution in a country like this one and the critical leadership necessary for building the movement for revolution today.

      If “Tis Himself” thinks the current state of the world is so great, let him come out and defend it.

      If he disagrees with something Avakian says, let him take on its content.

      Instead, “Tis Himself” offers ad hominem attacks and total distortion of Avakian’s words.

      For the record: Avakian’s new synthesis of revolution is NOT one where “no one has the right to their own ideas” — but one where critical thinking is fosters but ideas are not commodified as “private property” (think of the damage, for one example, of medical research being held back out of competition for patents and profits).

      And, Avakian’s vision of socialism is NOT one in which dissidents are shot. In the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic of North America (Draft Proposal) [http://revcom.us/socialistconstitution/], which is based on Avakian’s new synthesis, not only is there incredible allowance for dissent and diverging viewpoints – dissent is fostered and encouraged. This is manifest in the spheres of education, the rights of the people, the media, elections, and all other spheres. Beyond that, the death penalty is prohibited!

      Anyone seriously about whether and how the world could be different should seriously engage the work Avakian has done. Beyond the piece posted above, a good place to start is his talk, Revolution: Why Its Necessary; Why Its Possible; What Its All About, available here: http://revolutiontalk.net/

  3. 3
    Rando

    I wonder how Tebow feels about the passage in the bible about killing people who work on the Sabbath (Exodus 30-14). After all football games are played on the Sabbath. If Tebow really thinks the bible is literally true he should have no problem letting us KILL him…

  4. 4
    ss123

    I think the National Felon League is using Tebow to offset some of their image, which, frankly, I welcome.

    Tebo’s a good guy. Maybe a bit deluded, but he’s only 24ish (I was deluded at 24 too, so I know where he’s coming from.) Hey, he gets to hang out with SI swimsuit models… can’t argue with that when you’re 24.

  5. 5
    randomfactors

    Out of proportion of demonstrated ability or accomplishments? Do you even watch football? His team was 1-4 when he got the call to start this year, and he pretty much willed his team into the playoff as a 1st year starter. In college he won 2 national championships and THE HEISMAN TROPHY! At 24 he has accomplished far more in his profession than you, me, and most will in ours.
    And he is a sincere, honest, good person off the field. His demeanor is refreshing and somewhat charming, even if it is in a Woody from Cheers type of way at times, so it is no wonder he is being widely promoted. Its a great break from the Vick and Roethlisbergers of the league, he makes a much better role model than them and deserves to be celebrated as such.
    I don’t think he needs you putting words in his mouth on what the bible means to him, he seems to be able to convey his viewpoint rather easily without your help. Maybe someday you can get as large a stage yourself so you can tell the world how you view the bible, but I don’t think Tim needs your help.

  6. 6
    P Smith

    “[D]uring the Super Bowl (the American professional football championship) a couple of years ago, Tebow was the centerpiece of an ad whose purpose was to oppose the right of women to reproductive freedom, in particular abortion.”

    My biggest annoyance with the Stupor Bowl ad of a few years ago was not the anti-abortion blather but the lie within the ad, and media’s complicity in promoting the lie. Few media or bloggers questioned the lie, and those that did were attacked as being “anti-christian” or “against a positive message”. Debunking a myth and exposing a fraud is not “negativity”.

    The Philippines is, and always has been, anti-abortion. Doctors who even suggest an abortion, never mind perform one, could lose their medical licenses, and most doctors there are rabidly catholic, so “suggesting” Tebow’s mother get an abortion is a complete fiction. But as you said, the ad was paid for by rabid fundamentalist christians, people who have a long history of anti-catholicism. (I’m criticizing the lie, not defending catholics. ^_^)

    Another reason the lie was told was those insulted by the lie didn’t know and couldn’t refute it. Few Filipinos follow football and were unaware of the ad. I asked people about it when I was on vacation there the summer after the ad, and there were offended.

    “[T]he notion—aggressively championed by some…is a direct connection between how religious someone is and how ‘moral’ he or she is. Which avoids the critical question: What is the content of this morality?”

    Falsely equating morality and religion is done for the same reason – and by the same people – who want to equate science and creationism. Such people want the latter (in both cases) to supercede and warp the definitions of the former.

    .

  7. 7
    Pope Bandar bin Turtle

    Dang, that’s some mighty fine writing! Thx!!

    1. 7.1
      mo jo

      Quite striking how much patriarchal values and morality is promoted thru the culture of sports in America. Yes there’s all the glorifying a culture of violence and a military-like ethos of ‘giving it up for the team’, sacrificing your body being the ultimate compliment for an athlete and widely promoted at all levels. With football particularly this has taken the form of athletes literally loosing their mind as a result of repeated concussions over many years leaving them feeble and incapacitated.

      But most striking is how the ethos of the patriarchy and enforcement of a certain idealized social role for women, and mothers in particular, is just gushed out in every sporting event these days. In almost every interview of an athlete you see or read, they’re gushing about the central role of their mother in making them what they have become, how she gave up everything of herself, sacrificed herself, for the benefit of this child that became this big successful athlete.

      This was the whole point of T Tebow’s mom and the super bowl commercial; her willingness to possibly give up her own life in order to avoid having a life-saving abortion. Its very likely she considered her act as obeying the ‘commandment’ laid down by her lord. And in this case of TT and mother its particularly hideous since they both evangelize for a fascistic morality that has the subordination of women as a central tenant and moral glue. See Sunsara Taylors Youtube video on this very topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAg8uFXGtMk

      Some say this assertion is exaggerating and doctrinaire; well simply look at the passages from the bible cited in Avakian’s article, a bible with teachings that is the central guiding force in these people’s lives and that is now being forcibly imposed over this society from the highest levels of government. Women are put in the same category as property of the man, who has the power of life and death over her; as are the rest of his holdings such as slaves, asses and other livestock; children etc. Fact is, one the very foundation of this bible is the promotion of the woman-hating ethos. Just do some honest fact-checking on what Avakian has cited in this article—which is only a few of many more tenants running thru this book. People should also buy and read BA’s book, Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World for a fuller exposition; and also where Avakian argues for another morality that is truly emancipatory for all humanity.

      A couple of other points from what I’ve heard in discussion with guys on this TT issue. Its said, ‘hey it works for him, if that’s what it take to get him ‘juiced’ for a game, don’t knock it—its his money’. This is just shallow pragmatism and falls right into the hands of those who set the ‘story line’ of these multi-billion dollar events and whole interest is in promoting this exact ignorant outlook. Also spoken of is the thinly-veiled racist, and false cliché of having a good ‘work ethic’, vs having the best ‘natural’ athletic abilities that are attributed to Black and others from oppressed peoples. The comment about Michael Vick above falls into this line of argument; see Avakian’s talk on the NBA for an in-depth discussion of this. Personally, I’m especially irked by the hatred and lynch mob atmosphere created against MV over the dog fighting scandal. Now I’m completely against people fighting dogs ‘for sport’; I’m a lover of dogs, I’m still nursing pain from loosing my own pit bull of 14 years—sweetest most sensitive creature imaginable. But these assholes in newspapers and TV calling for the death penalty for M Vick while on their next breath promoting bombing and massacres in Iraq!

      To be clear I’m not calling out randomfactors as promoting these outrages but its just indicative how easily people can so easily go about repeating this type of ‘mainstream’ inanities. I would suggest a reading of the article TIM TEBOW AND THE “TUCK RULE” also by Avakian at revcom.us.

      One last point to make is the whole national chauvinist atmosphere that permeates Tebow and his evangelism, and in the Philippines particularly; its shit straight out of ‘manifest destiny’ that has characterized the development of the US as an empire and does to this day. I just read a passage from a blog by Arthur Silber where he quotes a certain Senator Albert Beveridge, from 100 years ago addressing the Senate on the subject of the necessity for subjugating of the Philippines; note the central role given to god and his ‘instruments on earth’:

      MR. PRESIDENT, the times call for candor. The Philippines are ours forever, “territory belonging to the United States,” as the Constitution calls them. And just beyond the Philippines are China’s illimitable markets. We will not retreat from either. We will not repudiate our duty in the archipelago. We will not abandon our opportunity in the Orient. We will not renounce our part in the mission of our race, trustee, under God, of the civilization of the world. And we will move forward to our work, not howling out regrets like slaves whipped to their burdens but with gratitude for a task worthy of our strength and thanksgiving to Almighty God that He has marked us as His chosen people, henceforth to lead in the regeneration of the world.

      It has been charged that our conduct of the war has been cruel. Senators, it has been the reverse. I have been in our hospitals and seen the Filipino wounded as carefully, tenderly cared for as our own. Within our lines they may plow and sow and reap and go about the affairs of peace with absolute liberty. And yet all this kindness was misunderstood, or rather not understood. Senators must remember that we are not dealing with Americans or Europeans. We are dealing with Orientals. We are dealing with Orientals who are Malays. We are dealing with Malays instructed in Spanish methods. They mistake kindness for weakness, forbearance for fear. It could not be otherwise unless you could erase hundreds of years of savagery, other hundreds of years of Orientalism, and still other hundreds of years of Spanish character and custom.

      Check out the blog post here http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2012/01/seeming-madness-suffocating-unreality.html which is very instructive on many other levels as well. These passages do seem apropos to this discussion in terms of where TT and family have spent a big chunk of their lives ‘evangelizing’ the word of their lord god. You be the judge of how well this applies to the way the TT phenomenon is being blasted out in American culture in these days of crisis for the empire and imperial wars.

      ‘Tis Himself,OM: my man what is that you don’t like of the quote from Avakian you cite? I find it to express a concentrated vision of a society that is desirable and of a world that would indeed be liberating for the overwhelming majority of people on this planet, quite exhilarating actually.

      Here’s a link to Avakina’s NBA Talk, in audio mp3
      http://revcom.us/avakian/4nba%20marketing%20the%20minstrel/4_the_nba-marketing_the_minstrel_show-part-1.mp3

  8. 8
    den1s

    I just found out this morning that Tebow was home schooled in Florida and was somehow allowed to play sports with the regular school kids. If this was mentioned in the posting or the replies, I dunno, tl;dr

  9. 9
    tebowmania

    Tebow please heed these advice. You are such a role model for young people all across America. I can only hope that you stick to the principles that your parents and God instilled in you. You are surrounded by temptation. Stay strong brother!

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