About Tebow Time

According to a recent poll

jesus tebow

Hispanic fans also feel that a holy power is helping the Broncos quarterback as 81 percent of those polled believe God is behind Tebow, compared to 59.5 percent among blacks and 38 percent among whites.

It’s fun and PC-acceptable to mock all those fundie caucasoids for believing such things, but this one will pass without comment by the chattering classes.

The Tebow Time run ends Saturday against the Patriots, since God doesn’t like to be too obvious about things. And it’s not as like I think God actually cares who wins football games.

But do I believe He let Tebow win all those games just to give the fundie-haters and atheists fits? Hell, yeah. What, God can’t have some fun too?

Tom Van Dyke

Tom Van Dyke, businessman, musician, bon vivant and game-show champ (The Joker's Wild, and Win Ben Stein's Money), knows lots of stuff, although not quite everything yet. A past contributor to The American Spectator Online, the late great Reform Club blog, and currently on religion and the American Founding at American Creation, TVD continues to write on matters of both great and small importance from his ranch type style tract house high on a hill above Los Angeles.


  1. Great picture.

    Latino football fans are every bit as silly as their pigment-deficient counterparts for believing God intervenes in professional football games. I can’t speak for whether or why other commenters might let this story go. I do know that I read it here first. Culturally, the story with Tebow is the heavily-religious public persona associated with this charismatic young man. This is tribalism, nothing more, and I for one am quite over it, other than as a good-natured joke.

    I am interested in whether Tebow will develop into a durable and effective QB. He shows promise as well as charisma. Thing is, Tebow has demonstrated only two of the three necessary QB skills: a strong, accurate long pass and speed on the ground. He needs to develop the ability to read defenses in short-yardage situations better and faster, and I suspect that He is capable of doing that, given an opportunity to gain experience.

    And in fact, football statistics nerds do not say that the game against New England is hopeless for Denver — just that the odds are long. One analyst whose methods I like gives Denver a 16% chance of winning. Not good odds, but not hopeless either, especially if Sweet Lil’ Baby Jesus really is tweaking Tebow’s INT ratio down to get some chuckles.

    With that said, if you wanted to bet the cost of a round of drinks, you can have the Broncos and the 13.5 points; I’ll take New England. Jesus may be the Son of God, but Tom Brady is His Nephew. If you do take that action, and prevail, I’ll make good in Las Vegas some time over the weekend of May 25-28.

  2. > The Tebow Time run ends Saturday against the
    > Patriots, since God doesn’t like to be too obvious
    > about things.

    I owe you another beer for that line.

  3. So the takeaway message here is what?

    1. Atheists are sensitive about class distinctions;

    2. Atheists are hypocrites (unlike, presumably, non-atheists);

    3. Whether or not religious people make stupid god claims is independent of race;

    4. We should feel for those oppressed Caucasian fundamentalists.

    I’ll go with #3.

    • Yesterday, a friend sent me this poll (except without the demographics information) and finished up with “AND THEY LET THESE PEOPLE VOTE!!!”

      So today I’m going to ask him if we should institute a test prior to voting that would keep Hispanics, African-Americans, and, to a lesser extent, White folks from voting if they cannot demonstrate proper football metaphysics. I’ll probably call him a racist too. Depends on my mood.

      • Nah, I’ll poke at Tom a lot because he’s so fundamentally wrong on so many things, er, I mean because he and I disagree on so many things. But after two or three years of banging heads with him, I just know that he’s not a racist; and as much as I might normally enjoy accusing conservatives of being racist, there’s just no thrill in saying it about Tom. (Thanks for ruining the fun, Van Dyke!)

    • Just in case there’s someone who still doesn’t get it: The point of the post is that self-styled progressives are caught in a bind, because they want to criticize childish religious beliefs, but that would mean directly critizing the behavior of nonwhite nonAsians.

      • There is no bind.

        I have no objection to criticizing the behavior of non-white, non-Asians. I do have an objection to wrongly assuming correlation is causation. Do a vast majority of polled Hispanics hold what I consider to be a stupid position? Yes. Does that mean I can conclude that Hispanics are stupider or are more prone to stupid positions? Nope. As anyone with even a cursory understanding of religious demographics could figure out, the prevalence of this position is correlated with the prevalence and intensity of Christianity within the given populations.

        So, yea, I see Tom’s point. But, again, it misses and is more of the same “gotcha!” nonsense that he loves to dally in.

      • Which will not stop me from disregarding utterly the Team Red-Team Blue noise and focusing on the important stuff — dropping some football smack talk, and getting people to come party with the League in Vegas.

      • I’m not one who’s bee particularly inclined to criticize those who believe God has intervened for the Denver Broncos this season, because as earthly matters go, it doesn’t seem that much more absurd to me than other things in people’ lives that they might think God involves himself with. (Perhaps you need to share my overall views on God to agree with me about that.)

        However, where people have engaged in criticism of such belief, I don’t recall where it has been limited only to Whites and Asians. Mostly, I think the ridicule goes like, “The idea that God intervenes…” or, “People who believe…” How does this not apply to Latinos, then? This idea seems to be a figment.

        When a cross-tab about how many people of different races believe this comes out, suddenly it must be the case that all the commentary has only applied to whites? Or is it just that, now that we have these numbers, people have to come out and affirm, “My previous criticism applies as much to the 81 percent of latinos and 59 percent of blacks who believe the thing I criticized as it does to the 39 percent of whites”? Why?

        • “When a cross-tab about how many people of different races believe this comes out, suddenly it must be the case that all the commentary has only applied to whites? ”

          Considering how often we hear that America is a nation of stupid white Christians, isn’t it at least a bit relevant that here’s some religious stupidity where white people are in a distinct minority?

          • I don’t hear that much to be honest, certainly not put that way. And when I do, I dismiss it. What is religious stupidity among minorities relevant to again? (Was there any doubt that minority populations in this country tended to be disproportionately religious, or was that particularly interesting in any way?) The claim that whites are stupider than minorities? As a white person myself, I don’t feel particularly dogged by that particular racial slur myself.

            Again, why did a discussion about religious stupidity (if that’s what was going on) become a discussion about the racial breakdown of religious stupidity across groups? Because Tom felt like making it that, that’s why.

          • Mr. Drew, if your interest is genuine about where I’m coming from with this, see comment #19. I was prepared to mine that vein, but this thread has degenerated into the usual.

            Some other time. This isn’t going away; the Tebow thing was just a minor eruption of this growling volcano.

          • Tom, unfortunately I just saw this particular instruction to see you #19. It does clear up a bit where you’re coming from, but on the other hand it doesn’t support what you are saying nor have you anywhere made explicit what part it plays in your argument in this post. As you say, you were not apparently interested in clearing that up. I hope I didn’t contribute to the thread’s descent; I fear you think I did, but for my part I thought it was clarifying and productive. I’m not unhappy I spent the time: it’s irrelevant whether the post itself was meant to be a throw-away.

    • 1. Atheists are sensitive about class distinctions;

      This has been biting around the edges of my mind for a while. I think there is an issue in here that the comparatively well-heeled atheists don’t think that there is a class-element when they are criticizing disproportionately poor and working class whites disproportionately from disadvantaged areas.

      Granted, there are lots of Christians that are themselves well-heeled. But the imagery atheists often use when portraying fundamentalists is that of the backwood hick. The poor schlub who is not as smart and cultured as they.

      I’m not arguing that…

      4. We should feel for those oppressed Caucasian fundamentalists.

      There is a reason that Mississippi is not a state that my wife and I are considering moving to. But I do sense a real disconnect when it their approach to some groups (say, residents of a particular region of the country) compared to others (say, residents of darker complexion).

      • WillT, no point is so obvious that some won’t try to bury it under epistemological or ad hominem attack. [Sometimes both, as we see here.]

        I actually had the thoughts in the OP in regard to the cottage industry of academics who “study” the fundies. They are more the elite class of Christians who reliably vote Blue, and their thesis is that because the fundies tend toward creationism, their opposition to the Blue agenda [gay marriage, abortion, “social gospel” politics] and support of the GOP is equally brutish and unreasonable.


        This is also a carryover from my previous observation that if Tebow were black, he would be far less a lightening rod—the “enthusiasm” of the worship style of black churches is well-known, and passes without comment or derision.

        And not only are black folk minorities, but they vote the right way, too! Therefore, even though they’re half again more likely to believe in creationism than their caucasian counterparts


        there is a hush from the elite.

        • I think this last bit is true; but I also suspect it is true for different reasons than you think its true.

        • As I noted in one of my posts, I think the bigger issue is with the media than with Tebow himself. Yea, he appeared in that pro-life ad. Yea, he used to wear the 3:16 sticks. What else has he really done? When asked about it, he talks about it. He goes down to a knee. Meh. Big deal. He’s not a preacher/minister like Reggie White is. Tebow isn’t making his religion a big deal. The media is. The question is: why? I don’t know. But it is frustrating that any talk of him, be it analysis, support, criticism, derision, gets tied up in religious nonsense that is often completely unrelated.

          I didn’t like the guy because I thought he was getting more credit than he deserved for the Bronoco’s mini-run. When the hate turned viscious, I rallied to his defense, if only because a lot of it was straight up “hatin'” and a lot of it was bigotry cloaked in something else, neither of which I’m on board with.

          For me, it isn’t Tebow that is the lightening rod, but the maelstrom that surrounds him that is. How would it be different if Tebow were black? I don’t know.

          • Like Reggie White was. Brother Reggie found out seven years ago what lies beyond the grave, and if I’m wrong and there is something, he’s going to be there to invite us all to a scrimmage and a lesson in tackling.

            And I agree that since taking the spotlight in Denver, Tebow has dialed back his religiosity to a level comparable to that of other players, of all races, in the NFL. As I tried to do above, I think he should be evaluated first and foremost as a football player, because that’s all that he is to most of us. If some Christians also want to point to him as a role model for other Christians to emulate, well, bully for them. That ain’t no big thang to me.

          • I have to say, I’m slowly moving from thinking he’s a media hype creation to becoming a True Believer. He’s starting to look like one of those rare athletes that always finds a way to win, whatever the circumstances.

            I’ve already hit the point that I’ll be disappointed if he crashes and burns after this year.

          • It’s Tebow’s face. To me has the same smug look as so many of those 13 year old Olympic ice skaters do. He’s one of those folks who seems to be smug about his humility. That’s bad enough to begin with, but is made worse by his overt religiosity because–and this may be unfair to him, but it’s the context–so many overtly religious evangelicals are so smug about their salvation. They have that “I have God and you don’t attitude.” It’s just an additional layer on top of the underlying smugness.

            Hell, you don’t have to be an atheist to find it revolting. Fred Clark, liberal Christian blogger at the slacktivist, finds Tebow off-putting, too.

          • I agree. This atheist is just not bothered at all by Tim Tebow’s fairly constrained religiosity. I like him and I root for him. He’s not good but he’s exciting to watch in a watching-through-your-fingers kind of way. Like Brett Favre often was.

          • JH-

            Is that smugness any different than the vigilant atheist who thinks, “That idiot thinks he has god on his side. What an idiot!”?

            That smugness certainly exists and is bothersome. Whether Tebow himself has that about him, I can’t really say; I haven’t watched closely enough.

            From what I’ve read about him, he does seem genuine and sincere in what he does, which is virtuous whether the motivation for such comes from faith or something else.

            My big knock on him is his inability to throw a deep out and the fact that this comment took less time to write than his windup takes to execute.

          • @BSK,

            Is that smugness any different than the vigilant atheist who thinks, “That idiot thinks he has god on his side. What an idiot!”?

            I would imagine it’s precisely the same, because smug arrogance is smug arrogance, whatever the cause. I just don’t really know that type of atheist myself, but I sympathize with anyone who has to put up with one. (Well, OK, if someone wants to claim Sam Harris is like that, maybe so. I don’t pay enough attention to him to have noticed myself, but I’ve heard he’s like that.)

            My big knock on him is his inability to throw a deep out and the fact that this comment took less time to write than his windup takes to execute.
            Yeah, especially the windup. The man’s throw is slower than an arthritic dog’s stretch. And after getting better with some coaching, he’s reverted to his old bad form whenever pressured. There was a great moment in the Pitt-Denver game when Roethlisberger stood steady in the pocket while it was collapsing around him and he was getting bumped from behind, then completed the throw. I don’t see Tebow doing that.

        • no point is so obvious that some won’t try to bury it under epistemological or ad hominem attack. [Sometimes both, as we see here.]

          Or it could just have been a humorous jab because someone found your obvious point rather (obviously) banal.

          But I guess the new rule on this sub-blog is “address the intended point, dammit, and don’t you dare have a conversation that proposes alternative interpretations of the factoid I’m harumphing about!”

          • But that’s what happened, James, ad hom and a very inept attack on the numbers. I note it and move on.

            Not a banal point at all, though, judging by some of the reactions.

            And for the record, yes, I parked this one down here in the sub-blog precisely because the drivebys tend to drive past the edifice. 😉

          • “It’s fun and PC-acceptable to mock all those fundie caucasoids for believing such things, but this one will pass without comment by the chattering classes.”

            Was this your primary point? If so, I engaged it head on. You’ve chosen not to engage it, hiding behind the, “You didn’t say it nice enough!” defense.

          • And if you don’t think that quote is a personal attack on folks… well, it is. You might not have named names, but you were clearly taking jabs at a stereotype of an ideology you refuse to gain a more nuanced understanding of. You invoked the increasingly nonsensical “attack” of PC and reduced those who criticize fundamentalism to “chattering classes”. Excuse me if you set a tone for the conversation you were not prepared to have recriprocated.

          • But that’s just it, James, there was none. But Tom would rather discuss how we discuss what we’re discussing than actually discuss what we’re discussing when people make legitimate counterpoints to his premise.

            I fully engaged his point. He just didn’t like it because his point was predicated upon silence from others.

          • Gentlemen, I’m not going to litigate this with you. The gentle reader can examine the thread and decide for himself.

          • So that’s it? You think I made an ad hominem and as such are not going to engage my counterpoint?

            Tom, I work with 4- and 5-year-olds for a living and they demonstrate more emotional maturity than you do at times.

            I renew my objection to Tom’s authorship on this blog. He does not do the LOOG justice.

          • I’m sincerely curious about just where you think an ad hominem attack occurred on this thread, because I swear by all that is good and right in this world that I don’t see one here.

            Seriously, Tom, you made the indictment, so it’s just game-playing to say, “I’m not going to litigate this with you” game. If you’re not going to back up your defamatory claims, then don’t make them.

          • Is my point disputable, or obvious to the point of banality? Both have been argued here, so make up yr minds.

            Do you have to ruin every thread with this crap? BTW,

            63.4% of blacks say they’re NFL fans, only 51.2% of whites.


            Therefore this piece of spaghetti thrown at the wall

            My anecdotal experience (accrued over 20 years of watching football games in person and in bars) is that NFL fandom is probably most prominent amongst whites, followed by blacks,

            is flat wrong, and

            and Hispanics in a distant third or fourth

            is arguable at best, as they come in @ 46.7%

            As for the ad hom

            But, nah… that doesn’t support Tom’s POINT! So let’s just ignore all that…


            So, yea, I see Tom’s point. But, again, it misses and is more of the same “gotcha!” nonsense that he loves to dally in.

            says that my point here is irrelevant, as is my custom.

            Now, I’ve answered in substance, and once again fallen for the game where if I don’t allow myself to get dragged into pettiness and the tall weeds that obscure the point rather than engage it amounts to some dishonesty or intellectual cowardice.

            Enough, gentlemen. This is a waste of my time, the gentle reader’s time, and will not satisfy the type of person who niggles over every millimeter of ground. It never ends.

            If you disagree with my point, fine. Say so and move on. And the next time you grace one of my posts, pls try to leave me out of it, and don’t clog the pipes of discussion with such digressions. I am not the issue here.

          • But, nah… that doesn’t support Tom’s POINT! So let’s just ignore all that…


            So, yea, I see Tom’s point. But, again, it misses and is more of the same “gotcha!” nonsense that he loves to dally in.

            Those aren’t ad hominems, Tom! For fish sake, you’re intelligent enough to know that. Go read about it here.

            If you disagree with my point, fine. Say so and move on.

            Why should your posts not be subject to discussion, criticism, etc., like all other League posts?

          • There is a tactic of argumentation that, in the middle of addressing the argument made by the other person, makes snide comments about the other person.

            Instead of the person on the other side of the argument taking it to the argument, they’re taking it to the man.

            I’ve heard this called “ad hominem” before and, while it’s not *EXACTLY* a fallacy in the way that Nikzor describes, it doesn’t come across as particularly “logically sound”.

            An example:
            You’d think that a professor would know that. (Perhaps it’s in said professor’s best interest to pretend to not know that…)

          • JB- You are right. I did take swipes at Tom. But what exactly would you call this: “It’s fun and PC-acceptable to mock all those fundie caucasoids for believing such things, but this one will pass without comment by the chattering classes.”
            Is that not a swipe at those who might criticize the viewpoint the poll explored?

            Tom’s victimhood is really gettting tired.

          • The real point is he will interpret statements in highly tendentious or even (as in this case) unsupportable ways. I’d like Tom to provide an example of someone mocking caucasoids only on this and qualifying their mocking to exclude Latinos and Blacks. The issue is that he hears statements to apply in a special way to him or some part of an identity group of his that he doesn’t hear them to apply to others, even when there is no reason they don’t. And in this case he’s gone so far as to imagine that what has been said applied only to his group and not to others at all, when in fact (pending citation to the contrary) it was directed at anyone who holds a belief, without defining who might hold it.

            Who said their mocking was directed only at caucasoids, Tom? Cite?

          • You and James can have the thread, BSK. There’s no point in continuing this. Your own arguments were refudiated [you were obliged to walk your initial objections back on your own—there certainly is a palpable Rep-Dem difference in attitudes], and your attacks on me:

            But, nah… that doesn’t support Tom’s POINT! So let’s just ignore all that…


            So, yea, I see Tom’s point. But, again, it misses and is more of the same “gotcha!” nonsense that he loves to dally in.

            were unnecessary and discourteous.

            If you’re not one of the fundie-hating jerks who go after Tebow, BSK, then the OP was not addressing you, and there was no need to get personal on me in the first place.

            But such folks exist, and if God has let Tebow win just to tweak ’em, so much the better. 😉

          • Do you even read your own posts? I don’t go after Tebow. i do criticize people who think god is helping him win fotball games because I think that is a stupid thing to think and I think that about the thinker whether he is white, black, Hispanic, or otherwise. So, yea, you were directing it at me, insofar as ou were directing it at anyone who criticized the notion of divine football.

            You were wrong to assume that critics of fundamentalist thinking on matters of faith and football would balk at criticizing fundamentalist thinking on matters of faith and football held by blacks and Hispanics.

            You were and continue to be discourteous because you are wholly incapable of engaging in a sincere argument and consdering the possibility that you were wrong. You have yet to offer even a singular defense of your initial position. Which makes it increasingly obvious that it was indefensible.

          • You were wrong to assume that critics of fundamentalist thinking on matters of faith and football would balk at criticizing fundamentalist thinking on matters of faith and football held by blacks and Hispanics.

            Note the missing quantifier. Are you saying that *no* critics of fundamentalist thinking would balk at that point? Was Tom saying that *all* such people would?

          • Well, thats sort of the thing with Tom… We never really know what he means and he often refuses to clarify his position.

            My hunch is he would make a “No True Scotsman” of it, wherein anyone within the larger group he criticized who bucks his stereotype was never REALLY the target of his swpe in the first place.

            But the larger narrative doesn’t allow for people to ever really escape his swipe. He wants people to criticize Hispanics the way they criticized fundamentalists. But there is nothing “Hispanic” about the notion of divine football and there is everything fundamentalist about it. So it does not follow that people would attack Hispanics as Hispanics.

          • Ken,

            I don’t think so. I think Tom’s point was, “white liberals will criticize white fundies, but will get all PC and hush up when the fundies are brown.”

            Sure, there probably are some people like that, but Tom’s point is not that there might be “some.” He’s pointing at all intellectual and/or media liberals (the “chattering classes”).

            And he sets it up so he can engage in confirmation bias. If the chattering classes just say “fundies are stupid for thinking God helps Tebow,” he can assume they’re referring to white fundies only. Their failure to mention race at all will be interpreted as actually being a focus on whites, and a pass for Hispanics.

          • But you have to criticize their Hispanicness!

            The issue here is fundamentalist thought, which knows no racial or ethnic bounds. When I criticize fundamentalist thought, I criticize all those who think it.

            Sample convo:
            Me: I think fundamentalists are stupid.
            Other: Well, did you know that Hispanics tend towards fundamentalism? Do you STILL think fundamentalists are stupid?
            Me: Yes.
            Other: OH! So you think Hispanics are stupid?
            Me: I think fundamentalists are.
            Other: So you think fundamentalists are stupid but not Hispanics?
            Me: I think everyone who is fundamentalist is equally stupid.
            Me: [Seizure]

          • But you didn’t answer my question — are you saying there’s no one who habitually bashes religious nuts who wouldn’t mute that criticism when the target is no longer comfortably stereotyped as an under-educated white southerner?

          • I’m sure such people exist. To pick on them in the manner that Tom did is to go after the low-hanging fruit. And you muddy the water when you paint with broad brushes, as Tom did.

          • Here’s the problem — people here as elsewhere are fond of talking about “conservatives”, “liberals”, “Democrats”, “Republicans”, etc., without being very specific about which particular members of the class they’re referring to. Typically if you’re a liberal and you’re talking about conservatives, you’ll have in mind the most annoying ones, whereas if you’re talking about liberals, you’ll have in mind yourself and those you respect.

            So Tom is painting with a broad brush the same way people here commonly do, and you as an ostensible member of the criticized class are reacting the same way such people typically do. But it seems to me that Tom’s being held to a standard that folks criticizing conservatives generally don’t get held to around here — both liberals and the liber(al)tarians on this site as a rule don’t have much love for conservatives, so the generalizations mostly go unchallenged.

          • it seems to me that Tom’s being held to a standard that folks criticizing conservatives generally don’t get held to around here — both liberals and the liber(al)tarians on this site as a rule don’t have much love for conservatives, so the generalizations mostly go unchallenged.

            As for myself, I’ve been rather aggressively bashing people for making such assumptions about libertarians, and I think I’ve been making some progress. I have little love for liberals, but when I think this type of assumption is being made without any good basis I’m going to point it out. In fact I’ve critiqued a couple of liberals for making overly-broad assumptions about conservatives, too. The fact is, Tom regularly makes these kinds of assumptions, and he’s very prickly about being called on them. Instead of dealing with it in any honest way he plays the victim card, then cuts and runs. There’s few other people who comment here who’ve publicly stated that, and some of them–like BSK–are generally very fair commenters.

          • But you didn’t answer my question — are you saying there’s no one who habitually bashes religious nuts who wouldn’t mute that criticism when the target is no longer comfortably stereotyped as an under-educated white southerner?

            It’s an irrelevant question. Tom wasn’t talking about whether there is “some one” who will do that. His target was “the chattering classes,” a whole large group of someones. Unless he can demonstrate that this large group of people give dark-skinned fundies a pass,* his argument is BS.

            In a nutshell, the existence of “some one” doesn’t equate to a whole group.
            *He seems to think his links in comment #19 somehow demonstrate this. They don’t.

          • He wants people to criticize Hispanics the way they criticized fundamentalists

            For what it’s worth, I took the opposite: He wants people not to criticize Tebow and white religious people in ways that they wouldn’t criticize minorities exhibiting the same beliefs/behavior.

          • @Will,
            He wants people not to criticize Tebow and white religious people in ways that they wouldn’t criticize minorities exhibiting the same beliefs/behavior.

            But he hasn’t established that people don’t criticize minority fundamentalist the same way they criticize white fundamentalists. It’s assumed. And some of us think it’s a debatable assumption.

          • Is there an example of a guy who is very similar to Tim Tebow but African-American who gets criticized?

            Jeremiah Wright?

          • The real Tebow? Or media-hype-bow? Snce going pro, Tebow has done very little in the way of prothelysizing, at least publicly. As a man, he’s not all that different from a number of black athletes who are faithful.

            It is the largely-media-driven perception of him that has become larger than life and mich of the criticism, if not all, thta he has received as a result is unfair.

          • The issue is separating the critics of Tebow fom the critics of the Tebow-ites. Tebow? No problem. People who think God helps Tebow win? Idiots. Media who pound the Tebow meme to death and probably overstate the size of the previous (except Hispanics, where the size of the group is quite large)? Biggest idiots.

          • Do you mean black QB’s? Because McNabb was called a fat over-the-hill washed-up QB this whole season.

          • I didn’t think he was particularly fat. But I agree with the other parts. Does that make me only partially a racist?

          • But he hasn’t established that people don’t criticize minority fundamentalist the same way they criticize white fundamentalists. It’s assumed. And some of us think it’s a debatable assumption.

            A little while ago, Ryan Bonneville wrote a post suggesting that Bob Costas’s complaints about excessive celebration was rooted heavily in class and race issues. Here, TVD writes a post suggesting that there are race/class issues in the criticisms of Tebow.

            Both are contestable claims (and I contest them both).

            However, I think there is a valid underlying point here. Maybe you disagree and don’t believe that there is, by and large, a wit of difference in how atheists and liberal whites approach the incredulous beliefs of whites versus those of non-whites. Or maybe you believe there is a difference, but TVD is blowing it all out of proportion or not looking at it in the proper context. But it’s certainly not something I think TVD crazy for believing (even though I don’t really think it’s the driving factor in this case).

            Anyhow, this is a subject of interest to me because there is a post I have been considering and have (for a few weeks now – ever since Bonneville’s post) been trying to figure out how to word to avoid a response like TVD got here.

          • Anyhow, this is a subject of interest to me because there is a post I have been considering and have (for a few weeks now – ever since Bonneville’s post) been trying to figure out how to word to avoid a response like TVD got here.

            I would couch it in a concept like “White Privilege” and move from there.

          • The post would actually center around the term, and how elements of geography and education and background are exempt from concerns as to whether broad-stroked criticism might be the product of privilege. Because, no matter how poor and disadvantaged you are growing up, that you have the same skin pigmentation as a bunch of wealthy people (who want nothing, at all, to do with you – and are as likely to make fun of the way you talk or what you do in your spare time as get to know you), your complaints are dismissable and there isn’t much need to contextualize what you say and do and think.

            The problems are… like modern racism, it’s rather subtle. Outside of Ryan saying that you’ve got nothing to say about privilege, there are almost always alternate interpretations and when there isn’t (“We should kick to south out of the country”) it is easily dismissable as a singular crank rather than an undertone. To be honest, I am not even sure when I am seeing it (either “it”) and when I am imagining it. I am only sure that I am not always imagining it.

          • @Will @ 12:02 am (this blog keeps Greenwich time?)

            At least with the Costas thing, there was a citation (obviously – the subject was his particular comments). Here, we are left just to accept Tom’s interpretation that people just weren’t intending their comments to apply to Latinos. On the merits, I think that Costas’ criticism of in fact overwhelmingly black athletes clearly does raise race in a way that uncited comments really can’t be presumed to. Why would we just say it’s reasonable that people must not have been meaning to apply their criticism to minorities? It doesn’t make any sense. And with Costas’ comments, at least there is a text we discuss. Here, really and truly all we are working with are different assumptions about where unspecified people are coming from in making unspecified comments.

            I think this is a false equivalence – which is not to say that Costas’ rant indisputably implicated race. But at least we have the particular rant to analyze.

          • Would it have helped if he had included a Tebow rant? Most likely, people (including myself) would have pointed out that it did not say in a single place that Tebow was white. Costas never made any mention of race. The heavily lifting, in both cases, is what the commentator says about what was said. Not what was actually said.

          • The major assertion in question is what, in each case, Ryan and Tom said, not what Costas or ?????? said, it is true. I’m not sure what this shows; it seem to me to just be a schematic for the discussion. My point is just that some interpretations are more tenuous or tendentious than others, and in this case, if only because the text of the Costas rant is available and moreover specified (if not on substance), Ryan is on far more solid ground than Tom. Far more: it’s a false equivalence to say, Hey they’re both just interpreting, so how can we distinguish? We can distinguish for the above reasons. Ryan has a text to analyze, and the text in question is a white dude criticizing mostly black dudes. Tom has no text, and the basic thrust of what he’s talking about is “People who believe X are silly,” with no evidence beyond Tom’s own priors that this was meant to exclude minorities. We are dealing with nothing but Tom’s attitudes here; even if we could uncover a text, unless it explicitly did this, nothing to could disprove Tom’s contention that the criticism was meant to exclude minorities. In contrast, the context of Costas’ rant is clear: most NFL touchdown-scorers are black; and at the risk of displaying a bias of my own, black stars tend to engage in more celebration after scoring than whites (though it’s become more even of late, I think the overall culture of the League and the media has shifted to embrace this, and I think it’s “not crazy” to think that this is exactly what Costas was reacting to. But I digress.) In any case, all of that is there to be observed and discussed, including Costas’ words. What can observe to see if Tom’s personal assumptions about the unspoken meaning of those who mock believers in God’s interest in Tim Tebow are accurate? Or, what is an analogous context to those criticisms that raises the question of race the way Costas’ criticism of mostly black athletes for celebrating obviously at least casts the whole question in a racial light before any interpretation takes place?

            How is race a part of this, except that these numbers just happened to catch Tom’s eye? Seriously. If Ryan imputed an intended racial meaning onto Costas’ words rather than asserting that the whole matter was simply racial contextualized whatever Costats did or didn’t say, then perhaps that was unfounded (I’d have to review what he said), but in this instance, how is Tom not purely imputing meaning onto these critics’ words that he has no evidence they had, and that don’t (in my view) already inhere in the context? I don’t see it.

          • MDrew@12:48

            If Ryan imputed an intended racial meaning onto Costas’ words rather than asserting that the whole matter was simply racial contextualized whatever Costats did or didn’t say

            Oh, Ryan did differently than that. What he did was say that the entire point that Costas was making, regardless of how Costas made it, was racial in nature. That there was no way to have a problem with excessive celebration in a way that is not racial. What Costas actually said was, more or less, irrelevant. Anything he may have done to diffuse that element of the issue (including white players in the footage) was further proof of it.

            If I say “They are only piling on Herman Cain because he is black” and then include a piece critical of Herman Cain because he got his economic plan from Sim City and then infer from that it’s racial (indeed, they did not ONCE mention he was black), what purpose did the article serve?

            That’s how I view the inclusion of the Costas rant.

            Obviously, we disagree on this.

          • Hm, not sure I follow where you go with the Cain example. I do think it sounds like Ryan was saying approximately what I imagined he was, and I have to agree with him – the matter itself simply implicates race whatever Costas says about it, because of the context of who is mostly doing the celebrating.

          • So the actual content of Costas’s rant is immaterial. Merely an example of someone complaining about excessive celebration. Do you think Tom would have had difficulty finding an example of someone criticizing Tebow and Tebowites? I don’t think he would have (I could be wrong!). That’s why I don’t consider the inclusion of a specific example not to be a significant distinction. Unless what we’re contesting here is the fact that examples (of anti-Tebow sentiment, not of anti-Tebow behavior where whiteness is implicated).

            Alternately, you can say that Ryan didn’t need to prove racism because it’s so transparent and Tom does need to prove whiteness as a factor because it’s not so transparent, but that rests on our predispositions coming into the discussion and not the degree of support in the argument.

          • Man, are we having trouble communicating.

            The content of Costas’ rant is immaterial because its subject inherently implicates race because of the facts on the ground that fill in the categories Costas is concerned with (namely, “NFL football players who celebrate more than/at times in the game other than when Bob Costas would prefer they do”). Race is implicated; race is a topic in the discussion inherently from the start of the conversation. Whatever Ryan says, I do not advance the notion that Costas’ rant is racist. If that’s what Ryan did, I differ. It’s not material to the comparison. The salient point is that race is a clear part of the context of that discussion, because of the background facts on the ground.

            There is no such context in this case that can provide Tom an argument to suggest that those who ridicule those who think God is interested in Tebow’s fortunes only mean to apply that ridicule to white people. The background facts to support that view is that Tom suspects that it is so. I understand that a text of sorts here wouldn’t do much to resolve this one way or the other (I think this supports my take on it more than yours, but YMMV), but nevertheless, in judging some views in their context, it is nonetheless helpful, if possible, to be able to actually look at and analyze the views as they were expressed. Perhaps we could make some headway. But Tom didn’t even feel obliged to give us that much. That, and, as I say, the lack of any context that can be observed (i.e. that doesn’t only exist in Tom’s head) as to why we would think such critics had that intention, is why I say his interpretation is so much further out on a limb than Ryan’s was, though, again, if Ryan was saying that Costas’ rant was in fact racist, I’m not there with him. But even if he was, he was on better ground than Tom is here.

          • To be clear, Ryan did not say that Costas was a racist. Sorry if I implied otherwise. He said that Costas’s comments were racial in a negative light. I’m going to refrain from going on here to avoid rehashing exactly the problem I have with it.

            I’m less interested in defending even part of Tom’s argument now that I have a better idea of what his argument is. Also, I don’t think we’re going to be able to hash out the video/text/lackthereof, so I’ll drop it.

            I do have this question, for if I decide to write my post: What kind of evidence would you be looking for if the assertion were more along the lines of what I thought they were? I’m a bit stymied on this. It’s not my way to give a dog a bad name and hang’em for it, but at the same time I am noticing something I believe worthy of comment. But it’s something that’s difficult to pin down.

          • Will, FWIW, funnily, I took Tom’s “comment 19, fellas,” to be a tease on us for pursuing this to the tune of 19 comments in that sub thread (I didn’t think we had, now I understand). I understand his argument now to be something more like, “Assuming my previous assertion that the reaction to Tebow’s own religiosity would be less if he were not white as having a basis in reality, and taking that as a factual background, my view is that people who mock those who think God has a hand in Tebow’s success do so only with white believers in mind and would not engage in the same mockery if the publicly identified face of such beliefs were that of a racial minority.” He didn’t articulate this argumentative condition (se said the argument is a “carryover” from the opinion about the reaction to Tebow himself – whatever that means).

            I don’t think this is a contextual background sufficient to make Tom’s current contention more than, again, an expression of his own assumptions (partly because both things are an assumption of his, so it’s building an assumption on top an assumptio, even if the first one seems reasonable, but partly because, even if it were true, I guess I still just don’t see it as evidence of what the critics of other observers mean when they mock their beliefs). But I guess it’s more than just no basis. I didn’t understand what Tom was basing the view he expresses here on; I guess I do now.

            As to what I myself would view as evidence of this (though, what is the contention you would be seeking a standard of evidence for again?), I guess I would say it would have to be something in the commentary that suggested it was directed at white believers, or some pattern of behavior from the same commentator where he is disdainful of this belief when interacting with a white person and not disdainful when interacting with a nonwhite person. I guess. What would you say?

          • I’ve been following this conversation through browsing, RSS, and email alerts. With that, combined with the threading problems, it’s amazing that I haven’t missed any more messages. Actually, I probably have.

            As to what I am getting at… bear with me… when I lived in the pacific northwest, there was an incident in Arkansas where a fire chief was shot in an incident involving a failure to pay a parking ticket (and the whole thing exposed some major police corruption). Within my cohort, there were dumb hick jokes. There were Boss Hogg jokes. Commentary on the south and Mike Huckabee and even Sarah Palin’s “Real America” was worked in there.

            Then, someone looked the town up, and it was likely that everybody in the story was black (the town was 95% so). Silence. Then we started bitching about cops generally and speed traps generally. Local culture lost its relevance.

            It’s not that I think that we should have suddenly started talking about those dumb and violent blacks. It’s that maybe we shouldn’t have taken an incident that occurred in what we thought was hicktown, Arkansas, and made it emblematic of an entire people (a generally poor people with limited economic opportunity). (I say “we”; I didn’t join in. I was busy seething at the f’ing rednecks that invited all of this commentary. But, hey, I thought they were white hicks, too.)

            So what does this have to do with Tim Tebow? If all white Americans tomorrow were to embrace evolution and become Episcopalians, Unitarians, or atheists… how much time and effort would we put in to the absurdity of creationism then? How enthusiastically would we trash them? If the exemplar wasn’t some white Republican from Mississippi but some other demographic entirely? If they weren’t people already considered of social disrepute? (I say “we” as someone of staid religiosity who simply doesn’t understand Tebow’s brand of religion and has to bite his tongue about it.)

            If asked, (almost) nobody would feign agreement or anything about what they would believe. Some would be just as loud as ever, no doubt. But… I don’t think it would be the same. (Maybe it wouldn’t be the same but would have no bearing on the Tebow question more specifically; hard to say. A question worth asking, at any rate.)

            I have no proof of this, other than a story about a story from Arkansas and maybe other knick-knacks that can be pretty easily dismissed as anecdata or completely unrelated and just not comparable at all to the topic at hand.

          • I mean, the difference is, in this case there aren’t any assumptions (or at least, it’s the very question being explored whether there are) about who the people who believe this about Tebow are. They are identified by the fact that they have these beliefs. And what is said about them is just a neutral statement about the merit of that belief, put in only those terms (unless we can find some example to the contrary). In your example, the group did unmistakably assume these folks were white, and moreover did so only in order to apply a stereotype about white people in that part of the country. What choice would they have to be quiet after realizing they’d embarrassed themselves like that? It seems to me, though, that part of the issue was that the stereotypes they were indulging in simply didn’t apply in their minds to the new set of facts. (I.e. black people.) People don’t generally call black people hicks and hillbillies. They call them other things, though less so now because of the the powerful cleanser of thought and speech known as “PC.”. Is that a double standard? Should “hick” be as taboo as, well, certain other terms? If that is the point Tom has been making or that you are interested, why hell, we can just talk about that any old time. It’s always right there in front of our eyes to talk about. We can talk about it without having to make any of the assumptions that Tom makes about things other people think but don’t say.

          • …Put it this way, Will. Do you feel like if the group’s discussion had been along the lines of just, “Holy Moses, what idiots/crooks/violent criminals!” (something not racially coded from the start), that the group would then have been unable to stand by that assessment when they found out the people in question were black? If so, then this is would be instance of what Tom is trying to say the mocking of believers is. It wasn’t, so it isn’t. And there’s no way to turn “Having this belief is silly” (uncoded, though who can say what is in a person’s head) into calling folks hicks and hillbillies (explicit racially-identified language). But if it had been different, it could have been such an example I think.

          • I consider the above-the-table conversation something that – at least sometimes – goes on below the table. When we envision that thing that went on in the south, we envision Boss Hogg (I was no different. I know of Boss Hogg places in the south). I think that when we envision these absurd beliefs and are vocal about them, I think we envision a certain kind of person holding these beliefs. I think if we envisioned a different kind of person (one we were, for whatever reason, predisposed to be more defensive of or compassionate towards) we might view the absurdity of the beliefs in a different light. Or at least talk about it differently.

            On a separate note, writing that out gave me an idea of what I was doing (trying to explain the foundation of the above — accept it or reject it) and what Tom didn’t do (just assumed it and moved forward) and reminded me again of what Tom did do (condemn people based on this speculation) and what I didn’t do (I’m not sure if that was clear, but my goal was not really condemnation).

            Regarding “hick” and such, I don’t have a strong opinion on that. I’m not inclined to say that it should be as taboo. It’s a term that I use. I do think that more care ought to be applied before using it.

          • I’ll just respond to your first para and then take my leave with thanks. Yes, that is Tom’s contention about those who mock the believers in God’s in Tebow. But it’s contested. Some have acknowledged that some examples likely exist. I’m suspending judgment on that question pending any evidence other than “This is a big country; all kinds of ideas proliferate.” The real problem (this is cribbing from Prof. Hanley h/t) is that Tom’s claim is not just that someone believes this, but that it is typical of an entire class of people (which is in turn not defined well at all). (See James’ comments at 2:05 am & 11:10 pm – the former below the latter, appropriately for this thread.)

            If someone somewhere does what Tom is talking about, that is just a trivial truth, given how many people are out there. You say “we” do it; Tom says “the chattering classes” do it. How many people really do? It’s hard to say how we could know, but it’s not a complimentary thing to point out, certainly Tom doesn’t intend it to be. So if you want to make an assertion about that number, you ought to have some way to back it up.

          • Believe it or not, I have become convinced that this whole thing ties into our last major disagreement (involving sports and politics). The different perches from which you and I look at things.

            On the whole, I’d probably like my day back. But it *has* turned into an interesting conversation.

          • I have thought about that one since then as well. I think you may not be wrong in perceiving that connection. I regret if you feel that way about this time. I have felt that way often enough here, and this time I don’t. (I was having a not-great day to start, so the diversion was welcome.) I fear that that outcome is all too zero-sum too often (one person leaves regretting the time spent, another leaves okay with it), but not inevitably so. Let us resolve to seek positive-sum interactions around here, then?

            Best to you, Will.

          • Hey, twas entirely of my own doing. Sometimes I enter a fray and at some point I look around and say to myself “How did I end up with *this* argument?” As in the argument I am making, not the argument/discussion I am having. And it’s not that I think the argument is wrong. It’s just not the placing I would have picked. I am genuinely glad that you found it worthwhile. It truly makes me feel better about it.

          • Michael at 6:33-

            FWIW, I think terms like hick and hill billy are offensive and ought be avoided. I don’t think there is anything funny about a racial slur of any kind. And when I think of fundamentalists, I don’t think of the stereotype associated with those words. Quite the contrary, actually. I think of folks in their Sunday best going to church, slick-talking, suit-wearing preachers, refined Southern accents. Is it generally a white image? Sure. Exclusively so? Not at all. Again, Tom’s assumption seemed to disallow this possibility. Or I was genuinely not the target of his attack, which seemed to be defined as “the people who fit my stereotype are the target and if you get caught in the wide brush strokes, that’s on you”.

          • WillT, I actually have had a similar post in the “draft” file for a week. I guess I’ll put it up now, so I can beat you to it.


            {I did notice you hit the PolitiFact “the sky is blue” riff months before I did. I meant to acknowledge that with a HT.}

          • WillT, I actually have had a similar post in the “draft” file for a week. I guess I’ll put it up now, so I can beat you to it.

            Damn you, Tom. You already did that a couple weeks ago with your abortion post. My post is still sitting in Draft Hell.

          • Sorry, WillT. Just put it up. We’ll have to work out a system.

          • Oh, and Will—My argument was to be continued via comment #19, but the thread [predictably] was throttled in the crib. My argument is that it’s not race or class, but partisan politics.

            Fundies are OK as long as they vote the right way.

            As for the rest of this mess, if people want to make asses of themselves, I’m not going to interrupt them.

          • Tom@12:41

            Somehow I missed this comment (#19 wasn’t as clear to me as I think you think it was). Okay, so this is about partisanship? I was attributing it to something more… substantive. More cultural in nature and less trivial.

          • Will, shouting me down was the first priority. Understanding my argument was not on the agenda.

            Yes, it’s a trivial point, but yes, the knee-jerk hostility to white holy rollers is often co-ordinated with the fact that as a group, they vote for the other party. There’s a strong overlap between those who bag on Tebow and their hostility to the GOP.

            Plus, it’s quite acceptable in polite company [ahem] to be bagging on the fundies and hillbillies and all as backward and unreasonable, something there was precious little of when, say, blacks voted against gay marriage in California’s Prop 8.

            And per PatC’s comment way back a million years ago—yup, if you did bag on black fundies the same as white ones, you have no problem from me. Knock yrself out.

          • Yes, it’s a trivial point, but yes, the knee-jerk hostility to white holy rollers is often co-ordinated with the fact that as a group, they vote for the other party. There’s a strong overlap between those who bag on Tebow and their hostility to the GOP.

            To the extent that it might be true, there are some questions on causality. There are reasons that these two groups are on opposite sites of the aisle. Culture, culture, culture. Some ideology in there, too, to be sure. Even excluding the politics, and atheists in Utah still don’t like Mormons, and vice-versa.

          • Hey, I like mormons just fine. Work for and consider my good friend one of the finest human beings on the planet who is also mormon.

            Assholes are assholes usually less because of what they believe and more about how they act.

          • Tom, I’m going to maintain that I have restated your argument more accurately, repeatedly, in this thread than Will yet has once. I think he still doesn’t follow exactly what you’re arguing here. Of course, you can always just start pretending you were arguing what he thinks you were arguing rather than what you actually argued. You can always do that.

          • @Will Truman,

            been trying to figure out how to word to avoid a response like TVD got here.

            Actually make an analysis (as you normally do), rather than just throw out a contextless stat and a boatload of assumptions. You know, provide evidence, the one thing Tom has assiduously avoided doing.

          • James@2:08

            The problem is that there is no counterfactual here. There is no hyper-Christian black athlete that attracts (or maybe should attract) the kind of scrutiny that Tebow attracts. Which could demonstrate Tom’s point (though ultimately I don’t believe it does).

            This is a question of how we perceive what we’re seeing. Tom sees race as a component. You don’t. It’s hard to cite evidence either way. Now we can say, “without evidence, we just should never say anything at all.”

            Some things are difficult evidence for, though. When I see what I believe to be racism (the traditional kind, against minorities), I can rarely prove it. It’s a perception. One worth noting in relevant contexts.

            I do think we should take care not to give a dog a bad name and hang him, and I do think that Tom does that (his style is not my style) by applying motivations to liberals/atheists/etc and then condemning them for it). But just because a social dynamic cannot be proven does not mean that the observation is worthless. Merely that it is contestable.

          • Yet there are other hyper-Christian white athletes that don’t attract that kind of scrutiny at all as well. Aaron Rodgers comes to mind as a guy who is super Evangelical and extremely well-known, yet I doubt anyone has heard him roundly criticized by liberals/atheists for his religiosity (mainly because I’ve only seen him discuss it when asked, not find ways to draw attention to it), does that not count a pretty bold stroke against Tom’s contention?

          • Plinko@3:11

            Also, Kurt Warner. I actually made a similar point on my 8:22 post. I would agree that it counts against (what I thought to be) Tom’s contention. It does negate the relayed point about no black hyperChristian athletes. It doesn’t mean that race/culture/class isn’t a factor, but pretty strongly suggests that this isn’t about that.

          • But Tebow IS an African-American. So is the entire human race. It’s called mitochondrial DNA.

            I just can’t figure out why the darker the skin, the more Affirmative Actions become available. Are the L & Ls saying the darker the skin, the less intelligent they become. HELL YES they are!

            Anyone who disagrees with Tom’s assertions, is just playing semantical word games. Are you seriously trying to say the Politically Correct, Liberal/Libertarian (they’re inseparable) kid gloves don’t get put on when blacks are evaluated or critiqued, regardless of what sport, or field of expertise they are engaged in?

            Ostriches, all.

          • One other thing regarding this subject. You don’t really think Liberals give a damn about African-Americans and other minorities, do you? Once elections are over, they can’t run fast enough to get away from them. Liberals loathe minorities and the unwashed masses. Since the Great Society and up to Roe, there are have 20,000,000 African-American abortions. Who is engaging in genocide and eugenics here?

          • Michael Drew writes: “to the tune of 19 comments in that sub thread”—Mr. Drew–you missed it–Tom was obviously referring to the Rolling Stones’ song, “19th nervous breakdown” in reference to batty loony Libs.

            Is it possible that Libertarians are in reality, just confused Liberals? Or that Libertarians are sheep in wolves clothing who hanker for nothing more than to be shepherded through Liberal land mines, emerging, ideologically unscathed?

            Now, there is nothing in this world that Liberals hate more than an African-American Conservative. And if you add Fundamentalist to the mix, it’s tar and feather time. Remember loony tunes, Maxine Waters? And her “proof” that the CIA was dealing cocaine in inner city neighborhoods to raise money for the Contras? Did the Libtards go nuts?? HA!!! They ate it up! How about that other certifiable crackpot, who just happened to be Obama’s “advisor”, “Green Czar” Van Jones, who said he had evidence Bush deliberately let 9/11 happen as a “pretext to war”. And of course, Jeremiah Wright who said Whitey developed AIDS in a CIA laboratory to kill off all blacks on this planet.

            “What did one Shepherd say to the other Shepherd? Let’s the flock out of here!”

          • That’s,

            “What did one Shepherd say to the other Shepherd? Let’s GET the flock out of here!”

          • BRADY! BRADY! BRADY! Can you believe this guy was selected #199 (!) in the 6th ROUND of the 2000 Draft?

            Just mind boggling. And the Patriot Nation should get down on their hands and knees every single night and say a prayer to Mo Lewis because if it wasn’t for his brutal hit on Drew Bledsoe knocking him out of the game and for that matter, half the season, Tom Brady NEVER gets to play. We’d never even know the name, Brady.

            Tod, I’m deeply disappointed you banned me from your threads. I actually thought we were friends, but peer pressure can do those kinds of things.

            Hey, it’s your gig, and you don’t want toxic waste messing up your other friendships at this joint. I understand. I’m still bummed, though.

            p.s. In a rush but will get back to you a little later. Sorry.

            All the best to ya, my friend! H

          • Tod, every comment I have ever made on your threads in the last two months gets nuked–every single one. Same with Burt’s.

            What, are the Grand Inquisitors on the masthead taking it upon themselves to censor remarks that they deem subversive? Well, screw them. This is your thread god dammit, and who are they to say what you can and cannot read.

            Tod, I believe you completely. This also happens with Hanley, Jason, Blaise, Rufus, Pat, Ryan,Jaybird, and a few others. Jaybird even deletes my completely innocuous, harmless, polite comments on music. Dammit, I can’t even talk about Beethoven with these bloodless Philistines! Nothing gets through. Saunders and Elias have already made it quite clear they will delete any word of my comments that are directed in their direction. Saunders said if the opportunity presented itself, he’d abort me, no questions asked. And do you know why? Because I had the nerve to say gay men need to take responsibility for their reckless sexual behavior if they refuse to use condoms. Bareback, apparently makes sex really adventurous and risky with the added thrill that it can also kill you. I mentioned a very ugly fact that in the last five years the incidence of unprotected sex among gay men had risen from from 26% to 33%. Now what the hell is that? The truth hurts, Saunders. It’s called personal responsibility. And if you want to drag Africa into this discussion to show that it’s mostly heterosexuals who spread AIDS, well guess what? At a very high rate, 86%, African men practice unprotected anal sex. They are also largely uncircumcised. Both African men and women lead very promiscuous lifestyles–usually having hundreds of sex partners by the time they reach the age of 30, if they live that long. Adult male circumcision significantly reduces the risk of acquiring AIDS. It does not matter, homosexual or heterosexual. if you practice dangerous, reckless, promiscuous sexual lifestyles, you’re going to get HIV/AIDS.

          • I don’t think Tom actually gives a crap about people criticizing people half as much as he cares about people being consistent about it. Since everybody can get self-righteous, balloon-popping is a public service.

            And he finds justifiable cases where liberals are inconsistent and snotty about it, and he points those out. Rather than rushing to defense or deflection, just pony up to the point and he’s good with that; if anybody on the site is more fair about that than Tom I’m not really sure who it might be. Mr. Thompson, maybe.

            Once you figure out that Tom’s not trying to score points *for* conservatives, he’s instead trying to get liberals to issue their “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa”s, you read all of his posts in a different light. At least, that’s what happened to me. YMMV.

          • But he didn’t even give people a chance to be inconsistent. He posted the numbers and immediately criticized what he assumed the response would be.

          • But he didn’t even give people a chance to be inconsistent.

            That depends on whether or not the statement “It’s fun and PC-acceptable to mock all those fundie caucasoids for believing such things, but this one will pass without comment by the chattering classes” is true, isn’t it?

            If we assume that the statement works of the form “X and Y” (because “but” works like “and”) the we can address whether X is true and whether Y is true. If X is true and Y is true, then we can say that “X and Y” is true.

            And then we can get all huffy about someone saying a true thing that happens to be a swipe.

          • There are so many assumptions contained within that it is impossible to know if it’s true.

          • Jaybird,

            X is not true. At least not if we take the description of what it’s like to mock the caucasoids for this to be an assertion that it also happened. No one (pending a citation) mocked caucasoids. They mocked “people who believe Z.”

          • Wouldn’t being good about it involve not just focusing on a single part of the political spectrum? Tod does that, to some extent, though he’s not as intent on scolding anyone or clearly personally irked by the transgressions he points out. Tom and Elias kind of cancel each other out by each going after a certain identified target group, though Elias isn’t nearly so short-fused on these minor foibles as Tom is. Why is it “good” if Tom is just going after liberals (which, by your own account, he does)? Is that a particular service the world is in need of?

          • you were obliged to walk your initial objections back on your own

            Really, Tom? Where did this happen? Looks to me like you’re making another unsupportable claim against your critics. But I don’t see anything here that I’ve yet walked back or am inclined to walk back.

            [Comment #49, James. Really, this litigation of every millimeter is entirely too tiresome and unproductive to continue. If you have something to say about Tim Tebow, have at it. Otherwise…—TVD]

          • Is that not a swipe at those who might criticize the viewpoint the poll explored?

            To use your formulation, is the fact that it is a swipe particularly relevant to whether the statement is true?

            It seems to me that the statement can both be a swipe *AND* be true.

          • The swipe that BSK made was, “this is bulls**t, and it’s typical for this author to write this type of bulls**t.”

            Not only is that not an ad hominem, if true it’s a fair statement. And I believe it’s true. Tom likes to cite a statistic and pretend–without ever taking the effort to actually build an argument–that it supports some hypocrisy among liberals, then take offense when others criticize his tactic. I think it’s quite fair to point that out.

          • “This is bullshit” is not an ad hominem. It’s a bit too wordy and the relevance of the presented supporting evidence to the intended conclusion is tenuous at best, but it’s a genuine argument.

            “It’s typical for the author to write this type of bullshit” is completely irrelevant to the discussion. It’s not even an argument.

            So I guess you’re right that it’s not actually an ad hominem argument.

          • DD-

            It is relevant. If someone has a habit of doing something, it is fair to consider that when analyzing their work. Patterns matter. Tom has proven hiself to be disingenuous so he does not get the benefit of the doubt when it appears he is heading down that road again.

          • Tom-

            You are good with cut and paste. Clearly I was off-base in my hypothesis for why the numbers are what they are. But that wasn’t the thrust of either your nor my position. You were taking issue with an assumption that folks who criticize fundamentalists forholding a certain position would suddenlty become silent if those holding the position were non-white. I took this assumption to task on a variety of levels. I will restate them here:
            1. You are criticizing a group for how you assume it would react before giving it an opportunity to react.
            2. Your premise is predicated upon an assumption that that group will inherently conflate causation and correlation.
            3. It is possible for the group you attack to remain ideologically consistent in criticizing fundamentalist beliefs, even those held by non-whites, without criticizing non-whites for being non-white.
            4. You used the mythical PC bogeyman which is not only lazy but is a tactic aimed at disarming a position through ridicule.

            Was I wrong on my supposition on why Hispanics leaned more heavily in favor of believing in divine intervention on Tebow’s behalf? Yes. (See how easy that is?). Am I wrong in calling out the basic silliness of your post, which seemed solely aimed at besmirching those who hold different positions than you? You have yet to demonstrate why. And if your point was otherwise, please state it for the record.

          • Is my point disputable, or obvious to the point of banality? Both have been argued here, so make up yr minds.

            There’s really no contradiction. What your point is is banally obvious. What the statistic you cite could reasonably be interpreted to mean is disputable.

          • BSK,

            It’s hard to say who’s he’s accusing of an ad hominem, because there is no ad hominem on this thread and he refuses to specify his claim.

            An ad hominem is a rejection of a claim based on irrelevant characteristics of the claimant. Nobody has done that here–nobody. It leads me to wonder if Tom even knows what an ad hominem is, or if he does and just likes to throw that out anytime he’s criticized as a general debate-stoppper.

          • Perhaps we should define ad hominem…

            Hurt feelings =/= ad hominem
            Attacking a position =/= ad hominem
            Less-than-courteous phrasing =/= ad hominem
            Using a personal characteristic unrelated to the validity of a claim to invalidate the claim = ad hominem

            I’m pretty sure my attempts at invalidating Tom’s claim were grounded firmly in the claim itself and the assumptions of the author.

          • “the gentle reader can examine the thread and decide for himself.”
            As is most cases when you make this silly appeal, this gentile reader is happy to agree with your detractors and now will go happily back to lurking.

          • Fair enough, JH. I’ve just been on this Unmerry-Go-Round before with Tom and these comments are coming under mine (though I might have missed the exact flow of the conversation), so I assumed he was responding to my critique of his methodology, which was in my last paragraph up there.

            And this is what we are reduced to… trying to figure out who Tom is making himself a false victim to instead of debating the merits of the initial point. Muddy, muddy, muddy, muddy, muddy…

          • As is most cases when you make this silly appeal, this gentile reader is happy to agree with your detractors and now will go happily back to lurking.

            It’s the same for this gentile reader, too. However, my girlfriend is Jewish.

        • If Tim Tebow was black, all those fundies would not have been hyped about him in the first place.

          The more interesting question is, what if Tebow had the same exact story (‘miraculous’ birth, good college QB, comeback wins, religious), but the religion was Islam?

          • His success would be directly attributable to the moral failings of our society, e.g. gay marriage, reality tv, birth control.

          • “Tim Tebow! Do you have an opinion on people blowing up?”

            Surely there is at least *ONE* Muslim football player who we could look at and do a comparison…

            Are there any Muslim quarterbacks? Is it one of those things where the silly assumptions about “winning games” prevents quarterbacks who happen to be fasting during playoffs from making it to the first string?

  4. A better point of criticism with that specific article could have been directed at this quote:
    “Among party affiliation, 54 percent of Republicans polled believe God is helping Tebow while 48 percent of Democrats think there is no divine intervention going on.”

    Unless there is a sizable group electing for a third option, the positions of Dems and GOPers is within two points of each other. But the phrasing here certainly seems aimed at indicating otherwise.

    • http://media.pollposition.com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/Poll-Position-crosstabs-divine-intervention.pdf

      Looking at the numbers here, the difference is a bit more stark, but that sentence is still pretty sloppily written (slanted against the GOPers, if we assume that the holding of this position is to be ridiculed).

      Reading about the methodology, there are also other potential impacts at play. The poll first asked if the people were aware of Tebow’s success before asking their position on God’s role in it. My anecdotal experience (accrued over 20 years of watching football games in person and in bars) is that NFL fandom is probably most prominent amongst whites, followed by blacks, and Hispanics in a distant third or fourth. This makes sense given A) that football is almost exclusively an American game and is not played in the home countries of most Hispanics and B) there are few Hispanics NFLers. Couple this with the fact that Tebow has gotten a lot of attention in non-sports media, often with an intense focus on his religion (even where it isn’t warranted; I think it should be noted that despite all the talk of his faith, Tebow has done very little while in the NFL to promote his faith). So, if someone is not an NFL fan but DOES know about Tebow’s succes, it is very possible that he/she has come to learn about it through channels directly connected to faith, which would logically lead to more people associating the two.

      But, nah… that doesn’t support Tom’s POINT! So let’s just ignore all that…

    • 54 percent of Republicans polled believe God is helping Tebow while 48 percent of Democrats think there is no divine intervention

      Good catch, BSK. That is some really sloppy writing at best, purposeful dishonest at worst. My guess would be typical journalist stupidity about how to report data, run through an unconsciously held filter of anti-GOP bias.

      • If purposeful, I must say it was done so in a rather effective way. I read the quote and BSK’s note several times, and *still* kept saying “no, he’s wrong – it’s 6% not 2%.”

        • The real numbers are a bit different because of a sizable 3rd option (54/31/14 vs 38/48/13, GOP vs Dem), but that is just a sloppy and/or irresponsible way to put it. Looking at the real numbers, I suppose they might have been trying to make the numbers look closer than they are. Or not. Who knows? That’s the problem. Apples to apples, please.

  5. If Tebow beats the Patriots, I will stop making fun of people who believe that divine intervention is partially responsible for his success.

    If Tebow wins the Superbowl, I will have to concede the point that a holy power being behind Tebow.

  6. As far as Tebow himself goes, I think he rubs a lot of people the wrong way for reasons that are not exactly reliant on his religiosity. Some valid (performance questions), some not valid. And I think when you have a figure like this, people will use whatever is handy to denigrate him. His religiosity is handy. I don’t think it’s all that, but white Hyper-Christian players are hardly unheard of. My college’s quarterback was one. I’ve never once heard the kind of criticisms lobbed at Tebow and if he became better known, I wouldn’t expect it to (unless it turned out he was a sloppy player at the next level). He doesn’t give off the same personal (as opposed to purely religious) vibe.

    • I think there is also an extent to which Tebow is unrelatable that makes him someone easy to turn into a black-and-white, love-or-hate issue.

      How many of us can identify with 24-year-old Heisman winning, NFL starting QBs who HAPPEN to be virginal, devoutly religious, clean-cut do gooders? At the risk of overgeneralizing, jocks and virgins are almost entirely mutually exclusive. Rough-and-tumble football players and gentle religiously-motivated volunteers are almost entirely mutually exclusive. On and on.

      There is a bit of cognitive dissonance that sets in. Which people are uncomfortable with.

      Tebow doesn’t make sense to most of us. Which isn’t his fault. And the media hasn’t done him any favors, alternately holding him up as all that is good in the world and all that is bad. Why can’t we just see him as a good guy with a bad delivery and a game on Saturday night?

      • Has Tim Tebow ever claimed to be a virgin? Honest question: I have no idea.

        • Yes. I remember because I consciously awaited girl after girl stepping forward to say “Oh, no he’s not!” Never happened.

          He was still in college at the time. That may have changed since.

  7. I will say that there is a part of me that sees threads like this one and thinks “I should pray to atheist god that Tebow kicks the crap out of the Patriots.”

  8. For the most part, we can make fun of white christians being stupid because, for the most part, we are white christians (in culture if not internal state).

    When someone from another culture does stuff, it suddenly becomes taboo to criticize them for believing certain silly things. Well, you have to understand, it’s their culture. We don’t have standing to judge. I’m not saying that *I* like it but I don’t know that I wouldn’t do the exact same thing if I weren’t raised the same way. And so on.

    When it comes to hillbillies cooking meth and wearing TebowJesus jerseys, you can make fun of them for that.

    It’s when the folks who go to the churches that we wouldn’t have gone to even when we went to church (which we don’t) start doing things… suddenly we have to pick between mocking retards for thinking god gives a shit and taking the opportunity to give a speech about how this is their culture, we can’t understand, maybe we’d do the same thing if we were raised that way…

    Personally, I think we’d all be better off if all of the African-Americans and Mexicans were Mormons. Win-win.

  9. Here we are… debating what Tom meant… as if he has no way of speaking for himself. This is his goddamn blog post and he won’t even weigh in to clarify the meaning of it.

    Again, why does this man have the LoOG as a platform?

  10. If my initial criticism of that viewpoint was directed towards all fundamentalists, regardless of race or ethnicity, I would have little reason to weigh in with a new round of criticism after learning of this poll. Mhowever, TvD would likely assume my intial criticism was aimed towards whites and my silence was me being PC. I would have to come out explicitly against Hispanic fundamentalists to prove him wrong, despite never coming out against white fundamentalists explicitly and exclusively.

    • For what it’s worth, this is exactly how conservatives (or non-liberals or people who could be mistaken for conservative) feel when discussing the disadvantaged. We’re talking about blacks, even if we’re thinking of a bunch of white kids in Bum Farm, Idaho. I know that when I talk about my local school district, I am vulnerable unless I specify that the local school district (and the poor kids within) are almost uniformly white. Otherwise, I am a white guy saying things about black kids that could be construed as negative. (All of which made more complicated by the fact that some people are saying what liberals are accusing them of saying, or otherwise might attempt more compassion if they were talking about people that they superficially had more in common with.)

      • If you’re talking about the disadvantaged, then you are in fact talking about blacks, whites, Asians, Latinos, et al., just as when these folks talked about “People who believe God is helping Tim Tebow,” they were in fact talking about whites, blacks, Latinos et al. This works our way, not your way.

        • MichaelD@12:52

          Sure, but would you disbelieve me if I said that comments about poor people are assumed, by some, to be comments implicitly talking about blacks and Hispanics? Especially if the speaker is a non-liberal?

          When someone talks about Tim Tebow and people believing God is helping him, I don’t necessarily think that they are talking about whites-only. Nor do I think that people talking about poor people are necessarily talking about black poor people. Sometimes they are, though. It’s not easy to suss out.

          Anyhow, my point was one of sympathy: I do know what it’s like to be accused of talking about something that you’re not talking about without being tediously explicit.

          • I would say: it’s complicated.

            I think Tom is wrong if he is saying that the only reason people care about Tebow’s religiosity is because he’s white. I don’t think he’s wrong in suggesting that race is a factor at least some of the time. BSK agrees on this, though he and I may disagree as to how much of a factor it is with how many people.

          • I didn’t get the impression Tom’s point had anything to do with Tebow’s race. If the point is that perhaps the ridicule of Tebow’s religiosity comes in part because he is whete, I am less disdainful of that – because at least there there is a fact on the ground about which we can speculate as to how it might be affecting people’s reactions. (I.e. we can observe the reaction to outwardly religious black athletes and compare it to the reaction to Tim Tebow.) But that is just not at all what Tom said.

          • My reading was that the criticism of Tebow and of Tebow’s fans would have been withheld if he was not white and if Tebow’s fans were not to be considered white. And, so, yeah, it has to do with whiteness.

            (I’ll confess, when I think of a religious guy who believes God plays favorite in football games, and I have to come up with a personification, I think of a white guy. Maybe I’m unusual.)

            It’s entirely possible that I am misreading him.

          • whete? white.

            Just to address your equivalency a bit more – yes, people do assert that when people talk about the poor (or especially, beneficiaries of government programs), they are in fact thinking of minorities. I’m less convinced that they usually then cite statistics showing that (of course) whites actually make up the majority of assistance rolls (that part they do do), and then insist that there is no way that what was said before about minorities in the guise of “poor people” would be maintained in light of facts. If you are saying that you have experienced a situation where you never even brought race into the equation, but just said something like, “Recipients of government benefits are incentivized by the benefits not to seek work,” and your interlocutor (the analogue to Tom here, who you say put his targets in the just the position you are sometimes put in) responds with, “Oh yeah, well 55% of those recipients are white in your county, so clearly you won’t stand by that opinion now that that revealing information is out in the open,” and stood defiantly by this view despite your protestations to the contrary, then you have experienced something like what Tom has done here. Otherwise, perhaps you are likening a situation of some lesser extremity to Tom’s maneuver, i.e. perhaps a situation in which the person made that assumption, whereafter you corrected him as to your intention and the correction was accepted (? hard to know). If you say it’s the former, obviously I believe you.

          • You’re so damn interesting, Tom. You’re worth our time.

          • The equivalency I refer to is the implication where race is an issue where it (often) is not. The other parts are different, though I would disagree that they are “lesser.”

            Tom is accusing liberals/atheists here of having it in for fundamentalist whites. That is far less down the seriousness totem pole as accusing someone of being a racist towards minorities. The context is very different (especially in a conversation between whites).

            To quote myself:

            The district (“Redstone”) I sub at is some 95% white and if the students at Clark and Pitts have a darker skin tone, it’s not immediately apparent. The thought later occurred to me that if this were not the case, my statement could be relatively easily construed as racist. I’d commented to my wife that if we ever moved to Redstone, we would situate ourselves so that our kids go to this school (Creston) or that school (“Rushmore”) and not this other school (Pitts) or that other school (Clark). Of course, in a context where race is involved, this mentality can be criticized as “fear of the minorities”. But fortunately, since we’re dealing with a district that is entirely white, this outlook is merely classist or elitist and not racist.

            It’s not exactly the same situation, but if someone thinks I have it in for white fundamentalist Christians, I have less to worry about socially than if somebody thinks I have it in for minorities. That’s my perception, at any rate.

  11. …Or to put it a different way, it doesn’t say anything to say that Tom’s “not crazy” to make this unsupported interpretation. It’s just a personal assumption and has no basis in any record (that he has provided), so it has no force as something we need to address. It’s just Tom’s attitude.

  12. The comments broke down awhile ago, Burt. What the Holy Ghost in the Machine is doing to them right now is a mercy, not a tragedy.

  13. Holy crap. What the hell happened here?

    I turn my back for a few hours and it’s all Lord of the Flies in here.

  14. I talked to Maribou about this because she’s much smarter than I am and her first comment was about Divine Intervention with regards to Tebow and how, raised Catholic, she was taught to pray to saints.

    Of *COURSE* God is intervening. That is what God *DOES*.

    It’s sort of like the “part of a balanced breakfast” joke made the other day. God helps us get out of bed in the morning. God helps us get through the day at work. God helps us get home. God helps us sleep soundly at night. Does God help Tebow? Absolutely.

    She then paused when I told her about the demographic breakdown and she then said “that sounds more like an economic breakdown… I bet you that everybody who makes less than 30k/year said that God is helping Tebow and everybody who makes more than 250k/year said that Tebow is a self-made man.”

    As I said, she’s smarter than me. Er, than I am.

    • I can’t agree about the economic breakdown, but I agree that it’s far from outside of normal everyday religious attitudes as far as I encounter them for people to think that God would intervene in something as insignificant (to most of us) as a football game. We care about things: my experience of religious attitudes is such that the idea of God has value to people inasmuch as they think that what He takes interest in are ,resumethe things the holders of these attitudes care about. Tim Tebow, I would presume, knows that the outcome of his games is not much to God, but he believes, again I presume, that God (and Jesus) loves him, and to love someone is to some degree to care about what he cares about, and want for them what he wants for himself (so long as it’s not a self-destructive want). And if the person doing the loving also has power to bring some of these things about, then… it seems to follow that it isn’t ridiculous to believe that it follows from God’s love that he might intervene in matters of no importance to Him inherently, simpy because it means so much to someone He loves…

      • You have to say it’s really, really egocentric to believe that, though. It kinda requires you to believe that it’s all about you to draw that conclusion. You have to assume that God wants YOU to win and THEM to lose, or you just have to forget that there’s anyone else at all.

        • Well, whatever. That is what I’m saying that most day-to-day belief in God is actually like, whatever it means.

  15. What James and I object to is not an assertion that can’t be proven, but one for which no evidence at all is offered, and amounts only to the expression of a personal attitude. Our point (if I may James) is just that that ought to be called what it is, and from there people can accord it the consideration they think such a thing deserves. In our case, that’s approximately, “None,” or perhaps, “That’s a lovely (or not so lovely) personal attitude you have there, Tom. Well then. What’s next?”

  16. Tom, re comment 19, just because you’ve argued elsewhere that there would be less interest in Tebow’s religiosity if he were black doesn’t mean that has anything to do with your claim in this post: explicitly, that “It’s fun and PC-acceptable to mock all those fundie caucasoids for believing such things, but this one will pass without comment by the chattering classes,” when you can’t provide any example of anyone explicitly directing their mocking in this way, or any argument for why, if we could read their minds, we would see that they had such an intent.

    • MichaelD, it’s a blogpost, not a book. Something to think about. Or don’t. If you wanna disprove it, roll up yr sleeves and do some damn research, and then we’ll all learn something.

      • Tom, not to prolong this, but might I suggest tomorrow checking out James K’s new post on the burden of showing the untruth of undisprovable, evidence-free assertions. Preview: it’s an unburden.

        YOU have to show that what you say is supported by evidence.

  17. Here’s my perspective: the idea that among many liberals, the criticism of theological conservatism would be muted when minorities are explicitly part of the population is obvious and understandable — I don’t really see why there’s so much pushback here. Liberals by nature support classes of people who are currently and/or were historically disadvantaged, so of course when a significant segment of a disadvantaged class is engaging in behavior that liberals would normally be very critical of, the criticism will be of a different character than what would be directed at a non-disadvantaged class. Big whoop — it’s not hypocrisy, it’s not about politics or even specifically about race, but simply a case of conflicting responses.

    • Whoa, how did this comment end up here — it was supposed to be in response to Will Truman way down at the bottom at January 14, 2012 at 4:04 am.

    • Ken@4:33,

      I don’t care much for charges of hypocrisy. I don’t even think it’s a moral thing at all, in good part for the reason that you mention. The playing of demographic favorites is inevitable, and politically useful (thus its inevitability), but that perhaps the basis of the distinctions that are made are not as sound as they might seem. And that the privilege enjoyed by poor whites in areas of the country with limited economic opportunity might be less than it originally appears.

      If I ever get around to writing the post. But hey, even if I don’t, the conversation here is giving me food for thought.

  18. As of the time I post, 172 comments. On a sub-blog. About post that borders on being a throwaway (but which has a really funny picture).

    I’m calling it: this is a train wreck.

    • Burt, that’s what happens when touchy, complex topics are treated in a throw-away manner (something I appreciate that you never, ever do here, I emphatically add). Race touchy and intense, and the entire category of “PC” is a pathetically weak and ineffective dodged when deployed here. If you don’t deal with it carefully, it will always blow up in your face like nitro.

      • I appreciate the clarity you injected, Will. But this was no trainwreck, it was a kamikaze attack.

  19. I’m not sure what his thinking is behind it, but from what I see of Tebow he strikes me as someone who skipped all those lines in the bible about being humble. Acting like every time his defense or his kicker bails the team out, or he lucks into completing the type of play that kids in back yards across the country generally figure out long before this point, it’s a matter of “yeah, Gawd totally blessed me!”…well, the stress seems on Me instead of Gawd.

    • Mr. Psycho, see Matthew 5:11-16. That’s where I’d say he’s coming from.

  20. Great Science! What the hell happened here?

    Just as well I missed all this. Wouldn’t have gotten anything done today.

  21. Tom wrote: Will, shouting me down was the first priority. Understanding my argument was not on the agenda.
    Tom loves to play the victim. But this is wrong. I understood his argument, BSK understood his argument, and we critiqued his argument. I thought that’s what blogs were about.

    Will Truman writes: Also, Kurt Warner.
    Actually, I thought Kurt Warner was much too obvious about it all, too. I found him annoying, although perhaps he came to the NFL via Northern Iowa and not Florida he was less smug. Re: Aaron Rodgers–I had no idea he was evangelical. Good on him.

    Part of my annoyance at these people comes from my Christian upbringing. I’ve read the Bible, and it pretty specifically commands people not to make a show of their faith. Go out and act like a Christian in all your interactions with people, demonstrate what it means to be Christ-like by your actions. Don’t boast about it.

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