Tolerance, Diversity And Love or the Tebow Effect

November 2, 2016

Let’s face it. If you visit the College Football Wizard website, you’re an unabashed college football fan. But why do you come here? To see if his picks and prognosticating skills are as good as he claims? To get a little chuckle from the letters, pictures, and videos he posts? Or, maybe, it’s because of his animal magnetism. You know, some people are just drawn to others.

I’ll be honest. One of the reasons I was drawn to this site is because of the friendship we share. I’ve known the Wizard for a few years now and we share some common bonds. We both spent time in the Marine Corps. I won’t compare my childhood to his, but we both come from less than pleasant economic strata. And we both share common interests. Like Andy Griffith, Lynyrd Skynyrd and, of course, college football. But, something else bonds us. We both have a common friend. And that friend is Jesus Christ. 
In my younger days, I didn’t overtly share information about my religious leanings often. As a matter of fact, in my youth, while I had been sitting in church every Sunday until I graduated from High School, you probably wouldn’t recognize that I had any type of religious exposure based on my actions afterwards when I began college. And also, I was worried about fitting in with the “crowd”.  You see, at that time 40 years ago and in this age of tolerance, this age of diversity, in this age of progressive lifestyles, being an individual who attempts to walk to the beat of “that mystical spirit in the sky” is not a popular route to take or indulge in. But, do you know what? As I push the tender young age of 60 years old (in just a few short months), What others think of me has become so much less important. The naivety, uncertainty, and insecurity of youth has turned into the resolve and sureness of age. 
By this time, if I’m correct, you’re asking yourself, “Self, what in the Sam Hill is old Harley getting at with this rambling???” Well, it’s this. Last week the Wizard put out his picks. And at the end of those picks was a video. You saw it. You watched it. Many of you were touched by it. But there were some who picked this video at the end of the column as a platform to share some negative feedback with him. Truly, I can understand their consternation. I mean, with lyrics such as, “if you’ve got pain, he’s a pain taker” or “if you feel lost, he’s a way maker”, it’s easy to see why some may have felt threatened. 
But, let’s look close at this situation. Let’s really put “the threat” under the microscope. If you pull up the Week 9 picks and look at the statements preceding the video, you don’t find anything threatening that if you don’t believe or accept a particular tenet or article of faith that detrimental things will happen to you. In fact, neither “God” nor “faith” nor “Jesus” is ever mentioned. What is stated is that if you know someone who is having a difficult time, you should encourage and try to uplift them. What is suggested is that if you know someone who is having a difficult time, let them hear and see the video. By viewing the video, they may find a way to relieve the pains of life by exploring the One who is the Light. 

And then there’s the video. If you examine the lyrics, can we find a “threat” that would cause some to react in a negative manner? Is there some sanctimonious “holier than thou” message that you may be less of a person if you don’t listen and immediately repent? I listened to the song a number of times. I pulled up a version of the song that contains the lyrics. I still don’t see the “threat”. “If you need freedom or saving, He’s a prison shaking savior, if you’ve got chains, He’s a chain breaker.” I’ve got a fairly good grasp of the English language, and I just don’t see a “threat” to anyone.

In this day in which we live, we proclaim to celebrate diversity. If that’s the case, shouldn’t we celebrate ones who profess to be Christian as one of the many who make up this great, diverse country? We profess and claim to be tolerant of ALL people. No matter their race, creed, or origin. Shouldn’t we be tolerant, rather than openly hostile to those who proclaim that they are “Christian?” We claim to be a loving nation and people. Shouldn’t we love ALL people, including Christians? 

The Wizard passed some excerpts from the comments he received onto me. Among them:

You lost a faithful reader over the video you felt compelled to include at the end of your picks. Congratulations
I read your blog for the college football, not to be preached too. I won’t read it again
The picks were good, but drop the magical ghost in the sky garbage
The thing that binds these messages together is that it was apparently perceived that something, no matter how gracious, was being pushed on them. It’s the Tim Tebow effect. You know what I’m talking about. Tebow never once pushed his religion on anyone but he was attacked for his beliefs none the less.

The joy at his downfall after the Alabama loss in the Southeastern Conference Championship game was apparent from the comments that appeared after numerous articles about the game and that famous photo of him crying after that game. There were more negative comments after he was drafted into the NFL. More followed as he went from Denver to the Jets. There was absolute joy after his release. And why? He never pushed anything on anyone. He simply didn’t make any effort to hide his Christianity in spite of the fact that he would be the object of ridicule.
And, I guess, that’s the best way to finish this. I believe in God, the Father Almighty. The maker of Heaven and Earth. And I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son. I believe he was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilot, was crucified, dead and buried and rose again.
But, read and heed this. When you send your comments, remember, I told you what I believe. I told you what I hold to be true. I told you what is stated in the Bible. Our Lord allows us free will. If this is not what you believe. Don’t believe. I won’t throw Bible verses at you telling you of eternal damnation. I’ll simply say, “to each his own.” We are supposed to be a tolerant, diverse nation. I have my beliefs. The Wizard has his. And you have yours. But, no matter what, Jesus loves you. This I know.

Until Next Time,
I’m Harley Hanesworth

P.S. And to Joey and others who have that smug, superior feeling , you just gotta give mad props to that magical spirit in the sky….

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One Response to Tolerance, Diversity And Love or the Tebow Effect

  1. ed hill on November 4, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Not offended. Greetings from Tim. I attribute the total change in his life to the power in the person of whom you speak. God Bless all of those who are so strong and successful and influential based solely on their own wisdom and ability – may they or their family never encounter a circumstance that overwhelms their ability to cope. Pride, they say, comes before the fall. “If you got chains, He’s a chain breaker”

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