The so-called "Jesus jersey" (Image Source: KTVQ.com)
Tim Tebow, the quarterback for the Denver Broncos, is a familiar name to many Americans. His talent and faith have earned him a great deal of publicity and, of course, scrutiny.
Recently, the “Tebowing” phenomenon (the act of dropping to one knee and pretending to pray) gained plenty of media attention.
But while critics were busy making fun of Tebow, who is a devout Christian, fans put together a response that is already spawning controversy among Christians. In a show of support for the famed footballer, Denver fans have crafted special Tim Tebow jerseys. Rather than placing his name on the back of the garment, the word “Jesus” is sewn into the material along with “15,” which is the player’s number.
(Related: Over on the Blaze blog, Mike Opelka asks, “If Tim Tebow was a Muslim, would be be mocked when she shouts “Allahu Akbar” after each touchdown?”)
But while this act was done in a show of support for the player and his faith, some are calling the act blasphemous. According to the Christian Post, Jason Homer, who is originally from Colorado, but who is serving as a missionary in Lima, Peru, believes that the Jesus jerseys are “disrespectful.”
“I think it is ridiculous that people are creating Jesus jerseys with Tebow’s number. I like Tebow but that is just wrong,” he told the Post. “I do not agree with the way they are using the name of Jesus.”
Others, simply don’t see the need for the Jesus jerseys.
“Sports is one thing, and Jesus is another thing,” said Traci Yown, a citizen who weighed in on the jerseys. “I’m a Christian, but I mean I wouldn’t want people going around having Jesus on the back of their jerseys,” she continued.
Some, though, do support the shirts. Take, for instance, Sondra Simmons, a member of Applewood Baptist Church in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. “I think it’s a good idea because it gets Jesus’ name out there,” she said. “I would think most Christians would be okay with it.”
Rev. Marcus Buckley of Riverside Baptist Church in Greer, South Carolina, though, has a unique view on the matter. ”It’s not saying that he is Christ, it‘s saying he’s trying to demonstrate and live that out and as Christians that’s what were supposed to do,” he said.
Alas, Tebow finds himself at the center of yet another faith controversy.
by Billy Hallowell