The theme of today's post is RELIGION. Oh boy.
ITEM NUMBER ONE: Why do people hate Tim Tebow?
(I just realized that not everyone may know who Tim Tebow is. Tim Tebow is an American footballer generally considered to be of average-to-poor skill at his position, which is quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Previous to this, he was considered to be of superior skill at his position in college, which was quarterback for the Florida Gators. Some people are really good in college and not very good in the NFL. Anyway, Tebow is also known for vehemently and publicly practicing his religion, including frequently kneeling on the field to thank God for a successful football outcome and/or to beseech his help at a crucial moment. Despite his seeming lack of skill, the Denver Broncos keep winning games that they shouldn't win. This is more due to Denver's excellent defense than anything Tim Tebow is doing, but quarterbacks always get more attention than defenses. Back to our story.)
Oh, look, Deadspin already answered this question: Why People Who Hate Tim Tebow Hate Tim Tebow.
I'll nutshell it for you: Because anyone other than Tebow in Tebow's position would be EXPECTED to succeed, but somehow, for Tebow, it's a case of God pulling the strings for a gutsy believer who is somehow triumphing despite being a valiant underdog.
Athletes giving credit to God is nothing new, but Tebow sort of takes it to a whole new level with his very public displays of faith and whatnot. Let's leave aside the obvious question - with something like 200 billion galaxies in the universe, each containing 200-300 billion stars, there must be trillions or quadrillions of planets, and many of those must have life, so why does God take a personal interest in the outcomes of sporting events on one of those planets and, moreover, why does He not seem to care so much about cricket or curling? - and instead ponder WHY IT'S NOT GOD'S FAULT WHEN TEAMS LOSE. The way I see it, if you give God credit for winning a game (or doing well on a law school final, or getting your lost wallet back (actually, that one was St. Anthony, not God, but they work in the same office), then the Big Guy gets the blame when things go south.
How great would that be? Imagine the sideline reporter interviewing the kicker who missed the game-winning field goal: "Well, I lined it up perfectly, hit it dead on, and it sailed wide right. God really fucked us on this one. Thanks for nothing, God. Zero for you in the collection plate tomorrow. Winners get paid, not losers."
SIGH. I'm sure there's a Deep Theological Reason why it's not God's fault but I don't really care.
ITEM NUMBER TWO: R.I.P. Christopher Hitchens, one of the best atheists of all time.
Like I said to someone last night, I didn't always agree with Hitchens - on his strong support for the Iraq War, for example - I always wished I could write like him.