Monday, January 9, 2012

Teb-Over It: Why I Dislike Tim Tebow

Here in Colorado, we are known for several things:
1. Mountains
2. Hippies
3. Snow
4. Skiing
5. Having a large KKK community in the 1920's
6. Rabid Bronco fans
(Okay, so some of these things we might not be known for, but they are all true nonetheless.)

So, there's this guy, this football player and maybe you've heard of him. He does this particular thing whenever he scores. It's commonly called Tebowing. We Catholics call it praying and we typically don't do it in front of thousands of people in person and God knows how many on TV. 

Quintessential Colorado. Only this guy is not a hippy. That I know of
The Evangelical world just loooooves him. I can't tell you how many people on my Facebook just get all choked up at the thought of this man "witnessing his love for Jesus.” Nevermind that, at his vocation, he has been medicore at best (save a few “miraculous” come backs). They say completely inane and obnoxious things about how he passed a total of 316 yards in his miraculous comeback last night. 316, you guys! Like John 3:16! Like "God so loved the world..."! God is on our side. God wants us to win football games. 

The secular world tends to dislike Tebow. I attribute this precisely to the praying-in-the-endzone thing, the constant talk about being blessed and Christianity in general, and I'm sure the pro-life ad featuring him and his mother didn't really help his cause. The average everyday Joe just wants to sit back, relax, have a beer, watch the game and not have to think about Church and those pesky God and Jesus fellows.

But a lot of Catholics really, really like Tebow. A quick search on the Catholic Answers Forums brings up posts about how he is living his faith, and helping to evangelize. He could be bringing people to God, we want to live next door to him and he “seems like a really humble and great guy.” (I don’t like giving him so much attention as a Catholic considering that he was raised Baptist, his father is a pastor and both of his parents are missionaries. He was born in the Philippines. Now, why would a Baptist missionary family be in the Philippines, when 90% of the population is Christian? Maybe because 80% of them are Catholic.) There’s also a double-standard that is exercised with Tebow. Catholics paising him on the forums for being a good Christian example are the same ones in other threads who attack the Duggars for having a TV show because it’s “materialistic.” I guess being a football star really does have its perks. No one seems to be talking about how awesome Philip Rivers is, though, and he’s a Catholic football star who is a chastity speaker.

I have no doubt that God loves Tim Tebow. I have no doubt that God loves anyone. I just have beef with something that looks to me like showboating. We are supposed to be a good example to others in the life that we live. We are not supposed to fall on our knees in prayer in front of millions of people (Matthew 6:5). I honestly believe that Tebow is coming from a sincere place and that he really wants to glorify God in his way and bring attention to Him. But I feel like people are starting to glorify Tebow instead. I feel like attention is being paid to the fact that Tebow is a Christian without much conversation going on about Christ. I cringe every single Sunday morning when I see the families go up to receive Communion in their Tebow jerseys. They have made Church just a stop before watching Tebow run the ball. Idol worship is idol worship, even if that idol is Christian. This brings to mind what happened last spring with Father John Corapi. So many people really looked to him and followed him and when he fell, people were upset and their faith was shaken. They had put their faith in the man and not what he was preaching. Tebow is young, he is in the national spotlight, he is making a lot of money. He is also human. He will likely fall and then the media wolves will be all over it. People who were once inspired by him may be disappointed and turn away. Even if he doesn’t fall, what happens when the Broncos don’t go to the Super Bowl? Or if they do and they don’t win? If God’s favor is evidenced by the wins, is it lost when His team loses? I know God sees and is involved in everything, but being involved in who wins which football championship reduces Him to a level that almost makes my stomach turn.

I want the world to stop talking about Tim Tebow. When we do talk about him, I want it to be about football. If he plays well, then he plays well. If he doesn’t, then I want them to say so. I don’t want to hear any more talk about anything other than his playing skills. If he’s a nice kid, great. I’m glad. I’m just as tired hearing about sports stars shooting or stabbing people, robbing people or raping people. But let’s focus on his actions in football, and hope his life off the field is a good witness.

Besides, I have a pretty good feeling that God is a Saints fan, anyway. 
St. Jeanne d'Arc in New Orleans, hoisting a Saints banner

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Keep It Classy, Colorado

Just another example of why I believe abortion is a SYMPTOM and not the disease in this society. What gets me is that the girl's mother is upset about it too. Why did she allow the picture to be taken in the first place?

Colorado Student Banned From Yearbook

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Holy Day of... Eh.

Happy Epiphany Eve everyone!! As you all know, tomorrow is a Holy Day of Obligation, so make sure you all check on Mass times at your local....wait. What? You mean they moved the feast of the Epiphany to a Sunday?

The Feast of the Epiphany celebrates the day that the Magi arrived in Bethlehem and adored the baby Jesus and brought him presents and I think Mary had a little drummer boy show up and I'm pretty sure that it was the reason that men never, ever ask for directions...any more. It's one of oldest Feasts in Christianity- the prefigurement of all Christians on bended knee for our savior. 

With that said, I don't really understand why the Catholic Church in America has demoted this to a Sunday feast. I'm kind of a nerd in the sense that I really enjoy Holy Days of Obligation. I get so excited at the thought of taking time out of my normal life and going to Mass in the middle of the week. It's one of those things that make us Catholic, one of those things that no one else does. I read this book recently (and I apologize because I can't honestly remember who it was by or what it was called) about Vatican II and why it had such a big impact and why that impact isn't the things that everyone talks about-- the RadTrads talking about the change from Latin, for example-- but smaller things that slowly eroded our identity and lead to the really, really bad catechesis of the Baby Boomer generation which lead to the even WORSE (if it's possible) catechesis of our generation until we woke up and re-catechized ourselves. One of the things he talked about was this very thing. We all know we should go to Mass on Sundays, that's a given. And we all know we should go on Christmas and Easter, but it's those in-between feasts that should be shaping our lives. The ebb and flow of the liturgical calendar and the reflection outside of the race of this life. We've effectively been held less accountable for our own spiritual lives. The author of this book argued that we should all go back to the Friday meat abstinence (as the Bishops of the UK did recently) because it was something that all Catholics did, something that set us apart from all the other Christians out there. 

In today's world, when there is so much animosity toward Catholics and so many Christians aren't really all that much different than your average Secular Sally, (*coughunitarianscough*), it would be nice, just once to see the Church stand up for Catholic identity. To remind us that we are in the world, but not of the world. We need things like keeping up our Christmas decorations for the entire Christmas season and then going to Mass on the Epiphany (which is January 6, not "a Sunday between January 2 and January 8"). We need our Theophany water and chalk and whatever other trappings we can get. We need our St. Blaise days and May Crownings and Good Friday Fish Fries. We need to be reminded that that our Church isn't replaceable by going to whichever First United Congregation is closest to us, because the service times fit with soccer practice and the female pastor wears birkenstocks and a Hawaiian shirt and that's neat. Above all, we need to be reminded that we are Catholic and not only is it worth fighting for, it's worth living for, too. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Ack! My Brain!

Last night, the Hubbs was watching Star Wars on a national cable television channel that is aimed at men, and literally EVERY single commercial break had a commercial for Trojan "Bare Skin"* condoms in it. It features a "beautiful" (read: sexy-librarian-type) "scientist" who works in a lab and couples who look like they are literally being magnetized together. Because this condom is to "bring you closer than ever before." Um... what? Even the Hubbs, who started muting the commercials after seeing it about 4 times, commented about how ironic it was that a condom, a device that by its very nature is meant to put a barrier between people, is being marketed to bring couples together.
I understand that not everyone is Catholic. There was a time that I wouldn't have considered myself Catholic. But I have said over and over that my reversion has made me see things from such a different perspective that it's actually difficult to understand the secular world any more. The Catholic Church's teaching on sexuality and human dignity is so profoundly beautiful that it actually makes me sad when I think that Protestant denominations who call themselves pro-life don't espouse about half of it. It makes me sad that so many people in the secular world- those going green, going organic, being crunchy- are still so tied up with their pills and IUD's and dubiously marketed prophylactics. Sometimes I feel like I've found the world's best product at a better price and everyone else is insisting on using something that just... doesn't work. 
In these Trojan commercials, where is the talk about how using a condom outside of a monogamous committed relationship *may* cause one or more parts of the couple to feel used, objectified or generally icky about things? Where is the warning that continued use of condoms may result in lower fidelity? Where is the caution that those who are being so "responsibly" intimate, may, in the end be irresponsibly treated by someone who claimed to love them?
Our product may not be as popular, it may not be as widely used. But. We win. 

John 1:23

*Please note that I do NOT condone the use or sale of this product. Ad is posted only for clarification purposes. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

How Things Change

At around this time last year, I was jealous of a co-worker of mine who travelled all the time and had a lot of fun with her husband. They decided after they got married that they would never have kids, even though both of them really love kids. I remember being really envious of them, as I had just started my convalidation process and was really struggling with the no birth-control thing (you know, that little piece of infallible dogma). I was covetous (yes, I have used the thesaurus today) because I felt like they were so free-- they didn't have a Church telling them what they had to do and how they had to do it and when they could do it and how they had to feel about it when they finally did.
My "mantilla friend" from our local newspaper on a story they ran for the
New Translation.

Today, I find myself being more covetous of people in my parish with the big families. The ones with all the kids. Like the family who recently baptized their newest addition, who, from what I can tell is the 6th or 7th (they're not always at Church at the same time, so I can't really tell), who gave their newborn the deliciously Catholic name Augustine James. Or the woman who I call my "mantilla friend" (because she is the only other woman at my parish who wears one regularly), who has 4 sons and from what I can tell, the oldest is definitely going to be a priest. I can tell by the way he's very solemn and serious at Mass and clutches his rosary, though he's probably only 6 at the oldest.
I don't know if this is my biological clock ticking, or my desires becoming more and more ordered. I hope it's a little of both.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Venite Adoremus Dominus

On Friday night we were over at T and J's house for the annual cookie party, and T's mom said "Mary wrapped the first Christmas present!" And for a moment, I thought she meant Mary herself physically wrapped the first Christmas present in her womb, but realized that she meant in the swaddling clothes. It made me start thinking about Mary and Christmas and Merry Christmas and all that jazz.

There's something to be said about Mary wrapping Jesus up in those swaddling clothes, the incarnate God bound; humble, unable to speak, reduced to the state of a newborn child, dependent on His earthly parents for everything, just as we all are. Is it a metaphor for how we are to depend on God? For how humble and silent and trusting we should be? Let us all be like Mary, whether falling to our knees in adoration, or simply allowing ourselves to be "thrones" for our Lord. Let us remember those who are helpless, innocent, dependent, needy. Let us always remember that Christ came in to this world a fragile human being, which is all that we are, and gave us salvation. He made us, and then He made us better.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

News Agencies May Run Stupid Articles, Logic Says

Allow me to quote Charlie Brown: AUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHH! Seriously, Fox News? I mean, I know you’re not fair and balanced, and the majority of the time your headlines read like something from The Onion, but really??
I’m a little confused as to the aim of the article, since I automatically assume that every news agency has some sort of agenda.
1.)    Birth control helps to lower cancer risk, so everyone should take it! (Except the increased cancer risk you get from taking the pill.)
2.)    Not having babies increases your cancer risk (so take the pill, and decrease the chance of having babies!)
I’m confused and annoyed and terribly appalled!