I’m a Jew. I’m also an American who loves his country. This is the country where a Jewish blue-collar S.O.B. (son of a butcher) wound up graduating from an Ivy League university, married a former Miss Oklahoma, became a self-made millionaire, and then became — against all odds — the Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee. Today my home-schooled daughter attends Harvard.
As Don King says, “Only in America!”
This is the greatest country in the history of the world because regardless of race, sex, religion, or humble beginnings anything is possible.
I am living proof.
The foundation of our greatness is our unique relationship with God, faith and prayer. Whether we are Jews, Christians, or any other religion, together we are Americans. No country has ever based its very being as deeply on faith and God’s blessings, nor guaranteed its citizens such freedom of religion as America. The result has been the most blessed and successful country in world history.
A few days ago when I heard that a prominent Jewish Rabbi had written a commentary criticizing Tim Tebow and worrying about the effect Tebow’s success as a devout Christian and NFL superstar would have on diversity and religious tolerance in America, I was shocked, disgusted, and disappointed. The rabbi’s comments were callous, ignorant, and offensive, and coming from a place of fear, anger, weakness, jealousy, and envy.
Tim Tebow’s remarkable, magical, extraordinary success as an NFL quarterback isn’t just about sports, or his deep faith in Jesus Christ. It’s about leadership. It’s about sportsmanship. It's about morality. It’s about a foundation of incredible work ethic. It’s about, finally having a superstar athlete who is truly a role model. Tim Tebow should be everyone’s All American. He is the kind of man every American — of any religion — should be proud of.
Tim Tebow is a symbol of the role faith plays in our country. Our laws, national anthem, pledge of allegiance, and currency are all based on a faith in God. Our sovereignty was won — against insurmountable odds — based on our political leaders’, military leaders’, and citizen soldiers’ faith in God and divine providence.
Study after study proves that the root of success for virtually every CEO of every major corporation in America is a deep faith in God and religion. Tim Tebow is just another in a long line of remarkable Americans who have chosen God as their foundation.
Yet America is unique because there is no state-sponsored religion. We celebrate all religions, but, above all else, freedom of religion. America and its majority Christian population, welcomes, supports, and celebrates Jews and Israel. Jews are able to thrive in America because of the love and acceptance of the Tim Tebows of this country.
The rabbi expressed concern that Tebow’s success might inspire Christians to feel superior to other religions. How short-sighted. Tebow is doing just the opposite. He is bringing Americans together. He is not inspiring Christians, he is inspiring all Americans. He is proving that with hard work and the right goals, anything is possible. He is making it clear that you can love your God, your family, make moral choices, and still succeed in the rough and tumble real world.
I am a Jew turned born-again Christian. I married into a family of devout Christian ministers and missionaries. My wife Debra and I have been happily married for over 20 years. We have four beautiful children ranging in age from three to 19. All four have been raised as both Jewish and Christian. All four have been raised to celebrate both Christmas and Hanukah. My oldest child Dakota, now a scholar/athlete at Harvard, attended church throughout her youth, and was also Bat Mitzvah. She leaves the day after Christmas for her birthright trip to Israel. It is the honor of her lifetime.
That rabbi has nothing to fear from Tim Tebow or Christianity. I am today a proud Jew and Christian. Like most Americans I love God, country, apple pie, motherhood, the NFL, and Tim Tebow. Devout Christians in America love Jews and have become Israel’s strongest supporters. My in-laws love to say “the closest we’ll ever get to Jesus Christ is to have you as our son-in-law. After all, Christ was a Jew.”
I don’t know Tim Tebow personally, but I’m willing to bet that he has already forgiven that rabbi. I’m willing to bet that Tebow is a strong supporter of Israel. Ironically, devout evangelical Christians are far stronger supporters of Israel than liberal “reformed Jews” like this rabbi (who made politically liberal comments in the same commentary). Maybe this rabbi could learn a thing or two from Tebow.
I think every American — including rabbis — should celebrate the values of Tim Tebow.
Yes, Tim Tebow’s success is remarkable — almost miraculous (now if he had beaten the New England Patriots on Sunday, that would have been miraculous). Tebow is beating the odds, while at the same time managing to put God and his faith first. He is proving that you can be religious, faithful, moral, righteous, and a successful super-achiever. When one thinks of the long list of criminal charges against athletes today, there is much more to love and admire about Tebow, than to criticize and denigrate.
Tebow is about all that is right with America. Tebow has come along at just the right time to make us smile and cheer during a rough stretch. To give us a boost of confidence and can-do American spirit. To show us that we are capable of anything. Tebow brings Jews, Christians and all Americans together. We are a country that rises above divisions. We are Americans.
I am a Jew for Tebow.
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