Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Religion • Atheists Lose Their Cool Over Tim Tebow

There was a time when atheists were nicer and had some class. Atheists of old drastically differered from those of today. High profile philosophers David Hume, Bertrand Russell and even Voltaire (among others) were not in the closet about their non-belief. They published anti-religion essays and in the case of Hume, rejected belief in miracles while questioning God, like Voltaire who could not understand how a loving God could have allowed the devastating earthquake in Lisbon that killed thousands of people in 1755. Yet, these were atheists that this writer would have enjoyed conversations with over coffee and in fact, would have liked them, even though we would have had wide differences of opinion.

They were entirely different than the atheists on the loose today. First of all, the earlier non-believers were respectful, polite, had manners and in the case of Hume, was never the subject of a scandal.  They had class.. They were geniuses in their thought processes (which I admire) while pouring out their criticisms pertaining to the existence of God, with powerful words against religion. BUT they were never insulting and handled their subject with manners and respect. This is a huge distinction which makes a difference in their results.

Today’s atheists have NO class. They berate Chrstians, mock them for their belief and ridicule them without letup. Nobody with class or any kind of dignity will insult someone’s belief system or their culture. But these low lifes do just that.  A shocking example of this was Bill Maher, who believes he is a comedian, making a vulgar reference to Jesus Christ (blasphemy) and Christian football star, Tim Tebow on television. This is the lowest of the low.

Syndicated Columnist-Radio Host-Commentator Jerry Newcomb takes the keyboard with his thoughts on Tebow:

Reaction Against Tim Tebow Speaks Volumes About His Critics
By Jerry Newcombe
1/2/11

I know very little about professional sports, but even I have heard of Tim Tebow, quarterback for the Denver Broncos. From what I know, I respect him a great deal.

He’s become a lightning rod for reaction. Love him or hate him, but you can’t ignore him.

Because he has had the audacity to publicly thank his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for his many recent victories—-some of which have been spectacular—-he is the subject of some rather interesting (sometimes profane) reactions.

I heard the other day that tebow has now officially entered into our vocabulary as a word or phrase added to our lexicon in 2011. To tebow is to bow your knee and give thanks to God.

When asked about his outspoken gratitude to his Savior, Tim Tebow said, “If you’re married, and you have a wife, and you really love your wife, is it good enough to only say to your wife ‘I love her’ the day you get married? Or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and every opportunity?”

He added, “And that’s how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ is that it is the most important thing in my life.” (USA Today, 11/22/11).

Tim Tebow’s outspoken gratitude to Jesus has provoked some strong responses. Here’s a small sample:

**Saturday Night Live even did a skit about him recently, where “Jesus” comes into the Broncos’ locker room after a game to essentially tell Tebow to cool it. I was watching the skit on line and stopped midway. I found it neither funny nor respectful.

**Famous atheist Bill Maher exulted in a recent Tebow defeat, using unrepeatable and blasphemous profanity. I was a panelist four times on Bill’s show when it was on ABC. He never seems to miss an opportunity to denigrate Christianity. And former CNN pundit Bill Press said he wish that Tebow would shut the [BLEEP] up.

In some ways these kinds of reactions are not surprising. Author Michael Novak once said years ago that in our highly sensitive age, the only form of bigotry that is acceptable in our society is anti-Christian bigotry.

I have noticed that people who clamor for tolerance are often the least tolerant of conservative Christians. About ten years ago, on a few occasions, the church I belonged to was protested by many liberals because of our opposition to same sex marriage. I once quipped to the pastor, “Oh look, here come the shock troops of tolerance again.”

I think one of the worst criticisms of the football player comes from a far-left rabbi who implied that if Tebow kept his winning streak—-which, alas, has not happened—-then America would be in for some dark days brought on by Tebow devotees.

Joshua Hammerman stated in The Jewish Week: “If Tebow wins the Super Bowl, against all odds, it will buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants. While America has become more inclusive since Jerry Falwell’s first political forays, a Tebow triumph could set those efforts back considerably.”

Soon after writing this, both The Jewish Week and Hammerman issued apologies.

But I think some liberals believe the underlying sentiment. The committed conservative Christian, to some liberals, is the enemy of true freedom. The opposite is true.

To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, Jesus is the model of our liberties. In 1786, in his statute for religious freedom for Virginia, Jefferson wrote that any “temporal punishments” against religious opinion (even if deemed heretical) are a “departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being lord both of body and mind, yet choose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to exalt it by its influence on reason alone.”

In other words, Jesus didn’t force Himself on anyone, nor should we, argues Jefferson. It’s a sham to say that the likes of Tim Tebow (or Jerry Falwell for that matter) would call for “mosque burnings,” etc.

I prefer the views of a conservative rabbi I’ve had the privilege of interviewing a few times. Rabbi Daniel Lapin once told me, “No country in the last two thousand years has provided the same haven of tranquility and prosperity for Jews as had the United States of America. And, this is not in spite of Americans being Christian; it is because of it. You might say that America’s Bible belt is the Jewish communities’ safety belt.”

Tim Tebow may have a big bulls-eye on his back. Some liberals are rooting for him to fail big time. But I am positive that if he were to pull off more seemingly miraculous plays in the future, there would be no pogroms as a result.

He would just humbly give credit where it is due. Good for him.

###
Jerry Newcombe is the host of Truth That Transforms with D. James Kennedy (formerly The Coral Ridge Hour). He has also written or co-written 23 books, including The Book That Made America: How the Bible Formed Our Nation and Answers from the Founding Fathers. Jerry co-wrote (with Dr. Peter Lillback) the bestselling, George Washington’s Sacred Fire. He hosts the website http://www.jerrynewcombe.com.

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