Bill Maher, the obnoxious and unfunny “comic” who hosts a talk show on HBO, has sunk to a new low by making fun of the religious faith of NFL quarterback Tim Tebow.
Maher, who loudly expresses his atheism whenever and wherever he goes, mocked Tebow on his Twitter account after the Denver star lost a game to the Buffalo Bills last weekend.
“Wow, Jesus just f____d #TimTebow bad! And on Xmas Eve! Somewhere in hell Satan is tebowing, saying to Hitler ‘Hey, Buffalo’s killing them,’” Maher tweeted.
The vulgar twitter has now led some to call for a boycott of HBO and Maher’s program “Real Time.”
Of course, Maher is not the only media figure who has attacked Tebow for his open espousal of his Christian beliefs. The NBC program “Saturday Night Live” also made fun of the young quarterback in a skit involving Jesus Christ, while other teams have cruelly imitated the act of ”Tebowing” (whereby he falls onto the ground in a prayer-like stance).
Any high-profile athletic star will attract a lot of negative attention -- but the case of Tebow is something rather unique, and perhaps unprecedented. He is being attacked for his religious faith and for openly advertising it. Moreover, if he gets better and better as a player (say, takes the Broncos to the Super Bowl someday soon), the waves of criticism will become an overwhelming avalanche. It’s inevitable.
But most football fans do not care about Tebow’s religion -- Denver fans especially just want him to win and bring the club back to the John Elway glory days.
However, since football stars often become prominent figures off the field, they will always attract attention from the media – particularly from people like Maher, who regularly attacks religion and faith.
However, what people need to remember is that Maher is a comedian who is seeking publicity for his show (which, it just happens, will commence its new season in a few weeks).
The Tebow incident will likely get more fans to watch HBO, just so they can hear what (if anything) Maher says about the controversy.
I do not watch Maher’s show “Real Time,” but I did used to watch the late night program he had on ABC years ago called “Politically Incorrect.”
The irony was that the show was actually very “politically correct.”
Typically, Maher would have four of five guests on the show, an eclectic mix of entertainers, athletes, academics, etc. There would always be just one conservative and the rest would all be avowed liberals (plus Maher).
Thus, it was always a ‘gang-up’ by a group of liberals against one token conservative (the sacrificial lamb, if you will). Maher’s intention for the show was not to have reasoned debate and conversation – rather, the program was designed to demean and humiliate the one lone conservative.
People who love Maher will be emboldened by the Tebow tweet and continue watching his show on HBO. People who hate Maher (like me) or those who are apathetic (perhaps the majority) probably won’t watch his show anyway.
It’s probably a net gain for Maher, and likely a non-event for Tebow, who looks like he is on the verge of breaking out into becoming a true NFL superstar.
Still, it rankles me that Maher is using Tebow -- who, as a conservative Christian and son of missionaries, makes a perfect target for the comic’s tirades.
You can bet anything that Maher would never mock a black athlete (even one who was a devout evangelical Christian), nor would he mock a Muslim athlete like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
In a way, it’s “safe” to make fun of Tebow, since he already is a polarizing figure to many. Nothing political incorrect about that at all.