ENGLEWOOD, CO - CIRCA 2011: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in Englewood, Colorado. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
This past weekend, “Saturday Night Live” aired a sketch referencing the Denver Broncos’ win over the Chicago Bears in overtime on December 11. Denver’s quarterback, Tim Tebow, led his team to a miraculous victory, which he credited to God.
In the sketch, Jesus, played by cast member Jason Sudeikis, comes to the Denver locker room after the game to have a meeting with Tebow and the team. He asks the team to begin “pulling their weight,” as he is tired of winning all the games for them. He then turns specifically to Tebow and asks him to “take it down a notch,” in a reference to the quarterback’s religious zealotry.
Some commentators are pointing to the sketch as an example of negative bias towards Christians. In specific, televangelist Pat Robertson referred to the sketch as “anti-Christian bigotry,” and said that if the sketch had featured Muhammed and aired in a Muslim country, that “you would find bombs being thrown off and bodies in the street.”
Is a popular figure’s religion off limits as a source for humor? Is it OK to do, but just tacky? Why is this causing so much ire in the Christian community? What’s better: to wear your religion on your sleeve, or keep it and your opinions to yourself? Why?
Dr. Clayton Schmit, Professor at Fuller Seminary; Academic Director of Fuller’s Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts