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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Texas Faith: What do you think about Tebowing?

Tebow told Fox Sports last fall that he knows about the criticism, but he's more focused on those who draw inspiration from his public prayers. Said Tebow: "It's not my job to see people's reasons behind it, but I know [of a kid] with cancer that tweeted me, 'Tebowing while I'm chemoing' -- how cool is that?" Tebow said. "That's worth it right now. If that gives him any encouragement or puts a smile on his face, or gives him encouragement to pray, that's completely awesome."

With this phenomenon swirling around us, and the Super Bowl approaching, here is this week's question: What is your view about his public praying and the Tebowing phenomenon that has built up around it?

Eleven Texas Faith panelists respond, please visit Dallas Morning News at http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/01/texas-faith-what-do-you-think.html
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

Tebowing phenomenon has several parallels in our society.

When things are not going well, hope is the only thing that drives the average person to live-on, and look forward to the light at the end of a tunnel. We are in a tunnel now with the highest unemployment a generation has witnessed in a long time; someone we know closely does not have a job, lost his or her house, and is struggling to take care of the family to keep a roof above the head.

God is the last resort for those who believe in divine intervention, we expect miracles, and we day-dream about a positive change in our lives. When someone like Tim Tebow expresses that call to God in public, we feel it in our guts and we relate with it.

We are an untapped reservoir of kindness, and were looking to release that energy.  When Tebow rested his knee on the ground with millions of us watching, he instantly became a catalyst and has released that energy in us, and emotionally, we connected with him. This is something we wanted to do, but did not know how.

The last such phenomenon was witnessed on the evening of Tuesday November 4, 2008 by most Americans regardless of their political, ethnic or religious affiliation.  I choked and felt the tears in my eyes, the tears of Joy.  I was happy to think of the prospect of America becoming a great nation once again, in those few bare seconds I was imagining prosperity knocking on every American door fulfilling the dream of millions of Americans with a Job, health and education for their children. A sense of safety permeated through my body, getting the chills to know that in a few hours the Obama presidency would be a reality. America once again will be a strong, healthy and a prosperous nation. I was still trying to understand my feelings of joy when someone on NPR said it was like "birthing", birthing it was.

Birthing it is. Tebowing has unleashed hope in us,  and I hope and pray that our economy recovers and absorbs the unemployed among us to take care of our families. I have interacted with several of my friends from Atheists to Zoroastrians and every one in between; most of them see it as a positive change. Tebow has made us conscious of the need for humility and need for prayers.

Let's pray that all our presidential candidates including the incumbent, to make an effort to visit every place of worship across the width and breadth of our land and kneel in humility towards the creator and sincerely beg to remove the ill-will towards each other. Can we do that? Yes we can, we are in this together and no American should feel apprehensive, discomfort or fear of the other. May God open our hearts and minds towards each other to look with kindness and goodwill, and give hope to each other,   Amen!
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 Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America, where no Americans has to live in apprehension or fear of the other. He is a speaker, thinker and a writer and offers pluralistic solutions on current issues. His work is listed at www.MikeGhouse.net

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