Fidelius and Diabolus: Tim Tebow, Jesus, and Saturday Night Live
Christians have only themselves and their sub-media-culture to blame when it comes to a cavalier approach to Jesus. Not that we should behave violently to a light portrayal. But when Christians started replacing the Air-Jordan logo with Air-Jesus, they are asking for massive satire. I actually think SNL’s portrayal was fun and generous..where Jesus shows patience with a highly zealous Tebow. No one…especially Jesus, was ridiculed. The point of the sketch is how American culture wastes prayers, attention and ‘God’s intervention’ on matters as trivial as a football game.
Saturday Night Live’s parody of the stellar NFL quarterback Tim Tebow and Christ has drawn criticism and condemnation in many quarters. Our friends Fidelius and Diabolus talk it out.
Diabolus: Did you catch Saturday Night Live with Tebow and Jesus?
Fidelius: I didn’t need to see it. It was a travesty. Pat Robertson blasted it.The atheists are just picking on him because he is a missionary and is very open about his faith.
Diabolus: Maybe you aren’t giving the Devil his due. The Jesus portrayed on SNL was very limited, very human.
Fidelius: How can you say that? Jesus is always with us. He hears our prayers.
Diabolus: Okay, but what happens when things don’t work out? What do you say when you fail or bad things happen to you?
Fidelius: Tebow is having a great season. He gives the praise to God and doesn’t keep it for himself. He openly witnesses to his faith in Jesus, his Lord and Savior.
Diabolus: Maybe that was the point of the parody. In our love and our enthusiasm we can simplify and distort a very complex relationship – our relationship with the Risen Christ.
Fidelius: You sound like a secular humanist or relativist playing down the reality of God in our lives.
Diabolus: Do you remember Fr. O’Flaherty’s old joke about praying to win the lottery? The one he used to tell from the pulpit.
Fidelius: You mean the one about the guy who kept begging God to win the lottery until an exasperated Voice from heaven told him that it might help if the guy bought a lottery ticket?
Diabolus: In the SNL parody, Jesus tells Tebow and his team mates to study the play book and to work harder on the first part of the game. He sounded more like a therapist than a puppet master. That’s the problem with God. He allows too much freedom.
Fidelius: So you are trying to say that there is no Providence. We just muddle through as best we can without any Divine help?
Diabolus: No. If one team wins the other must lose. Is the losing team less pleasing to God?
Fidelius: That’s what it says in many places of the Old Testament.
Diabolus: The Bible is not talking about major league sports. It is talking about submitting to God and what happens when we don’t order our lives properly. Things go better if you are right with God but that is not what happened to Jesus or to the millions killed in the holocaust.
Fidelius: So you are calling Tebow and the rest of us religious simpletons?
Diabolus: No, just humans caught up in enthusiasm in your faith. What happens when things don’t work out? Where is God then?