Warning: Kids, do not try this at home, on the bus, or (especially) at school. Remember, this is a highly trained professional athlete.
According to school officials at Riverhead School in Long Island, teens can seriously hurt themselves or others by engaging in activities like this:
Apparently, displays like this were going on all week at Riverhead High. The students involved were advised that they were disrupting movement through the hallways between classes and that a riot could easily break out if someone in the mob of students got pushed during the incident. In other words,
EQUALS THIS (click here).
All joking aside, I really don’t think so, although many reports are calling it that. For those who would argue that this incident does amount to a case of religious discrimination, I would ask them to consider the following.
Imagine a muslim teenager pulling out his prayer carpet and prostrating himself at an appropriate time, in a discrete location, while at school. No problem, right?
Now imagine him doing this between classes in the middle of the hallway while fellow students are trying to get to class. He would not only be causing a disturbance, he would be making a statement. Inappropriate?
Now the incident where the Tebowing kids got suspended involved 40 students (only 2 were suspended). So imagine 40 muslim teenagers pulling out their carpets and prostrating themselves in the hallway while others were trying to pass by. You might end up with something like this (Caution: if you are sensitive to violence you may not want to click here). Get the point?
In this scenario, would the school principal be discriminating against his muslim students, if he were to deny them the privilege of freely practicing their religion in this way?
No, the school not only has a very good point, but also the responsibility to maintain discipline, order, and safety.
I am not saying that this incident has nothing to do with religious expression. It has everything to do with religious expression. Tim Tebow’s Tebowing is a public religious act — God bless him for it!
The kids imitating him may be doing it for different reasons. They could just be paying homage to their sports hero and role model. Or maybe it’s the cool thing to do nowadays, because everyone else is doing it. Perhaps some of them just want to make a scene or a statement. It doesn’t matter. If Tebow’s Tebowing (giving glory to God) were not cool, the kids would not be doing it.
Kids admire Tebow for his religious conviction. They see him not just as a winning sports star (which he is), but more importantly as a role model who’s not afraid to stand up for his principles and values in the public eye.
So maybe a few more silly incidents will follow after this one. And I’m sure we’ll hear more controversy over Tebow and Tebowing leading up to this year’s Super Bowl, even if the Broncos don’t make it (but something tells me God might just give them a little extra push to get them there).
The question is, will the hype die down after this season, or will this burgeoning trend follow Tebow throughout his NFL career?
Some might call this phenomenon a fad. I call it cultural conversion. I also think the way it is affecting our youth is a good thing. Thanks Tebow!