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April 10, 2012

Tebow, Zimmerman are suffering the slings and arrows

Daily Star

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After watching the news for the last few weeks, I have to wonder what the heck's going on. To any rational person, things are a little skewed. To illustrate, let's follow the saga of two young men.

First, we have NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who was recently traded to the New York Jets. Tebow is a devout Christian and isn't afraid to say so, but he's not a preacher on a quest to convert one and all. He simply practices his faith, does missionary work in the off-season, and publicly "takes a knee" and thanks God upon success during a football game.

Because of this, sportscasters continually refer to Tebow as controversial or "polarizing." Why is that? During a recent interview in New York City, sports writers asked Tebow to comment on moral topics of the day, like contraceptives. Why is that?

If there were a Muslim player in the NFL -- who was devout and praised Allah upon scoring a touchdown -- would the press be calling him "polarizing?" I bet not! Would they ask him to comment on moral issues of the day? I bet not!

Then, why do they ask Tebow? Is it because he's a Christian? Is being a Christian "polarizing?" If so, since when did this happen? How did this come about?

Seems to me that Christians and Christian nations are always coming to the aid of those in distress. To name a few, tons of supplies were flown to Haiti after the earthquake, and billions were given to Indonesia and Japan after the recent tsunamis. We have helped to rebuild Europe and Asia after the war, and sent medicine and supplies to places like Africa and China numerous times.

Consider human rights, religious freedom, women's rights, economic and political freedoms, major advancements in science and medicine, improved standards of living, universal education, advances in agriculture that enable the world to be fed, and so on. All these, and more, took root and flourished under Christianity.

So, why is Tebow "polarizing"? He's not, but many in the media are so secular and so politically correct that to them, any display of faith is unnerving. Especially so, when it's Christianity.

We are an easy target. We will not protest in the streets or put bounties on those who ridicule us or our God. We simply register our complaint and move on.

I wish Tim Tebow luck, and he'll need it in modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah.

Second, consider the tragedy of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American shot to death in February. I do not know the specifics of the case, and I will not comment on anyone's guilt or innocence, but one must ask the question, "How could something like this happen?"

Could the race-baiters such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson be somewhat responsible? Have they fanned the racial flames so long that young men like Trayvon Martin think of themselves as victims and react sharply to any sign of authority?

Consider NBC News and its deliberate altering of Trayvon's pictures and its purposeful editing of George Zimmerman's 911 call to make him appear racist. NBC has investigated and apologized, but the question is, "Why would it do that in the first place?"

Add to the mess The New York Times and others calling Zimmerman a white-Hispanic. His father is white and his mother is Hispanic, but why call him anything? Why the labels? Should race be stressed? Must everything be racial?

Reflect, too, on the SUNY Oneonta and The Daily Star's rehash of the "Black List" from 20 years ago. Most young people had never heard of it. Why bring it up, and therefore, keep fanning the racial flames?

In other words, if cries of racism were not bantered about like autumn leaves, would there be less tension between peoples? Bet so! If everything were not interpreted to be racial, would tempers be so high? I bet not!

Note 1: Yes, Harry, you should find a good woman and settle down. I did 41 years ago and never looked back. Nevertheless, no matter how good the woman, a new tractor has a few advantages. First, you can put a muffler on a tractor. It will never say, "Do these new tires make me look fat?" Also, a tractor doesn't mind if you have another tractor. It never has a headache and doesn't care how late you come home. However, its main advantage is you can turn it off with a key!

Note 2: Happy Birthday to my wife, partner and best friend. As Lord Lyttleton once said, "How much dearer the wife than the bride."

Chuck Pinkey is the owner of River Valley New Holland Inc. in Otego. He can be reached at The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of The Daily Star and its editorial board.