I'm going to hell for this, I just know it. It's one thing to question Tim Tebow's devout Christian beliefs, as I did in this story here. But it's quite another to respond to the emails such a story generates -- and to respond the way I typically respond.
Christians wrote me Hate Mail.
And I blew them up.
Forgive me, Father ... but look at these people. Look at them!
From: Daniel Liebman
Dude, your article bothers me. You know dang well that you painted Tebow as a religious nut-job.
I didn't paint him as a religious nut-job. Tebow's the one holding the brush. I just hung his art on the wall and asked you folks to take a look.
From: Thomas Matthews
You are ridiculous and have taken liberty with a young man's words. Tim is saying faith and hard work will see him through the indecision and tumult associated with competing for a starting QB job in the NFL, exacerbated by ridiculous assumptions by the media like yourself.
Wrong, Thomas. That's what Tim SHOULD have said. But it's not what he did say.
From: Mark Wayland
I think you got it wrong. Tebow is saying he gives all the glory to God no matter what role he plays on the football field. His talent and opportunity come from God, but the reward isn't here on earth
Wrong, Mark. That's what Tebow SHOULD be saying. But it's not what he is saying.
Tebow meant that he relies on his faith to get him through challenging or difficult times -- not that he believed that God's plan was for him to be a starting NFL QB. You (expletive deleted).
I'm getting tired of people telling me what Tebow meant to say. But I understand why you people do it. It beats focusing on the implausibly, indefensibly self-centered stuff he really DID say.
From: Chance Jones
Your article on Christian faith is extremely offensive. I have forwarded my thoughts to many individuals at CBS Sports and will no longer be a customer.
You'll be back. When you're finished burning books.
From: Drew Crawford
Really disappointed with you taking Tebow's faith and twisting it in a worldly way to be something negative. Very, very disturbed by your conclusion, Gregg.
Sorry, Drew. You'll feel better if you forward your thoughts to many individuals at CBS Sports and then go burn some books.
It sounds like you don't believe in the same God, with nothing to live for and nowhere to go if you're right. But if you're wrong and Tim is right, you will end up in hell. Which is worse?
I don't think you truly have faith, Marc. Sounds to me like you're using religion to cover your ass, just in case there is an afterlife.
You're an ass when you talk about Tebow and his religious beliefs. You must be jealous of all his accomplishments. We need more people in this world like Tebow, not asses like you who look for bad things to say about good people. God bless you.
Your last sentence wasn't for me -- it was for you. So take your empty, insincere "blessing" and put it where the sun ... ahem. Thank you, Roseann. And also with you.
From: Mike Luck
You're an idiot! Tebow believes in his faith and you turn it into a bad thing. Anything to make a buck or get a rise out of people. You should be ashamed of yourself! I only hope your boss reads this and sees you for the idiot you really are and fires your ass. God bless.
God bless? God bless? Do you realize that a Christian like you turns off more potential converts than I could with a million columns on Tebow? No, of course you don't realize that. You're an idiot. But anyway ... God bless.
From: Mike Doty
I was going to respond to your column on Tebow, but it's not worth responding to it.
Hate to break it to you, Mike, but you just ... oh, never mind. I'm guessing the concept of irony pretty much eludes you.
From: Chad Alford
I'm a born-again Christian, but I think your article is dead on. I have often questioned Tim's rationale because, quite honestly, God NEVER promised us in His Word that life would be easy and we would get everything we want.
This means a lot, Chad. Thank you.
From: Josh R.
Tebow is a product of an American theology that teaches, "Follow Jesus and you will have success in life." The problem is that no one is willing to let God define success. Maybe success in God's eye is someone like Youcef Nadarkhani -- the Christian pastor in Iran who was sentenced to death recently for his faith. But you're right, this doesn't make Tebow a bad person. He's just young and still has a lot of growing up to do -- especially in faith.
I'm printing your email, like I printed Chad Alford's, as proof that there are people -- Christian people -- who disagree with Tebow's fundamentalist beliefs. It's not just me. Nor is my viewpoint an atheist viewpoint.
From: John Fannin
I'm a Christian who loves Tim, but that was a very thoughtful article.
Now I'm just showing off.
From: Steve Gallo
I'm a Christian, and as I was reading your column on Tebow I kept waiting to see if you would write anything that would tick me off. But you wrote a spot-on piece. Props, my man.
From: Heather B.
You're just plain ignorant. You know nothing of Christianity, despite your miserable attempts at proving you do. Your writing is inarticulate and ordinary, and you're going to hell.
From: Ron Hamel
Did it ever occur to you that Tebow may have been speaking about having faith in himself? I don't believe God's name was ever mentioned!
So Tebow worships at the Church of Tim? That's harsh, Ron. I don't understand what it is with you Tebow haters out there.
From: Craig Fullerton
Way to twist Tebow's words to create a story. You obviously have no concept of what faith is all about. Whenever someone says they have nothing against religion ... they have something against religion.
I have nothing against you, Craig.
You should never use a man's belief in Christ against him. Shame on you for writing this article. It's writing like this that turns the world against Christ and you will one day have to answer for it, BELIEVE IT OR NOT. God will show himself to you, one way or the other.
One way or (gulp) the other? Hypothetically speaking here, what are we talking about -- a plague of locusts? A seven-headed beast coming out of the sea? No, wait. You don't mean ... please, no ... an army of Jehovah's Witnesses walking up my driveway?!?
I do not want to be standing next to you when lightning strikes. You are bad-mouthing a child of God and that's not a smart thing to do.
The scariest part of your email is that you probably believe what you wrote.
Your Tebow article ... I'll be looking for some good Hate Mail on Thursday, because the only people who can spew more hate than a pissed-off Bible thumper are pissed-off, Tebow-worshipping Bible thumpers.
I hope it was good for you -- but this whole experience has taken a chunk out of me. And it's starting to rain outside. I think I hear lightning ...