Reconciling Tim Tebow’s Ability to Inspire With His Public Demonstrations of Faith

Photo credit: flickr/Jeffrey Beall

Tim Tebow has stepped in to replace time zones as the thing most likely to divide the nation. Say “Tebow” to someone, and you find one of two reactions- a fond smile, or a severe grimace. Only a few who know his name appear to view the NFL quarterback with any level of neutrality. And the reason for all of the divided opinions (aside from his unique and disputable style of play, and recent headline-making victories with the Denver Broncos) rests on Tebow’s decision to wear his faith in Jesus on his sleeve. Is Tim Tebow catching flack for no good reason, or are the calls for spiritual moderation warranted? I think there’s a bit of both.

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Is Having a Family the Highest Virtue?

 
Photo credit: flickr/Shutter Daddy. Usage does not represent endorsement by the photographer.

Call it a sign of the times. We live in a culture that encourages individual notoriety and pursues personal celebrity, so putting a spotlight on one’s own family or familial role is a natural (but unfortunate) outcome. Facebook users have taken family worship to a new level. I mean, I do care that Jimmy just wiped his own poop all over the kitchen floor, and that mom wishes this day were over already, but do domestic bloopers really deserve their own Press Release? Must the mundane now be seen as magnificent?

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Is It Moral to Comment On (and Care About) the Lives of Celebrities?

Adrian Grenier and Paris Hilton play to the cameras in ‘Teenage Paparazzo.’ Photo Credit: HBO Documentary Films

This past week, my wife and I decided to flip on the new HBO documentary ‘Teenage Paparazzo’ from ‘Entourage’ actor Adrian Grenier. Usually I’d pass on something like this. What else is there to learn, right? It’s a tired dynamic: everyone thinks the paparazzi are scavengers; the irony is the celebrities need them and we buy the magazines that make commodities of their photos. Snore.

By addressing fame and our cultural appetite for it, ‘Teenage Paparazzo’ was typically scathing but also surprising gracious and insightful in a few ways. One bit of commentary stuck out in particular: we live such disconnected lives in our big cities and suburbs that we’ve taken to celebrity following and celebrity gossip because it helps us define our own morality. I’ll explain how.

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Can We Separate the Art from the Artist?

Mel Gibson with former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva

by Guest Contributor Brian Robinson

In 2010, I think it’s safe to say that Americans are obsessed with celebrity. We consume it in a feeding frenzy, as the Kardashians, Hiltons, Richies and Snookies parade in front of the camera. But true stars are still hard to come by, and our culture is happy to highlight those that we actually pay money to watch work. Which, when you think about it, is a strange thing to do. Can you imagine an audience of some kind watching you as you work throughout your day? And PAY you for the privilege? We bestow a special position for those in our society who entertain us and do it well. This is why we are fascinated when those to whom we have bestowed this “honor” turn out to be run of the mill, every day human beings. Guess what? They flounder, flail and falter like the rest of us. So, when it’s one of your favorite entertainers, do you continue to support them as artists?

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Non-confrontational Democracy in Action!

Photo Credit: babble.com

by Guest Contributor Brian Robinson

Let me begin this post that jumps into the Michael Jackson pool by admitting that I am not a Jackson apologist. While he meant a lot to me growing up, and I was as caught up as any kid growing up in the Eighties with his music, I was totally disillusioned with what he apparently became. I say  ‘apparently’ because I try to stick to my creed about NOT engaging on long distance diagnoses of celebrities. I can’t say with any certainty that there was  ‘something wrong’ with the man, but I have my suspicions as many of you may. Plus, anyone who knows me knows I am a major Prince fan, and if anyone in music raises our suspicions about what might or might not be weird….

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Our New National Pastime: The Long Distance Diagnosis

by Guest Contributor Brian Robinson

If there is one thing that all Americans seem to share in this new millennium, it’s that we ALL are dime store psychologists.  These days we live for the moment we can point to a public figure and declare that we know exactly what their problem is. Do they even have a problem? Well, it seems if enough of us say they do, then they do.

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