By Matt Higgins

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has seemingly made himself the poster boy for Christianity, praying on the field after a win, putting Bible verses on his eye black during games and even starring in an anti-abortion ad during the Super Bowl, but one atheist group believes he’s doing it all for personal gain.

American Atheists — a New Jersey based group that promotes the separation of church and state — tells CBSDenver.com that the only reason Tebow is popular is because he constantly injects his Christianity among the public.

“When we watch a sporting event, we are all united for our team,” says David Silverman, president of American Atheists. “Tebow takes religion and injects it into the mix and divides the fan base.”

Silverman states that Tebow’s repeated references to God into his post-game comments after a win is “bad for football.

“(Religion) injects the divisive force into football,” Silverman says. “Why in the world are we talking about religion when we are talking about football?”

Tebow’s popularity rose during the season with his improbable comebacks, the latest coming in a thrilling 29-23 overtime playoff win against the Pittsburgh Steelers after an 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas.

The fascination over Tebow officially reached national heights when people across the U.S. started “Tebowing,” mimicking Tebow’s sideline prayers.

Silverman believes that Tebow is “full of crap” when he publically displays his Christianity on the football field and said his prayers are for publicity.

“It’s not that Tebow prays, it’s that he waits for the cameras to be on him to do it,” Silverman says. “He’s totally faking.”

As some criticize Tebow for his overt Christianity, the Christian Coalition believes the Broncos quarterback is being mocked for his religious stance.

“I think that atheists just need to get over it,” Michele Combs, spokeswoman for the Christian Coalition, tells CBS Denver. “He’s a Christian giving his ability to God. What’s wrong with that?”

Combs goes on to say that she believes people embrace his show of faith.

“I think more positive has come from this,” she says. “Young athletes look up to him.”

Silverman says if Tebow is truly a Christian, he would pray in private, not public.

“It is not surprising Tebow ignores Matthew 6:5 in which Jesus says, ‘When you pray, do not pray like the hypocrites in the street,’” Silverman says. “They pray to be seen praying. Pray in the closet.”

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  16. Lauren Egger says:

    I agree that his public praying is a little much, but I think you are going to far with ridiculing him. Let him practice his religion. we may think he’s a little out there with it, and frankly, it’s unnecessary to be SOOO public with it, but I disagree with this article’s thoughts about it dividing the football fans.Really? Come on. I think you’re just trying to create a little conflict and in turn, make a juicy article and discussion. I don’t think that there is anything negative coming out of his very public Christianity, except maybe a little humor and eye rolls. I almost think it’s a little ridiculous that this is bothering you so much and it’s unnecessary to take it this far. Let it go. He should be able to live as a christian and you should have the same right to live as an atheist. Let’s all just get along :)

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  18. Mike says:

    Well a secular Jew is in charge of an atheist group and he is jealous of a Christian football player. Big deal ! It is time to retaliate against this kind of provocation the same way Muslims do. Time for jihad.

  19. C.thomas says:

    Can’t wait till he’s sacked! Keep your religion where it belongs, in your own life!

  20. Steve says:

    Silverman is absolutely right that Tebow only prays when the camera is on him. Tebow’s football helmet is outfitted with a little speaker. On it, he can communicate with the various cameramen, who will tell him the exact moments when he’s on the TV screen. That way, he won’t have to take a knee and pray if he knows no one is going to see it.

    1. Lauren Egger says:

      How can you really know that Tebow only prays when the camera is on him? Have you seen him quickly start praying when the camera hits him? LOL I doubt it.

  21. jeff says:

    Isaiah 41 bring forth your Idols did they PREACH to you see they can’t speak they can’t DO ANYTHING all they do is cause confusion. Spalms 115 and Spalms 135 their Idols are FALSE they can’t speak, hear, nor smell and those that make them shall become like them. Jeremiah 10 they nail their Idol down like a scarecrow it can’t move, speak they must be carried these are nothing but the WORK of CON men.
    John 10 Jesus Christ says his sheep HEAR HIS VOICE and if another person TRIES TO PREACH to them they WILL FLEE from him. Jeremiah 5 the priests bear rule on their OWN AUTHORITY what will you do when your judged my word is not INSIDE them. Now here is the kicker john 5 son of man voice goes BACK in TIME.
    Mathew 16 Jesus Christ claims to be the son of man. 1 cor 2 mind of CHRIST preached internally and john 14 says the spirit of truth comes in the future. Ezekiel 13 states lying prophets of ISRAEL say GOD says GOD says but my word is not inside them. They wrote hoping mankind would CONFIRM their WORDS. All of this is EASILY verifiable.
    Mathew 10 says you should hear an internal voice that defends you and tells you what to say when taken to court preached to by the holy ghost. Mathew 12 Jesus states he is preaching by the holy ghost. John 14 states holy ghost comes in future and is from someone else. Now refer back to John 10 about hearing from someone else and fleeing. John 5 states son of mans voice goes back in time. Mathew 16 Jesus claims to be the son of man.
    1 cor 2 holy ghost is familiar with the story about a man on cross from READING about it. Isaiah 65 written in front of me is listed here and also what is not written is hidden from my eyes therefore not familiar with it found in the same chapter. john 7 Jesus says if you knew scripture you’d know if its his word or GODS words. john 12 Jesus admits the voice heard is NOT his. John 10 people point out that Jesus tries to make himself appear to be GOD

  22. Drew says:

    I am not religious nor am I a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu etc.. It just does not make sense to me and I know in my gut that if there is a creator, it is not the one put forth in the various religions.

    To understand the Tebow backlash you have to consider what is displayed from the perspective of a non-believer.Consider a scientologist standing before the camera giving praise to the thetans and L. Ron Hubbard or a new ager holding a crystal over their head to get the universal energy focused oin them……people generally roll their eyes and thing “Oh Brother”…..this is how a non-christian see’s it. But hey; whatever works for the guy or religious people in general…..It is all good.

  23. Thehail Demaryius says:

    As for me and my family, we will Tebow.

  24. Jerome says:

    If Tim Tebow was an atheist and he mentioned his atheism, than the backlash he would receive from Christians would dwarf any/all backlash from atheists. It wouldnt’ be close. In fact, if Tebow mentioned he was an atheist, he would probably get death threats right away.

    1. Mike says:

      Really? Prove it!

  25. Who Are You says:

    Ironically, 95% of the posts here are from religious people complaining and whining about someone not accepting their god. So who’s the biggest complainer?
    THE CHRISTIAN!!!!!

    1. Chuck Pelto says:

      TO: Who Are You
      RE: How ‘Stupid’ Can You Get?

      Winners don’t whine.

      Your projection is obvious.

      Regards,

      Chuck(le)
      [The Truth will out.]

  26. Dr. F. C. Ellenburg says:

    He is a winner no matter what

    1. Chuck Pelto says:

      TO: Dr F C Ellenburg
      RE: Winner, Indeed

      As we discussed this in my Mens’ Bible Study Group, it is not whether one wins or loses. It’s all in how you play the ‘game’. That being NFL-level football or Life itself.

      Regards,

      Chuck(le)
      [Be true to yourself.]

  27. Chuck Pelto says:

    TO: Mac
    RE: I have to Wonder….

    …..what Martin’s relationship to his father was like.

    Did he know his father?
    Did he respect his father?
    Did he fear his father?
    Did he LOVE his father?

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    P.S. Or did he hate his father as he hates God?

    1. Martin says:

      Gotta say, you are a sick person with a father fetish.

      1. Chuck Pelto says:

        TO: Martin
        RE: Heh

        Gotcha!

        Regards,

        Chuck(le)
        [The Truth will out….]

  28. Jonathan Seal says:

    Who really cares what atheists think anyways? I’ve never seen so many people talk about how smart they are and how dumb everyone else is like the atheists do. It’s like having a bunch of annoying drunk uncles at the family reunion. They’re all kinda creepy too!

  29. Martin says:

    Love and fear do not mix and is a VERY unhealthy combination. Do you realize that? Love, hate, punishment and fear are all the bronze age people had back then and that is the old testament in a nutshell. No such thing as gods teaching. All of that was written by many men of questionable sanity and you base your life on it? Sad…
    True belief has no measure and does not mean that anything is true just because someone or a group of people believe in one particular belief. You religious people can’t even get it straight between yourselves on what you really believe. Spare me the nonsense please.

  30. Mac says:

    Lot of people judging Tebow for his praying for a win as if it was frivolous. To them I ask ‘can you read what’s on his mind’? Perhaps wins are connected to his earning potential and perhaps that earning potential is connected to his charities. One might say to that ‘he never has said anything about that’. Perhaps his giving is between him and the Lord and no one else.

    To the atheists, no reason to get insulting toward practicing Christians. No one’s insulting you. Personally, I respect a true atheist, and a true atheist is indifferent towards those whom choose to believe. I do have a beef against the false atheist and that false atheist is openly rude, hostile and against the Lord. They are my enemy.

  31. Chuck Pelto says:

    TO: Dawn
    RE: Can’t Seem….

    ….to post here anymore. At least not in reply.

    Try going to comensarations dot info

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  32. Nunya says:

    Here’s another perfect representation of the modern atheist – angry, hateful, bigoted, and quoting scripture the same way Satan did when he tempted Christ. What do vampires & atheists have in common? They both shriek when they encounter light. Today’s atheists are a very hate-filled group full of mean-hearted militant people… yet Christ passionately loves them, died for them, & longs for them.

    1. Dawn says:

      Nunya, to use your “logic” Ted Haggard and Fred Phelps (Westboro Baptist Church) are perfect representations of the modern christian — angry, hateful, bigoted, hypocritical, and quoting scripture the same way Satan did when he tempted Christ. What do vampires & christians have in common? They both drink blood (communion); they both prey on the weak-minded and vulnerable, and they both are motivated by fear. Today’s christians are a very hate-filled group, full of mean-hearted militant people.

      Get my drift? Christians and Atheists are as diverse as their individual adherents. To lump everyone on either side into one group reveals your ignorance and bigotry.

  33. Bro says:

    Silverman loses his credibility by stating that Tebow should pray in private based on what the Bible says. If Silverman is an atheist and doesn’t believe in God, then why is he referencing the Bible as an authority? That would be like me referencing Santa Claus’ “Naughty or Nice” list in telling someone to be nice. If I don’t believe in Santa Claus, why would I suggest that someone else believe in him? Silverman, grow up and try on some thick skin while you’re at it. You’re just wasting time with your childish words.

    1. Martin says:

      Silverman is suggesting that Tebow follow his own (Tebows) bible. Silverman doesn’t follow the bible. Are you paying attention?

      1. Stephen M. Schaefer says:

        Tebow is following his Bible by doing what he believes is the right thing in what he believes is the right way. It is not hypocrisy to decline to live by the absurd interpretations provided by someone who does not subscribe to the tenets of the book in the first place.

  34. tomyj1 says:

    Did all these atheists work on 12/25, or did they have the day off (usually with pay) If they don’t like it there is a dial or switch on the boobtube that when you push it it shuts the TV off

  35. Robert Rainer says:

    Tim Tebow read Dr. Robert E. Rainer’s article, “Thoughts Are Reality”
    http://robertrainermd.com/Thoughts-Are-Reality.htm

  36. Real American says:

    how the F does that Atheist guy know that Tebow is faking it? oh, right. He’s an atheist that only relies on facts based on evidence. what a fraud.

  37. Teal Lavender says:

    jesus christ, atheists. Get a grip. You are worse than the old farts who still complain about endzone celebrations and Joe namath’s haircut and nylon commercials.
    Stop trying to prove that you are the only religious cult in america that cannot be tolerated by even the most open, civil society – but you are not worth any more words or time than you can be trusted to tell the truth under oath.
    We all already hate you more than child molesters and will continue to politely ignore you and your deranged anger at God/nothingness for ignoring you, as long as you can finally learn secularism 101 and return the favor.

    Stop imposing your lonely emptiness on every little thing. Is not even a meaningless game and its silly superstitions sacred to you worshippers of meaningless anymore?

    You enslaved robots of “reason” and “science” are the ones who made a middling rookie qb the biggest star/cash-money spokesman of the year. Now eat the wheaties you let him hock to you, you witless, unwitting servants of christ. Enjoy your bed without fussing if you can’t tolerate even your own mess, preachy windbags! And stop making Christians laugh and look good – do something productive with yourself (i.e. go to hell/oblivion), derivative dawkin-dix.

    1. Dulce says:

      Uh, Get a grip Mkay?….

  38. Miron Nava says:

    I am continually baffled that atheists argue passionately against a being they believe does not exist.

    1. A Great Mind says:

      No they don’t. They argue the people who truly exist who are brainwashed and believe this nonsense. There is no such thing as a god. Baffled now?

  39. Ctay says:

    When atheists become more tolerant of others religions, I will become more tolerant of theirs.

  40. Pete says:

    Matt 6:5 states that hypocrites (which refers to the religious sects of Judaism of the 1st century) pray in public in order to be seen by others, and Jesus states that the attention that they get is the only reward they’ll get. So then, praying in public in and of itself is not a sign of hypocrisy, but it’s what some religious hypocrites do to gain earthly reward/attention. Is Tebow a hypocrite? Only God knows. Only God knows his heart, and ultimately God will judge him. As a Christian, he seems to bear the fruit of a believer. And he is, by utilizing his talents, spreading the Gospel to the world.

  41. KittyB says:

    Grasping at straws. I’m not a Christian, but they came off as babies on this one. And to suggest the only reason people like Tebow is because he is vocal about his religion is stupid & dismissive because it ignores the fact that plenty of atheist & non religious football fans like him despite of it, myself being one of them. We don’t hate him because he is a Christian & we fully recognize his right under freedom of speech & religion to practice whatever he wants to believe, the same rights we would want to apply to non-believers. Maybe these people should find more worthwhile things to do than get angry over petty stuff.

    1. yathink says:

      Maybe you should tell your friends to quit harping on it and demanding that he “shut up about it” then.

  42. Thomas says:

    Blessing to all believers and non-beleivers.
    My issue is not with the perspective of the atheist group – that is a perspective that is formed by their strongly held world view.
    My issue is with the assertion CBS made on the Tim and mom Tebow ad that ran during a recent super bowl.
    CBS stated it was an “anti-abortion” ad: This is the narrative many pro-abortion folks had on the advertisement.

    If one where to ‘parse’ the ad and look at the content, I posit, one would then have the perspective that the ad was a pro-choice ad.
    In this instance, the choice the women made (Tim’s mom) was to have the baby and not abort. It did not have anti-abortion content,
    rather is had content that linked having the child to a choice, thus my conclusion that it is a pro-choice ad – not necessarily the
    choice all people make when confronted with this situation.

  43. Dave says:

    These atheists who complain about everything religious people do are just jerks. We are not all like that. I would never join American Atheists because of stuff like that. But after reading these comments it is striking how much hate and venom is spewed by “Christians” here. If that’s what you represent, you deserve whatever ill will you receive.

    1. well says:

      You have to realize that Christians are people too and if there here, they’re not perfect. Decades of hatred and intolerance are being reflected back at you. It’s wrong, in the sense that all attack is wrong, but it is natural.

  44. A Great Mind says:

    Since scripture is being quoted freely here, here’s a couple for you.
    Maybe Tebow should paste these on his face. There are plenty more where these came from. :)
    1 Tim 2:11-12
    Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.

    Exodus 21:20-21
    When a slave-owner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. But if the slave survives for a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property.

    1. lol says:

      Great Mjnd shall I point out errors in secular literature? Do you honestly believe two quotes from the Bible prove God does not exist?

      1. OnlyHuman says:

        I believe Great Mind was referring to the choice of Tim’s cherry picked quotes, not the existence or non-existence of god.
        Do you understand?

      2. lol says:

        So Great Minds cherry picking was better? I disagree. Tebow’s is more positive.

      3. A Great Mind says:

        We aren’t talking about secular literature here. Please don’t digress. Shouldn’t bible followers adhere to this bible passages also? That’s my point.
        Isaiah 13:13-16
        Therefore I will make the heavens tremble,
        and the earth will be shaken out of its place,
        at the wrath of the Lord of hosts on the day of his fierce anger.
        Like a hunted gazelle, or like sheep with no one to gather them,
        all will turn to their own people, and all will flee to their own lands.
        Whoever is found will be thrust through,
        and whoever is caught will fall by the sword.
        Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes;
        their houses will be plundered, and their wives ravished.

      4. lol says:

        I answered the criticism. Sorry you didn’t like it. But yes, we aren’t talking about literature. And if you and Great Mind aren’t debating the existence/non-existence of God, why are you here posting as an atheist? Just to attack without any responsibility to defend your views? That isn’t very fair, is it?

      5. A Great Mind says:

        Sorry that you see a legitimate question on bible scripture as an attack.

      6. lol says:

        It was not legitimate and I do not.

      7. A Great Mind says:

        No problem. You’re not the first or last religious person that I have seen that can’t answer a simple question about your “faith”.

      8. lol says:

        You didn’t ask a question.

      9. A Great Mind says:

        You’re quite a comedian. Read above posts and look for this question.
        “Shouldn’t bible followers adhere to this (these) bible passages also?” Answer?

  45. AT says:

    Atheists really need to find a hobby. Why they spend every waking minute complaining about what religious people do or don’t do, when they could be minding their own business and living their lives, is beyond me. It’s like they WANT to find reasons to be P.O.’d all the time. What kind of life is that?

  46. Andy Borillo says:

    One of the reasons why atheists are intolerant of others’ religious beliefs is that no one bothers or pay attention to them. Atheism, a belief in contradiction. Atheists believe there is no God, that God does not exist, yet that belief assumes there is One.

    1. OnlyHuman says:

      Quite a few times I’ve had people talk to me me about Jesus and the bible, at the park, at the super market and of course they have knocked many times on my door, they’ve giving flyers and invitations to their many different churches, I see their billboards around the city; and all of this, is very annoying, as annoying as a telemarketer calling in the evening or at any time for that matter.
      Now imagine an atheist going from door to door, from place to place, talking about Darwin and the non-existence of God and what not.
      Not fun, is it, especially for the atheist?

      1. please says:

        Except atheists rule the world. You have every right to express your beliefs anywhere. Can’t express faith in the workplace, in school or in public. In other words, we have to keep it to ourselves and never expose anyone else on the planet to our beliefs. We face lawsuits, public ridicule, firing, expulsion and ostracization. Not you. In fact you are welcomed with open arms everywhere you go and your beliefs carry no threat of punishment from the state. The state can actually punish me for what I believe. How would that feel to you? You wouldn’t know. Your secular beliefs are taught in the schools, honored in the workplace and the only belief allowed expression in public. So excuse me if I don’t cry you a river.

      2. Miron Nava says:

        No one is stopping atheists from going door to door and talking about Darwin. Besides, schools are already teaching Darwin without any competition.

    2. OnlyHuman says:

      Please:
      Don’t you have your churches, untaxed by the way? Don’t you have your tele evangelists? Don’t you have the christian bookstores? Don’t you have your missions? Don’t you have the public Christmas tree, which I think is beautiful?
      If atheists ruled the world none of this would exist.
      Stop playing the victim.

      1. please says:

        yeah – all in PRIVATE! YOU have freedom of thought everywhere.

        Compare apples to apples, please.

    3. OnlyHuman says:

      Are you joking? all in private?
      Perhaps you need to re-read my first reply and tell me what’s so private about preaching your faith to the four winds.
      Now, can you imagine a monument of Darwin next to the Ten Commandments on public grounds? I can’t; but for sure I have seen religious symbols on such grounds, not to mention the money.
      So tell me who really rules the world, when an atheist has no chance whatsoever of becoming the president of this country, can’t even make it to Congress.
      So who rules the world?

      1. please says:

        I’ll make it easy for you: Can you be kicked out of school, fired, fined or arrested for expressing your atheism?

    4. OnlyHuman says:

      No, I wouldn’t be kicked out, but rest assured that I would be bullied by those students who wear crosses around their necks, and looked down upon by the teacher who goes to church on Sundays.
      I HAVE SEEN IT!!!
      And is sad, believe me.

      1. please says:

        OH where is this public school that allows children to display a crucifix? Name it please so I can call them and ask if my daughter can wear a crucifix to school. I am SO there! WONDERFUL! Thank you!

    5. OnlyHuman says:

      Somewhere in Texas, where the great Perry is from.

      1. please says:

        So….you HAVEN”T SEEN IT!!! (all caps – three exclamation points)

        That is very disappointing.

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