-By Warner Todd Huston
**UPDATED** Hammerman removes paragraph from story
In the category of bigotry and hatred spares no religion, we find such hatred hiding behind religion in one “Rabbi” Joshua Hammerman of New York City. Hammerman has indulged his inner Father-Coughlin-in-reverse by proclaiming that if Tim Tebow wins the Super Bowl, why, Christians will go on a rampage that will result in the burning of mosques and the bashing of gays. Now, are you ready for some football?
Hammerman disgorged his absurd claims at his New York Jewish Week blog posted on December 12 titled, “My Tim Tebow Problem.” It is instead Hammerman’s civility problem. Tim Tebow has nothing to do with this neer do well’s extreme hatred of Christians.
Calling Tebow the “poster boy of the Christian right,” Hammerman is disgusted by the fact that the footballer — oh the horrors — “thanks Jesus after every game.” It all makes the “rabbi” expound upon his “fear” about “what will happen if the hulky Denver Bronco quarterback wins the Super Bowl.”
And what will happen you might ask? Let’s let this so-called rabbi take it from here:
If Tebow wins the Super Bowl, against all odds, it will buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants. While America has become more inclusive since Jerry Falwell’s first political forays, a Tebow triumph could set those efforts back considerably.
Rabbi Coughlin is serious, here. He really thinks that Christians will riot in the street because Tim Tebow is part of a Superbowl winning team. Yeah, because there is such a long contemporary history of Christians taking to the streets and rioting because they are jubilant over football.
He goes on to hyperbolically wonder if “legions of Southern Baptist missionaries” will “hit the college campuses the very next day, spreading this new gospel of Tim?” And he laments that already there is a “Jews for Tebow” Facebook page. This nut will even hate fellow Jews just for admiring the inoffensive Tebow.
But it shouldn’t surprise that this anti-Christian bigot might come to these conclusions. The key to this is in how he mischaracterizes Tebow’s belief in his God and in himself. Hammerman claims that Tebow is, “absolutely confident that God is on his side.” I can see why he might be worried that Tim Tebow might be a new, destructive sort of charismatic leader if he thinks that.
But this is not what Tebow has ever said or even intimated. Tebow has said that God has guided his career but he has not placed himself as equal to God’s interests. Only a supremely arrogant man would think God has taken sides with him as opposed to simply being there for him. The arrogance to assume God reveres the man and his goals enough to “side” with him is not what Tebow has displayed. Tebow simply has never exhibited this kind of arrogance. In fact, just the opposite. Hammerman is just wrong in his characterization of Tebow’s Christian character.
This yutz winds up his anti-Christian screed claiming that he doesn’t fear Christians — a claim hard to square with the other ten paragraphs of his piece so chock full of loathing, mistrust, and hatred. Instead he claims he “fears people of certainty.”
This is probably the most ignorant part of Rabbi Hammerman’s muddled thinking. It isn’t “certainty” that causes the problem, rabbi. It is what people do with that certainty that causes the problem. Thomas Aquinas was probably one of the most certain Christians in history yet he is responsible for some of the most loving and peaceful explications of Christian belief in human history. No one is rioting after football games because of Thomas Aquinas!
In this, though, Hammerman proves that he employs a prosaic modernist’s lack of critical thinking. He displays the sort of empty, nihilistic, modernist’s blather that assumes that there can be no right or wrong, that everything is relative and anyone who believes in something with anything approaching certainty, then they must be dangerous, unstable, and prone to violence.
But, the problem with this sort of modernist’s “thinking” is that it is logically untenable. Hammerman is sure “certainty” is dangerous… yet he is certain that this is a fact! By his empty thinking, then, he is just as dangerous as those rampaging Christians that infests his fevered imagination because, well, he’s certain of something, isn’t he?
He is hoisted on his own petard with his lack of critical thinking. But his is a perfect example of why most universities and modern liberalism is both dumbing down our nation and growing hatred everywhere its baneful influence appears.
I don’t fear Tim Tebow winning the Super Bowl. I do fear morally deficient cretins like this rabbi infesting in others his rabid hatred of others.
Since my criticism of Hammerman’s Tebow anti-Christian screed, he’s gone into his post and edited out the paragraph I reported here. Hammerman did not note on the story that he edited the piece to remove offensive material. So, down the memory hole goes the truth once again.
Hammerman’s edited piece has now been completely removed from The Jewish Week website. Hammerman has also removed the piece from his own blog and replaced by a message that reads: “The piece has been taken down and I apologize to all those whom it has offended. Some additional reflections will be forthcoming. Thank you.”
One hopes that the rabbi will reflect on his personal animus against both Tim Tebow and Christians and that a more acceptable apology is forthcoming.
Now “rabbi” Hammerman has deleted his entire blog. Talk about memory hole, now he’s trying to deep six everything he’s ever written! Driven out of the gates and into the wilderness!
The Jewish Week Has Issued the following statement:
We apologize for posting an Opinion column on Dec. 14 by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman entitled “My Problem With Tim Tebow,” the Denver Broncos quarterback who is an Evangelical Christian. The column, in fact, violated our own standards calling for civility in posting comments on our website. The policy statement notes that “name calling in any form will not be tolerated, and comments that denigrate any religion or Jewish religious stream will always be rejected.”
The column was removed from our website later that day.
Rabbi Hammerman is a respected spiritual leader and longtime Jewish Week columnist whose writing over the years has been exemplary. This column, however, was more inciting than insightful, and we erred in posting it, which we deeply regret.
Repentance and forgiveness are cornerstones of all major faiths, as is the recognition that we all make mistakes. We trust that the sincerity of our remorse, as expressed by the rabbi as well, will be taken into account by those whom we offended.
Hammerman has made his blog publicly visible again and has posted this statement:
This week I wrote an article for the Jewish Week in which I attempted to explore the phenomenon of Denver quarterback Tim Tebow to make broad points about society and extremism. I now realize that some of my statements had the reverse effect of what I had intended and for this I deeply and sincerely apologize.
As many of you know, I have spent my entire career engaged in dialogue with people of all faiths while speaking out passionately against all forms of bigotry. I have the deepest respect for those who are committed to their faith, including Mr. Tebow. I realize the way in which I attempted to make my points was clumsy and inappropriate, inadvertently suggesting the kind of intolerance and extremism my article was intended to disparage. I sincerely apologize to Mr. Tebow, his family, the Broncos and Patriots and all those whom I may have offended.
(H/T All American Blogger)