Tim Tebow’s haircut and religion

By Elizabeth Tenety The blogosphere erupted this weekend as photos emerged of football player Tim Tebow’s unusual haircut. The shearing … Continued

By Elizabeth Tenety

The blogosphere erupted this weekend as photos emerged of football player Tim Tebow’s unusual haircut.

The shearing apparently was part of a hazing ritual intended “to build [team] chemistry” and imposed by teammates upon the rookie Denver Bronco, who is known as much for his Evangelical religious convictions as his skills on the field.

Tebow’s haircut, known as a tonsure, has ancient origins and is found in religious traditions including Hinduism, Christianity and Buddhism.

In Hinduism, “the uncut locks are sacrificed” by believers as an act of humility.

The tonsure is “a sign of humility and readiness for sacrificial service to the Lord an initiation into the Army of Christ” in Orthodox Christianity.

In Catholicism, tonsure is understood to be “a sacred rite instituted by the Church by which a baptized and confirmed Christian is received into the clerical order by the shearing of his hair.”

And last month, Deepak Chopra wrote for On Faith about the ‘letting go of attachment’ he experienced during the Buddhist ritual of head shaving that he underwent on a recent retreat.

Other than Tebow, St. Francis of Assisi is probably the most famous religious figure to sport the spiritual symbol on his head.

What do you make of the haircut imposed upon Tebow? Do you think it was intended in good fun, or to mock his religious beliefs? Does the man make the haircut or the haircut make the man?

About

Elizabeth Tenety Elizabeth Tenety is the former editor of On Faith, where she produced "Divine Impulses," On Faith’s video interview series. She studied Theology and Government at Georgetown University and received her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. A New York native, Elizabeth grew up in the home of Catholic news junkies where, somewhere in between watching the nightly news and participating in parish life, she learned to ponder both the superficial and the sacred.
  • adwanis

    If tough football player cannot take this haircut for any reason including religious then he should sit home, work in grocery store and raise a family.

  • gtaschdjian

    This haircut is a Broncos tradition that happens to rookies every year. It has nothing to do with Tebow’s faith.

  • Whispers

    The real question is, has political correctness gone too far? Are our journalists too lazy to find real news? Let kids be kids. Let boys be boys. Let players be players. For heavens sakes, let Americans be Americans again!A haze is a haze is a haze….hair or hermit!!!

  • mockymock

    You’re giving NFL players way too much credit… “let’s make him look stupid” is about as advanced a thought that went into the haircut…

  • ktp70

    I’m a Christian, and I would be honored if my teammates or colleagues shaved my head–whether to mock my Christianity or as a token of it. If it builds team unity as well, then all to the good.The people on this post blasting Christians–why are you doing that? I haven’t seen any Christian come on here and claim offense at what has happened.And those that claim, of all things, that coverage of the shaven head is evidence of a slant against Jews or Muslims, let me tell you something: Get over yourselves. Don’t be so delicate as to find perceived offenses everywhere you turn.

  • BEEPEE

    How about “it’s a silly, traditional, non-violent ritual imposed on new comers in a culture where adult men are paid a lot of money to play a game”Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.This is one of the biggest problems facing our country right now. EVERY action has to be dissected looking for signs of racism, anti-semitism, anti-christian, anti-muslim, anti-anything undertones.

  • Drew95

    And I’m sure if they shaved off the beard of a Muslim or made a Jew wear a yellow Star of David it would all just be good fun, too…oh, but then it’s only Christians who can be mocked for their faith…I keep forgetting the rules.

  • Ralphinjersey

    Big deal. NHL rookies used to get a full-body shave.

  • nonsensical2001

    Ironic that he be given a tonsure, generally regarded a “Catholic thing”, when evangelicals/fundamentalists regard “papists” as a perversion and plague upon The Faith.

  • newagent99

    given he’s going bald anyway, what difference does it make?and what’s the whinning about him being “christian”.. he’s just another wealthy white boy claiming god favors him.watch out for that eye of the needle, camel.

  • CharlesLD

    To lxp19 and everyone who thinks hazing is the problem, you all need to be hazed. It’s not about exclusion, in fact, this haircut itself is a hazing done by the Christian and other religions.lxp19, it’s not a process of exclusion but exactly the opposite and I doubt you have ever played team sports on a high level with your comment. The point is that everyone on the team has already been initiated, and now the rookies need to be initiated. And gentle “humiliation” is not truly humiliation. Have you never jokingly pointed out a mistake a friend made? Were you excluding them or showing a humorous love for them? Hazing itself is not a problem, it is when hazing takes a dangerous path that is problem (such as forced excessive drinking, dangerous stunts like lying in the middle of the street). But haircuts, whipped cream pies to the face, or carrying a rock around that the elders try to steal from you are all fun ways to build camaraderie off the field.

  • Sooska

    One must stand up for one’s beliefs and bear the consequences of them when one has repeatedly and publicly, on TV and in interviews, made his beliefs an issue in his career. One must expect to be hazed when one has been very judgmental of the behavior of others.

  • DontGetIt

    For those of you who don’t know, Tim Teabow is the founder and leader of the Tea Party. He also happens to be a football star. Have you been under a rock this year?

  • CellBioProf

    “It’s a silly, traditional, non-violent ritual imposed on new comers in a culture where adult men are paid a lot of money to play a game”.

  • Voice-of-Reason

    I’m sure they chose this haircut because of his faith; however, I see this association as a compliment not a slight.

  • 2012anewstart

    It’s an initiation, and actually I wish that my initiation had been as mild as his.

  • niceshoes1

    The hazing was not done “to build [team] chemistry”, it was done to humiliate the rookies. Some people enjoy humiliating others. Other people do it because they were humiliated once and feel it is their right to give back.The “build team chemisty” and “demonstrate toughness” is just bs to get the victims to sign off on their humiliation. The rookies here are simply marks, buying into a false explanation. In the end, it really isn’t that big of a deal, fairly harmless, but lets not pretend Tebow and others are tough for absorbing the treatment. It is far easier to go along with the system than it is to refuse.

  • oda155

    Is he complaining about it… no, then why should anyone else.

  • awofw

    I am so tired of seeing cruelty masquerading as humor, hurtfulness and hatred, pretending to to be helpful training. Sheer stupidity on parade.

  • inono

    I suppose the guys who shot up the 10 Christian Aid medical workers in Afghanistan thought that was hilarious too. You are idiots.

  • kenk3

    I would personally enjoy urinating on Tebow, but he seems like the type whom would like it.

  • dat_dude

    “Do you think it was intended in good fun, or to mock his religious beliefs?”Mock his religious beliefs……your an idiot and shouldn’t be allowed to write again. Just like most people in the media today your reading too much into NOTHING and trying to make a story much more then it is.

  • Chasmosaur1

    Oh my god. ENOUGH about Tim Tebow.He needed hazing because he’s coming into the Broncos making an obscene amount of money after being a first-round draft pick. This is the team’s way of knocking him off any pedestal of his own creation to make him realize that he’s still a rookie.They mangled the heads of several rookies. Tebow – if anything – got off easier – a baseball cap and he’s good to do. Some of the players look far worse.

  • BSStew

    Are you serious?? “Mock his religious beliefs”? Find two people on that team (including the coaching staff) that can spell the word “Tonsure” let alone know the meaning of it!!Elizabeth Tenety please go find something meaningful to write about.

  • markiejoe

    I don’t give a rat’s behind about his religious beliefs, but neanderthal hazing rituals are a relic of frat houses in the 1950s. I would have thought grown men could come up with something new, original, and somewhat interesting. Proving again that professional football players have the collective IQ of a handball.

  • kbarker302

    Doesn’t lib media like WaPo mock Christians’ religious beliefs on a daily basis?

  • kenk3

    The world would be a better place if Tebow was on that plane with Ted Stevens.

  • MarkDavidovich

    Tim Tebow was sheared. He was luckey. Prior to the end of training camp most other NFL rookies will have been cut.

  • beeker25

    The hazing is traditionally in the NFL among the rookies after training camp. There’s seems to be varied kinds rituals among different teams. The Jaguars rookies had bad haircuts, after all hair do grow back.Kenk3: Your statement needs to be taken out and shot!

  • circa_clown

    When I first read about Tebow’s new haircut I didn’t think twice about it. Then I thought about it and it occurred to me that the team probably thought of it because he was a Christian. As a Christian looking at this from a spiritual side, it occurred to me this idea may have been hatched by something unclean to humiliate this Godly man. From a human perspective, this is a silly prank and serves up a laugh. Tebow says he doesn’t mind and even embraces it (that “building team chemistry” comment is quoting him).

  • topwriter

    wow … how stupid … hazing gone too far is when somebody is forced to drink 20 oz of 80% alcohol in order to enter a frat and feel like one of the brothers but ends up 6 feet under. THAT’S hazing gone too far.If the author of this article really wanted to make a difference in the world they would have used this as an opportunity to speak on that -a REAL issue. Not this tripe.Another example of the creeping darkness of the “age of dumbness”.

  • GDWymer

    Oh, Tebow! I’d love to see how the boys on the team manscaped you!

  • DaveR1

    Who cares about hair, or football players acting like grade-schoolers? Is this news?

  • silencedogoodreturns

    giving someone a forced haircut is over the line, no matter what the reason/sport/personality involved. The Bronco sophomoric idiots will reap what they sow if what they’ve done breeds dissension and ill feelings on the team.

  • bigolpoofter

    “Professional” sportsmen setting a lousy example for the young. Nothing new about that.If the Broncos had given Teebow a forced trim around the other head, would we have seen pictures?

  • Georgetowner1

    It is a guy thing to do something like that to the rookie – especially one who is famous for being good looking. I think he should shave his head now. With his engaging grin, that would look hot!

  • lowercaselarry

    What does this have to do with religion? Or have we now come to the point where everything has to do with religion, at least for the “virtuous?”

  • HailtotheBuffandBlue

    I’m reminded of the Looney Tunes cartoon where Daffy Duck plays Robin Hood and Porky Pig plays Friar Tuck (with the infamous duel over the creek with Daffy’s trusty quarter staff… actually a buck & a quarter, quarter staff, but we’re not going to tell him about that).Anyhow, the cartoon ends with Daffy switching sides and with full tonsure, greets his porcine clergyman with “Say hello to Friar Duck!”dibididibididibida That’s All Folks!!

  • CharlesLD

    silencedogoodreturns… he wasn’t forced, he could have gotten out of it if he wanted, he submitted to it, i swear some people don’t get jokes.

  • bigbrother1

    I think Ms. Tenety may need a different job. This is one of the dumber “faith” columns I’ve read in a while, and that’s saying something.

  • djmolter

    If they’d wanted to mock his religious beliefs, I’m sure they would have tied him to across and had him run the 40. Religious harassment? Oh, brother!

  • member1790

    Does anyone remember Washington Redskin’s rookie phenom Heath Shuler…cough…cough…I mean Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC 11th Dist) …Tim Tebow will follow a similar course, his NFL career will pale in contrast to his collegiate record…so who cares…hazing is bad? Babies crying. Insulting his religion? Babies crying. Pro Football is childish? Babies crying. Do we not have anything better to devote our attention like Lindsay Lohan?

  • Athena4

    Oh, enough of the poutrage, already!

  • skinfreak

    I LOVE IT. FOOTBALL IS THE ULTIMATE TEAM SPORT AND THE PLAYERS HAVE TO TRUST AND DEPEND ON EACH OTHER. THE HAIRCUT IS LIKE JOINING A FRATERNITY; BESIDES, IT’LL GROW BACK. BUT IN THE MEANTIME, ENJOY YOUR UNIQUE LOOK!

  • divi3

    A few months ago at the NFL Combine, tebow stood up just before the wonderlic and asked the classroom full of players to join him in a prayer….one of them yelled “Shut the fu*% up Tim!” and the room roared into laughter. He was being mocked then and deservedly so, but not in this haircut instance.

  • txoh

    Too many people with too much time on their hands, talking about nothing in particular. This blog should be shut down after 10 comments, the rest is all B.S. Get a life.

  • mikel7

    What position does St. Francis play with the Broncos? Will he now let the birds and animals go to Tebow? Will there be Tebow birdbaths in gardens now? Look, I don’t know if Tebow can play pro, but he’s getting like $59 mill guaranteed whether he plays a down or not. That’s a lot of cash for a bad haircut. Heck, they could shave my whole body for half that. If he can or can’t play, fine, but don’t go proseletizing. Too many God-squaders and not enough nut-squaders on teams. Why do they need to turn football games into Sunday prayer meetings? I believe it was Christ that told us to hide our light under a bushel basket and not proclaim their righteousness like the Pharisees for all to see.

  • kamdog

    Betcha dollars to donuts that that team has a whole lot more Christians in it than it does Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and every other religion in the world, combined. It is a haircut, for cryin’ out loud. If he can’t take a haircut for his team mates, why should they take a beating protecting him?

  • bobfbell

    Tim Tebow’s reaction to his hazing was predictable. He took it in stride, showed he is not above being a good teammate and moved on. It is just another example of how his temperament and attitude is what makes him such a great athlete and marvelous human being. I don’t know if all the work on his “mechanics” will make him successful as a professional quarter back but since he already has the mental and pyschological part of the game covered very well, he has a better shot than most “prospects” of delivering once put on the field.Too many posters to this story are tring to make it something it is not. It seems Tebow has it all under control and in proportion. Exactly the mind set he needs to begin learning his new profession and staying balanced in life.

  • concerned13

    Since he was not the only rookie to get hazed with a funny haircut, why are you asking about this? Please, please give the Tebow thing a rest. I am sure he is a nice guy but the overblown and unwarranted media fascination is annoying.

  • jrw1

    This is really a stupid article. This is Pro Football we’re talking about. Half those guys never heard of Tebow’s “famous Christianity”. And if they had they would have carved a cross on his head.

  • adrienne_najjar

    Tim Tebow’s propaganda machine continues to paint him as some kind of saint. Just wait until he’s arrested for public drunkenness and sexual battery. Trust me, it’s going to happen.

  • MikeKohout

    As a Christian, I’m not offended by Tim Tebow’s haircut. I’m sure the players involved were having a little fun. However, I am a little offended by the multiple “you Christians” comments posted here. Apparently some folks are incapable of recognizing people as individuals. We’re all different – Christian or not. Even in Christian circles, it’s possible to have different strengths, frailties, and opinions.

  • DontGetIt

    I think the linebacker who did this should be cut and fed to the lions (not the detroit lions, the one’s in the zoo).

  • MikeKohout

    MIKEL7- said, “I believe it was Christ that told us to hide our light under a bushel basket and not proclaim their righteousness like the Pharisees for all to see.”Read the Bible. You’re not even close.

  • msjn1

    I’m not sure why they did it. He’s a real goody, goody. Interestingly the when Joakim Noah joined his basketball team, they didn’t cut off his pony tail. Maybe fear of Samson losing his strength?

  • michalsmail

    Wait til they serve him up to the (Detroit) Lions, then what kind of paranoid christian story are we going to get?

  • hohandy

    who the F cares…. seriously.

  • samiles96

    By all accounts, the player himself does not seem to care. It’s only those Christians who seem to think they are being persecuted in America that care about this. I guess the Right has its own brand of PC totalitarianism as well.

  • lepidopteryx

    It’s hair. It grows back. And it’s not like he was singled out for this. They do it to all rookies.

  • areyousaying

    My how the Ned Flanderses get their pantys in a wad over a publicity stunt.

  • oxiescrubb1

    Evangelical? Isn’t that when you believe you are right and try to convince everyone else that they are wrong?

  • dgw1091

    This is a stupid question. The person that asked this question should be removed from whatever position that allowed this to pass or not be allowed to provide questions for this forum.

  • jhtlag1

    Well, Americans like mean humor (history of racist jokes on all sides) so yeah, it makes me laugh and choke at the same time, especially if it is a shot at his religiosity. But doesn’t that make Tebow one of the guys? Instead of being a standoffish religious guy, he can still say what he has to say now but show he can have the metaphorical beer with the guys every once in a while? (and maybe the others buy into it a little bit and calm down?)

  • BeanerECMO

    Re: You Christians need to lighten up. We’re not talking a death fatwa; we’re just yalking respect for one’s religious beliefs. However, the public has been, for the most part, quietly seduced into ridiculing anyone who holds these belifs for generation or more, and now it is quite acceptable to so; unless one is a muslim; then it’s death be upon you. Tebow accepted the hazing, because if he hadn’t, he would not be playing any football (sucessfully) except on the practice field. Makes ya feel proud doesn’t it; to see another person sell a bit of their principles. How’s that slippery slope, Tebow?

  • 21stCenturyCaveman

    Who’s Tim Teabow?

  • capital_tee

    So, by the “logic” in this article, if this same haircut had been given to a non-Christian player, would that have been an example of the Broncos trying to force Christianity on a non-believer?

  • potentialvoiceofreason

    Sorry, I seemed to have stumbled upon the Fox News web site.

  • cpwdc

    “Other than Tebow, St. Francis of Assisi is probably the most famous religious figure to sport the spiritual symbol on his head.”My goodness, if the story wasn’t dumb enough, this would be the dumbest line ever. Unless it was meant sarcastically, but I doubt that given the earnestness of this post about a silly non-issue.

  • mcdonadg

    Tebow doesn’t care, so why should anyone else? Total non-issue and decidedly NOT NEWS.

  • BurtReynolds

    The “Faith” section here raises another question no one cares to know the answer to. Its a freaking haircut. So what if the players are knocking his reputation as a religious person? Its not like they shaved a pentagram into his head. I guess the Christians in the On Faith department and the “blogosphere” don’t have a sense of humor. Not to mention the fact that I am sure there are other Christians on the Broncos. Its not a team full of atheists poking fun at the God-lover. If they forced rookies to grow a beard, would the On Faith area suggest Tim Tebow = Christ?

  • ouvan59

    Ahhh, Tim Tebow, the 21st century martyr. Doesn’t quite stack up to the martyrs of past centuries.Goodness people, anybody who would bring up this issue has never paid attention to sports before particularly football. This kind of thing is a rite of passage in the sophomoric world of professional football. I’m certain that the haircut was a poke at his faith but in a good natured not mean spirited way. To his credit Tebow from all accounts took it well and gained the respect of his teammates for what it is worth (probably a lot in their world).

  • djah

    Uh, you can’t judge “intent” from a picture and asking people to do so is part of the corruption of the internet. Everyone is an expert on everything.

  • dkp01

    And what, pray tell, does Kevin Haslam’s rookie cut say about his team? Seriously, this is much ado about nothing. Rookies in all sports get stupid haircuts (and face many other forms of light hazing).

  • rlj1

    Give me a break.A longtime stupid hazing. Stupid and immature but the WaPo is stupider for writing this.

  • Eric12345

    Unless you’re one of those people who thinks any incident of hazing is too far, this certainly does not qualify. Why is this even being mentioned in “On Faith?”

  • Davidd1

    Who’s Tim Tebow and why should I care about him?

  • jackson641

    I try not to read this column but its idiocy grabs me. How you guys make money asking these moronic questions is beyond me. It is strange that those who play up their faith the most are the ones who are the weirdest and whom can’t be trusted.

  • djcam

    Bronco fans are a bit more worried about the staggering number of players with season-altering injuries that have occurred during the first week of training.

  • mjwies11

    Tebow is a self-righteous egomaniac. His whole shtick is LOOK AT ME! I am a moral policeman is tired. I do not care what he thinks and why anyone does is beyond me.

  • Ombudsman1

    It’s a haircut. It will grow back in 12 weeks.If a man can’t take that, I’m not sure he can call himself a man.

  • talljesus

    This is a truly worthless article.

  • fcrucian

    Lighten up guys and stop trying to make something from little or nothing. Tebow knew what was in store for him as a rookie in the NFL and he certainly has taken criticism before. This question sounds like a “slow day in the news business”!

  • foosball

    The only thing offensive about this is that Tim Tebow chose to wear jersey number 15. Is he trying to say he is twice as good as John Elway, plus a little extra??? Blasphemy!

  • oc_ofb

    Wow . . . okay, it’s August, things are slow. But a hazing haircut is just in good fun. If Tebow had, for some ridiculous reason, been offended at the idea, I’m sure they would have just shaved his head instead. Relax, people.

  • jim4postnatl

    Tim had no problem with it, why would anyone else? All you haters are just jealous.

  • Eric12345

    I think it’s hilarious that several people who commented here (BEANERECMO, AREYOUSAYING, SAMILES96, DEMTSE, OUVAN59, and others) are getting all riled up because Christians are supposedly upset about this haircut. They make statements like “Christians need to lighten up” and make references to Ned Flanderses getting “their pantys(sic) in a bundle.”I’ve read through all the comments here and have yet to see a single Christian getting upset about this. From what I’ve seen, no one is upset or taking this seriously. It’s the critics mentioned above who need to calm down a bit.

  • access11

    Why is the media always stirring up BS? Don’t try and make this into an issue you JERK. These are Football players not politicians.

  • Craig_Colgan

    Let’s stop all “hazing.” It’s idiotic. And humiliating. And sooner or later, one of these NFL guys is going to fight back. My guess is, this has happened, and there have been some ugly incidents, that are of course secret within these teams.

  • cerona

    Enough!! Who the heck cares???

  • st50taw

    Hazing is for insecure twits who feel the need to humiliate others in order to feel good about themselves.I’m not big on Tebow’s wear-your-religion-on-your-sleeve style, but I bet he won’t be a hazer himself down the road.

  • wdnsday

    @BEANERECMO: It’s funny that you talk about respecting religion and then make inaccurate and, quite frankly, disrespectful allegation about Muslims. Typical.@ DAVIDD1: Nevermind and you shouldn’t.This kid’s never going to make it in the NFL for two reasons: he was a great college QB but just isn’t cut out for the pros and every little thing he does/that happens to him is scrutinized and run through the Evangelical blogosphere until even legitimate newspapers feel compelled to comment – coaches and teammates won’t put up with that for too long, he’ll be the new TO.

  • Jarid

    Bla bla bla bla bla…I’m sure someone will read something into that too.

  • insider9909

    I am certainly no fan of Tim Tebow, and I have perceived him to be an arrogant person at time, but at least he seems to be taking it all in stride and not complaining about it. His biggest challenge is to prove to the world that he can play quarterback in the NFL (which I seriously doubt).

  • tomguy1

    “Do you think it was intended in good fun, or to mock his religious beliefs?”Yes, and yes. C’mon, lighten up!

  • xtopher

    AS IF a bunch of NFL players knew what a tonsure is.

  • Fate1

    Hazing, by definition, is going to far. Now if it was a celebratory haircut, that’s different. I wonder which century in the future will look back on hazing rituals as ancient and barbaric, like slavery, public hangings and torture. Well, torture USED to be considered ancient and barbaric until the Bush administration considered it in “just a little dunk in the tank”. Hazing and other derogatory rituals happening today in many cultures just goes to show how far we have to go to become completely civilized.

  • bucinka8

    Aww. Poor baby. Boo fricking hoo. My heart breaks.Enjoy the show while you can. I predict this guy is gonna be the new Ryan Leaf.

  • kenk3

    I hope Tebow has a catastrophic injury in the first game that he appears…Or having Tebow in a plane crash with Kurt Warner would be just as good.

  • Debonair31

    LOL… SERIOUSLY???

  • bharn

    I think it’s pretty sweet. I think I’m going to rock the tonsure along with an awesome chinstrap beard for football season.

  • ArizumaBrett

    I shave my head every month… as a Buddhist, and because it’s hot in Phoenix. Works for me. No big deal.

  • bharn

    Seriously, this is no big deal. Please people, quit feeding this beast that is controversy. Tebow probably thinks it’s hilarious.

  • mac7

    Its crazy! Other teams do not do this haircut. I think it was meant to humilate him and his religion or his mothers. Lot of players are religious and that is no big deal. Seems the NFL stays in the news and getting too much bad press lately in my opinion. I don’t think that Goodell is a strong leader for the NFL and is too lax.

  • pblotto

    Tebow is a holier than thou bible thumping second rate player. The only thing about him that should have been cut, is him from the team.He get what he deserves….

  • irishone

    You Christian wingnuts need to calm yourselves down. The way you’re going on and on about this just underlines why people think your crazy. It’s a freakin tradition…get over it and move on.

  • slainte1

    I personally have no problem with it. However, would most of the readers feel the same way had the treatment been of a muslim or a jew? I think not. I can already hear the screaming charges of religious intolerance. How about a little balance. It seems (especially in the Post) that it is OK to bash/haze/sterotype a Christian yet everyone else is off limits. Lets remember there were humanitarian Christians just killed in Afghanistan because they were accused of carrying a bible. Talk about religious intolerance.

  • DrLou1

    Is this supposed to be a serious discussion? If you wanted to have a real discussion about such ‘initiation’ rites, the column might have considered those which can be truly humiliating or degrading. Tebow’s little coiffure is hardly important and its’ supposed ‘christian’ focus wholly insignificant. This was a very mild initiation rite. It is time to stop the constant state of religious over emphasis and self-serving indignation and cover something which is actually relevant.

  • DrLou1

    As a quick aside for Slainte1. As a Jew, I can tell you that neither we nor Muslims are ever off limits and and that we can experience ‘intolerance’ often on a day to day basis. Let me know and if you are interested, I’ll share stories going back many years. Have you considered that the vast majority of Tebow’s team mates are fellow Christians messing with a VERY high paid rookie? Probably not, I’d guess. Get over yourself.

  • lsf07

    Borrriiinnnnggg….

  • ProfessorWrightBSU

    I hope it was intentional and I hope that Tebow doesn’t let the money that he’s making get in the way of his testimony.

  • chatard

    Is this Tenety person going through some kind of stage? Are ALL of these secular progressive, atheistic, Christian-bashing types who regularly appear on these pages ALWAYS going through some kind of stage?

  • dubhlaoich

    He’ll have plenty of time to regrow it and read the good book while standing around on the sidelines for 50% of the game. Actually, if he was serious about religion he wouldn’t be participating in one of the most violent activities short of war.

  • borntoraisehogs

    If he is half the man his supporters say he is, he will be flattered and honored that those giving him this hazing gave it enough thought to make it a symbolic reference to his faith.

  • JohnWWW

    That would be a great cut for all the balding men out there. Especially if Tebow is setting the trend!

  • 44fx2901

    who cares what kind hair cut he gets. Grow up, think about something useful, like how to end poverty, improve the life of the starving, curing disease. Tim Tebow and his haircut, get a life.

  • krr1

    Christians are strong and are like ducks on water when it comes to this world. This doesn’t bother Tebow in the least. After what Christ did for him, this is nothing….

  • lxp19

    More than the haircut, it’s the hazing that is the problem. Why is it considered “just good fun,” when it seems to contain an element of humiliation. Why does that make people feel more a part of a group? When I want people to feel welcome and part of the group, I…welcome them. That’s inclusive. Hazing perpetuates an attitude of EXclusion. You can only be a part of our group if you undergo some type of initiation in which we treat you like dirt. Yeah, sounds like the essence of friendship and collegiality…

  • LDTRPT25

    KRR1> AMEN

  • vw52

    Obviously the Bronco’s team is a group of devil worshiping atheist. No person other than a religious person has ever been bald on top. Ted Haggard should go down there and instill some righteous values in this coven of Wicca. Mr T should go over and explain the sanctity of the bald on top haircut. These people need some direction. Maybe Sarah Palin could come down ,for a fee of course, and explain religion to this bunch of perverts. The nerve cutting a rookies hair. How could this sort of antichrist behavior be allowed in the NFL. Where’s the commissioner?

  • ikins

    Slow news day at the On Faith Page. Let me introduce you to a place called Parris Island, where the shaving the head part is simply an introduction…

  • theduke89

    I really think this column is mis-named. It’s more a chatty, gossipy thing that is only tangentially about faith. Tebow, as a true Christian (I do not count myself one), understands that humiliation (and its big brother Suffering) is part of the process of reaching a state of grace. Why would he consider an act of ritualistic hazing anything more than it is? Why would anyone? You can bet that Tebow is far less concerned about this than Jon Meacham and Sally Quinn.

  • BeauTochs

    Eric12345 and Slainte1 got it right. And add Pblotto and Irishone to the the delusional haters.I haven’t seen any Christians complaining about this, including Tebow. He’s been a great sport about it. Unlike the haters, trying to fabricate an issue from it by falsely accusing Christians of being upset(!).Some of the haters complain about the haircut/hazing being a non-story, some claim they don’t know or CARE who Tebow is, yet they’ve all bothered to read the story in the first place, going out of their way to indulge in some serious hatred. One pathetic soul above even suggested Tebow should be in a plane crash with fellow Christian Kurt Warner or suffer a catastrophic injury (if aiming for humor, you missed by quite a bit).That’s just sad, and it’s on them.Tebow’s merely a human, flawed as we all are. I’m not aware of any of his fans who worship him. Rather, many of us share his faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and we respect and appreciate that someone in Tebow’s position manages to retain the humility he displays along with the awareness of the origins of any talents he possesses.Tebow expresses his faith openly, encouraging by example. Others, both within and particularly beyond Christianity, would do well to emulate his example for their own faith. As for football players, if you’d prefer the examples set by the criminals and thugs common to the game, then we definitely see things differently.

  • bigpalooka

    There’s probably not enough brains collectively in the NFL to spell “tonsure” much less know the haircut they’re giving him has some significance in religious circles.

  • johnhouse

    Ah yes. The brilliance of athletic hazing. And it accomplishes what? When little boys play little boy games this kind of thing happens. I wouldn’t worry about any deep meaning being construed here. Just childish games. But man, do they get paid big dollars for those childish games. Makes you wonder about the people who support their habit.

  • waltonr1

    IMHO, it’s a very slow day at the Washington Post.

  • gratefolks

    Please remind me why anyone, other than Mr. Tebow, should care. This ranks right up there with Lindsay Lohan’s issues, whatever they are. Maybe I should post my personal grooming habits. That reminds me, I need to brush my teeth. So maybe there is some value in this after all.

  • nrglaw

    Perhaps this is a gentle way of telling him that (1) he is not in college anymore, (2) a football field is not a church and (3)people who are watching football come for the game and not a sermon.I think Tebow will survive somehow.

  • TheMan66

    I don’t think it’s a big deal. A little hazing and the potential of joining one of the most exclusive groups in the world as an NFL player. It looks like he took it good naturedly. Good move, Tim!

  • BeauTochs

    Drlou1:I can only wonder what it is about being Jewish that provides you with special insight into the experience of Muslims as an oppressed people(!).And I hardly think someone mentioning Christians being killed for the accusation of carrying a bible, in an intolerant fundamentalist Islamic society, no less, merits a “get over yourself” response, but that’s just logical me. While I would never attempt to dismiss any prejudice you’ve experienced as a Jewish person, please open your eyes to the double standard in today’s culture regarding Christianity. It is the only major faith politically-correct to bash. That is an unfortunate fact.Any negative comments concerning Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc., are squelched by the PC “thought police” as close-minded and ignorant, intolerant. Which of course is rubbish–no group is beyond reproach. But in our culture and especially our media and our universities, Christianity is held up to unique ridicule and scorn among religions.E.g., witness the ridiculous PC kowtowing to Islam concerning the Mohammed cartoons, and contrast that with the everyday ridicule/blaspheming of Jesus Christ and Christianity. As an American I support free speech, and yes, freedom of religion, but I have a difficult time with the enormous hypocrisy this exemplifies.Wake up. …And just to keep it on topic, “Tim Tebow’s haircut”…

  • rogied25

    Is there anything that you Christians do not see as a perceived slight?Well, at least you’re contemplating the important stuff!

  • ejgallagher1

    I wonder if they do tonsures for rookie Saints?

  • Candressuhmoose

    This should be the standard haircut for all NFL players after they’ve gotten their 7th concussion.

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