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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?