Over at the Corner today, Shannen Coffin has a post about the Tim Tebow phenomenon: about what it is that so aggravates liberals about this openly, ardently Christian athlete.
Tebow’s open display of faith offends many on the left because, unlike so many athletes who start press conferences with “First, I just want to thank God” for whatever it is that they have just accomplished, Tebow actually means it. And it drives many on the left — especially the sports media, which is rife with liberals — batty.
The media’s view of the acceptable role of religion was best summed up by David Gregory recently, when, in an interview with Michele Bachmann, he drew a distinction between “God as a sense of comfort, and safe harbor and inspiration” and a Bachmann actually taking her cues from God. The former, God as New Age guru, is just fine, but if you really start believing that hokum, we have a problem with you.
Secular elites can live with "ceremonial deism," Coffin says. But real religion with real content, really believed and put into action, is beyond the pale.
He's right, but I think the point can be taken a step further. I think what secularists really cannot abide is the thought of a personal God and the possibility of our having a personal relationship with Him. The vague notion of a "higher power" is fine, even reassuring. Following precepts and traditions—provided you make no truth claims—is respectable, even admirable. But the idea of God who knows us as distinct individuals, loves us, makes definite demands on us, and interacts with us personally, even intimately, is intolerable to the prevailing mindset among our society's elites.