Let’s say you’re a well-known columnist for one of the two or three most influential newspapers in the country. Say you’ve studied the principles of good journalism at some point in your life. Say your column is entitled “On Faith,” which according to its subtitle is a “conversation on religion and politics.”
You don’t have to be a religious believer to do your job well. But aren’t you obliged to know something about the religion about which you’re conversing? If so, how could you possibly write the following paragraph without citing even a single fan who “seriously” believes it?
There are a lot of fans out there who believe that Tim Tebow may be the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I’m serious.
It could be that Sally Quinn is “serious” that some fans believe, in a figurative way, that Tim Tebow is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ—which is another way of saying that some fans think that Tim Tebow is doing remarkable things on the football field. Or does she imagine that the people wearing Tebow’s jersey with “Jesus” on back really believe that he’s Jesus?
That can’t be it, but then why bother writing a column about it at all? How is it interesting or newsworthy that many Denver Broncos fans like Tim Tebow? In other breaking news, water is wet.
No, she even called some of her Bible scholar friends and asked them what they thought about it. She must believe that some people literally believe that Tebow is Jesus, but who? Where? How many? Certainly not “a lot,” right?
Still, since there are always people who believe nutty things, I wouldn’t be surprised if a tiny subset of them believe that Tebow is Jesus. It still wouldn’t be worthy of a column, but they could be out there. If so, Quinn doesn’t bother to find them. Would that be too much like work?
The entire column is space-filling drivel. I assume the Washington Post pays Sally Quinn to write this column. So my question is: Can I have her job? I can do it on the side. As far as I can tell, it is the easiest job in America.