That is unless, of course, you're Tom Cruise, and then you're allowed to be all about Scientology. And it's okay to take a knee in the endzone to praise God for the touchdown you just scored . . . unless of course you're Tim Tebow.
I'm not really a Tebow fan, but I find it more than a little aggrivating that people get upset or make fun of him for his devotion to his religion. I mean, people are acting like this is something new in pro-football. For as long as I've been alive, the whole kneeling and thanking God in the endzone has been around. And within the last 10 years at least, whenever a reporter on the field interviews a player, many times the first thing he says is "first off I'd like to thank God."
So what makes it so different and so much more laughable when Tebow does it? Why do people deride him and not Terrell Owens, or any other player that displays his belief in God on the field?
I honestly don't know, but I'm sure it has a lot to do with double standards. Yes, Tom Cruise gets made fun of for being a wacky Scientologist, and even criticized, but that still begs the question of why? I get that religion has to be sepparated from government (to an extent, of course. Tell me that NO ONE in government makes decisions based on the morality he or she was taught growing up). Does that mean that religion needs to be struck from the public forum altogether?
I think the answer is a whole-hearted no. Celebrities are not elected government officials. Sure, they enjoy a more visible platform than most people, but that doesn't mean they are somehow less deserving to exercise their freedom of speech.
"But Jack, they're so influential, and people might take their messages more seriously than they would if it was a non-celebrity espousing religion!" So what? If someone is inspired by celebrity's faith, then it is certainly their prerogative to be so inspired. If someone finds God, Jesus, religion, or whatever because they saw Tebow take a knee in the endzone, then so be it.
I will agree that religion should be primarily a private matter. Jesus did instruct his desciples to pray behind closed doors, and to not flaunt their religion, but ultimately that doesn't really matter. Religion doesn't have to be a private matter for people. Although I don't particularly like it when some idiot tries to tell me that I'm going to hell because I'm Catholic, they're more than welcome to be vocal about their own hypocrisy and lack of understanding.
Similarly, if someone is so into his faith that he feels the need to express it, then go for it. Just as someone is free to find it inspiring, you're free to ignore it. But don't shit allover the guy just because he's gay for Jesus (yes, I said that to be super inflammatory, but I also meant it facetiously).
People need to stop trying to make religion a taboo subject in the public forum. It's been a part of the human experience for as long as human history has been recorded, and it will likely never go away. You can mock Tebow for ignoring Jesus' teaching about humble service to God, but don't get offended for expressing himself, especially when the idea he is expressing is fairly harmless.
If you have to get upset over freedom of speech, then direct your ire at assholes like the KKK or the Westboro Baptists who spread messages of hate and asshattery.