“Tebow Mania,” “Linsanity” and the “Santorum Surge” are movements that have risen into the media spotlight within the last six months of the news cycle. These unofficial, unplanned crazes may actually mean more than simply a few more people getting their 15 minutes of fame.
All of these national figures have been catapulted into the national spotlight because of both the momentum they have gained in their respective careers and their devotion to their Christian religion.
The country has not seen a phenomenon like this in quite some time, especially for the current generation of college students. In these past six months, Christian Americans have seen a few of their own gain national media attention in both the NFL and NBA – and in the Republican primaries. With this emerging phenomena, one cannot but wonder if the rise of figures could perhaps lead to a more significant Christian revitalization akin to the past Great Awakenings.
The reason for any type of revitalization or Christian movement lies in the way each man carries himself out in the public eye. Tim Tebow is seen as a devout leader who commands a great amount of respect with his team, even though he struggled last season as a starter. Jeremy Lin, on the other hand, is also an evangelical, but a scholarly one with a degree from Harvard who was a member of its Asian America Christian Fellowship. Rick Santorum, who is the only Roman Catholic of the three, espouses the basic principles of most Christian faiths and denominations. He is seen as a hard worker and, as a father of seven, a family man.
The lives of all three men are not uncommon in most Christian communities, but these types of lives are not embraced or promoted by mainstream media groups and celebrities. The breakout of these three individuals in the recent months and their rising popularity are a clear sign that America is still a Christian nation and that the Christian cause in America is not going away anytime soon.
Regardless of any future success for these men, whether it is Tebow winning a Super Bowl or Santorum winning the presidency, Christians would do well to utilize their popularity to spark a renewed interest in winning America over from secular progressives. The media spotlight on these men proves that Christianity can still be part of the mainstream. Christians can and should capitalize on this media attention to get the message out, whether it is about the recent Health and Human Services mandate on contraceptives or the against Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender movement. Christians, whether Catholic, Lutheran or evangelical would do well to unite in reestablishing America’s Christian foundations.
These recent movements have proven that people of faith still matter and can have much influence in the way the country is shaped and formed. America does seem to be on the verge of a fresh revitalization in Christian sentiment – and one that can utilize every outlet with social networking and the Internet. Let’s hope that such revitalization comes to fruition – and do what we can to make it happen.