Memo to Tim Tebow: No, New York isn’t Sodom and Gomorrah

A writer for the New York Post asked a few observers — including Your Humble Blogger — whether Tim Tebow was a bad fit for a city like New York:

Pundits couldn’t contain themselves over the news that quarterback Tim Tebow is joining the Jets — and I don’t mean sportswriters worried about Mark Sanchez’s confidence. Many just don’t think Tebow’s evangelical religiosity is the right fit for Sin City.

The Borowitz Report posted: “BREAKING: Tebow Looking Forward to Meeting First Jew.” For comic relief, nothing topped the tweet: “Tebow traded for our sins.”

More serious was Robert Schlesinger on “To put it in crude, political terms, Tim Tebow is a ‘red state’ phenomenon who will suddenly be in a ‘blue state’ spotlight . . . If you thought that Tebow was a nationally polarizing figure already, wait until he becomes the symbol of small town versus big city, real America versus Gomorrah, and so forth.”

They don’t know the real Big Apple. “New York gets a bum rap,” says Greg Kandra, a deacon in the Diocese of Brooklyn. “This city’s churches are packed with very observant people of all denominations. . . There’s a deep vein of spirituality and morality that goes through New York. There are a lot of people crowded into a small space and we have to look out for one another. It’s a city with a conscience.”

Kandra echoes the sentiments of his boss, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who in Rome last month told reporters, “New York seems to have an innate interest and respect for religion and I’m going to bring that up because I don’t like that caricature that New York is some neo-Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Rabbi Motti Seligson agrees with the cardinal (on this one). He says that his Chabad-Lubavitch, an Orthodox Jewish group, is seeing a “spiritual boom in New York City”; it’s in a “struggleto keep up with demand, to provide enough space and educational opportunities toaccommodatethe many people” who come “seeking spirituality and studying Torah.”

Catholics and Jews can seem to make up the bulk of New York’s religious landscape, but Tony Carnes says there are “several thousand evangelical churches in New York City.” In fact, Carnes — the editor and publisher of A Journey Through NYC Religions — says New York is “the hot place for planting new churches” because “this is where young people want to be.”

Read more.


  1. Whatever else New York loves, it loves Big Personalities. Tim Tebow is going to be welcomed by New York, if not by its largely soul-forsaken big media. But who cares about them?

  2. God always has a way of putting us right where he wants us!

    Dcn. Greg glad to know the NYT’s, of which I’m NO fan, reached out to you. :)

  3. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Actually, it was the New York Post. And they did get one teensy detail wrong. Cardinal Dolan isn’t, strictly speaking, my boss. Different diocese.

  4. Henry Karlson says:,27717/

    Tim Tebow Absolutely Horrified After First Phone Conversation With Rex Ryan

  5. Agreed about the soul-forsaken big media, Ed. It’s like the woman (whose name I forget) who lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and famously exclaimed upon Richard Nixon’s landslide election:

    “How could this have happened? I don’t know of a single person who voted for him!”

    The NY big media don’t realize how many, MANY, faith-filled people live here. I suspect the Tebow template will be breathless reporting at every less-than-stellar outing that Tebow’s outward religiosity is something of a talisman with inconsistent results.

    They’ll never get it.

  6. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    It was Pauline Kael, film critic for the New Yorker.

    FWIW: When I was working at the CBS Evening News, all the writers were practicing Catholics (including yours truly), and the editor was a graduate of Fordham. The executive producer was Catholic. And at least two senior producers were church-going Christians. The executive producer of “60 Minutes” was born Catholic, is now Episcopalian (long story) and describes himself as an unabashed “Jesus freak” who is involved in his church. He wrote one of the recommendation letters for me when I first applied to the diaconate.

    But that’s just one small shop, in one small corner of Manhattan. It’s a big city.

    Dcn. G.

  7. Deacon Greg, Thanks for reminding me of Pauline’s ID. It’s getting easier to count my lucid moments.

    In light of what you shared about CBS, where do you think the disconnect with the faith community occurs?

  8. It’s nice to see your sense of humor, Henry. I sincerely mean that–no sarcasm intended.

  9. Andy Borowitz’ inane remark (“Tebow looking forward to meeting first Jew”) is absolutely un-acceptable, IMHO. It plays into left-leaning (and obviously false) stereotypes about the supposed bigotry of evangelical Christians.

    I first met Andy thirty years ago in college. His humor was lame then. Now that he is an aging 50-something trying desperately to stay “hip,” his humor has only gotten lamer.

    It’s also offensive to keep reading that Tebow is “polarizing.” For what? He is only polarizing to the “media professionals” who are themselves polarizing for their hopelessly biased news coverage (I say “hopelessly” because I don’t blame them. They can’t help themselves. They remind me of my dog who can’t help himself from gorging on whatever food is in his dog dish).

    Deacon Greg, I completely commend you for your balanced and informative remarks, along with those of Rabbi Seligson and Cardinal Dolan. The three of you are “spot on.” As a former veteran newsman, you’re using your gifts well in service of the truth. Thanks!!

  10. God knows what He is doing!

  11. Poor kid. NYC media is vicious. He’ll be stalked from the minute he leaves the house to the minute he’s at home.

  12. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Somehow, I think Tim Tebow can take care of himself. ;-)

  13. I remember that lady. What a scream that was.

  14. Michael D. says:

    “No, New York isn’t Sodom and Gomorrah”

    No, but it’s no better when it houses the “evil empire” — Yankees!

  15. Not Sodom & Gommorrah? How do you explain that NYC is the abortion capital of the world or that your governor, publicly flaunting his lascivious relationship, wants to make abortion a fundamental right?

  16. Tebow will be fine. If he survived the University of Florida — a school that’s regularly ranked as a top ten party school (and which my husband I jokingly refer to as the University of Sodom and Gomorrah even though it’s his alma mater) — he’ll have no problem navigating New York with his usual grace, humility, and charm.

  17. I caught that too! I thought maybe it was an NYT article. Surprised the Post got it wrong. I bet you can’t wait for that apology money!

  18. Fiergenholt says:


    “How do you explain that NYC is the abortion capital of the world. . . ”

    I don’t because it isn’t. I would put any major city in either India or Mainland China ahead of NYC in that ranking.

  19. “Wait a cotton-pickin’ minute!” to quote Yosemite Sam.
    If you, Greg, are a deacon for the Diocese of Brooklyn, shouldn’t the paper also gotten the fact that your boss is NOT Cardinal Dolan?
    Other than that, I thought the article was similar (perhaps the same?) as one I read earlier.

  20. “When I was working at the CBS Evening News”

    Thats nothing to be proud of, in fact, I would be ashamed of it…

  21. richard kuebbing says:

    so the NYPost thinks a deacon in Brooklyn works for the Archbishop of NY. not many Catholics working there in editing.


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