Aaron Rodgers on Tebow and Faith

Packers QB cites actions over words, quotes an unlikely source.

Aaron Rodgers

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers, QB for the undefeated and defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, is a good interview. He usually has some interesting, informative, amusing or unexpected things to say during his weekly radio spot with Jason Wilde of WAUK-AM (540) Milwaukee, and Tuesday’s interview was no exception. You can follow the link and listen to the interview to hear him discuss a wide range of football-related topics. However, I found one response in particular to be noteworthy for our readers. On whether he takes into account, given what some see as the backlash Denver quarterback Tim Tebow has gotten for his way of expressing his beliefs, when considering how much of his own religious beliefs to share publicly (emphasis mine):

“Well I started playing before Tim, so these are things I’ve thought about for a long time, and I think one thing that I try to look at when I was a younger player, and I mean, in high school, junior college, and Division I, I was always interested in seeing how guys talked in their interviews, talked about their faith, or didn’t talk about their faith. And then the reactions at time, I know Bob Costas at one point was critical about a player thanking Jesus Christ after a win, questioning what would happen if that player had lost, or do you really think God cares about winning and losing. That’s all to say that I feel like my stance and my desire has always been to follow a quote from St. Francis of Assisi, who said, ‘Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.’ So basically, I’m not an over-the-top, or an in-your-face kind of guy with my faith. I would rather people have questions about why I act the way I act, whether they view it as positive or not, and ask questions, and then given an opportunity at some point, then you can talk about your faith a little bit. I firmly believe, just personally, what works for me, and what I enjoy doing is letting my actions speak about the kind of character that I want to have, and following that quote from St. Francis.”

When is the last time you heard a professional athlete reference a saint?!

Source: SportsDay with Bob Wolfley, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Photo Credit: AllGreenBayPackers.com

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  1. says

    Thanks for sharing! We are Packer fans so this makes me doubly-proud. ; ) I have noticed Protestants in my neck of the woods (the deep south) referring to saints as sister and brother so and so. I don’t know if they understand how these holy men and women become saints. It has been something I’ve thought curious lately.

  2. says

    Unfortunately, too many Catholics use this quote (which wasn’t actually said by St Francis) as an excuse to not talk about their faith. It is even the opposite of what St Francis actually did – he was known for continually preaching.

    There s a good point here that actions can undermine what you preach, but by all accounts, Tim Tebow lives what he preaches. Would that more Catholics both lived and preached the faith.

    • says

      Hi Jason,

      I have also heard St. Francis didn’t say this, but it is a minority opinion. Research I have done has led to only one source saying he didn’t say it, but gave no source for who actually did. If you can provide more info to support your comment, I would greatly be interested in reading it.

      • says


        Franciscan Father Pat McCloskey wrote a good response to this question in 2001. http://www.americancatholic.org/messenger/oct2001/Wiseman.asp

        An excerpt:
        “[The quote] is clearly not in any of Francis’ writings. After a couple weeks of searching, no scholar could find this quote in a story written within 200 years of Francis’ death.”

        Considering how much St. Francis was known to preach, it seems to me to be an odd thing for him to have said.

        • says

          Hi Jason,

          Thanks for reading and commenting. Your point about Catholics using that quote (whatever its origin) to justify not talking about their faith is a very good one. That’s why I appreciate Aaron’s sentiment, which it seems is to live a life so attractive that people invite you into conversation about your faith. Indeed, “Would that more Catholics both lived and preached the faith.” Well said.

          Also, thanks for linking up Catholic Dads.

  3. Chris Schauder says

    So what did Rodges mean about Saint Francis and why a good Christian can lead by example and not need to speak his praise to others? “Do good to others so that they or others who observe will question why. Then use words.” This is also a great example of the theme of “paying it forward”. The prayer of St. Francis below says nothing about preaching the word but of performing actions.

    Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi.

    Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love;.
    where there is injury, pardon;.
    where there is doubt, faith;.
    where there is despair, hope;.
    where there is darkness, light;.
    and where there is sadness, joy.

    O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek.
    to be consoled as to console;.
    to be understood as to understand;.
    to be loved as to love.
    For it is in giving that we receive;.
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;.
    and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

  4. Dan says

    What Tebow does is more representative of people shouting from the rooftops in the Gospels than it is of preaching…You will remember that Jesus had to go quietly away so that he could get on with His real work.

  5. says

    We are all on the same side here, right? Instead of debating about Rogers vs. Tebow, lets just be glad that there are two famous athletes who love God and extol His name publicly.


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