Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tebowing in the 1960's: Richie Koumruian in Brooklyn, NY

It was in the little house on E. 15th Street in Brooklyn, New York, that Marash Girl first witnessed Tebowing.  It was her jokester cousin Richie Koumruian of firefly fame visiting his grandfather (Marash Girl's Uncle Manoog), and amusing his young cousins, by randomly and suddenly falling into the Tebow position, mimicking relatives who made a show of their religiosity, and sending us into gales of laughter.  Even then, he, like young Marash Girl, knew that in the Bible we are instructed to pray in secret.

In Matthew 6: 5-6, Jesus delivers His Sermon on the Mount (King James Translation):
". . .And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

The closet we enter must be our hearts, for if not our hearts, how else could we follow Saint Paul's advice to pray without ceasing. . . (I Thessalonians 5:17)

All of the above withstanding, this post is not meant to be a criticism of Tebow.  Tebow is posturing.  Posturing is part of football. And posturing is Tebow's way of taking a stand for Christ. Good for him, or as the old folks might have said multilingually, (and they were all VERY multilingual), Afferrim, djanum! Abris, dghas!


  1. If we are instructed to pray in secret, why do Marash Girl and her family always insist on praying out loud, and in song, at the dinner table?? Are family and friends considered part of "in secret"?

  2. In my 1940's boxed edition of Mark Twain's ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER, there was a color illustration of Aunt Polly and Tom Sawyer squeezed in a closet, praying!

  3. i am afraid, dear sister, you miss the point of the bible passage you are quoting, and therefore the lesson Jesus, The Christ, was teaching his followers. He was pointing out the fallacy of being a hypocrite, and the way hypocrites posture to hide their hypocrisy. if you knew anything about Tebow's life, you would know he is not a hypocrite. Read a little about him, educate yourself, before you make such a misleading comparison. I know your heart, sis, and I know it was not done intentionally. Of all the athletes out there, Tebow has proven, up til now, anyway, that he is anything but a hypocrite.
    Back to Richard Kourian and his brilliant play on hypocrisy. every time i think of Richie, i think of those antics. our refrigerator was a common resting place for his slouching into his ostentatious prayer mode. we can thank dad that the refrigerator never collapsed under the weight of Richie's comedy. the reason Richie loved visiting our house, and vice versa, was because his parents and our parents were not hypocrites. their faith was born of blood, the blood of their ancestors, their own blood in time and suffering, and most of all, the blood of Christ, which released them from the power of the evil one, the prince of this world, and the bondage to sin.
    Richie was able to see the difference. it is a painful thing to observe hypocrisy because of all the damage it wreaks. i am sure you recall that we had a mountebank at our pulpit for too many years, after you had gone on to college. his children were devastated by his hypocrisy, as was his wife. i do not think they ever recovered from it. One of the ways to deal with the pain and to make it an object to be reviled,is to make it into a joke, to put it in its rightful place, something to be laughed at and pitied.
    Richie could probably have filled churches if he had pursued a call to the ministry. his art form (he was an art teacher, by profession)as preacher/teacher would have ripped the mask off the pretenders.