Good grief. Have we really reached the point where journalists are shocked, shocked that traditional Christian believers strive to follow 2,000 years of doctrine asking them to hold off on sex until after they have taken their wedding vows?
Or, are the world-weary journalists who cover pop culture (that includes sports, most of the time) predestined to roll their eyes when really hot superstars -- in multiple senses of that word -- affirm traditional doctrines on sex when asked awkward questions in public?
Call it Tim Tebow syndrome, for obvious reasons.
In this case, the man on the hot spot is the unusually composed quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks. I give you the elite journalistic work of professionals at People:
Russell Wilson ended months of speculation about whether he is dating Ciara during an interview with Pastor Miles McPherson at San Diego's Rock Church on Sunday. But the bigger surprise from the interview was the news that the couple is abstaining from sex for religious reasons.
"I said to her -- and she completely agreed -- 'Can we love each other without that?' " the Seattle Seahawks quarterback, 26, said in the interview. "If you can love somebody without that, then you can really love somebody."
Wilson then half-joked to the audience that he needed their prayers that the relationship goes well.
"I'm not going to lie, I need you all to pray for me," he said.
And all the normal people reading the magazine said, "Amen."
While I sort of mocked People earlier, the story is actually remarkably restrained, with a noble lack of snark. The shock here is not with Wilson, who has been a high-profile Christian for quite some time -- even taking questions about his faith during the awkward days surrounding his divorce from Ashton Meem, his high-school sweetheart.
What's interesting here is the information about Ciara -- who was not interviewed.
Wilson called the singer "everything you could ever want, honestly" and "the most beautiful woman in the world, the most kind person, the most engaging person." He also said that Ciara was both a believer and follower of Christ, and that religion has played a significant role in helping them overcome the heartache of previous relationships.
"I knew that God had brought me into her life to bless her and for her to bless me," he said.
There are longer versions of the key quotes on the record that, basically, make Wilson sound like the fervent (and somewhat witty) evangelical believer that he is. The Huffington Post take includes this, with only one shot of snark:
"He has anointed both of us and I know that he's calling for us to do something miraculous," Wilson said. "I told her … If you can really love somebody without that, then you can really love somebody."
Wilson was talking about not having sex, just in case that wasn't totally clear. He said the 29-year-old singer agreed with him, adding, "I ain't gonna lie to y'all now. I need y'all to pray for us! I know you seen her on the screen ... If there's a 10, she's a 15. Pray for me. Keep my mind clear. Keep my heart clear."
Those who watch social media -- pop-culture journalists do that as much, or more, than political journalists -- did note that Ciara recently went biblical in a tweet. The Black Christian News Network One used that to produce a perfectly valid quote for attribution:
Wilson and Ciara have been exchanging messages on and off social media for weeks and on Sunday she appeared to have picked up his habit of tweeting Bible verses.
“Write the Vision, Make it Plain, Habakkuk 2:2,” she tweeted
Bible verses are not, of course, for everyone. If you want to go the full snark, all the way over into mockery, you can cue up The Daily Beast, if you must.