When Tim Tebow announced that he would be speaking in April at the First Baptist Church of Dallas, one would have thought he’d said he was about to drown a litter of kittens.
CBS Sports went so far as to say that he was “about to make the biggest mistake of his life.”
Why? Because the church’s pastor, Robert Jeffress, believes in traditional marriage, and he’s very outspoken about it.
He’s also been labeled anti-Semitic and anti-gay. Not only does Jeffries vehemently deny these charges, but so does the church as well as other religious leaders.
Shortly after the CBS Sports article appeared, Fox News Radio commentator Todd Starnes tweeted, “CBS says if you attend a church that believes in traditional marriage – you are intolerant http://cbsprt.co/VriUOO “
Although Tebow continued to receive support for his plans to speak, he eventually bowed to media pressure.
“While I was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ’s unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic First Baptist Church of Dallas in April, due to new information that has been brought to my attention, I have decided to cancel my upcoming appearance,” Tebow wrote in a series of tweets Thursday morning.
“I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and love to all those needing a brighter day. Thank you for all of your love and support. God Bless!”
The gay and lesbian community breathed a sigh of relief.
“He was smart to cancel,” wrote Wayne Self, according to Fox News. “Tebow has never been a serious theologian or moral arbiter, but instead a popular evangelical Christian. But being associated with such a virulently anti-gay pastor would only tarnish his image.” Self is a prominent blogger of LGBT issues.
This country was founded on the principle of religious freedom — it’s what first brought the Pilgrims to our shores. Religious freedom — and religious tolerance — forms the basis of the First Amendment.
As such, one’s religious principles and beliefs cannot be the subject of public debate — they’re personal to the individual.
Moreover there is no religion as virulently anti-gay — and intolerant in its beliefs — as Islam. I can’t help but wonder if Tebow would have created the furor he did had he announced he was about to speak at a mosque.
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