Legendary rocker and KISS frontman Gene Simmons gave much-beleaguered NFL player Tim Tebow an unexpected boost this week when he defended Tebow’s religious views during a Radio.com interview.
“He’s got a religious passion, as well he should. We’re in America,” the KISS co-founder told Radio.com. ”He’s proud to be a Christian. What’s wrong with that?”
Simmons and KISS vocalist/rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley are now co-owners of a new Arena Football League team called LA KISS, and the quarterback’s name came up.
“And yet, with sports media and pop culture media, they make fun of his religion. Really? In America?” Simmons asked. “If he was wearing a burqa, they wouldn’t dare say anything. But if you’re a Christian, you get to be picked on? What the hell?”
Actually, if Tebow wore a burqa, maybe people would say something — they’d call him a cross-dresser. Burqas are worn by women.
“The guy’s got family values,” Simmons said. “I never saw the media picking on Michael Vick for torturing dogs. Or this other football player, who’s alleged to have killed, committed murder. That’s ‘cool.’ But a guy who’s religious and has got family values isn’t ‘cool?’ He’s cool to me.”
After Tebow was released from the New England Patriots, Simmons extended him an offer.
“We haven’t heard back from Tim,” Simmons said. “He’s considering this seriously; he’s in Los Angeles. Right after this, I’m gonna fly back with our guys and try to sit down with him and tell him that we’re serious about this. He’ll get the respect here that he didn’t get at the NFL.”
Simmons probably knows how Tebow feels. Back when KISS was immensely popular, “Rolling Stone” never took the band seriously.
“They’re a**holes,” he said of Tebow’s detractors. “And they should be called to task, and they should lose their license, because in a very real way, as far as I’m concerned, it’s slander and defamation. You’re making fun of somebody’s religion.”
Israeli-born Simmons said religion is healthy for society.
“I think religion is good for mankind. Without the Ten Commandments — Jews gave you that — without that, there’d be chaos,” he said. “Somebody had to say, ‘Here are some good ideas: Don’t steal, and don’t kill.’ Those are good ideas. That’s called ‘civilization.’”
He then questioned what life would be like without religion.
“There was once a time where those things weren’t written down,” said Simmons, a father of two. “You had chaos! We still have chaos, but there’s a reference point. But those are good ideas. Honor thy father and thy mother. That’s a good idea!”
KISS is still very much alive. The band is planning a 40th anniversary tour of North America.
“And I just wrote a new song I’m really excited about called ‘Your Wish Is My Command,’” he said. “Great anthem. It’s a great title!”
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