It seems that lately Tim Tebow has been making more speaking appearances in church than he has quarterback appearances in NFL games.
Tebow made headlines with his Easter address in Georgetown, Texas in April, and his talk at a Scottsdale, Ariz., church earlier this month. And now he’s got another gig at a megachurch in Dallas, only this one comes with a large helping of controversy.
Tebow has a speaking engagement on April 28 at First Baptist Dallas, according to the church’s website. That’s the church led by pastor Robert Jeffress, a virulently anti-gay and anti-Semitic evangelical Christian who has made quite a name for himself in religious circles.
In October 2011, Jeffress endorsed Texas Governor Rick Perry for president, then went on to claim that Islam, Mormonism and Judaism are heretical religions “from the pit of hell.”
On the eve of the presidential election in November 2012, Jeffress warned his Dallas congregation that President Barack Obama’s re-election would “lead to the rise of the Antichrist,” according to The Christian Post.
Jeffress also gained notoriety for his statements about the gay community. According to ThinkProgress, during the same speech where he endorsed Rick Perry in 2011, Jeffress told a crowd at the high-profile Values Voters Summit that gays should not be allowed in the military because “Seventy percent of the gay population” has AIDS.
Is Tebow’s appearance at First Baptist Dallas an ipso facto endorsement of Jeffress’ views? Not necessarily — he could be there to debate him. Or perhaps it’s a secular arts & crafts presentation. Look, work with me here, OK?
I prefer to think of Tebow as someone who saw the word “megachurch” and got excited about speaking to a lot of like-minded people, and just forgot to do his due diligence on the guy in charge. Remember Tim, Google can be your friend.
The alternative is too sad to contemplate right now.