Tim Tebow Cancels Appearance at Bigoted Pastor’s Church After Getting Criticized For Saying Yes

Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas has said some amazing things in the past.

He called Mormomism a “cult” during last year’s Presidential campaign. (As if other religions were perfectly normal.)

He also said: “It’s a fact that [AIDS is] a gay disease so there’s a reasonable reason to exclude gays from the military.”

He once called Planned Parenthood a “slaughterhouse for the unborn.”

Then there was the time he warned other pastors that if they didn’t tell their congregations to vote for the “right” candidate, they were

… no different than German Lutheran pastors who didn’t speak out against Hitler’s growing influence

And we can’t forget the time he asked:

“Do we want a candidate who is a good, moral person — or one who is a born-again follower of the lord Jesus Christ?”

Somehow, NFL quarterback/bench warmer Tim Tebow knew about none of those things — or worse, he was fully aware of them — when he agreed to speak at Jeffress’ church this April. Now that the media is questioning why he supports a pastor who’s that outwardly crazy, Tebow has canceled his appearance there:

Tebow, announcing his decision Thursday on Twitter, said that he was canceling his appearance “due to new information that has been brought to my attention.”

Which was interpreted by Jeffress to mean Tebow has lots of personal problems going on in his own life:

Tim called me last night and explained to me that because of some things going on in his personal life and his career he needed to steer clear of controversy right now, but that at some other date he would like to come and speak at our church,” Jeffress told CNN by phone from Dallas. “Tim has to do what Tim thinks is best for him right now.”

Yes. It’s totally not the fact that Jeffress is a homophobic bigot. It’s possible that Tebow privately shares Jeffress’ views considering he himself attends the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida… but a player like him knows better than to tarnish his public image by associating with (and tacitly supporting) someone emblematic of Christian hate.

If only he had said no in the first place instead of waiting until he got criticized for it.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://twitter.com/KevinSagui Kevin Sagui

    Paraphrasing this from an unknown tweeter:

    It should be no surprise Tebow accepted the invitation. He never has been good at reading coverage.

  • jdm8

    “… no different than German Lutheran pastors who didn’t speak out against Hitler’s growing influence”

    Isn’t that backwards? Didn’t they speak out FOR Hitler’s growing influence? If not, simply assented because they agreed with it? The name of the church derives from Martin Luther, who was scarily anti-semitic, he advocated everything that Hitler eventually did to the Jewish people.

    Also, The First Baptist Church of Dallas is Southern Baptist, an offshoot created specifically to preserve slavery and oppression of blacks.

  • LesterBallard

    Criticized for saying yes? Not as much as he’s being criticized for changing his mind. Was it Lecky who said “there is no beast so ferocious as Christians who disagree”?

  • sam

    “If only he had said no in the first place instead of waiting until he got criticized for it.”

    If only people gave as much respect for the opinions of professional athletes as they deserve: 0.

  • baal

    “Do we want a candidate who is a good, moral person — or one who is a born-again follower of the lord Jesus Christ?”

    Um. I’ll take the first one, the moral person. You can keep the born-again follower.

  • kaydenpat

    If Tebow speaks at Jeffres’ church and expresses support for gay rights, that would be alright with me. It may happen.

  • Rain

    I love how Jeffress is shifting all of the blame onto Tebow.

    http://christiannews.net/2013/02/21/tim-tebow-cancels-appearance-at-dallas-megachurch-amid-controversy/

    A couple of random quotes from it:

    “Tim confirmed that to me last night that they believe exactly what we do about homosexuality.”

    “I think Tim is going to discover that no matter how hard you try to hide from controversy, blah, blah… you get the drift.


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