NFL player and former University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is set to appear as a featured speaker at First Baptist Church of Dallas, home to anti-LGBT, antisemitic Pastor Robert Jeffress, who once called President Barack Obama a servant of “the Antichrist.” According to the Daily Mail, Tebow is slated to appear before the church’s 11,000 congregants on April 28.
Tebow has been vocal about his faith, worshipping both on and off the field. In the past year, he has spoken to congregations at mega-churches in Texas and Arizona.
Pastor Jeffress, however, has become notorious for his strident remarks about homosexuality and religions other than his own. In the lead-up to the 2012 election, Jeffress declared that he would not be endorsing former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) because of the candidate’s Mormon faith, which Jeffress deemed a cult. (He later changed his views and threw in his lot with the Republican candidate.)
The pastor said in a 2011 interview that Mormonism and Islam are “heretical” religions, born from “the pit of Hell.” Also, he famously said, “You can’t be saved being a Jew.”
Jeffress has saved his most vicious rhetoric, however, for the LGBT community.
“Seventy percent of the gay population” has AIDS, he said, and declared in 2012 that “There are a disproportionate amount of assaults against children by homosexuals than by heterosexuals, you can’t deny that.”
According to a report by researchers at University of California at Davis, of 175 men incarcerated for child molestation in Massachusetts, “None of the men had an exclusively homosexual adult sexual orientation. 83 (47 percent) were classified as “fixated;” 70 others (40 percent) were classified as regressed adult heterosexuals; the remaining 22 (13 percent) were classified as regressed adult bisexuals. Of the last group, Groth and Birnbaum observed that “in their adult relationships they engaged in sex on occasion with men as well as with women. However, in no case did this attraction to men exceed their preference for women….There were no men who were primarily sexually attracted to other adult males…” (p.180).
Nonetheless, Jeffress insisted, “And the reason is very clear: homosexuality is perverse, it represents a degradation of a person’s mind and if a person will sink that low and there are no restraints from God’s law, then there is no telling to whatever sins he will commit as well.”
(Ed. Note: This story originally identified Tebow as a former player for Florida State University, not University of Florida. Raw Story regrets the error.)
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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