Tim Tebow cancels appearance at controversial church

But First Baptist Church of Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress stands behind his bigoted remarks

By Katie McDonough

Published February 21, 2013 5:07PM (EST)


Tim Tebow has canceled a planned appearance at the First Baptist Church of Dallas because of “new information that has been brought to my attention,” he said.

Tebow released his statement in a series of tweets, saying: “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. 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!”

News of the outspoken Christian athlete's April appearance at the church stirred outrage among fans and followers because of church pastor Dr. Robert Jeffress' comments against homosexuality and other religions. Jeffress has called Islam and Mormonism “heresy from the pit of hell” and described Catholicism as “a Babylonian mystery religion” that corrupted early Christian teachings. He also said 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."

Tebow might have backed out of his appearance, but Jeffress remains resolute about his hateful views.

“I think as pastors we have a duty to preach ‘the whole counsel of God,’ and not just discuss those that are politically correct,” Jeffress told the Dallas Morning News. “It’s my role to speak clearly on the issues on which the Bible speaks clearly. It’s my role to preach what the Bible says, and that includes the controversial issues." Adding, “The reason for this firestorm is not because the word of God has changed. It’s because society has changed.”

Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Christianity Hate Speech Religion Tim Tebow