NBC Sports headline: Tim Tebow to speak at virulently anti-gay, anti-Semitic Dallas megachurch
At first glance and based on that title, you might wonder if Tebow is speaking at some Dallas version of the ‘God hates fags’ church that protests at the funerals of soldiers. After all, that title sounds pretty hateful.
But no, it’s not that church. In fact, when I saw which megachurch he was speaking at I knew the whole article was one big smear. No, the megachurch is the one where Robert Jeffress is the pastor. Remember him? He’s the one who endorsed Rick Perry last election cycle and stepped in a big media puddle when he said Mormonism is a theological cult. Yeah, you remember. We covered it here fairly extensively.
Funny though, I don’t remember Jeffress being anti-gay or anti-Semitic. In fact, he’s an evangelical Christian and for him to be hate-filled would simply be un-Christ-like.
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.
OK first, Jeffress only said Islam and Mormonism are heresies “from the pit of hell”. He’s careful not to include Judaism in that refrain. No, all he says about Judaism is that you can’t be saved by being a Jew and that the three greatest Jews in the New Testament, Peter, Paul, and Jesus Christ all said that. Here’s the proof:
What’s amazing is not only do they misquote him, they then make the absurd claim that Jeffress is anti-Semitic based only on that quote. How is believing that Jews are not saved, that apart from the blood of Jesus Christ no Jew will enter the kingdom of Heaven – how is that anti-Semitic? Do they even understand what anti-Semitism is? Seriously, these people beclown themselves with their ignorance.
OK, let’s move on to the anti-gay smear. They accuse Jeffress of being anti-gay because he said “that gays should not be allowed in the military because “Seventy percent of the gay population” has AIDS.” This is partly true, but it doesn’t earn him being anti-gay. Here’s what he said:
To start off Jeffress actually misquoted Matt Foreman, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Jeffress said, quoting Foreman, that 70 percent of the gay population have AIDS, that it’s primarily a gay disease and suggested that was a good reason for keeping the tradition of not having gays in the military. Obviously Jeffress believed that keeping AIDS out of the military was a good thing based on that statistic.
But according to CNS News, in 2008 Matt Foreman said “Folks, with 70 percent of the people in this country living with HIV being gay or bi (sexual), we cannot deny that HIV is a gay disease.” Ah. So instead of 70 percent of the gay population, Jeffress meant should have said 70 percent of the people who have AIDS are gay. Think Progress called this a blatant falsehood by Jeffress, but then they aren’t in the business of giving conservatives the benefit of the doubt even when Jeffress was clearly quoting someone else.
But again, how does this make Jeffress anti-gay? Did you hear what he said right before this question about gays in the military in the video?
“I think all of us are grateful for any man or woman who serves in our military, regardless of their sexual orientation.”
Whoa Skippy! Slow down with the hatred for gays! OK, maybe not hatred – in fact no hatred at all. No, he’s showing gratitude for gays and straight members of our military for serving our country.
So once again a full blown smear by Think Progress, Huffpo, and now NBC Sports.
So on to Tim Tebow. The author of this NBC Sports article, Rick Chandler, while not doing his own research on the anti-gay and anti-Semitic claims in his own article, then accuses Tim Tebow of not doing his research before speaking at this ‘hateful’ church. Oh the irony!
And on top of that, the inference is that Tim Tebow may be anti-gay and anti-Semitic as well because he’s speaking at this church. The author clearly doesn’t want to go there, though, so he just accuses him of not Googling the megachurch:
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.
Mr. Chandler, Google can be your friend too. Perhaps you should do your own due diligence before writing your next article and showing what an incompetent author you really are. And yes, I’m being nice.