Tim Tebow is heading to another anti-gay destination this Friday, but it isn’t getting as much attention as his now forced to cancel talk at a Dallas Church received last month. The NFL quarterback, known for his adherence to his Christian faith, is to speak at a closed-door convocation at Liberty Univerity in Virginia.
The school is known for its anti-LGBT positions and has said the public would not be allowed to attend. According to the university’s spokesperson Johnnie Moor, the school expects a large turnout from students, without commenting on the recent controversies that have surrounded Tebow and his presence at anti-LGBT locations and churches.
This visit to Liberty has raised the eyebrows from some commentators, who are wondering if Tebow is attempting to link himself to these ultra-conservative groups that are virulently anti-LGBT, or if it simply a coincidence.
Liberty claims to be the largest Christian university across the planet and was founded by radical televangelist and Southern Baptist leader Jerry Falwell in 1971. The university forbids sex outside of marriage “or the encouragement or advocacy of any form of sexual behavior that would undermine the Christian identity or faith mission of the university.”
Tebow’s cancellation of a speaking engagement at the First Baptist Church of Dallas, home to virulent anti-LGBT Pastor Robert Jeffress, who has lashed out against President Barack Obama, referring to him as the “Antichrist” was praised by LGBT activists and groups.
Tebow himself has not spoken out in favor or against the LGBT community, but the controversy over his dealings with such radical conservatives has left many to question his thinking.
Tebow is no stranger to speaking openly about his beliefs across the country. Last year, he spoke in both Texas and Arizona to churchgoers.
But with Jeffress and the Dallas church, it appeared that Tebow was joining the anti-gay movement in full force.
Jeffress himself has been even more outspoken on his anti-gay beliefs, saying “70 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.”
This is counter to studies published on the topic, including a report from the University of California at Davis, which looked at 175 men incarcerated for child molestation in Massachusetts.
The NFL player and former Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Florida has been outspoken about his faith and beliefs. The question people are asking now is whether he is joining the chorus of anti-gay rhetoric.