Gay rights activists are demanding Tim Tebow back out of a speaking engagement at Liberty University just two weeks after pressuring the New York Jets quarterback to cancel a speaking engagement at the First Baptist Church of Dallas.
Tebow is expected to speak this weekend at Wildfire – a men’s conference hosted by the conservative Christian university. His remarks will be closed to the general public.
The professional football player is well-known for sharing his faith in Christ – but in recent weeks he’s come under fire from the national media and gay rights activists for speaking in churches that follow biblical teaching.
Huffington Post called Liberty a “notoriously conservative private college with an anti-gay reputation.” And more than 10,000 people have signed a petition launched by Faithful America calling on the quarterback to cancel his speech.
“Liberty University isn’t just another conservative Christian college,” the group stated. “its ground-zero for a global assault on the legal rights of gays and lesbians – and a symbol of everything that’s wrong with the religious right.
A Liberty University spokesman refused to comment.
Faithful America said Tebow would give his “Christian faith a bad name” by speaking at the university founded by the late Jerry Falwell.
Several weeks ago Tebow canceled a speaking engagement at the First Baptist Church of Dallas – citing “new information” he had received.
He never elaborated on his comment – but sources close to the church told Fox News he backed out in part over the uproar surrounding the church’s position on traditional marriage – and salvation.
Pastor Robert Jeffress has been an outspoken leader in the nation’s culture wars – affirming from the pulpit traditional marriage and salvation through Jesus Christ.
The national media labeled the pastor as anti-gay and anti-Semitic – charges that were vehemently denied by the church and the many national religious leaders.
“To me, the real issue here is the controversy this has generated,” Jeffress said at the time. “It’s amazing that a church that believes faith alone in Christ is what saves a person and that sex should be between a man and a woman in a marriage relationship – that somehow those beliefs are considered hate speech? That is historic Christian doctrine for the past 2,000 years.”
Right Wing Watch suggested Liberty University was actually more extreme than FBC Dallas and listed a litany of alleged offenses.