This blog explores and examines the intersections of rhetoric, race, and religion.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Tim Tebow Officially Puts Evangelical Right on the Sideline
In an astonishing turn of events, Tim Tebow has now cancelled his appearance at First Baptist Dallas; and in doing so he has officially placed the political religious right to the far margins of society.
Tebow's appearance was meant to be a pretty routine, if flashy event. First Baptist Church invited the football star, more famous for his prayerful pose than his forward passes, to be part of the lead up to the Easter Sunday reveal of their new church campus, which a press release calls "the largest church building project in modern history."
Tebow was scheduled to speak on Feb 28, at the 9:15 Sunday morning service. None of this seemed all that surprising. Tebow has spoken at many churches and Christian filled stadiums in the past years and First Baptist Dallas was surely thought of as just one more 'preaching' moment for the football player.
Just to be clear, First Baptist Dallas is not an outlier church. It is headed by Pastor Robert Jeffress, a very influential conservative Christian voice, who leads an 11,000 strong congregation connected to the Southern Baptist Convention. The theology and the constituency is squarely within the mainstream of contemporary right-wing Christian thought.
But what has changed is that the views of the right-wing Christians are now officially out of step with the growing majority of Americans -- including, apparently, Tim Tebow.