Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 2/15/13
Tim Tebow has said all the right things through a lot of turmoil and still has avoided alienating teammates by putting his foot in his mouth.  Whether you like the New York Jets backup quarterback's play or not — you have never heard anything about the spiritual Tebow offending anyone with his faith. Now the Tebowing quarterback's message of love and tolerance could be put to the test when he speaks at a church headed by a hate-spewing Texas preacher. Tebow is slated to speak at the 11,000-member First Baptist Dallas Church's April 28 Sunday morning service, according to the church's website. The church is headed by the megachurch's controversial evangelical Christian pastor, the Rev. Robert Jeffress. This preacher makes the bombastic Rex Ryan's Super Bowl boasting sound like baby talk. In 2011, Jeffress told a crowd at Values Vote Summit that homosexuals don't belong in the military because 70% of the gay population has AIDS.  He also once accused gay activists of trying to hide "the link between homosexuality and pedophilia." While endorsing Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential bid in 2011, Jeffress bashed Islam, Judaism, and Mormonism as heretical religions "from the pit of hell." He didn't stop there and said Obama's reelection would "lead to the rise of the Anti-Christ." Tebow's planned message to the church's congregation wasn't exactly clear and The New York Post reported that he could not be reached for comment. But speaking at the First Baptist Church could be more divisive than a QB controversy. Last Easter, Tebow spoke in front of 30,000 people at the Celebration Church in Georgetown, Texas and his message was far less alienating than Jeffress' incendiary words. "It's OK to be outspoken about your faith," said Tebow before the congregation. "First and foremost it is what this country was based on: one nation under God," he said to a rousing applause. Lately, we haven't heard a lot from the most-likely-to-be former-Jet. Wherever he ends up, you can only hope it's not in Jeffress' camp.
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