December 16, 2011

Dear Tim Tebow

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What is the issue?

Dear Tim Tebow,

Congratulations on all of your recent success. You have the Denver Broncos on a five game winning streak. You’ve been clutch in the fourth quarters of games, not to mention your leading the team to an improbable overtime victory against the Chicago Bears last week. You have silenced the critics who doubted your unorthodox throwing motion with your rushing ability, leadership, and late-game decision-making. You’re twenty-four years old and a millionaire. Things seem pretty terrific.

Aside from your football career, your most prominent attribute is your Christianity. It is a big deal to people. You sign your tweets GB2 (God Bless and Go Broncos). Like it or not, you are the most famous public proponent of virginity since Britney Spears. During interviews you discuss Jesus in a tender, eloquent way. In fact, when people claim you talk too much about Jesus, you talk about Jesus more. In an interview on ESPN First Take, you said this:

“If you’re married and you have a wife and you really love your wife, is it good enough to only say to your wife ‘I love her’ on the day you get married? Or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and every opportunity? That’s how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ.”

That’s a really sincere and faithful answer. Faithful with a little ‘f’ (as in fidelity) to defend your big ‘F’ Faith. You really walk the walk. I’ve never heard any stories about your being a secret sex fiend or a closet jerk. You always seem grateful for your opportunities and fans. At 24 years old, you have your own charity whose mission statement is: “Bringing faith, hope, and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.” Maybe some people think it’s too missionary-y, but one of the projects that the charity works with is building a children’s hospital in the Philippines. It’s nice to hear about. If only every religious person could allow their Faith to fuel such generosity.

You’ve also never hesitated to take controversial stances as a result of your Christianity. In 2010, you appeared in an advertisement for conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, in which you spoke out against abortion. The commercial aired during the Super Bowl to millions of people. Now, I disagree with that stance, but I know I won’t change your mind about it. I’m not trying to.

Given your outspoken nature and willingness to say unpopular things, I’d like to make a humble request. You seem like a person who is interested in following the word of God in a way that benefits humans on Earth. That is very noble. I admire it. But if you’re willing to arouse the ire of pro-choice advocates by coming out against abortion, then certainly your support for love, compassion, and family must extend to same-sex marriage.

Gay marriage is a divisive issue, as you know. I can talk about it until I am blue in the face, but I will only reach a limited audience of mostly like-minded people. You have legion supporters who probably disagree with me on the principle that I am a largely secular Jewish person who is pro-choice. It is precisely because we disagree on these issues that your support for marriage equality is so important. It does not defy Christian ideals for two loving people to marry and raise a family. In fact, it upholds the very messages that you preach day in and day out. The voices of morally upright Christians (as opposed to morally upright Jews, Muslims, and atheists) are essential in bringing the message of love and equality to those who have never heard it from someone they look up to.

Please, Tim Tebow, support marriage equality. You don’t have to do it during a press conference about a fourth quarter comeback. That’s the time to talk about football. But next time someone asks you, (and they will, because people care what you think) please do the Christian thing and speak out for equality.

And if that seems like too much for a first step, can you give a shout out to evolution? That’d be a heck of a start.

Sincerely,

Josh Gondelman TC mark

Image – Jeffrey Beall

Josh Gondelman

Josh Gondelman is a writer and comedian who incubated in Boston before moving to New York City. His writing has been …

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