Are you tired of backlash over Tim Tebow’s scheduled appearances at institutions with social views that alienate wide swaths of society? Are you more tired of that than you are of Tim Tebow scheduling appearances at institutions with social views that alienate wide swaths of society in the first place? Whether enough of people are suffering from Tebow Controversy Fatigue will determine whether Tebow will speak at Liberty University tomorrow or not.
He’s currently scheduled to, as part of the school’s Convocation, “North America’s largest weekly gathering of Christian students.” Sounds right up Tebow’s alley, right? What might the trouble be? Well, if you’ll remember, Tebow canceled on Dallas’ First Baptist Church after everyone started realizing that the pastor there, Robert Jeffress, says stuff like this a lot. Well, the chancellor of Liberty is Jerry Falwell Jr. Clips of Falwell Jr. saying polarizing things aren’t as easy to come by as they were with Jeffress – it’s more interviews like this, which belie a persecution complex more than anything else.
But Jerry Falwell Jr. wasn’t always the head honcho at Liberty. The position used to belong to his late father, Jerry Falwell Sr., who also founded the school. You know Jerry Falwell Sr. He was this guy:
And this guy:
And this guy. One might argue that you can’t hold the guy who used to be the head of the college against Tebow, but it’s a lot easier to hold it against him when the guy founded the school, and when his own family – a family that, based on the Jerry Jr. interview linked above, is carrying on Jerry Sr.’s politically charged legacy – still runs the place.
Maybe the college setting – though a fiercely religious college – is a big reason why there’s been less of an uproar. Maybe it’s that Tebow’s closed-to-the-public speech is a more under-the-radar affair. Maybe it’s that Tebow is only one of many speakers. Even so, though, n the list of Convocation speakers through the end of April, Tebow appears to be the only athlete – and there’s only one other sports-related personality. That personality: James Brown of The NFL Today on CBS. It’s almost certainly too late (despite this petition) for there to be enough of an uproar for Tebow to cancel this speech, too, but we have a strong feeling that if Jerry Falwell Sr. were still alive and in charge, this one never would have happened either.