An Open Letter to Tim Tebow and Those Like Him About “Coming out as a Christian”

Hi Tim.  How's your day going?  Still out of a job, huh?  That sucks.  So, here's the thing, and feel free to share this with your congregation:

To 'come out' as a Christian in America today, whether you're a pro athlete, politician, schoolteacher, or dishwasher, isn't a brave thing.  It doesn't take courage.  You're not going to face hatred.  You're not going to be vilified by the press.  You're not going to end up committing suicide as a result of relentless bullying from your peers, online community, religious organizations, political organizations, hate groups, and your parents.

I'm not even sure that a member of the largest religious majority in the world can, in fact, 'come out.'

​Now if you lived in, let's say, the Sudan, or Pakistan, or Mumbai, it might be a little different.  But you don't.  You live here.  In the good ole' Jesus-loving, freedom-injecting, "Pat Robertson says America is a Christian nation and lesbians cause hurricanes" U S of A. ​

This so-called controversy that's erupted over how you and yours are told to shut up when you talk openly about your faith, but when Jason Collins, another pro athlete, comes out as gay, everyone cheers him on, isn't an actual controversy.  You're not touching on a legitimate debate about the role of one's faith or personal identity in sports.  You're being a bigot and a hypocrite.  No pro athlete has ever come out as gay until now.  No one.  Not a soul.  That's because in addition to being the minority, the atmosphere ​of pro sports is not particularly welcoming of gays.  Imagine, Mr. Tebow, being terrified of just existing as yourself around other people.

You probably can't.  You're a White, Christian, Male.  So are your supporters, by and large.  As far as support goes, you have almost all of it.  So to allow others to imply that your life has somehow been made difficult because the public doesn't like when you profess your faith, ​is the most arrogant, small-minded, unaware idea you could possibly possess.  What the public doesn't like, Tim, is you wearing your evangelism like a Times Square ad.  It's on your eye black.  It's in your pre-game warm-up.  It's in your post-game interviews.  It's in the commercials you star in, the products you endorse, the books you write, the tweets you tweet.

Imagine if being a gay pro athlete was not only accepted, but mainstream.  Now imagine a quarterback walking from the bus to the stadium in drag, blasting The Spice Girls, doing paddle turns with his arms outspread.  Imagine him gabbing with his girlfriends about last night's episode of "Glee" instead of stretching, or giving shout-out after shout-out to Ellen DeGeneres while being interviewed about his performance on the field, or giving a blowjob to some lucky fan after scoring a touchdown.

This is how ridiculous you look when you "profess your faith."​

It's not about being a Christian, Tim. It turns out that most people are. It's about not being a douchebag and a bigot–on the field or off.

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