Tim Tebow is a proud Christian who wears his religion on his sleeve, but he avoids addressing hot-button issues like gay marriage and abortion, in what is ultimately a concerted effort to steer clear of making comments that could be viewed as hurtful or controversial.
While Tebow takes a Christian view on morality and fully supports conservative causes, you’d be hard-pressed to find him making any kind of commentary that could be seen as contentious.
He handles the media like a seasoned veteran, and his publicist often steps in when he’s asked to make a public comment on a divisive political issue.
In 2012, with so much discussion surrounding Lolo Jones’ desire to take Tebow on a “church date,” and New York Jets center Nick Mangold trying to become a dream matchmaker by making “LoBow” a reality, I feel it’s only a matter of time before “the elephant in the room” – the subject of interracial dating and how it fits in with Christianity – is addressed.
Interracial dating from a biblical perspective is a key discussion point when it comes to the matchup between Tebow and Jones.
Jones, a 29-year-old track and field athlete who will be competing in the 2012 London Olympics, is of French, Native American, African-American and Norwegian descent.
Tim Tebow, on the other hand, is Caucasian.
Interracial dating is probably not an issue that Tebow would make a public comment on if asked about it in a press conference, but going on a date with Jones would essentially confirm that he supports it.
Interracial dating is a touchy issue that is fully embraced by some, and absolutely bashed by others. Many in the United States still view interracial relationships as a bit of a social taboo that still isn’t fully embraced.
For example, Bob Jones University, a Christian University in Greenville, SC, had a rule prohibiting interracial dating among its students as recently as 1999, a policy that was later abandoned .
In a letter from the late-90s by Bob Jones University Community Relations Coordinator Jonathan Pait, he said “The University has an open admissions policy, and we accept students of any race. The student body is fully integrated with students participating in all activities and organizations regardless of race. Bob Jones University does, however, have a rule prohibiting interracial dating among its students. God has separated people for His own purpose.”
While the university dropped their ban on interracial dating, other websites still insist that interracial dating and interracial marriage is sinful.
On the other hand, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in a town hall meeting in April that interracial marriage was not a sin . Hundreds of other websites take similar stances to the candidate when it comes to the issue of interracial dating in relation to the Bible.
In my view, it doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that it’s wrong to date or marry a person of a different race.
If Tebow took Jones up on her “church date” offer, he would essentially be showing to the world that he supports the concept of interracial dating.
As America’s population becomes increasingly more diverse, it’s important for individuals to break free from the misguided perception of the early-1900s that interracial relationships are sinful.
According to a Gallup poll , only 4% of Americans said they approved of marriages between whites and blacks in 1958. As recently as 2004, the approval rating was up to 76%. There’s still clearly a lot of work to be done to change perceptions that interracial dating is a social taboo, but if there’s anyone who can do it, it’s Tebow.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Jets fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden .