Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, speaking at a religious event this weekend in Tennessee, called on Christians to act on their beliefs and to improve their communities. "What's amazing when you get up and do something is what God does in your life," the quarterback, known for his particular brand of Christian optimism, said Saturday before a gathering of 2,000 people, reported the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro. "We just have to get up and do something."
At the event God's Purpose for America, sponsored by a Christian group called Music With a Purpose, Tebow took his usual middle-ground, positive approach, while conservative leaders addressed more controversial topics. The crowd filled out with Tebow jerseys, and the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback drew the loudest cheers of the day. Tebow became a national sensation playing at the University of Florida, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007, and BCS championships in 2006 and 2008.
"Tebowmania" continued into the NFL, especially when the lefty started for the Denver Broncos and won a playoff game in the 2011 season. All the while, he's been as known for his Christian values as for making great plays. "Tebowing" became a verb for his celebratory elbow-on-knee prayer pose, he's written Bible verses on his eye black and he famously told the media he was saving himself for marriage.
Tebow mentioned his foundation, which assists hospitals across the United States and grants wishes to ill children. Out of the league since 2013 before signing with the Eagles this offseason, he reportedly said he is a "Christian who happens to be an athlete."
"When your identity is found in Christ, your identity never changes," Tebow said. "You are always a child of God."
Other speakers at the event put on by the Tennessee-based organization Music with A Purpose included conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza, Nashville talk show host Phil Valentine and Family Action Council of Tennessee President David Fowler. Other speakers took a more political approach than the quarterback.
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) July 12, 2015
D'Souza and Fowler, among others, denounced the recent Supreme Court decision that declared a right to same-sex marriage nationwide. Tennessee was one of the states affected since it had not permitted same-sex marriage before the decision.
"Today a handful of Americans on the court have stripped the people of the freedom to democratically address the meaning and role of society's most fundamental institution, marriage," Fowler said, according to the Tennessean of Nashville. "The majority have arrogantly said they are not only smarter than the 50 million Americans who have voted to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman, but also millions of human beings over thousands of years across the entire globe."
D'Souza, for his part, said the country is at risk of falling apart morally. "For the first time certainly in my lifetime and possibly in the history of this country, the American dream is imperiled. That's what we're fighting for," D'Souza said. "It is only slipping away from us if we let it."