Well, you can say that I’m pleasantly surprised by the actions of Tim Tebow. I thought he would be a Tebow22 Tim Tebow Decides Not To Speak At Hate Churchhard-head and become the new voice of hate in America, now that he is having trouble on the football field. However, it turns out that Tebow had the good sense not to speak at First Baptist Church Dallas, where preacher Robert Jeffress insults practically everyone in America that isn’t a carbon copy of himself — and then justifies his invective by calling it “religion.”

Tebow’s wisdom must come from his time at University of Florida. Go Gators! Here is what the football preacher tweeted:

“due to new information that has been brought to my attention, I have decided to cancel my…” “upcoming appearance. I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and Love to all those needing a brighter day.”

This didn’t sit too well with the Texas hate preacher:

“He said that because of professional and personal reasons he needed to stay away from controversy right now, so he would not be able to come,” Jeffress told The Daily Beast on Thursday afternoon. “But he also voiced that he would like to come at some future date in our church.”

“Tim is a member of a Southern Baptist Church, the First Baptist Church of Jacksonsville, Fla., that believes exactly what we believe about those issues, and Tim affirmed that that is what their church believes,” Jeffress said. “So I think Tim was probably speaking the truth when he said it wasn’t the belief of our church—it was the controversy surrounding his appearance.”

According to the Daily Beast:

Jeffress, whose congregation has been likened to the incendiary Westboro Baptist Church, has come under fire for making derogatory comments toward other religions, saying that Mormons, Hindus, and Muslims “worship a false God” and that gay people’s “filthy behavior … explains why they are more prone to disease” in a sermon titled “Gay Is Not OK.” Tebow had come under a firestorm of criticism for his scheduled appearance at the 11,000-member megachurch, with the New York Daily News accusing the football player of having a “hate date” with the church, and The Huffington Post slamming him for appearing at a “virulently anti-gay, anti-Semitic church.”

I know this wasn’t an easy decision for Tebow to make, so he deserves some credit for doing the right thing. However, he should surround himself with some secular advisers to research future speaking engagements and product endorsements. The best way to get out of a mess is to avoid getting into one in the first place.

Thank you Phil Perry for your petition on this matter, and for raising awareness. Your efforts have paid off.