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Tim Tebow: Rolling Stone piece praising him attacked for implying CO Springs hates gays

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Among the most commented pieces on the Colorado Springs Gazette's website in recent days has been an editorial spurred by a Westword post, "Tim Tebow: Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi Reluctantly Predicts Big Things for 'Kid Jesus.'"

Not that Gazette editorialist Wayne Laugesen is anti-Tebow. He just didn't like writer Taibbi's insinuations about allegedly homophobic Coloradans.

In his latest NFL piece, Taibbi wrote:

Tim Tebow's hyper-Christian aw-shucks persona is not easy to like, and the fact that it so perfectly fits in with the huge masses of gay-hating Focus on the Family types in Colorado (remember Ted Haggard!) makes the whole Broncos picture doubly unappealing.

"Unappealing to anti-Christian bigots," responded Laugesen, who argues that "those concerned with touchdowns and playoff berths don't care much about the religious preferences of players on the field."

He then analyzed Taibbi's "clumsy Colorado insult" like so:

• Tebow opposes abortion, which was the subtle message of his tasteful Super Bowl ad. This does not make him a hater of gays. If he fits in with haters, Taibbi should present us the evidence.

• Focus on the Family opposes gay marriage. Calling it a hate group is extreme, but Taibbi gets a pass on that one.

• Haggard has never been a "gay-hating" type. Before his gay-prostitute scandal, Haggard insisted on including the predominantly gay Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church in the choir of an ecumenical Easter service. He welcomed gays to the service with open arms. Haggard has long fought to give same-sex couples domestic partnership rights. Footage of gay-bashing sermons does not exist.

• This pro-religion, conservative editorial column -- serving the home of the so-called masses of gay haters -- defends the rights of same sex couples to wed more than almost any daily newspaper in the country. It advocates plus-one benefits for government employees and opposed California's gay marriage ban. It opposes "don't ask, don't tell." The limited-government values that define this newspaper and much of Colorado are as gay-friendly as public policy gets. Few of our readers, in this home to "masses" of haters, seem to object.

Just as interesting as Laugesen's take have been comments from dozens of Gazette readers -- among them one take apparently from Ted Haggard's former masseuse and more, Mike Jones -- and the results of a Gazette poll about Tebow's likability. Page down to see the numbers, and a sampling from the conversation:

Hmm...I'm not a Broncos fan, but I just became an ardent Tebow fan!

Wait a minute... you mean people still read Rolling Stone? It's just like MTV, they occasionally mention something called music.

Taibbi got it right. You reap what you sow. Deal with it.

Christianity is such a safe target. If Taibbi had any journalistic courage he'd take shots at Islam and Muslims. Maybe burn a Koran. Draw a picture of Muhammad.

More "war on Christmas"?

Isn't it a little early for that tired canard?

Opposing marriage for Christians would be easy hate speech for you to see, but gay marriage is a conflict?

Haggard's NAE was a totally homophobic hate group like Westboro and still is.

Tebow is a pawn in all this and the new "great white hope" for the anti-Obama crowd.

This town cannot continue to take the most extreme, homophobic, reichwing, rhetorically bankrupt positions and expect the world to ignore the hate.

Anybody who reads the comments on this site can plainly see that hatred and bigotry are the hallmarks of Colorado Springs' "Christianity."

I wonder why Tebow's jersey is the number one selling jersey? Leads me to believe there are Chrisitians all over the country. Rolling Stone has gathered too much moss to roll.

The perspective exists out there, Wayne. That's given fact. So now what are you going to do about it? Write more vitriolic essays? In a way you just sort of proved his point.

NOT "Colorado Christians."

Colorado SPRINGS "Christians."

If you don't believe that the rest of the country...nay, the world...simply cannot understand COS's pandering to the evangelical, Dominionist "Christians," you have a serious wake-up call.

One of the MAJOR reasons this city can't bring any other businesses than CALL CENTERS is the perception of our city as a hotbed of rabid, holier-than-thou "Christians" and make the decision that relocating to COS would pretty much ensure failure, as most employees would leave after the first year.

We could do more to be more welcoming...a first step would be to offer same-sex benefits; another would be to start taxing Focus and NLC for those primo parcels of land they sit on.

But, until Council decides to get a pair, we will ALWAYS be the place that no one wants to come to.

How sad is that?

Show me where Haggard supported Ref. I (partner benefits) in 2006 and I will apologize to him. Mike Jones

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