Hello, interwebs. It’s time for another round of my unsolicited opinion! (What else do we post online, really?)
As a professing (though extremely imperfect) Christian, I’m constantly exposed to the faith-related side of social, and usually, it’s a great place. But lately, the bulk of that realm has been sharing the supposed Tebow-Culpo case (I’m sure you know what I mean; I won’t help its SEO further by hyperlinking it here.) like CRAZY.
I understand the hype. As someone who’s committed to the “controversial” belief that, in the (sort-of) words of Queen Bey, “If he like it then he should put a ring on it,” I understand the awkwardness involved in sporting something The Jonas Brothers wore (and eventually took off). At best, we’re treated as old-fashioned curiosities. At worst, we’re taken as judging everyone who doesn’t share that conviction (because obviously my personal choices are somehow an imposition of my values on someone else’s life). Given the occasional hostility against “saving sex for marriage,” it’s tempting to share popular support for a commitment to abstinence. Personally, I post links to celebrity abstinence stories when I can find them. However, there are serious issues with the Tebow-Culpo story that make it not worth sharing. They are:
1. The source of the article. Not to bash a “Christian” website but Faithit (the most popular link for the story) isn’t exactly written like a legitimate entertainment news website (See their current article on Gene Simmons supporting Tebow’s cause. I mean…REALLY!?). I’m not talking about the obvious Christian slant–lots of sites manage that angle and still come off as reliably researched–I’m talking about article construction in general: low quality and rarely credible, with barely any cited sources of note.
2. The “source” of the story. “Anonymous source close to Culpo” is basically tabloid shorthand for “We made this stuff up on the fly because of a wild guess.” Anyone who’s had contact with a gossip rag in the last 10 years or more can support that claim. In reality, there is no real evidence to support Culpo and Tebow having dated at all–the most you get is that they go to the same church group. (I rarely endorse TMZ, but admittedly it’s slightly more “credible” than Faithit, and a very recent post has the pair’s reps basically explaining the two were never together; they’d simply met in church.) Admittedly “celebrity news” is usually closer to gossip than it is to actual journalism, which makes citing sources more difficult, but there are still obvious signs when a story’s been made up, and two of them are a lack of a paper trail and a vaguely-defined source.
3. Slut-shaming. The article makes Culpo out to be a Jezebel, when frankly the only proof any of the story even happened is that “anonymous source” that was probably made up. (Faithit, isn’t “you shall not bear false witness” part of the Ten Commandments? Just saying.)
The rest of the article consists of throwing a Pharisee’s kind of shade on Culpo’s “perfect Miss Universe body” and the fact that she’s appeared in a swimsuit in some magazine. It all sounds so vindictive, bitter, and certainly un-Christian for a supposed Christian site (As a bitter, vindictive person who struggles with that side of herself, I would know.). In truth, these accusations seem closer to buying in to that Dark Ages idea that Eve was the source of all temptation. Which, by the way, is caused by omitting a critical part of scripture. Check this out:
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”
(Genesis 3:6, ESV)
In layman’s terms: Adam was right there, people! He knew what was up! He saw what was going on! And he did absolutely nothing to stop it. As far as Scripture is concerned, boy had as much to do with the original sin as Eve did. In fact, when he straight up blames her for sinning, later on in the chapter, God has none of it! They both get kicked out of Eden.
Painting Culpo as a vapid, sex-crazed celebrity stereotype is hardly “speaking the truth in love,” and any reputable Christian site would at least reserve passing that kind of judgment for an Op-Ed (not even). It does not show respect for the woman as a person, or even for women in general. Definitely not Jesus-approved.
There’s a saying on social: “Don’t believe everything you read.” That’s doubly true when you’re dealing with entertainment news, an industry that thrives on causing controversy even when no such controversy exists. Regardless if you slap a Christian label on it, a gossip rag article is a gossip rag article: to be taken with a grain of salt until official statements are released. So let’s give Olivia Culpo and Tim Tebow the benefit of the doubt, and put this story to bed? After all–there are better abstinence “success stories” out there, ones that come from the artists themselves, and not some unethical, “anonymous tipster.”
Peace out, internet.