Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tumult Around Tebow

College seniors who have excelled on the gridiron are gathering this week in Mobile, Alabama to show their stuff to NFL scouts and play in the Senior Bowl game. One of the areas of speculation for the past few months has been the ability of Florida standout and former Heisman winner Tim Tebow to fit into a pro-style offense, which is quite different than what he was accustomed to while the Gator QB. Well, an even bigger area of speculation surrounding this outstanding Christian young man has been the content of an ad, called, "Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life", scheduled to run during the Super Bowl, featuring Tebow and his mother in what is projected to be a life-affirming ad.

The backstory here is enthralling - Pam Tebow, pregnant with Tim, was advised by doctors to have an abortion, due to the fear that an illness she had contracted would result in Tim being born with some sort of special need or needs. Nevertheless, the Tebows chose life, -and look at how Tim Tebow has excelled not only on the football field, but at life. This story is expected to be a key element of the 30-second Super Bowl presentation, the script of which has been approved by CBS. However, so-called "women's groups" have protested the airing of the ad, and you can read the report from the New York Daily News here.

In response to that torrent of communication, CBS has announced that it stands by its decision to air the ad.

What is notable about some of the rhetoric is the hypocrisy that is present. Here are the words of Jehmu Greene, president of the New York-based Women’s Media Center, quoted in the article above:

An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year - an event designed to bring Americans together..."

That same group made a statement blasting Focus on the Family, which is paying for the ad using designated funds from private donors:

By offering one of the most coveted advertising spots of the year to an anti-equality, anti-choice, homophobic organization, CBS is aligning itself with a political stance that will damage its reputation, alienate viewers, and discourage consumers from supporting its shows and advertisers..."

Those words are quite "unifying", aren't they? Apparently these groups don't want the American public to be exposed to opinions with which they disagree.

Ponder this: In sports, and in broadcasting in general, we are exposed to products and practices that violate our values…for instance, how many beer ads will air during the Super Bowl? What about those historically offensive ads for a certain internet service provider? I would prefer that the networks don’t air the ads, but they are a free market enterprise, and as long as the ads don’t violate FCC decency standards, they are free to air those ads. So, if these passionate pro-choice, advocates don’t like the message, they can change the channel or go get a snack when the ad comes on.

If they were really as they say, "pro-choice", wouldn’t they applaud Pam Tebow’s decision to save the life of her son, Tim? After all, Pam exercised her "right to choose". And, furthermore, wouldn’t they applaud their own mother’s choice to give birth to…them?

And for another thing, I think I’m glad that CBS has the game this year – if NBC was broadcasting the Super Bowl, you can be assured that ultra-liberal commentator Keith Olbermann, who co-hosts that network's football studio show, would be jumping up and down with unabashed vitriol. ABC and ESPN might be less prone to show the ad, either.

So, I hope CBS will continue hold the line – and not bow into pressure. Tim Tebow certainly doesn't mind the pressure - he has continued to winsomely justify his views, as recently as this week, when he was quoted in USA Today as saying:

"I know some people won't agree with it, but I think they can at least respect that I stand up for what I believe ... I've always been very convicted of it (his views on abortion) because that's the reason I'm here, because my mom was a very courageous woman. So any way that I could help, I would do it."

Tim Tebow's first endorsement - LIFE! What an inspiring choice.

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