What hath Tim Tebow Wrought?
Posted: February 11, 2010 - 18:33 CT
Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints on their 2010 Super Bowl victory. It was a fun game to watch, including the Who’s somewhat strained performance at halftime. I last saw them in Houston in the early eighties. The Super Bowl is the only program I know that many people tune in to watch the commercials. I don’t usually get hyped up about them, since most are way overdone, but I guess when a company is paying several million dollars a minute, they are pressured to come up with something out of the ordinary.
Perhaps the most anticipated commercial came in the first quarter. I’m speaking of the Focus on the Family (FOTF) Celebration of Life ad that featured Tim Tebow and his mom, and had been greatly panned by pro-abortion groups for the past few weeks. Tim is a dedicated Christian who won the 2007 Heisman trophy as the quarterback for the Florida Gators, the first sophomore to accomplish this feat. I worked in Gainesville and Jacksonville, Florida for a couple of years (2002-04), becoming somewhat of a Florida Gators fan (I already followed Florida State after meeting Coach Bobby Bowden, another great Christian, about ten years ago). We have a few Gator fans that have transferred to our Dallas office and I still work closely with our Florida offices on a few projects. This connection peaked my interest in what was already an intensely remarkable, appealing and motivating story.
Tim has now formed the Tim Tebow Foundation which attempts to bring faith, hope and love to our brothers and sisters in need. While he is not an activist, his faith has nonetheless consistently annoyed the "tolerant" secular left. His practice of wearing Bible passages on his game day eye black was particularly infuriating to many commentators. A CBS Sports columnist (Gregg Doyel) once wrote: "Tebow’s religion is seen as good because it is the religion of the majority. But it’s not the religion of everybody. It’s exclusionary, and just because you share Tebow’s faith, that doesn’t mean you're right."
After last year’s title game, the liberal Huffington Post blogger Mark Axelrod scoffed, "So, am I to believe that Florida beat Oklahoma because Tim Tebow had John 3:16 painted beneath his eyes?"… What I find rather disturbing is that he has to bring that religious faith onto the playing field as a way of testifying to it, as a way of letting people know just how deeply religious he is. The irony of making faith a kind of religious highlight reel is that belief in God isn't a spectator sport nor is a football field a venue for religious politicking."
The "tolerant" liberals don’t appear to mind Christians having faith, as long as it is kept private. They continually campaign for free speech regarding any type of immorality imaginable, but draw the line when it comes to Christianity.
Regarding the Super Bowl commercial, it told the remarkable story of Bob and Pam Tebow, who contracted amoebic dysentery during her pregnancy with her fifth child (Tim) while on a missionary trip in the Philippines. Doctors advised her to have an abortion when the medicines threatened her unborn baby. Pam ignored their advice and gave birth to Tim in 1987. Tim credited the outrage of his mother’s decision as a primary reason that he chose to participate in the ad.
Even before the ad came out, liberals were on the defensive against what they perceived to be attacks on one of their most sacred procedures. In an attempt to discredit the pro-life argument, the View’s Joy Behar told their audience that Mr Tebow could have just as easily grown up to be a "rapist pedophile" as a college quarterback. The far left US News and World Report ran a article and a poll, both entitled "Should CBS Show Tim Tebow’s Anti-Abortion Super Bowl Ad?" Apparently any message that celebrates life is considered "anti-abortion". Many of their readers commented that, if CBS ran the ad, they would not only boycott the Super Bowl, but all other future CBS programming.
In addition, most radical feminists groups were up in arms (although some pro-abortionists such as Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post, came out in favor of Mr Tebow’s right of free speech). The LA Times reported that Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, stated that "It is offensive to hold one way out as being a superior way over everybody else's," adding that the commercial is "not being respectful of other people's lives." Even though FOTF spokesman Gary Schneeberger said that "there's nothing political or controversial about it", the Women's Media Center, along with support from the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority Foundation, coordinated their efforts to have the ad pulled.
In asking CBS to cancel the ad, Jehmu Greene, president of Women's Media Center, said "An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sporting event of the year." To use a football term, this quote is right out of Barack Obama’s playbook. Anytime someone disagrees with their liberal positions such as killing babies, socialism, hedonism etc, they are accused of "dividing the country" and the media continues to endorse this attitude. I’d like to propose that the liberals stop the division by joining us around the positions of right-to-life, free enterprise, and traditional moral values.
Finally, the day of the Super Bowl came, and CBS, unlike NBC who refused to run a similar ad the previous year, allowed the commercial to air. The following is a transcript of the "offensive" commercial:
Pam Tebow (Tim’s mom holding up a baby picture of Tim): I call him my miracle baby. He almost didn’t make it into this world. I can remember so many times when I almost lost him. It was so hard. Well, he’s all grown up now and I still worry about his health. You know, with all our family’s been through, you have to be tough.
(Tim runs through the room and tackles her hard)
Pam (popping right up): Timmy, I’m trying to tell our story here.
Tim (jumping up and hugging her): Sorry 'bout that mom.
(They both turn and smile toward the camera)
(Displaying slash screen: For the full Tim Tebow story, go to focusonthefamily.com)
Tim’s voice in background: You still worry about me mom?
Pam’s voice in background: Well, yeah. You’re not nearly as tough as I am.
It thus became apparent that the extremists on the left greatly over-reacted. The link to one Washington Post article has already been taken down. This however did not stop sportswriter Dan Graziano, who wrote in his FanHouse column that the content on the Focus on the Family website was the real hidden danger. Mr Graziano writes, "Tebow must be careful as he moves from the world of collegiate athletics, where he was an unassailable hero, to that of professional sports, where he’ll be a target. He’s going to have to make good decisions about the people with whom he surrounds and aligns himself. And in this case, by lining up with the group behind the controversial ad, Tebow has made a poor decision."
Mr Graziano, like the other liberal fanatics, recognizes that Mr Tebow is very popular and well-liked, so he avoids attacking him directly. Instead, they center their attacks on FOTF and Christians in general. He begins by claiming that FOTF "conned" Mr Tebow by using his pro-life beliefs "as the hook and reeled him in for use in the proliferation of all aspects of their agenda" because he is "ready-made superstar who wears his religious faith unapologetically on his eye black."
Mr Graziano describes FOTF as "an extremist organization that aggressively preaches hate, intolerance and anti-intellectualism" that is using Mr Tebow since they are a "special-interest group whose mission is to compel people to think and live according to its rules and beliefs."
Mr Graziano also urged Mr Tebow to "think about what he’s doing here and, who he’s helping. Does Tebow realize that by aligning himself with Focus on the Family he is toughening that group’s resolve and ability to fight for its most small-minded, hate-driven issues – not just the issue about which he feels most strongly? …It won’t be the last time somebody tries to use Tebow, especially not if he succeeds in transforming from star college athlete to star pro athlete. If it’s the first time, and if this is the decision he’s made, it doesn’t say a lot about one aspect of Tebow that people cite when they argue that he might be able to make it as a quarterback in the NFL: His judgment."
So, we see that the purpose of the commercial was to bring the good news of hope and life to millions of viewers. It is the story of a courageous woman who chose to trust in God's perfect will for her baby (Rom 8:28). We also see that an unintended, but unavoidable consequence resulting from the ad is the exposure of the hypocrisy and intolerance of the "tolerant police" on the radical left.
Those who protested the ad can no longer, with any credibility, bill themselves as "pro-choice". It is now clearer than ever before that they are simply "pro-death". A person who was truly "pro-choice" would have rejoiced in Ms Tebow’s courageous "choice" to keep her baby. Instead, their choice includes only the choice to kill a baby rather than to allow one to live. The fact that the ad doesn’t mention abortion, or anything about making abortion illegal, makes this even more apparent. The thought that the ad might influence even a few women to keep their child is intolerable. They don’t want women to have a choice - they want women to have abortions. This is why they must attack the FOTF ad rather than produce one of their own. After all, what message can they use? "Choose death", or "If your daughter makes a mistake, don’t let her be punished with a baby", to echo a statement from Mr Obama.
Finally, we like to say a great big "Thank You" to the entire Tebow family, Focus on the Family, and CBS for their respective roles in creating, producing, and airing this positive ad. We encourage everyone to go to the Focus on the Family website for more of the inspiring Tim Tebow family story. We also call on our readers to contact CBS to express our appreciation of their decision to run the ad. Most major media outlets are very hostile to Christianity, but when they air faith based and family friendly content, we should offer our support. Most of all, we should pray that the positive message would influence couples and single women who are contemplating on killing their baby.
If anyone reading this article is facing this decision, we pray that you carefully consider your options. God has a great plan for your child. For those who can't afford to keep a baby, there are many couples who are unable to have children that would love to adopt a child. Above all, please realize that you are not alone. God loves you. In addition, there are many caring Christian ministries such as those listed on our Ministry Resource page, including Focus on the Family, who would love to help you make the right "choice".
Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward (Ps 127:3 NASB).
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly (Jn 10:10 NRSV).
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