Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Florida’s Tim Tebow to star in pro-life Super Bowl ad

Posted by sanityinjection on January 27, 2010

It’s been a while since there was anything controversial about the commercials aired during the Super Bowl. But this year promises to be different.

Even if you don’t follow college football, you have probably heard the name Tim Tebow. Star quarterback for the University of Florida, Tebow is the first player ever to win the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore and the first to both rush and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season.

Now set to enter the NFL draft this spring and begin his professional career, Tebow has made an unusual choice. He has agreed to star in a Super Bowl ad sponsored by conservative Christian group Focus on the Family. The ad tells the story of Pam Tebow (Tim’s mother)’s difficult pregnancy, during which she was advised by doctors to have an abortion to protect her own health. She refused, and gave birth to Tim.

There are two interesting aspects to this ad. First is the fact that nobody can remember a political issue ad such as this airing during the Super Bowl before. CBS – the network carrying the game this year – used to have a longstanding policy against “controversial” ads, but they have since loosened their rules. Except during a Presidential primary year, there’s rarely anything big going on politically when the Super Bowl is played, so there’s little incentive to spend the megabucks to pay for such an ad. Needless to say, pro-choice groups are lobbying CBS to kill the ad; surprisingly, CBS appears to be standing firm for the moment.

The second question is whether this is a good decision by Tebow. Well known at school as a devout Christian, no one doubts the sincerity of his motivation. But the NFL tries hard to avoid political controversy. Tebow and whatever team he ends up playing for will want fans to be eager to buy a Tebow jersey regardless of their political views. If taking a strong stand on this issue alienates half the fan base, that will cost Tebow and the NFL real money. I could even imagine certain teams rating Tebow lower on their draft boards over something like this.

Of course Tebow should not have to forego the right to speak his views simply because he plays football. There are many, many NFL players who are pro-life and also quite public about their Christian faith. But there is a difference between answering questions honestly – like beauty pageant contestant Carrie Prejean did – and going out of your way to shove your views in everyone’s face, like Barbra Streisand. Focus on the Family and its leader James Dobson have been particularly prone to controversy in the past. Choosing to associate yourself with them for your first foray into politics is like choosing to associate with Al Sharpton for your first foray into civil rights.

What do you think? Is it a good idea to have these kinds of ads during the Super Bowl? Is Tebow doing the right thing by speaking out?

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3 Responses to “Florida’s Tim Tebow to star in pro-life Super Bowl ad”

  1. lilrev said

    To answer your question, yes. It is not “an unusual choice” for Tim to have “agreed to star in a Super Bowl ad sponsored by conservative Christian group Focus on the Family.” Nor is it a matter of “conservative” or “liberal” or any other title that anyone may tag onto the word “Christian” that matters (yes, the choice of wording was meant on the authors part to make a point).

    As Mr. Tebow stated, “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.” It is such a lie and cowardly to attempt speaking fear into someones life because of your personal insecurities and/or fears. Your post states, “Choosing to associate yourself with them for your first foray into politics is like choosing to associate with Al Sharpton for your first foray into civil rights.” You do realize the ad (that you have not seen) says nothing about the Christian faith, nor states abortions are wrong, nor does it threaten the lives of others to make changes to their choices. It is simply a message of victory. Too many are offended by the truth that clearly rings in their heart of hearts – life is not given by man, nor should it be taken away by man. That’s not the words of a Christian, but of many regretful women after they have aborted the pregnancies.

    Also, your post states, “But the NFL tries hard to avoid political controversy.” The NFL doesn’t try that hard. Just look at the attire of the cheerleaders for starters. Revealing more and more flesh and less clothing material doesn’t really say, “Hey, we’ve got everyone in mind.” No, it clearly says, “Enough fans like it even if many disagree, the fans aren’t complaining and let’s be realisitic. We’re a business, and it sells, so let’s just play football.” Not to mention, they air this for several months on several days of the week on major networks during various times of the day – mostly primetime when the majority can watch.

    Now before your thoughts go to further attacking of someones Christian faith (Tim Tebow), realize that many “Women’s Interest Groups” and most world religions disapprove of such acts as skimpy dressing. Are you saying that doesn’t create political controversy?

    It’s not my goal to argue with you, and I won’t. Thank you for leading others to go seek the truth of the matter for themselves. By the way…you don’t have any post critizing ABC’s Extreme Homemakeover, where many families have openly given praise to God, the Son Jesus Christ, during PRIMETIME television. They reach and will continue to reach millions of viewers more than the Superbowl could ever do in one night. Just something to think about.

    So what is it that is really getting you about the ad, because no one is buying your “concern” for Mr. Tebow’s future, nor his future career? Let’s be real about it, because anyone with a remote or finger can change a channel. Take care man and thanks for reading/considering. L J

    • Wow, I’m not sure where to start in responding to you. First of all, if you think the point of my post was to attack Christianity or Tim Tebow for being a Christian, you seriously need to read more carefully. There are pages of posts I’ve written on this blog defending Christians from the assaults of aggressive secular humanism.

      Tebow’s ad is an “unusual” choice because it’s unprecedented in a number of ways. The word “unusual” isn’t a word of praise or condemnation, just a statement of fact.

      As for the content of the ad – which *you* have not seen – there’s nothing about it that I find personally offensive at all. Nor do I disagree with the point being made. So again, I don’t think you listened to what I was saying.

      As for the issue of cheerleaders’ attire – No, that does not count as a political controversy, sorry. In fact, half the time the cheerleaders are wearing sweatsuits because it’s so cold out. If you want to raise the issue of revealing attire on television, NFL cheerleaders don’t even come close to some of what you can see on prime time network television. Even in the sports world, cheerleaders are downright modest compared to women’s beach volleyball players.

      But that’s beside the point. My point was that the NFL discourages its players and coaches from going out of their way to take a stand on major political issues – and yes, their motivation is certainly a financial one. Although Tebow’s ad doesn’t come out and state that abortion is wrong, you’d have to be either disingenuous or hopelessly naive to think that it is not advocating the pro-life cause – and abortion is a major political issue in America today.

      Let me ask you, Lilrev – would you defend Tebow’s action as vigorously if he had decided to star in an ad that supports a “woman’s right to choose”? I think I know the answer.

      • L J said

        Hey SI,

        My apologies if it seemed I was saying you were attacking the Christian faith. We all understand that Mr. Tebow’s faith in Christ is the foundation of his testimony of how blessed he and his mother have been. You asked if Mr. Tebow was doing the right thing by speaking out, as though to say he has been silent or restricted by others about his story (I’m not trying to put words in your mouth). You brought up some points and asked questions that have now been answered. While your previous articles may have been apologetic of the Christian faith (as you say they have been), this article slices and dices it in the under-tone of suggestive statements and comments you made. Thus, I addressed them.

        I read back through your post, and was not mistaken in my understanding. I never said you were attacking the Christian faith, but your putting the matter of the ad to a vote as to whether or not his choice will be detrimental to his future is critical at best and not against him. If it’s not for him, it is causing even more strife. If he is a true follower of Christ, (and if you know anything about a true follower of Christ), he has long time ago weighed the cost. A Christians purpose for living doesn’t include living for the approval of man, but rather for the glory of God (Isaiah 43:7; John 1:1-14). This ad is not about “speaking out” as you inquire, but about sharing the great blessing given to Tebow and his mother to be shared with all who will listen.

        So again, people will have the opportunity to turn their channels if they so choose. Should this harm his football career, as you suggest, he will give praise to the Lord all the more and it will do more for the glory of Christ than the ad could have ever intended (not to say that it is). That’s the beauty of it, and I don’t expect everyone to get that. If the Lord wants Tebow in the NFL despite the opposition of some, we’ll see him making his passes soon enough.

        If you don’t mind, I will refrain from answering your last question since you say you already know my answer. I’ve enjoyed this discussion. Keep us informed man. You’ve got my attention. Later ~ L J

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