University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow won U.S. college football's highest honour 10 Dec 07. If his mother had followed her doctor's advice when she was carrying him, he would be just another abortion statistic.
Tim's parents, Bob and Pam Tebow, moved to the Philippines in 1985 to conduct a Christian missionary outreach. While pregnant with Tim, Pam contracted amoebic dysentery through contaminated drinking water. Her doctor told her that the medications she needed to recover would result in irreversible damage to the child she was carrying. She was advised to have an abortion.
Most of America would look at this as a story that carries an important message. It is the kind of story that a president who ostensibly wants to reduce the number of abortions might capitalize on by inviting the Tebow and his parents to the State of the Union speech.
Instead, when Tim Tebow and his mother agreed to tell their story in an ad that's a part of Focus on the Family's "Celebrate Life, Celebrate Family" campaign, an ad that cost Focus on the Family about $3 million to have aired during the Super Bowl, the crap hit the fan.
"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," said Jehmu Greene, president of the New York-based Women's Media Center in a statement.
The rather silly "Faith & Reason" blog (which comes up short on both counts) is in full cry against the idea.
Part of the alleged controversy is based on CBS's previous policy of not allowing "issue ads" to be aired during the Super Bowl. Famously it has turned down the United Church of Christ's ad saying that it welcomed gays and some random silliness by the anti-human faction at PETA. CBS avers it changed the policy some time ago because it was out of step with other networks.
The very fact that so many pro-abortion entities are decrying the ad is telling. They know that this message will be devastating both in the story and in an environment where 56% of all Americans and 58% of those under 29 believe abortion is morally wrong.
The irony here, of course, is that we will now be watching for this ad not because of anything Focus on the Family has done to promote it. In fact, if you visit their website you'll see the ad is not prominently featured. We will all be watching for the ad because the abortion industry called attention to the ad and tried to get CBS to pull it and scored an own goal. Well played.