Sex Sells but Saints Sizzle!
Ryan, Member of Delve into Jesus since 12/30/2007
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Super Bowl XLIV! Perhaps the title itself should have tipped us off to the right to life issues it could spawn.
Prior to the New Orleans Saints crushing the Indianapolis Colts, pro-choice groups picked a fight with the CBS network and the entire Jockocracy over their support of the Christian ministry, Focus on the Family, airing a pro-life ad during the Super Bowl.
In the final analysis, I say the win in this battle of ideas goes to the Saints at Focus on the Family. Although the pro-choice movement portrayed the commercial as a blatantly hateful mix of politics and religion, the only hard-hitting seen in the 29-second spot was the supposed tackle of Pam Tebow by her Heisman Trophy winning son, quarterback Tim Tebow of the University of Florida Gators.
The pre-game posturing by women’s groups such as Women’s Media Center and the National Organization for Women may have created more awareness buzz and sympathetic hype for an advertisement that otherwise could have been forgotten as just a good time for a bathroom break for many viewers.
The pro-choice movement threw yellow penalty flags at CBS for deciding to air what they consider a controversial and politically charged advertisement that represented an ugly departure from the network’s policies. As a private corporation, CBS is free to decide what commercials it accepts but, these groups promised CBS would suffer consequences in the court of public opinion.
Pro-choice groups vilify Focus on the Family as being a "a militant Christian group" whose spewing of “anti-equality, anti-choice and homophobic speech” must be stopped. Even some Evangelical organizations treat Focus on the Family as embarrassing, ill-mannered cousins they wish would fade back into the woods from whence they came.
However, the Tebow commercial was benign. In actuality, the worst sin in the ad, at least according to the reasoning of pro-choice activists, was probably the tag line that reads “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.”
Sure, many American men would prefer to live wholly on the field of athletic contest. But, if ads and issues must be brought up in any pre or post game discussions – well, that’s what all the beer & babes commercials are for. Mess with this time honored tradition and you’re asking for trouble.
Long ago, feminist activists warned us to, “stay out of my uterus”. And even though the pro-life agenda has always included an aspect of the preemptively helpful advice to keep all unwanted matter way clear of one’s uterus, trouble started when that pesky Focus on the Family, mired deep into uterine politics, had the audacity to interject their anti-abortion views into the sacrosanct – and watched by over 106 million viewers - Super Bowl.
However, the trouble didn’t stick to Focus on the Family. After gaining much media ado about nothing, it’s clear that Focus on the Family masterfully sidestepped real controversy by using strategies readily recognized in sporting advertisements. A super-star athlete, his mother and a bit of humor made the ad perky and amusing in the mainstream. Additionally, the word abortion was surprisingly and brilliantly absent from the commercial.
What remains to be seen is whether Super Bowl-sized crowds will flock to the website of Focus on the Family – as invited to do so in the ad - to see the meat of the Tebow story and then run with the pro-life bone.
Football fans love Tim Tebow. Christians love the Tebow family story. Many who admire the athlete naturally desire to know more about what drives his success on the field. On game days, a glimpse of Tebow’s passion is visible when he sports a Bible verse, such as John 3:16, in his eyeblack.
Although Focus on the Family takes much heat from fellow Christians and from their many ideological opponents, with the playfully gentle telling of the Tebow story, this ministry has proven to be as wise as a serpent and as harmless as a dove. Intra-faith criticism about the expense of the commercial seems misplaced since the ad was intended to support the abundant life Jesus spoke about in John 10:10.
Probably the pro-choice groups were always on the official prayer list of Focus on the Family – but, now there’s fresh reason to remember those folks in prayerful praise. Thanks to all of the negatively-intended hype, the Tebow story has rushed far ahead of the yardage the roughly 3 million dollar Super Bowl spot could buy.
No greater love and lovelier choice is highlighted in Pam Tebow’s heroic decision not to abort baby Tim, despite doctors’ recommendations, during an extremely high risk pregnancy. Their touching story is well worth the couple of minutes it takes to view it at Focus on the Family.
Noticeably absent from the criticisms levied by women’s groups were comments about other Super Bowl advertising portraying the female gender. Apparently, hotties vying to be too hot for television and a bikini blonde frolicking in a hot tub with an animal are not deemed to be as degrading to the plight of womankind as a mother who chose not to have an abortion.
Jehmu Greene, president of the Women’s Media Center said, “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,” Unfortunately, thinking like this – if anyone listened – could bring the female voice of commentary on sports back to square one, since the sporting world is very much about choosing sides to engage in fierce, but fair, competition. Trying to unfairly silence or handicap your opponent is unbecoming to the virtues of sports-woman-ship.
This round of debate has exposed the pro-choice agenda as being less about choice and more about making the preferred choice – abortion. In trying to quash the Tebow story, the pro-choice lobby has added their loud “SHUT UP” to all the anti-woman sentiment that has ever enslaved women.
Choice is only a choice if there are at least two options. Why should the pro-choice movement fear the competition of ideas on the battlefield of the culture war? Focus on the Family has the right to promote the choice made by the Tebow family and a mother has the right to share her pride in a child she chose to bring into life. If this causes other women to make similar choices, the pro-choice movement should be glad woman have real choices, and are free to make them.
In Deuteronomy 30:19, God said, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”
To all woman who can, or will, or who have already made a choice for life, I join the Tebows and Focus on the Family in thanking you – let us all savor this victory!
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