I’ve been really surprised over the controversy being caused by Tim Tebow’s Superbowl ad. If you haven’t heard, Focus on the Family spent $2 million (raised specifically for this cause, not taken from their general budget) on a commercial featuring Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam, to be aired during the Superbowl. The theme? “Celebrate family. Celebrate Life.” Why? Because Pam’s doctors advised her to abort Tim due to medical complications and look at the man he his today. I can’t begin to understand why people are so angry about a 30 second ad delivering the message “Celebrate family. Celebrate life.” aired during the Superbowl. Here are some of the unconvincing arguments I’ve heard from those opposed.
1. “I only want to see fun ads about beer and junk food.”
Without your life you would be unable to enjoy things like ridiculous commercials, beer and junk food. Without life no other issues, whether serious or pleasurable, exist. Why can’t they mix? You’re alive, you’re enjoying yourself and if you have a family they’re likely watching the game with you, so what’s so offensive about the message “Celebrate family. Celebrate life.”? That’s what you’re going to be doing as the commercial airs. Plus, it seems a little degrading to your own intelligence to say, “I only want to watch half-naked women sell me beer, reptiles sell me insurance and whatever other craziness airs, but most definitely not anything serious.” What if the commercial were one of those St. Jude “thanks and giving” ads? Would you be complaining then?
2. “I don’t think Jesus would want them to “waste” $2 million on a commercial.”
Jesus tells us (Luke 12:48) that to whom much is given, much is expected. The donors who paid for this ad have clearly been given very much. I think Jesus would prefer these people spend their money on a positive, uplifting ad celebrating the dignity of family and life, aired during an event watched by an estimated 93.2 million people in the US alone, rather than spend it on a few new yachts or exotic vacations or whatever else people with $2 million have the capacity to buy. But, while we’re talking about what Jesus would or wouldn’t do, I doubt he supports the companies spending their $2 million on the sex-soaked commercials that you prefer to watch.
3. “Can you imagine the uproar if Planned Parenthood (privately funded) ran a commercial during the superbowl?? People would lose their sh*t. Free speech is all fine and good if treated equally.” Money talks” isn’t free speech. I don’t think divisive politics belong in the land of superbowl commercials.” (I copied this directly from my girlfriend’s facebook page. These are her words, not mine. I deeply respect this individual, but take serious issue with this statement.)
Oh my gosh, where to begin?! I was stunned when I read this! First of all, Planned Parenthood IS NOT privately funded! (Focus on the family, however, is.) In 2008 Planned Parenthood received $320 million from taxpayers. I couldn’t find a statistic on the total they’ve received to date, but from 1973-2005 PP received $3.9 BILLION in tax dollars. As you can infer from looking at these numbers, they get more and more dough each year. (It’s possible the above author was suggesting a privately funded commercial on the behalf of PP could be aired, and if that’s the case I’ll address that momentarily).
As far as free speech being treated equally, PP is absolutely not the victim. They are always in the media spewing their propaganda about “protection” and “education” when in reality their primary goal is to sell abortions. Don’t believe me? Go to your local PP (heck, go to several just to help me prove my point) and tell them you’re pregnant and confused. See what “choices” they offer you. I dare you. I think its disgusting that my tax dollars support an organization that manipulates scared girls/women into killing their children while misrepresenting the facts about the procedure. Don’t believe that either? Make sure to ask them some fact based questions about the procedure and about the baby, then do a little research on your own. It’s all bologna! Everything they say is bologna. They’re trained to sell abortions. Period. What’s worse is it’s not necessarily the volunteers/employees fault. They’re fed the same propaganda as they feed the women who walk through their doors. Shame on them for not checking the facts, but if I were told a “fact” by someone I deemed reputable, I suppose I’d probably believe it too. Anyway, PP isn’t the one on the chopping block here, Focus on the family and Tim Tebow are. But since they were brought into the discussion, I wasn’t going to let them come of looking like a hero. They’re disgusting.
Back to the matter of free speech being treated equally, I don’t hear people protesting PP constantly being in the media, but I do hear people upset about this Focus ad. It seems to me that the pot is calling the kettle black. And it’s so common these days. That was exactly the point of my previous entry on tolerance. Tolerance is not one directional. If you’re an advocate of free speech, you should be thrilled about this ad, whether you agree with it’s content or not. You should be thrilled that CBS made a decision in FAVOR of free speech. Focus paid their $2 million, just like Budweiser and Geico and Doritos. Therefore they get a commercial spot. If CBS had taken the stance NBC took last year when banning a pro-life ad with the theme, “Life. Imagine the possibilities.” then free speech advocates should be angry. The network shouldn’t judge commercials on content other than deeming them appropriate for the viewing audience in terms of those little viewer rating things. For example, if the Superbowl has a Y7 rating, the commercials should too. Other than that, free speech supports the right for this or any other commercial to air. Don’t hop on the free speech bandwagon if you don’t really mean it. Free speech extends to those you agree with and those you do not. It’s not a matter of “money talking.” Anyone who wants to spend the $2 million on 30 seconds of air time can and should, regardless of the message. (Again, assuming it is of the same “rating” as the show. It would be totally inappropriate to have a “mature” ad come on during a family broadcast. Ads should be “rated” the same as the tv shows for the children’s sake.)
Regarding “divisive politics” and their place among Superbowl ads…man, what a sad statement. It is so sad to be reminded that the thousands of women who are hurt and babies who are killed daily are reduced to nothing more than a statistic, a talking point and something we don’t want to think about when we’re trying to have fun at a Superbowl party. These are real people, real women and real babies. This is not about pro-choice or pro-life. This is about real people who are manipulated or poorly educated before making a life-altering decision. These are real women who suffer for the rest of their lives. Women who are 6 times more likely to take their own life in the year after having an abortion. Women who are 138% more likely to suffer major clinical depression 8 years later as compared with women who carry unexpected pregnancies to term. Women who are 4 times more likely to develop a substance abuse problem despite the fact that they have never had one prior to the abortion. Nevermind the 1 in 100 women who have severe complications (like uterine perforations, lacerations, blood loss, infections, blood clots, and other complications) from their abortion and 1 in 116,00 that die. Abortion is an ugly beast that we allow to kill children and destroy women, yet we can devalue its presence to mere “politics” to avoid feeling a little uncomfortable about what we allow or even outwardly support.
I think that discomfort is what this all boils down to. Although I obviously haven’t seen the commercial yet, there’s nothing offensive about it. A 30 second story about the “fetus” that wasn’t supposed to make it but did should be heart-warming. Why isn’t it in this case? Because of that discomfort. If Tim Tebow wasn’t supposed to make it and did, how many more stories could there be just like that? How many women listened to their doctors and terminated a pregnancy potentially for no reason? That makes us feel uncomfortable. Especially since a favorite argument of the politically correct pro-choice individuals is “what about cases of medical necessity, incest or rape?” Well, you can put your mind at ease. Those cases only account for 1% of all abortions. So, yes, there are other women who were in Pam Tebow’s situation and may have made the wrong choice. However, the vast majority of women who abort do so for selfish reasons, not medical or horrific ones. Oh…wait. That makes us even more uncomfortable. Hmm…why could that be? Because abortion is wrong. Things that are right don’t need to be justified or rationalized. That discomfort you feel is your conscience. You may have gagged it and stuffed it in a box deep down inside you, but it’s still there. It’s still doing its job, ever so quietly, trying to get you to see the gross error in your logic.
All of this uproar has nothing to do with free speech, what Jesus would want, money, the Superbowl or anything else. The uproar is because something is happening that gives your conscience a little louder voice and you can’t stand it. You can’t stand how ill-at-ease you feel reading this, watching that commercial or being faced with a pro-life perspective of any kind. Instead of taking a long hard look at the way you feel and why you feel that way, at the things you believe and why you believe them, you just get mad. Since that anger has to have an outlet, you direct it at Christians or Focus on the Family or Tim Tebow, or whoever the closest target is at the time.
In reality, none of these people or organizations are responsible for your anger or can even do anything about it. If you wholeheartedly believed in abortion, if you honestly believed it’s something that every woman has the right to chose to do, you wouldn’t be so angry right now. You may feel sorry for those pro-life people or laugh at their opinion or be grateful that you’re more sophisticated than to believe in the sanctity of human life, but you wouldn’t be angry. You wouldn’t be so threatened by a 30 second ad that promotes life. You wouldn’t be discussing in on facebook, on radio call in shows and over lunch in the manner you’re doing. You wouldn’t care about it if it didn’t strike a chord with you. You’d just laugh at those silly, uneducated people that wasted $2 million on outdated ideas and be done with it. You’d spend the time you just spent arguing with me to save a tree or a dolphin or whatever else you value more than the right to life. This wouldn’t be such a controversial topic if you weren’t trying so hard to make sure everyone around you understands your justification and rationalization of this sick and disturbing practice.
You don’t have to fight for “the right to have an abortion”, women have that “choice” in this country. If you know you’re right, quit defending yourself. The Tim Tebow ad doesn’t even address a woman’s “right to choose,” it simply promotes the dignity of life and family. Life and family are both good things. This is a happy ad about a family with a happy ending. That’s not anything to be angry about.