Tim Tebow’s Super Bowl ad stirs abortion debate

Tim Tebow’s accomplishments on the football field are well documented. During his tenure at the University of Florida he led his team to two National Championships, won the Heisman trophy and will be remembered as arguably the greatest player in Gators history. And while the jury is still out on whether Tebow has what it takes to play quarterback at the NFL level, it’s something he’s done off the field that is creating buzz as we head into Super Bowl weekend.

The Christian advocacy group Focus on the Family has produced a commercial that is set to air during the Super Bowl. It stars Tim Tebow alongside his mother Pam and is expected to tell the story of Tebow’s birth in 1987.

While doing missionary work in the Phillippines, Pam Tebow – then pregnant with her fifth child – suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba. Doctors expected the child to be stillborn and urged her to abort her pregnancy for the sake of her own health. Holding to her maternal convictions she refused to heed their advice. Instead she carried her pregnancy to term and ultimately gave birth to Tim.

Pro-choice groups – despite not knowing what the ad will actually say – have been very vocal in their disapproval of the commercial. Many have voiced their opinion to CBS, demanding that they pull the ad. “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 Jemhu Greene, president of the New York-based Women’s Media Center.

CBS has stood by their decision to air the ad and has even stated that they would accept more “responsibly produced” advocacy ads for the few remaining Super Bowl spots.

The topic of abortion is always the hottest of hot-button issues. And the use of mass-media is certainly not a new tactic for advocacy groups that wish to get their message to the widest possible audience. But this may be the biggest stage any such ad has ever seen, and it’s being produced by the pro-life movement’s heaviest hitters.

I hope that this ad’s message is presented in the most responsible way possible. And since this effectively is Tim Tebow’s first professional endorsement, I hope that he has given it heavy – and prayerful – consideration.

But ultimately I pray that this message would bring hope and healing to women and not the type of condemnation and ridicule that so many have cynically come to expect. That would be the kind of thing that could truly bring people together instead of politicizing this issue and dividing us further. Anything less would be a disappointment.

Where do you come out on this? Should CBS be allowing advocacy groups to buy Super Bowl ad time? Will such a heavy issue put a damper on your ability to enjoy the game? Could the backlash effect his draft position?

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16 thoughts on “Tim Tebow’s Super Bowl ad stirs abortion debate

  1. I have just recently become a Tebow fan (now, at the END of this career). I guess with advocacy issues and social justice, my first question would be, “If this ad were about human trafficking, environment justice, or haiti/poverty relief, would there be suck a stink about it? Would ads about those weighty subjects ‘put a damper on someone’s game’ or would they be accepted, despite their weightiness?” If someone reads this who isn’t a Christian or isn’t pro-life I understand the offense; however, as a Christian, we really need to ask ourselves whether abortion carries the same social justice weight as poverty alleviation or human trafficking. While I do understand that in more conservative elements in the Church (i.e., the Christian Right), that’s not even a question; however, younger evangelicals need to ask this question. I fear that for many more emergent, postmodern, justice-minded Christians, they have allowed the Christian Rights politicizing of abortion to affect them and keep them from seeing abortion as a justice issue worthy of “putting a damper on someone’s football game,” as opposed to poverty alleviation which, apparently, is MORE worthy
    (I would give both equal weight). Would Wilberforce worry about “putting a damper on someone’s game” in his fight to end slavery? I don’t think so. He’d go for the jugular and persevere when it wasn’t popular if he really REALLY believed that his cause was just.

  2. I saw this on the evening news tonight. I thought it was interesting that ABC had an issue with this commercial, then the next story was about animal cruelty. Don’t get me wrong, I am not pro-animal cruelty, I just don’t understand these people. The pseudofeminist that they interviewed claimed that the commercial was “hate disguised as love”. I would like to understand what is so hateful about being pro life? I agree that these woman do not need condemnation, but why are they condeming people who believe that abortion is wrong… or I should say that conception of new life is a miracle… don’t I have the choice to believe that.

    1. If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one. No one would condemn you for it.

      What is offensive is when anti-choicers presume to know what is best for other people. You (meaning all anti-choicers) do not know me from Eve and you do not have the right to try to turn your religious beliefs into law for everyone. Anti-choicers should mind their own business and let grown women decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong.

      1. i don’t think by airing a commercial like this anyone is trying to ‘not let grown women decide’, but to show the other side, which isn’t often heard as a part of the mainstream. why is that so threatening? why is hearing that someone chose life so offensive?

  3. Given that the Tebow family were missionaries, & looking @ their website, I’m most expectant that their vision is to preach the gospel; that would be awesome! In the midst of these trying times, it is mindblowing that such an opportunity during one of the most coveted commercial slots of the year.

    We all, as human beings need some heavy issues to be touched on in our lives of leisure. Hopefully CBS won’t bow to the pressure of the culture. Def. bathing the ad in prayer (as many are). All in all: God is in control, we are not, & He knows all these things are going on; in His plan (I believe) whether or not this add gets aired, His timing is perfect & I worship Him…

  4. it won’t affect his draft position b/c i don’t see him being an nfl qb. but, i don’t think the ad sounds to controversial…however, there could more to it. i don’t particularly think the superbowl is the best setting for such advocacy groups, though, b/c all most people care about is what stupid budweiser or diet pepsi commercial is going to air. they might be wasting a lot of money that could be of more benefit in other ways.

  5. A woman’s choice to abort an unwanted prenancy is no one’s business but hers, and it is certainly not a man’s place to tell her what to do. My body, my choice. There is nothing to discuss.

    1. Manon –

      First and foremost … thanks for stopping by. And … welcome!

      I’m pro-life. Let’s get that out there from the get-go. But ask anyone here … I’m not out to push anything on anyone. Ever.

      That being said … and I’m genuinely interested in your perspective on this … at which point during gestation is the baby growing inside a woman’s womb a separate entity from the woman’s body?

      I’m willing if you’re willing. Let’s talk about this.

      And don’t worry. People here aren’t looking to pounce. It’s my house, and I trust they’ll honor that. (Hell, I can delete them if they don’t!) 😆

  6. ok the part that really kills me about all this is the ‘ event designed to bring Americans together,” language. i mean seriously? i had no idea that is how the superbowl came about! 😉 LOL.

  7. oh i watched lovely gloria on a news show talking about it. talk about an angry angry woman. and she must have contradicted herself 5 times about free speech and free choice, but we don’t want to hear about it in this context, and she said ‘religiously motivated choice’ like it was poison in her mouth. even the interviewer said, ‘why does it bother you what motivates the choice?’ she didn’t really have an answer for that one.

  8. You beat me to it.

    That was the biggest example of “much ado about nothing” I’ve ever seen! They didn’t even mention abortion.

    I think I’m going to go back and read all the angry quotes for ha-has.

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