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Tim Tebow Defends Participation in Super Bowl Ad for Evangelical Anti-Gay, Pro-Life Group Focus on the Family

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University of Florida football quarterback Tim Tebow was asked about his participation in an upcoming Super Bowl commercial for evangelical anti-gay, pro-life organization Focus on the Family.

Said Tebow: "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, and I'm never shy about that. I don't feel like I'm very preachy about it, but I do stand up for what I believe. Unfortunately in today's society not many athletes tend to do that. So I'm just standing for something. I've always been every convicted of it (being anti-abortion), because that's the reason I'm here, because my mom was a very courageous woman. So any way that I could help, I would do it."

Tintebow Tebow has made his role as a "servant of God" clear before. In a GQ profile, complete with shirtless pin-up photo, Tebow said: "When you die, there's gonna be a tombstone, and on that tombstone there's gonna be a name, and there's gonna be a date. And for me, it's going to be 1987, and then it's gonna have a dash.… I want that dash to mean something. I want that dash to be special. I want that dash to represent that Tim Tebow finished strong. And most importantly, when I get to heaven, I want Jesus to say, well done, my good and faithful servant."

Networks have policies rejecting issue advertising in national spots, the NYT reports: "That is one reason why the decision by CBS to sell time to Focus on the Family is raising eyebrows. Another reason is that in the past CBS has rejected requests to buy issue ads during Super Bowl games. A third reason is that the founder of Focus on the Family, James Dobson, has been a polarizing figure in recent years in discussions of social and political issues."

CBS Sports Columnist Gregg Doyel slammed the CBS decision in a column last week: "Apparently the commercial has a beautiful, undeniable message. Tebow's mother suffered a life-threatening infection during that pregnancy, and doctors advised her to abort the baby. She didn't. She named him Tim. Just typing this paragraph gives me goose bumps. The commercial might just make me cry. Still, I don't want to see. Not during the damn Super Bowl. And I'm not complaining about the ad because it's anti-abortion and I'm not. I'm complaining about the ad because it's pro-politics. And I'm not. Not on Super Sunday. If you're a sports fan, and I am, that's the holiest day of the year. That's a day for five hours of football pregame shows and four hours of football game and three hours of postgame football analysis. That's a day for football addicts to gorge themselves to the gills on football. It's not a day to discuss abortion. For it, against it, I don't care what you are. On Super Sunday, I don't care what I am. Feb. 7 is simply not the day to have that discussion."

Bounce CBS has reportedly approved the Focus ad: " CBS executives approved a script for a Super Bowl spot from evangelical group Focus on the Family, which suggests the ad will not carry a pro-life message — at least an overt one. The network has a policy of prohibiting advocacy ads, even ones that carry an 'implicit' endorsement for a side in a public debate. A CBS spokesman did say the network will review the video version of the spot before giving it the final green light, but does not anticipate any hurdles."

The rules are fuzzy enough, however, Think Progress reports, that networks can skirt them.

In 2004, CBS rejected an ad about tolerance from the United Church of Christ in which the UCC's inclusive policies were highlighted by showing a bouncer stationed at a church door with a velvet rope turning away gays and minorities. The Guardian has posted a bunch of Super Bowl ads rejected by networks.

Watch the UCC ad which was rejected, AFTER THE JUMP...

A Facebook group has been formed to demand that CBS either reject the Tebow - Focus on the Family ad or give the United Church of Christ the opportunity it was denied in 2004 to air an ad about tolerance.

Previously...
Tony Joiner's Touchdown Kiss for Tim Tebow Causes Stir [tr]

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Comments

  1. The advertisement that Tebow is doing is only natural because the NFL is awash in fundamentalist Christians. Fans are subjected to group prayers on the field before and after many plays, players pointing their fingers to the heavens, etc.
    Solid Rock, Athletes in Action, and many
    organizations are made up of players who prostheletyze and preach from middle school throught the college level and into the pros. Tony Dungy and other coaches both retired and active -impose their narrow, fundamentalist views on their team -in the name of discipline and focus -with no tolerance for an opposing view or indifference. CBS and the NFL will not
    change their minds- they know which side their bread is buttered on.

    Posted by: tom | Jan 25, 2010 9:32:34 AM


  2. Tebow's mother obviously made the wrong choice.....

    Posted by: Dawid8611 | Jan 25, 2010 9:41:45 AM


  3. "I've always been every convicted of it..."

    I'm convicted that he should spend less time evangelizing and more time studying for his English classes.

    Posted by: E. | Jan 25, 2010 9:42:27 AM


  4. I'm convicted he should spend less time pumping his body full of steroids and more time studying for English classes.

    Actually... he's hot... let's stay with the steroids...

    Posted by: Will B | Jan 25, 2010 10:10:49 AM


  5. Will CBS also be running an advertisement for Planned Parenthood? For Trojan Condoms? Probably not.

    Posted by: homer | Jan 25, 2010 10:10:54 AM


  6. Another spoiled disgusting elitist .... f'ed up by his "religious" but certainly not Christian upbringing.

    Posted by: Walter | Jan 25, 2010 10:29:22 AM


  7. Thank God his mama kept him! He's a sweet and talented kid, incredibly respectful, and doesn't deserve the backlash he'll get for this. Focus On The Family is using Tim's story to push their larger, hateful agenda. The focus of our anger should remain on the bigoted organization, not on a kid who is grateful to his own mother that she decided to give him life.

    On another note, what's with all the typos in this story?

    Posted by: Superman | Jan 25, 2010 10:30:22 AM


  8. No TIM we do not have to respect you participating in an anti-gay group that LIES and compares gays to pedophiles.

    Posted by: Walter | Jan 25, 2010 10:30:35 AM


  9. Wow, how very lucky that you and your baby survived such a horribly ill-advised medical decision.

    I'm sure the families of the dead moms and babies will be comforted that you convinced mommy to do something against medical advice that resulted not only in a terminated pregnancy but a dead mommy.

    It is sick that someone would advise people to ignore medical advice when their lives are at stake.

    Posted by: John M | Jan 25, 2010 10:33:12 AM


  10. CBS thinks the ad will not carry a pro-life message? Really? Do they think it's just a feel-good spot celebrating Tim Tebow's presence on earth? Either they're very naive at CBS or very disingenuous, I'm guessing the latter.

    As for the Tebow story. I wonder if his mother's doctors would share her version of the events. Whatever they advised her, ultimately she had the freedom of choice, and she made the one that was right for her. Pro-choice is not pro-abortion. It's pro letting a woman decide for herself, which worked well for Mrs. Tebow.

    Of course Focus on the Family only wants to deprive everyone of choices they don't support, so this story is actually a false and sentimental portrayal of their agenda, something that will likely be lost on dim Tim and the football audience.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 25, 2010 10:52:42 AM


  11. I really love Tebow's statement. So now they're using punctuation marks as a pretext for tearing down people's rights?! Every time I think the Christian right can't get any dumber, son of a gun, they prove me wrong.

    Posted by: jomicur | Jan 25, 2010 11:10:27 AM


  12. Respect?
    Eat shit asshole!

    Posted by: Marc | Jan 25, 2010 11:21:15 AM


  13. Money Talks!

    I hope everyone will email CBS, or more importantly, as many of the usual Superbowl advertisers as possible; to let them know that you will not be watching the Superbowl on CBS. With the wide availability of the internet, broadcast television needs viewers much more than any viewer needs broadcast television.

    Posted by: rayrayj | Jan 25, 2010 11:55:29 AM


  14. Tebow's mother obviously made the wrong choice.....

    Posted by: Dawid8611 | Jan 25, 2010 9:41:45 AM

    What a vile sentiment.

    Posted by: DR | Jan 25, 2010 12:00:17 PM


  15. Before people start criticizing Tim, they may want to rush a few yards in his shoes. Had his mother made the decision to abort him when it was suggested to her, he wouldn't be here. For him to go against that is a slap in his mothers face. It stirs the question "You weren't aborted but others should be?" I think people hold Tim on to high a pedestal. He is a man that plays football. A man that has a point of view like the rest of us and has the right to defend his point of view. I don't think he has tried to force his view point on anyone. During the Super Bowl, if you are watching and have a dvr, do what the networks do, put yourself on a delay. If the game starts at 7pm, set your vcr to catch it. Then at 7:15pm start watching on your DVR. If you take my advice, you can fast forward through the commercials and miss Tim altogether.

    Posted by: damon | Jan 25, 2010 12:07:19 PM


  16. a fucking hyphen?

    what the fuck is this douche even talking about?

    Posted by: alguien | Jan 25, 2010 12:08:01 PM


  17. DR's mother obviously made the wrong choice.....

    Posted by: Baby Jane | Jan 25, 2010 1:13:18 PM


  18. What exactly is the message? Be strong, and risk death so you can bring another mouth-breathing schmuck into the world? Gross.

    Posted by: Michael | Jan 25, 2010 1:33:52 PM


  19. Putting aside how gross the implied politics are and how obviously desperate CBS is for money, what the h*ll is this guy saying. I've read his first quoted statement over and over and I really can't figure out what he's trying to put together with the english language.

    Obviously he's dumb but is he really this dumb?
    Probably yes, but can't focus on the family offer him a pr agent. Well, here's a toast to their bankruptcy in the near future.

    Posted by: ED2 | Jan 25, 2010 1:37:24 PM


  20. As a person with very little faith, people of faith fascinate me endlessly. Not because I think they're deluding themselves (how am I to know?), but because they are so very sure. I wonder where it comes from, what experience in their past made them so sure that in the face of vehement (though not nearly majority) opposition, they keep the faith? Personally the existence or non-existence of god(, God, gods) matters very little to me. I strive for the betterment of myself and my lot in life and for reproductive success of myself and my species. That last part is pretty tricky considering I'm gay and the world has an enormous overpopulation problem. I just don't see why they feel their three score and ten on earth isn't enough time to leave their mark.

    Posted by: Karl | Jan 25, 2010 2:11:29 PM


  21. Well, the reports are that ad sales are down this year for the Super Bowl. A lot of business that traditionally advertise are giving it a pass this year because of the economy. That may be why CBS is accepting this ad.

    It seems that the decision is not firmly made the way things are being phrased.

    Posted by: PearlsBeforeSwine | Jan 25, 2010 2:25:42 PM


  22. I'm appalled by some of the comments here - they are almost as bad as some of the stuff Focus on the Family says. Now I'm 100% pro-choice, and I sure wish Tebow didn't do an ad for Focus on the Family, but the level of vitriole being leveled at a 21 year old kid for saying he supports people making the choice not to abort is ridiculous.

    Even more amazing, is everyone has such strong opinions when nobody has even seen the ad! If the ad condemns people for having abortions or advocates taking away abortion rights, then that's one thing; but to applaud his mother for not making that choice and hoping to persuade others to not have abortions is a different animal. Like I said, I'm pro-choice, but I can at least understand the mindset behind the pro-life folks, and if they sincerely believe that abortion is murder, so long as they peacefully advocate against it, I think that's their right as Americans and not deserving of the scorn I'm reading.

    Having said that, feel free to unleash on Focus on the Family for all the horrible stuff they support and on CBS for being such hypocrites. There, I think, is a valid argument and place to direct all this anger. Not a kid who has lived an exemplary life and is standing up for his beliefs in a peaceful and non-controversial way.

    Posted by: John | Jan 25, 2010 3:11:10 PM


  23. More gays would be criticizing him if he wasn't a straight white muscular jock. Disgusting. It tickles me how many people here will forgive the homophobia of white "hot" celebrities like this, but then trash say Kanye West (the posts here post Taylor-gate were stunning in their vitriol) even though Kanye has come RIGHT OUT and said that gay people need to be treated equally and that there is too much homophobia in hip hop.

    Also, Tebow is an idiot. How many times did he repeat "standing up for something" in that inarticulate statement? And "convicted?" LMAO!

    Also also, Dawid8611 -- that was awesome and hilarious!

    Posted by: AM | Jan 25, 2010 4:06:33 PM


  24. The venom being spewed here is appalling. Why am I surprised at the inability to be civil? You people saying his mother (or mine) made a mistake are truly sad examples of humanity.

    Disagreement is one thing, but you're really making yourselves look foolish.

    Posted by: DR | Jan 25, 2010 4:15:12 PM


  25. I agree, the venom here is rather disturbing. As a Gator I have tremendous respect for Tim Tebow. He has been very clear that he wants to tell his story and isn't telling other folks what they should do. One can infer from his message that his religious beliefs don't allow for abortion. Good for him for standing up for what he believes in. Pro-choice certainly doesn't have any more moral high ground than Pro-life. Fortunately for him his mother chose not to listen to, what turned out to be, bad advice from the Doctor. I am disappointed by the organization he has allowed to use his message. Regardless, the vitriol expressed here is uncalled for and typical of the so-called open minded left. Supports a well known quote by W.F. Buckley.

    "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views."

    Posted by: Jason | Jan 25, 2010 5:13:46 PM


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