Tim Tebow: An Inconvenient Life

Imagine you’re an expectant parent, you’re deathly ill, and your doctor says your unborn child may have grave developmental problems. What do you do?

Pam was serving as a missionary in the Philippines and expecting her fifth child when she suffered a life threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba. Because of the drugs used to treat her condition, the doctors recommended abortion, both because of potential damage to the unborn child and to preserve Pam’s life. She declined.

A few months later Pam gave birth to a small, weak baby boy who struggled but learned to overcome odds. His parents named him Tim.

That was 1987, and that boy would be Tim Tebow: the quarterback who’s become a household name among football fans; who’s broken records and won numerous awards as a University of Florida Gator, including the Heisman Trophy awarded to him as a junior; and who has now become, unwittingly, something of a lightning rod over the abortion divide in America.


We may get to learn a bit of Pam’s and Tim’s story during the Super Bowl. Focus on the Family has created a 30-second ad about them with a theme of “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life,” and at the moment it appears CBS plans to air it.

Then again we may not. A few women’s groups including New York-based Women’s Media Center, the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the Feminist Majority (whoever they are) are taking issue with it:

  • The Women’s Media Center objects to the ad because it was conceived by Focus on the Family.
  • Terry O’Neill, president of NOW, condemned the ad as “extraordinarily offensive and demeaning.”
  • Sports columnist Gregg Doyle says Super Bowl Sunday is too sacred for it. “If you’re a sports fan, and I am, that’s the holiest day of the year,” he wrote. “It’s not a day to discuss abortion.”

Terry O’Neill, extraordinarily offended, said of the Tebow ad, “That’s not being respectful of other people’s lives. It is offensive to hold one way out as being a superior way over everybody else’s.”

Last year, a similar controversy resulted in NBC rejecting a Super Bowl ad from CatholicVote.org that, ironically, congratulated newly-elected pro-abortion President Barack Obama, and inspired viewers to “imagine the potential of every human life.” Apparently that was deemed extraordinarily offensive and demeaning too.

An advertisement about a mother and her successful football player son, shown during a football game, is “not being respectful of other people’s lives.” Really?

“It is offensive to hold one way out as being a superior way over everybody else’s.” Really? Or is that merely Ms. O’Neill’s way being held out as superior?

Yet to be determined: What will CBS deem to be the superior way?

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This post first appeared in the Salvo Signs of the Times blog.

One Comment on “Tim Tebow: An Inconvenient Life

  1. I sincerely hope that this ad 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.


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