You’ve probably heard by now that a commercial scheduled to air during CBS’s coverage of the Super Bowl is coming under fire. In that ad, paid for by Focus on the Family, Florida Quarterback Tim Tebow appears with his mother in a “pro-life” message.
When Tebow’s mother was pregnant with her now-famous son, she developed a life-threatening infection and doctors advised her that an abortion would give her a better chance of survival. She held firm, choosing to continue with the pregnancy, and the rest, of course, is history.
In the past, ads promoting social issues rather than advertising businesses have been frowned upon, but this time around, CBS has agreed to air the ad. The ad’s theme will be, “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.” It seems, on the surface, to be a positive message.
Just don’t tell that to women’s groups and supporters of a woman’s right to choose, who don’t want an “anti-choice” ad to air during the highly-viewed game.
Here’s where the AFA steps in.
The AFA, otherwise known as the American Family Association, is urging CBS to stand firm on its decision to air the ad while attacking opponents in the process:
“The hypocrisy here is thick. Abortion proponents claim to be all about choice, but they are outraged over an ad that features a woman exercising her right to choose life for her baby son.”
One might think that the AFA is trying to use their own argument against them. But the AFA, in its very next sentence, reminds us all how “anti-choice” they still are:
“Unfortunately, CBS sent a signal this week that it would be willing to accept “responsibly produced” ads that promote abortion or homosexuality. But a message that promotes death or sexual deviancy is not the moral equivalent of a message that celebrates life, and CBS must be urged to reject any such advocacy ads.”
In other words, the AFA thinks there’s nothing wrong with “advocacy ads” as long as they promote their beliefs. If the ads advocate something else, those ought to be rejected.
But if advocacy ads are wrong, then none should be allowed. And if the broadcast networks are willing to take the time to carefully review the content to make sure it’s appropriate, then all ads should be considered.
Amid reports that one of the other advocacy ads CBS is considering is for a gay dating site, and that the ad will feature two gay men brushing hands as they reach for snacks then end up making out as a third man nearby looks on in shock, AFA’s president said this in a statement issued to the media:
It would be totally irresponsible for CBS to run this ad during a television program that is watched by more American families than any other show of the year. CBS should not put parents in the position of answering embarrassing and awkward questions from their children while they’re just trying to enjoy a football game. CBS should quit dithering around and reject this ad out of hand.
But wait a second: the subject of abortion is a subject that couldn’t cause “awkward questions” from young children? Do parents really want to discuss that topic while they’re just trying to enjoy a football game?
Of the two topics, homosexuality and abortion, it seems to me that the former is much easier to explain — or explain away — than the latter to a child who’s too young to understand what they mean. (And the age at which they are too young seems to be getting younger and younger these days.)
It reminds me of those crazy abortion protestors who, under the guise of trying to protect innocent children from abortion, hold up giant grisly full-color posters of aborted fetuses for children to see.
Sometimes, zeal is the death of good judgment. It’s almost always the first nail in the coffin of fairness.