Tim Tebow Super Bowl Ad Controversy

Tim Tebow: Know Who, and What, You Are Cheering For



Over a year ago, on September 27th, 2008, Florida Quarterback Tim Tebow stood before a crowded press room. The Gators, preseason favorites to win the BCS National Championship, had just lost a 31-30 marathon game to conference rival Ole Miss. With a loss within their first four games, the Gators’ hopes of appearing in the title game seemed doomed. Gathering himself, Tebow declared to the whole press room, and the entire nation, that his Gators would not lose another game from that point forward. After living up to his promise, Tebow was given the opportunity, despite the loss, to play in the big game and won his second (and ultimately final) National Title.

Such dogged persistence, even in the face of adversity, is to be admired. And admired it is: the first paragraph of this piece follows the script of hundreds of articles detailing the heroic speech that pulled the Gators from losing purgatory to twenty two consecutive victories. But, while Tebow’s positive qualities-his football skills, extraordinary collegiate achievements, and sheer determination to win-should always be duly noted, the sheer amount of praise heaped upon the Florida quarterback seems to have successfully stifled any criticism of the famous Gator’s less admirable qualities; in particular his intolerance of the beliefs and values of others.

Some time ago, Tebow declared his intention to serve as the centerpiece of a Superbowl ad advocating against abortion. While the specific details of the commercial are thus far unclear, what is known is that the group financing the expense, Focus on the Family, is one of the most intolerant groups in the United States. The group’s beliefs include, amongst other elements, the following: American identity is exclusively Judeo-Christian in nature, homosexuality is a crime against God and the “homosexual agenda” in the United States must be opposed at all cost, and that abortion, feminism, the separation of church and state in public schools and extra-marital sexual activity have no place in American society.

Please, please don’t just take it from me. Instead, please take a second, open your internet browser, and type “Focus on the Family” into www.google.com. If you go to the “About Us” section, you will find a listing of the group’s guiding principles and beliefs. I cannot quote them here, as that could get me into a large amount of legal trouble for plagiarism and unofficial citation, but I think the reader will find the blatant intolerance in the group’s statements striking.

However, that said, Tebow’s possession of such beliefs, in and of itself, would not warrant this article. Everyone, and I repeat EVERYONE, is entitled to their beliefs, regardless of how intolerant or terribly misguided they are; so long as they do not harm others. That right is protected by the First Amendment and is a central tenet of our Constitutional Bill of Rights. However, Tim Tebow not only holds these intolerant beliefs, he also spreads them in evangelical fashion. Yet, despite this, almost no one is aware of either Tebow’s beliefs or his desire to spread them because he receives almost no negative press in the media. EVER.

If people want to root and cheer for Tebow, even though they know he holds to these intolerant tenets, then that is their prerogative and it is only right that they should be allowed to do so. That’s what tolerance is. But, they should know exactly what he believes in-and the intolerance he advocates-before choosing to do so. If you are non-Christian, or gay, or aborted a child, or do not go to Church on a regular basis, or do not actively spread the word of Christ forcefully to others, or support a woman’s right to choose, or are divorced, then Tim Tebow disapproves of your life choices and of who you are. Root and cheer for him if you like-that’s your choice-but at least know beforehand that he believes your lifestyle is a stain on the earth and has devoted himself to either converting you to his beliefs or, at the very least, making sure that others understand your ‘immorality’ and don’t follow.

However, that, by itself, would still not be enough to warrant this article. After all, there are many evangelical Christians in this country, including two of my own uncles and an aunt, and as long as they try to spread their beliefs in non-harmful fashion then that should not be condemned. It may be distasteful, and people have a right to know about those beliefs and who they cheer for, but no one should stop Tebow from advocating them.

What puts this advertisement in particular over the edge is that it advocates against abortion EVEN IN THE EVENT OF A HEALTH CONCERN FOR THE PREGNANT MOTHER. It is rumored to use the famous story of Tebow’s mother’s decision to have him despite great risk to her health as an example of why women should never abort even if their lives are threatened. In short, an ad broadcast to a billion people, including tens of millions of impressionable teenage girls, will feature Tim Tebow quietly suggesting that his extremely lucky - and unlikely - birth story means that they should put themselves in danger in all cases and never, ever, consider abortion. And that decision - the one to use his influence to spread his intolerant beliefs even if they endanger the lives of young women - is unacceptable.

Root for Tebow if you feel you must but please, please, at least do your research and know who, and WHAT, you are cheering for.




After the Senior Bowl, here's the latest on Tim Tebow's Pro Prospects.






Comments for Tim Tebow Super Bowl Ad Controversy

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Jan 29, 2010
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I feel sorry for you!!
by: Mike Slay

Anoyone who could write this garbage, no matter how eloquently written is exactly what Time Tebow is fighting. Left wing liberal progressive's who think they are God themselfs. To stand up for LIFE instead of murder in the woom is a greater thing to admire him for than Footnall. I feel VERY sorry for those who think like you for the day you stnd in front od GOD and try to explain how right you have been.

Jan 30, 2010
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FOTF & The Taliban, not much difference
by: KT

Honestly, religious extremism is a problem in whatever country or religion it crops up in. As a committed follower of Jesus Christ, I am honestly horrified when I see groups like Focus On The Family misuse the name of Jesus for their intolerant and extreme aims. The good news is that the younger generation seems to be largely dismissing such groups, so their influence will soon be a thing of the past (or so I pray).

Feb 03, 2010
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A different perspective
by: Jim

Poking around various forums it seems the consensus opinion on Tebow's commercial is -- what's the harm? He and his mom should be free to say whatever they want. If they want to promote the pro-life position, so be it.

But, I stumbled on an article that presents another perspective, pointing out that others who might choose to make the same decision Pam Tebow did, might not be so lucky. She could have ended up leaving 4 motherless kids.

The point I think being that the Super Bowl commercial won't be presenting that side of the story. It will be like a halmark card with a perfect ending. Problem is life isn't always like a halmark card. And, women faced with making the same tough choice Pam Tebow made probably should base their decision on realistic and objective information -- not just one great story.

Maybe a 30 second super bowl commercial is not the best place to deal with this difficult topic.

Anyway, check out

Another Perspective on Pam Tebow's Choice.





Feb 03, 2010
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Intolerance?
by: Anonymous

Your article rightly concedes that we are all entitled to our beliefs on moral questions, but then fails to recognize even the penultimate issue you describe is still just that. There is no "intolerance" is a belief that a moral person would place the life of an unborn child above their own in making the decision to continue carrying a child in the face of health concerns, no matter how grave. Individuals are entitled to be intolerant of differing beliefs in that they have the freedom to choose not to associate with those holding those variant beliefs. The only concern that I would share with you is if Tim Tebow also favored the use of government force to impose his moral views upon others. Advocating for your beliefs is nothing more than expression of an opinion, legislating your beliefs is real intolerance.

Feb 06, 2010
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Well, that's the point right?
by: JT

Yes, and that's the point right? Tim Tebow, Focus on the Family, the Pro-Life movement -- all strongly support laws that would prohibit a woman from choosing an abortion. Promoting those laws (and repeal of Roe vs Wade) is the reason they are paying millions to put this ad on. So, is that the "legislating of beliefs" you would find intolerant?

Feb 08, 2010
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you've got to be kidding
by: Bill

How in the world could you be so condescending to a position in an ad that you had never even seen? The commercial was not released to the public or the media prior to the game tonight and proved to be a quiet message on family--not the judgmental Christian commentary that you wrote about previous to the event. You told the reader to do their homework and come to the conclusion that Focus on the Family and Tim Tebow were intolerant. I think the only intolerant one here is you casting judgment prior to viewing the commercial. Since when has Pro-Choice meant Pro-Abortion? The choice that Pam Tebow made was her choice and that did not include abortion of her child. What incredibly careless journalism on your part!

Jul 02, 2010
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Tim Tebow and his christian faith
by: SEC Fan

It's interesting that many SEC fans have been somewhat turned off by the way Tebow wears his faith on his sleeve. Check out Open Letter to Tim Tebow.

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