For the past week my Outlook inbox and Facebook homepage have been loaded with comments and statements regarding what was described as “the pro-life Tim Tebow Super Bowl ad.” Pressure was being applied to CBS to not air the ad that was produced by Focus on the Family. Support was being garnered the best way people knew how to stand on behalf of this ominous ad with its “strong” pro-life message. So I waited for the ad to air on what would become the all time highest rated television event in history. The ad appeared early in the broadcast, and I must confess my first response was “that’s it!?”
I found the ad to be nothing compared to my expectation. For one, Tim Tebow has never been bashful about displaying his faith, right down to the Bible verses on his game day eye black. Coupling that with the plain spoken, fastball firing Focus on the Family I really thought the message would be direct and blunt. But it wasn’t. The ad was subtle and could even be described as sweet. The ad was designed to gain the viewer’s attention and direct those interested to the Focus on the Family website. Contrary to the accusations, I thought the ad was tasteful, tame, and well done. If you didn’t know the back story of the Tebow family or were not familiar with Focus on the Family, you wouldn’t have had a clue as to what the ad was even about. (The “rest of the story” is available at http://www.focusonthefamily.com/.)
Then the LA Times published an article on Monday, citing the comments from the National Organization for Women President Terry O’Neill. O’Neill accused the ad of glorifying violence against women. She said, “I am blown away at the celebration of the violence against women in it. That’s what comes across to me even more strongly that the anti-abortion message. I myself am a survivor of domestic violence, and I don’t find it charming. I think CBS should be ashamed of itself.”
I wonder what O’Neill and NOW thought about some of the other ads that were televised during the Super Bowl? I wonder what their position was concerning the portrayal of women in the Career Builder.com ad that displayed people walking around in their underwear on casual day? And more than that, where is the outrage against the sexual objectification of women in the Go Daddy.com ads?
Kudows to the Tebow’s for their boldness, and to Focus on the Family for being willing to mix in a change up.