Told ya so. When reports first surfaced a few weeks ago that Focus on the Family was planning to run a pro-life ad during the Super Bowl broadcast featuring University of Florida quarter back Tim Tebow, the Culture & Media Institute predicted liberals would be upset.
Like clockwork, an article in the Huffington Post on Jan. 25 reported that "a national coalition of women's groups" that includes the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority is demanding that CBS reconsider its plans to run the ad.
Tebow, a Heisman Trophy winner who led the Gators to an NCAA championship, is a famously outspoken Christian noted for wearing Bible verses on his game day eye-black. He is also a walking pro-life story: the Super Bowl ad will relate how Tim's mother, against the advice of doctors, carried him to term in a dangerous pregnancy while on a church mission to the Philippines.
While Tebow is wildly popular with Gator fans and a broad swath of college football fans in general, he's predictably garnered critics on the left. Huffington Post's own Mark Axelrod wrote last month, "So, am I to believe that Florida beat Oklahoma because Tim Tebow had John 3:16 painted beneath his eyes?"
Tebow's Christianity was bad enough, but an ad countering the secular left's pro-abortion orthodoxy was sure to mobilize the activists. And it has. The Huffington Post article quoted Jehmu Greene, president of the New York-based Women's Media Center, as saying, "An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year - an event designed to bring Americans together."
Each year, the Super Bowl broadcast is almost as anticipated for its ads as for the game itself. Many of them tastelessly use sex and the objectification of the female body to attract attention. You'd think "women's groups" might have something to say about that. But they reserve their censorship calls for what they really care about.
CBS has reportedly approved the ad's script, and doesn't appear to be backing off. And that's to its credit, especially in light of NBC's refusal to air an inoffensive pro-life ad last year.