By R. ELISABETH CORNWELL - ON FAITH - THE WASHINGTON POST
Added: Wed, 03 Feb 2010 00:00:00 UTC
Q: The conservative Christian group Focus on the Family is sponsoring a pro-life ad, featuring football star Tim Tebow, during Sunday's Super Bowl. Should CBS show the ad? Should CBS allow other faith-based groups to buy Super Bowl ads promoting their beliefs on social issues? Is a major sporting event, or a TV ad campaign, an appropriate venue for discussing such vital and divisive culture-war issues like abortion?
The Focus on the Family anti-choice ad that will appear during this Sunday's Super Bowl will not be based on a reasoned discussion of the issues surrounding abortion, rather it will be an emotional appeal meant to equate a fetus with a fully-grown Heisman-trophy winner. We shall be manipulated to imagine a mother killing her beloved son Tim Tebow sometime in early 1987. It is the standard anti-choice sucker punch, and I regard it as utterly misguided if not actively dishonest.
Now we are faced with the question whether or not Focus on the Family should be allowed to run such an ad during one of the most sacred (i.e. profitable) yearly television events. The argument against allowing the ad is that abortion is a social issue and should therefore not intrude on the lives of fans. I guess we don't want to ruin a good football game with anything beyond beer, trucks and fast-food (party-on!).
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