Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Inspiration Has A Face

Super Bowl Sunday! It’s always a great time to watch the champions of the two conferences (AFC vs. NFC) clash on the gridiron for the overall NFL championship. The two contestants are: The Indianapolis Colts (American Football Conference) and the New Orleans Saints (National Football Conference). Even if your team was eliminated from this big game (like mine was!), it’s an exciting day of football.

One of the traditional aspects of watching this annual game is the new commercials that are presented to the TV audience at staggering costs. But advertisers are willing to pay the cost because of the enormous audience – literally millions of people are watching. I have to admit that some of the commercials are really funny. Devotees of Super Bowl Sunday can’t wait to be among the first to see the new TV ads.

But this year! Well, now . . . that’s a horse of a different color.

If you haven’t caught this in the news yet, here’s what’s happening. Tim Tebow, the much heralded college quarterback for the former national champion University of Florida “Gators,” Heisman Trophy winner, and a very transparent Christian (he began applying the black shadow strips on his cheeks with Scripture verse addresses in white) is in the midst of a real brouhaha. I’ll get to that in a minute. His leadership skills are almost legendary, at times willing his team to victories practically carrying the team on his shoulders. His parents were missionaries serving in the Philippines while Tim was growing up. So during Spring Break while other kids were heading for the beaches of Florida, or some exotic Caribbean Island, or the Mexican Riviera for two weeks of fun and debauchery, Tim was on a plane heading for the Philippines to work in an orphanage, ministering to children who knew nothing of his football hero status, nor did they care. They just knew that he cared about them!

But wait! There’s more . . . Tim and his mother, Pam, were asked to film a commercial for the Super Bowl by the ministry of Focus on the Family. They wanted the Tebow’s to share their story, “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.” You see, in 1987, Pam Tebow became quite sick with amoebic dysentery (An acute disease caused by ingesting substances contaminated with the amoeba Entamoeba histolytica and characterized by severe diarrhea, nausea, and inflammation of the intestines) while serving in the Philippines. Because of her extreme illness, she was urged to terminate her pregnancy by aborting little Tim. She refused, choosing to give him life. In a statement on their web site, the Tebow’s wrote, “We agreed to appear in the commercial because the issue of life is one we feel very strongly about.”

Okay. So what’s the big deal? Well, apparently there are those who are agitated by this commercial being aired. Various pro-choice organizations are clamoring for CBS not to air this commercial during the Super Bowl. Why would they be opposed to a story of a woman carrying a baby full term even though gravely ill, only to have this son of hers become arguably the greatest college football player ever?

It should be noted that the only people who have seen the commercial are the folks at CBS. Yet those who are so vehemently opposed to this ad are reacting as though they have seen it. Unquestionably, Focus on the Family celebrates life, and the commercial makes that point. News columnist, Carissa Mulder of Big, writes in her piece, January 27, “What’s really got folks fired up? Why be so upset that a mom and her son are telling their story on national TV? It’s because the ad works. When Tim Tebow appears on that ad on Super (Bowl) Sunday, he doesn’t just represent himself. He represents almost fifty million other people – the fifty million Tim Tebows whose mothers didn’t choose life. And he represents everyone born in the United States since 1973.”

Mulder concludes her article with a poignant critique. “The (Washington) Post’s (Jonathan) Capehart entitled his piece, ‘Tim Tebow rushes into the abortion debate.’ I have news for Mr. Capehart. Tim Tebow didn’t rush into the abortion debate: the abortion debate rushed into him; in fact, he was born into it. Every person born in the United States since Roe (vs. Wade) was decided in 1973 is part of this debate, because every one of us could have been aborted by our mothers. That’s why the MSM (Main Stream Media) hates this ad. It puts a face to fifty million missing children. And when Americans start to see a human face instead of a punishment, the abortion regime will be in serious trouble.”

Will CBS hold their ground and show the commercial despite the clamorous uprising from the pro-abortionists? I don’t know. If the ad is shown, there will no doubt be many people moved by the message of the Tebow story.

Tim will assuredly go on to play football in the NFL this fall. Whether he succeeds at the professional level or not is unknown. One thing I can assure you – this young man will continue to be a strong witness to his Christian faith.

Every life is precious. Every life has value. Just look in his face.

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