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ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)--The game between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts is surely the most anticipated aspect of Super Bowl XLIV. However, there is another element of Super Sunday that draws a significant amount of attention -- commercials.
Because the television audience for the Super Bowl is so huge (last year 148-million people tuned into to watch at least some portion of the game), ad space is not only coveted but is also expensive.
A 30-second spot during last year's Super Sunday cost around $3 million. When companies pay that many bucks just to air a commercial, they are hoping the result will be significant bang.
In order to stand out in the crowd of commercials, some companies have not shied away from controversy, choosing to include sex and sleaze in their spots during the Super Bowl.
Ordinarily, controversy erupts after the questionable commercials have aired. This year, however, it is different. It seems a few liberal women's organizations and abortion rights groups are stirring the controversy pot even before they have viewed one particular commercial.
The commercial that has the likes of the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority Foundation and the Women's Media Center upset supposedly features the true story of a mother choosing to continue a pregnancy to term despite a doctor's recommendations she abort her unborn child.
I am not sure what has the pro-abortion groups more upset, the story itself or the people it is about. You see, the mother featured in the commercial is Pam Tebow. And the child she carried to term is her son, college football star Tim Tebow. [Focus on the Family, which is sponsoring the ad, has yet to confirm the ad's content.]
The Tebows' story is as follows: In 1987, Bob and Pam Tebow traveled to the Philippines on a mission trip. At the time Pam was pregnant with the couple's fifth child. During the trip, Pam contracted amoebic dysentery, a life-threatening condition. Doctors advised an abortion. Pam rejected the advice and gave birth to Tim on Aug. 14, 1987.
Tim Tebow's exploits on the gridiron for the University of Florida Gators have made him one of the most celebrated college football players in recent memory. He was the first sophomore ever to win the coveted Heisman Trophy. He was a part of two national championship and two Southeastern Conference championship teams. He is also the first player to rush for 20 touchdowns and pass for 20 touchdowns in a single season. To say that Tim Tebow enjoys a high profile would be an understatement.
Tebow is also a committed Christian who is not shy about articulating his faith. He became well-known for the various Scripture references he would place on the eye-black tape he wore in games.
Given all this, it is no wonder that Focus on the Family, a Christian pro-family organization based in Colorado Springs, Colo., wanted to tell the Tebow story.
"We're not trying to sell the American people a car.... We're not trying to sell anything," Focus spokesman Gary Schneeberger, who would not divulge the ad's content and said the commercial would be worth the wait, told Baptist Press. "We're celebrating families and we're hoping to inspire families and we're hoping to let families know that in moments of crisis, Focus on the Family is the organization you can come to."
Because the commercial apparently couples a high-profile athlete with a pro-life message, pro-abortion groups are livid. And even though they have yet to view a single second of the commercial in question, pro-abortion organizations are trying to pressure CBS, the network airing the Super Bowl, to abort it.
Pro-abortion groups claim the Tebow commercial will be controversial. How do they know? They have not seen it. Let the spot air and let the American public decide if it is controversial or not.
In the past, when conservatives have protested something they deemed controversial, many in the media have called them fascist, fanatical, narrow-minded, extremist. I have yet to see one member of the mainstream media use any of these adjectives to describe any of the groups opposing the Tebow commercial. The double-standard is not only obvious; it is blatant.
Anti-abortion groups claim they are pro-choice. If that is true, then they should welcome Pam Tebow's story and applaud her courage. When confronted with a difficult pregnancy she CHOSE to have the baby. One pro-life ad campaign says it well: "Life, what a beautiful choice."
The reaction to the Tebow commercial has exposed the reality of groups who call themselves "pro-choice." The only choice pro-abortion groups support is one that results in a dead baby. The description of these groups as "pro-choice" is at best an oxymoron; at worst is it a nefarious lie.
In the midst of all the hype and hoopla of the Super Sunday, a commercial will air. It will be short, but its message will be profound. It will feature one family's story of faith, hope and love.
Just know this: When you see the Tebow commercial, there are groups in America who oppose that message so much they tried their best to keep you from viewing it. And they have the audacity to refer to themselves as "pro-choice."
Kelly Boggs is a weekly columnist for Baptist Press and editor of the Baptist Message (www.baptistmessage.com), newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.