On Friday’s show, I offered my opinion on what has become the most talked about commercial to air on Super Bowl Sunday – the Focus on the Family ad featuring Tim Tebow.
The ad has not been seen yet has drawn fire from pro-choice organizations in a classic example of “shoot the messenger and ignore the message.” To bottom line my opinion I feel that if this ad is done correctly, pro-choice groups should be concerned because it could mark a change in the political discourse and the current image of the pro-life movement.
My opinion is that the pro-life movement has wandered away from its most inherently positive message (life) and turned its focus on demonizing the pro-choice efforts as “abortionists.” In my view, this makes the most vocal (public) faction of the pro-life movement look whiney, overly politicized and negative. Case in point was the recent protests by Nebraska Right To Life over Ben Nelson’s “abortion compromise” in the Senate approved health care reform bill. Nelson virtually assured with his efforts that public funds will not be used to provide abortions. It was a compromise that was decried by both right and left. While that doesn’t make it the right idea, it certainly wasn’t going to open the floodgates to more federally funded abortions as pro-life groups insinuate.
Despite what many on both sides argue, abortion is not a black or white issue. There are many of us who don’t buy into the extremes who lean pro-life, but believe that abortion is potentially necessary in cases of rape, incest or when the health of the mother is at risk. And when we see pro-lifers with their pictures of aborted fetuses parading in front of Planned Parenthood, it angers us. Sure, that is exactly what the protesters want us to feel, but the anger usually is focused on the protesters for showing these sensational pictures and not the anger that babies were aborted.
I’m not suggesting that we should bury our heads in the sand and not acknowledge that “abortion on demand” doesn’t exist – what I am saying is that instead of turning every person that has had an abortion or performs an abortion into a murderer, the pro-life movement should be accentuating their strongest message – life. Rather than accusing every abortion of being done in malice, the strongest efforts should be focused to preventing the pregnancy in the first place.
And that’s where the Tebow/FOTF commercial comes in.
By all indications, the spot is going to focus solely on the story of Tim and his mother and how she forged ahead with her pregnancy despite the facts that her life was potentially at risk. As any college football fan will tell you, Tebow is alive and very well and the commercial will bring her story, her life and his to the widest possible TV audience in the U.S.. If my assumptions are correct, the spot will also not focus on the “abortionists” or the “abortion holocaust”, but rather on the positive aspects of LIFE and I’ll bet that you will have people who don’t buy into the extremes who will be moved by the ad. And that should scare the pro-choicers because the pro-choice movement cannot match a story like the Tebows’.
So why not, pro-life movement, move towards the message of the greatness of life. Move away from the partisan, divisive labels and move towards your strength. In the 70’s, it was the pro-choice movement that was deemed the most militant. Today, the pro-life movement has decided to play in that same court and it’s not taking their message forward.
Perhaps the Tebow ad will represent a move in that direction and remind those who believe so strongly in life that it is “life” that is the loudest message that resonates.