Our Super Bowl XLIV commercial with Pam and Tim Tebow has kicked off quite the media firestorm. Okay, that’s an understatement. Last week the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described it as “perhaps the most controversial commercial in the big game’s 43-year history.”
From National Public Radio and The New York Times, to Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly, there’s been no shortage of national coverage over an ad which has yet to air. Even SNL got into the act by poking fun at the brewing controversy over the weekend.
Frankly, I’m a little surprised that there would be anything controversial about the message “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.” Millions of Americans believe that nurturing a culture of life and fortifying strong families makes for a better nation. In a nutshell, that goes to the heart of the Tebow’s story.
However, not everyone thinks CBS should air this inspiring story during the Super Bowl. Here’s a sample of what some who disagree with our message are saying:
- “This ad is hate masquerading as love.” —Erin Mattson, vice president of the National Organization for Women (NOW)
- “[Focus on the Family] is extremely intolerant and divisive and pushing an un-American agenda.” —Jehmu Greene, Director of the Women’s Media Center
- “[The Focus ad is] extraordinarily offensive and demeaning.” —Terry O’Neill, President of NOW
- “They are known to spew hate and be very divisive. And I have no doubt that that will come through [in the ad] . . . this un-American hate doesn’t have a place in this all-American past time.” —Kierra Johnson, Choice USA
As I pointed out in a recent Washington Post piece, when the estimated 100 million football fans tune into the big game and see for themselves what we’re really saying—rather than what others are saying about us—I have every confidence they will be inspired by love rather than mired in the current controversy.
If that happens, pardon the pun, it will be a touchdown for life.