Tim Tebow, CBS, Pro-life Politics, and Freedom of Speech

This whole Tim Tebow pro-life commercial fiasco is particularly odd to me.  I understand why Tim Tebow might rub some people the wrong way.  He makes all of us look bad (e.g., handsome, athletic, nice, etc.).  The wisdom of Tebow’s evangelistic tactics can be debated:  Are eye black Bible verses really helpful?  Does Tebow come across as preachy and unapproachable?  That being said, I have never doubted that Tebow believes what he says.  Further, he has demonstrated genuine Christian character on and off the field.

All of this is neither here nor there.  CBS (who is televising the Superbowl) has every right to approve any commercial they think will get them better ratings.  If people do not want to support CBS because of their decision to air a Focus on the Family funded commercial starring Tebow and his family, then they have every right to do so.  I am very comfortable watching commercials with which I do not agree.  I expect varying points of view in a pluralistic society.

What bothers me with the Tebow Commercialgate conversation is the way sports writers, radio hosts, and special interests groups have been phrasing the question in moral terms.  Abortion is a moral issue to be sure, but freedom to produce and air a commercial is probably not.  I don’t think it is wise when Christians make a big deal about boycotting Pepsi or Disney and I don’t think making a big deal of a Tebow Pro-Life commercial is wise.

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Here are some recent articles on Tebow that might be helpful and interesting: the first is on ESPN.com by Jemele Hill and the second is by Sally Jenkins in the Washington Post.

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