Monday, February 8, 2010

Touchdown... for Life!

ROME ( - Every year, millions across the United States of America fervently follow the athletic clash of titans called the Super Bowl. In today's Super Bowl, however, the winners won’t be limited to either the Indianapolis Colts or the New Orleans Saints. A special victory will go to life, thanks to a singular advertisement that will air during the most watched sporting event of the year.

Created and paid for by Focus on the Family, the commercial features Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow of the Florida Gators, and his mother, Pam Tebow, discussing her difficult choice for life. [Pro-choice!  Choice of life!]

While missionaries in the Philippines, Pam Tebow and her husband were advised to terminate her pregnancy after she contracted amoebic dysentery. The cure, said the doctors, would cause serious damage to her unborn child and as a result could possibly cost Pam Tebow her own life. The Tebows refused and 23 years later, the world famous athlete will have a chance to thank his mother for choosing life in front of 100 million spectators. [Filipino doctors were the ones who gave the advice!  And thank God did his mom choose life!  Imagine what the aborted babies would have become?  Only God knows.]

Like all great victories however, this one has not come easy. Last year the Catholic Vote organization filmed a pro-life video telling the story of Barack Obama and his single mother’s choice for life. Despite having raised the necessary $3 million and produced a highly professional spot, both NBC and CNN refused to air the ad, claiming a policy of not airing advocacy ads. [Another reason why we should not support CNN and NBC.  These networks are anti-life!]

This year, CBS agreed to air the Tim Tebow ad despite massive pressure. A coordinated campaign organized by the National Organization of Women and NARAL, the National pro-abortion organization, is lobbying CBS to drop the ad. Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL, had some choice comments on the spot (which she hasn't seen): "CBS has cleared the way to subject nearly 100 million people to Focus on the Family's extreme agenda [so choosing life is extreme?  how do you then describe those who choose defenseless babies?] by agreeing to air its new pro-life ad during the Super Bowl"; adding, "If that isn't bad enough, its views on women are just plain insulting and dangerous." [So it is an issue against women, eh?  What does Tim Tebow's mom have to say?  Oh yes.  She choose life and it did not insult her one bit.]

The good news is that Keenan described the ad as "pro life," forgetting in her rant her Orwellian newspeak term, "anti-choice."

The better news is that even the New York Times, not known for pro-life sympathies, published an editorial last week defending the advertisement. [Wow!  That's some breath of fresh air.]

Simultaneously, attorney Gloria Allred demanded the ad be pulled because of "misleading advertising." Pointing out that abortion is illegal in the Philippines, [it is!] she claims no doctor would ever tell a woman to have an abortion for fear of losing his license. [Don't be so sure about that.  There are instances where doctors do recommend an abortion in extreme cases such as that of Tebow's.  I have an OB-Gyn friend doctor who confessed that abortions are happening even in the most famous hospitals in Manila, even if it is illegal in the Philippines.  Life is protected in our country's constitution.] Besides the Ivory Tower reasoning here, given that the Tebows are citizens of the United States -- the country with some of the most permissive abortion laws in the world -- all they had to do was get on a plane. [Stupid!  The mom was stricken sick in Manila and had to be admitted to the hospital!]

As yet, to its credit, CBS is holding firm, and even those who don't care for football (myself included) will be tuning in to see this great triumph for life.

But here in Italy the land of Sunday soccer, has anyone taken notice of those fighting the good fight? I asked Legionary of Christ Father Kevin Lixey, director of the Vatican Office of Church and Sport, if the Curia would tear itself from the World Cup preparations to follow the game for life on Sunday.

“It is safe to say that not many Italians nor the Holy Father will be watching the late night Super Bowl,” responded Father Lixey, “nor are they aware of this pro-life spot.” [They must be informed!] That said, Father Lixey pointed out that “the Holy Father consistently encourages top athletes to live up to their great responsibility of being authentic role models for the many young people who look up to them."

Father Lixey quoted Benedict XVI’s address to champion swimmers last Aug. 5: “Dear athletes,” the Pope exhorted, “you are models for your peers, and your example can be crucial to them in building their future positively. So be champions in sports and in life![AMEN!]

Noting that this is not the first time an athlete has used his media “status” to defend life, Father Lixey recalled that in the fall of 2006, an ad against an embryonic stem cell research amendment in the state of Missouri featured such athletes as St. Louis quarterback Kurt Warner and baseballers Mike Sweeney and Jeff Suppan -- who incidentally participated in the first Vatican sports seminar in 2005.

As with Tim Tebow, Father Lixey pointed out, “Suppan received criticism for the ‘timing’ of this advertisement, since he was pitching in the World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals.”

The director of the Church and Sports office praised figures like Suppan and Tebow, noting that these are “athletes who are conscious of their leadership role among the youth and are not afraid to step up to the plate to defend life.” [And which is very rare!]

“Super Bowls have become notorious for permissive halftime shows and raunchy beer commercials to the point that some parents would prefer that their children not view it on television at all,” reflected Father Lixey. “While we do not know if the Saints will beat the Colts, one thing is certain: the Tebow ad will certainly be family friendly!"


Here is the video.

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