Pro-life and pro-choice should applaud Tebow

By Chad Henningsauthor, former NFL player We, as a nation, are crying out for transparency and authenticity. We want our … Continued

By Chad Hennings
author, former NFL player

We, as a nation, are crying out for transparency and authenticity. We want our leaders, heroes and role models — people like Tim Tebow — to stand for something. Something that is greater than self. We want them to live up to the words that they profess and not hide behind a façade.

Those are good things to remember amid the controversy surrounding Tim and Pam Tebow’s pro-life Super Bowl ad.

In today’s culture, we are constantly bombarded with “words” from many sources – print, radio, television, the Internet . . . The list goes on and on. Many times, the words mean nothing more than the spin that they were formed to create. We have become so distrustful of what people say that their words are all but meaningless.

Tim Tebow has been a bright light in today’s narcissistic, all-about-me world. He walks the walk when it comes to the words he professes. His character gives him a platform, but we are all called to make a difference in our community, whether it’s from a faith-based platform or not.

Google Tebow’s name and most of the links are positive stories about how he has lived out his Christian spirituality and given of himself to a person or a cause and made a difference. The other articles are attacks on him for the stands that he has taken.

We should be applauding a young man who is not reluctant to use his platform for more than just earning a paycheck.

Apathy has led us to this cultural crossroads we are facing as a nation. People need to engage and get involved. I am encouraged by what I have seen recently. I see others who, like Tebow, have a sense of purpose.

This resurgence of purpose has been highlighted in many different areas from the Tea Party movement to anti-war rallies. The controversy over the Super Bowl ad highlighting the Pam and Tim Tebow story is a sidebar to a debate about abortion that has been raging for many years in our country.

In my opinion, the forum we use to bring our ideas to light, whether it’s the Super Bowl, cable television or the street corner, is irrelevant. The marketplace should be open to discuss the merits of anyone’s thoughts — not to stifle or shout over one another.

Americans aren’t dumb. We can and will make our own decisions as long as we have access to information and can see the actions of those who are trying to formulate public opinion. No matter what side of the fence you are on, pro-life or pro-abortion, we should let the stories be told.

What is threatening about that?

Chad Hennings, the author of “Rules of Engagement: Finding Faith and Purpose in a Disconnected World,” was an All-America football player at the Air Force Academy. After flying 45 humanitarian missions in Iraq, he played on three Super Bowl champions with the Dallas Cowboys.

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  • lepidopteryx

    It’s not a question of the story itself being a threat to anyone. Tebow’s mother went against her doctor’s advice and everything turned out groovy for her. Yippee.The main problem most people have with the ad is inappropriate time and place. CBS has always refused “issue” ads for the Superbowl – if your ad wasn’t pitching a specific product, then they would not air it during the Super Bowl. They recently rejected an ad from a progressive church advertising the fact that they qwelcome gay couples, on the basis that it was an “issue” ad, not a product ad. So why are they now accepting this issue ad from Focus on the Family?

  • jrebstock

    Tim Tebow & Focus on the family deserve the attacks they are getting for an anti-abortion TV ad airing during the super bowl…Tim Tebow will not be playing in the NFL after he is cut from the NFL in august 2010..tim tebow will then be free to do his pathetic Christian missionary work 24/7….in of September 2010 Tim Tebow can chastise women for having abortions as a paid missionary.If the anti-abortion movement applied 10% of the energy they put into noisy theatrics & devoted it to improving the lives of children who have been born into lives of poverty, violence, and neglect, they could make a world shine.

  • YEAL9

    Thou shalt not kill/murder defenseless children or spotted owls in or out of their eggs!!!

  • John0123

    Until CBS airs a contrasting ad on, say, gay rights or a pro-choice viewpoint, I regard this one as improper favoritism. Thanks to DVR, I plan to skip all of the ads, Tebow’s included, and the lame halftime show.

  • HCBerkowitz

    Chad,I have to say that while I might disagree with some of your arguments, you present the issue in a far more reasonable and less shrill manner than others guest posters in this venue. We do agree that stories should be told — but I question if 30 second testimonials, any more than political sound bites, are informative about matters of deep ethical import. While I can understand CBS making a business decision to go with the Focus on the Family ad but reject the gay dating service, or the earlier one from the United Churches of Christ, let’s not assume that the Super Bowl is the place for reasoned discussion of issues that can be agonizing to people of good will on either side. When you speak of a “sense of purpose”, do you mean to suggest it can only be expressed in Tebow’s religious orientation? Like Lepidopteryx, I’m active in a Unitarian group that recognizes both earth-centered (pagan) and humanist traditions — and I assure you that I actively volunteer on issues relating to life. Indeed, I manage to thoroughly annoy the further-left social justice people when I present objective information about terrorism, strategic balances, and other areas. In local government, I work in disaster preparedness and public health. There are other areas where I contribute to what I see as loving my neighbor — and that can include people down the street and across the world. Other guest posters — not you — have taken a lofty tone that everyone not in their particular religious and moral tradition is self-indulgent and selfish. Perhaps the discussion in this thread can reflect that.

  • HCBerkowitz

    Minor followup–when I say I work on issues relating to “life”, that is NOT only in the context of reproductive medicine.

  • PSolus

    “We can and will make our own decisions as long as we have access to information and can see the actions of those who are trying to formulate public opinion.”We can and will make our own decisions only as long as we have the freedon to make our own decisions.Tim Tebow works with a group of people who want to take the freedom of choice away from women; the same freedom of choice that his own mother availed herself of.

  • rukiebeno

    Like any other company, CBS has the right to do whatever they want to get ratings. You are the one that is paying the bills for them. If you don’t agree then don’t watch. If they show an add that I don’t like then I will turn it off as well. It’s funny to me that we do not make a big deal out of the soft porn from other commercials but this one is getting all the attention. Good job Chad on the article and good job CBS for showing the ad….even if it is only for creating a buzz and ratings! Good job Tim for sticking up for what you believe.Yeah, not looking forward to the half-time show. Bad choice!

  • Farnaz1Mansouri1

    Rukiebeno:It’s funny to me that we do not make a big deal out of the soft porn from other commercials but this one is getting all the attention.

  • YEAL9

    And back to the topic of defending children:Thou shalt not kill/murder defenseless children or any of the following endangered species in their wombs or eggs :”MammalsBison bison athabascae (Wood bison)BirdsAgelaius xanthomus (Yellow-shouldered blackbird)from http://www.wikipedia.com

  • xSamplex

    First, while I may not agree with Tebow’s position, I have respect for him holding it and, more importantly, not being afraid to express it. Good for him.Two, as another poster pointed out, Tebow’s mother was fortunate. Would the NFL like to hold a moment of silence for women who ignored their doctors’ advice and died in childbirth as a consequence? Doubtful. Yet this ad will be received as an unquestioned tribute to wisdom of not having an abortion. Which is deceptive. It is not always wise.Three, abortion is legal. As an American, I believe that we live by the laws that are on our books, and we work to change them if we don’t like them. Pot is illegal, but many enjoy smoking it. Would the NFL green-light an ad from NORML (or whatever the acronym is)?As for Americans not being “dumb”, well, we’re selfish, we’re turning into a second-world power, most Americans are mathematically, scientifically and technologically illiterate, and we refuse to sacrifice to help our country as a whole be healthier and more secure. I have heard enough morons parrot fox news without being able to reference a single substantive supporting document or argument that I don’t even bother engaging. What, you never read a book or a magazine like Foreign Affairs, and I’m supposed to think you know something about, say, our Iraq policy? Please. Similarly, most abortion discussions are nothing but ill-informed BS and name calling. Most pro-lifers couldn’t understand a cell biology or genetics textbook if they had twenty years to work on it.Anyway, a nice, facile ad by Tim Tebow will make plenty of people feel nice and smug. A shame it will do nothing to educate or improve America.

  • YEAL9

    “Mission Of the Mothers’ Home As a residential shelter, Mothers’ Home provides a safe haven for vulnerable, pregnant women in a crisis who choose life as a sacred gift.We encourage our mothers to celebrate the joy of new life and help them prepare for their future and the future of their child.We focus on physical, emotional and developmental needs including positive life skills, parenting, and job preparation.We strive to assist our mothers to reach their goals of independence and self sufficiency.Located in Darby, Pennsylvania, Mothers’ Home is a safe-haven for pregnant women and their children.Hope through empowerment. Mothers’ Home provides hope for up to 22 young adult women struggling to give birth in spite of rejection and abandonment. Mothers’ Home is an opportunity for empowerment as the expectant mothers receive counseling, childbirth and parenting classes, job preparation programs, assistance in finding independent housing, and much more. Each year, approximately 40-50 new mothers come to live at Mothers’ Home and most return with their babies after delivery.”Make a donation at

  • Alli_son_177

    I am pro-choice but will be very interested to see the commercial and have only one problem with it airing, the network has turned down other ads in the past for political tones and I have heard there was even a gay dating ad that was shot down this year. Either you include all voices, or exclude politics.

  • cookie714

    Hey Tim!My mom didn’t abort me, either. Get over yourself. You’re not so special. I view this ad as shameless self-promotion. He knew it would get him lots of attention. This is a boy whose parents called him Superman as a child (because he survived his mother’s infection in the womb). Then as a collegiate athlete, he wore a Superman T-shirt under his jersey. He was seen posing shirtless for photos the week of the Senior Bowl. People don’t like him because he’s full of himself. While I do not share the same denomination as Tebow, I am a Christian, and I was taught to be humble.

  • coloradodog

    Before you applaud too loudly, tell us how much Tebow is making by appearing in this ad.

  • lepidopteryx

    Jeffery Dahmer’s mother didn’t abort him either. A lot of little boys would have been better off if she had.Jack the Ripper’s mother didn’t abort him. A lot of women would have been better off if she had.I could list more, but I think my point is made.