Q: The conservative Christian group Focus on the Family is sponsoring a pro-life ad, featuring football star Tim Tebow, during Sunday’s Super Bowl. Should CBS show the ad? Should CBS allow other faith-based groups to buy Super Bowl ads promoting their beliefs on social issues? Is a major sporting event, or a TV ad campaign, an appropriate venue for discussing such vital and divisive culture-war issues like abortion?
Nothing, not a plague of Biblical proportions or a President John Edwards, would harm the Republic more than allowing a handsome football quarterback and his mother to give a Super Bowl commercial celebrating life.
The Super Bowl and the commercials that come with it have always been an event that celebrated taste and family values. This year while enjoying flatulent horses, objectified women picked for their silicon valleys, and endless advertisements for gluttony and drunkenness, my family will be forced to endure a woman who looks like a woman and a man who practices chastity sharing their heartwarming story.
It is enough to give a viewer heartburn.
This jarring juxtaposition may induce cognitive dissonance by producing cognition in viewers. How will CBS promote the rest of the amusements if the audience stops being without the muses even for a moment?
Free speech is not an unlimited right either to shout “fire” in a crowded theater, or to praise being alive during modern gladiatorial events. A man cannot enjoy his intellectual slumber if opponents are allowed to disturb him with evidence.
Free speech is abused when speech is used to abuse the dogmas of our intellectual betters. The consensus opinion of the establishment must be protected from the irresponsible ability of people to raise money and share their views. Only the consumer and the intellectually servile are free and this quarterback and his mother are the opposite: selling nothing and thinking for themselves.
It is time to call for a Super Bowl Commercial Czar to police these abuses. Is this commercial the “hope and change” that President Obama promised us?
We are told that this commercial will tell the story of a mother who carried a difficult pregnancy to term. It will celebrate the life and accomplishments of her son. This runs the risk of making people who made a different choice wonder if they have made the right choice. The essence of the pro-choice position is that it hides the fact that only one choice can be celebrated.
This commercial is unfair, because there is no possibility of giving the other side equal time.
How can the abortion industry make something similar? They cannot film a commercial with dead children testifying to the beauty of the choice to abort. This is an undue handicap to those persuaded to choose death.
The hypocrisy of CBS is exposed in this decision. In the past, they have turned down advertisements of a controversial nature. Despite the fact that Americans are overwhelmingly personally opposed to abortion, a commercial celebrating life is controversial to the correct people . . . the minority who like it. After all, any celebration of the choice for life is simply code language for banning abortion. Every thoughtful person knows the phrase “pro-choice” is nothing but clever rhetoric, shorthand for nervous politicians for being pro-abortion. Any argument for choosing life is not about choice at all, because it is not about abortion.
Everybody knows the word “choice” means abortion. Focus on the Family is deceiving the viewers by using it as if it meant the ability to pick between two options. As everyone knows choice is a basis for liberty and so any assault on abortion is an assault on liberty.
Liberty is the basis of this Republic and so this commercial undermines our national life.
The most serious problem with this commercial is the attack on our Constitutional right to the separation of religion and life. Tebow and his mother are forcing all of us, even the non-religious, to think about religion and God. The wall of separation between atheists and a mention of God must remain absolute or the nation will become a veritable theocracy.
Some might argue that “choosing life” need not be religious. Leave aside the shocking news that the commercial was paid for by a religious organization. Forget that Tebow himself insists on giving his religious opinions in public. Think only how uncomfortable this must make mainstream journalists, in particular imagine the pain caused to such a well-known feminist as Keith Olbermann who is charged with protecting the status quo.
Are we willing to live in a society where we must view Olbermann and see him made uncomfortable? It shows the hypocrisy of the “family values” crowd when they confront a man already burdened by his personality and his hair with an offensive commercial. His job already hangs by a thread and such provocation is likely to add him to the swelling ranks of the unemployed undoing half the actual gains of the government stimulus program.
Sadly, this year’s Super Bowl is on CBS and not on NBC and so we will not have an opportunity for Olbermann’s fair-minded commentary during the game to balance out this commercial. Perhaps CBS can hire Olbermann or some other fair-minded person to balance out the commercial.
This we know: the life of the Republic depends on not shouting life in a crowded Super Bowl party.