For those of you who have hidden in your hermitage every autumn Saturday the past four years, Tim Tebow is the quarterback for the University of Florida Gators . During his stellar career, Tebow has won the Heisman Trophy and led his team to two national championships.
He's a missionary kid who takes his Christian faith seriously. Every summer, even during his collegiate career, he's gone on mission trips to some of the poorest places on Earth. Sports fans who don't know about his mission work do know about his beliefs, because he writes Scripture references on the "eye black" strips he sticks high on his cheeks during ballgames.
Lately, Tebow hasn't been taking his lumps from defensive linemen or streaking safeties. He's being pounded by women. Women—and some men—who don't like his stance against abortion.
Mom chose life
When she was pregnant with him, Tebow's mother, Pam, contracted a tropical ailment while doing mission work in the Philippines. Doctors advised her to have an abortion, but she refused. And now, about 22 years later, she's a mom who's proud of her son, not so much because he's a football hero but because he's a fine Christian man.
Tim and Pam Tebow have filmed an ad supporting life, purchased by Focus on the Family, which CBS will air during the Super Bowl. And that's when the National Organization for Women and other groups that advocate for a woman's right to have an abortion audibled a blitz on Tebow. (Here's an overview story from The Christian Science Monitor. Here's a terrific column—written by a woman—from The Washington Post.)
The ad isn't public yet, but reportedly, it never mentions abortion. The ad tells Pam Tebow's story about deciding to risk the odds of her own death in order to give life to her son.
Let's be clear: Pam Tebow exercised choice. She chose to forego an abortion. She chose to risk her own life. She chose to bring her son into this world.
Feminist blitz — hypocritical
Ironically, NOW and other women's organizations are calling Tim Tebow and his ad an affront to women. They're lambasting him for being insensitive to women and women's issues, for demeaning women.
That would be funny if it weren't pathetic. And hypocritical. Why don't they put pressure on all the beer companies who feature bikini-clad women as sex objects? As a father of daughters, a husband and a son, I'm offended by the way those ads demean women. But instead of complaining about exploitation of pretty young females, the so-called women's organizations are screaming about an ad whose theme is "Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life."
Americans do not enjoy consensus on abortion. Even thoughtful, Bible-believing Christians do not agree. Texas Baptists have stated their opposition to abortion except for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. But even we don't agree, with some of us taking a more conservative stance and some tilting the other way.
Still, Pam and Tim Tebow have staked their reputations by filming a commercial that, while not overtly condemning abortion, strongly advocates a mother's right to choose life for her child.
All decent human beings—whatever their religious beliefs—should be able to celebrate that right as well as the choice Pam Tebow made slightly more than two decades ago. And they should understand why Tim Tebow celebrates life and affirm his right to speak his minnd.