Much interweb ink has been spilled over Tim Tebow’s anti-abortion commercial scheduled to air during the Super Bowl. To be honest, I don’t have too much of a problem with it, even though CBS rejected a completely innocuous gay-inclusive United Church of Christ commercial six years ago. The real test will be next time a credible gay-positive ad is presented. Until they show us differently, I’m inclined to accept CBS’s statement that their standards have changed with the times.
As I see it, the real problem is that millions of people will be tuned in on Sunday not knowing that Tim Tebow is lending his credibility (such as it is) to Focus on the Family (FoF), a dangerous, homophobic organization built on a doctrine of prejudice and fear.
Here is a short, incomplete list of positions that Tim Tebow supports through his association with FoF and by extension FoF’s sister organization Family Research Council (FRC). (FoF and FRC were split in 1992 solely for tax reasons.)
- In February 2009, FoF official affiliate Family Policy Council of West Virginia ran a commercial that said that same sex marriage was “attacking” marriage while showing a heterosexual family in crosshairs.
- In March 2009, FRC President Tony Perkins said that the United States should sign an anti-gay rights statement offered in the United Nations, thereby joining with GWB’s “Axis of Evil”.
- In May 2009, FoF founder James Dobson claimed that the Matthew Shepard Act (now Law) protects pedophiles because the law doesn’t define “sexual orientation”. Of course, current law already defines the term, so there was no need for a new definition. This was explained in committee before an amendment ordering definition was rejected as unnecessary.
- In July 2009, FoF celebrated the “findings” in a “study” by NARTH that said that Ex-Gay treatments are “beneficial”, a statement that every credible source rejects outright.
- In September 2009, FoF organized a rally in support of Maine’s anti-gay civil rights campaign. They were so frightened of having their words on the record, they barred the press from the event.
- Not only that, they refused tickets to people who didn’t fall in lock-step with their agenda.
- In February 2010, five days before the Tebow commercial was set to air, FRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Peter Sprigg told Chris Matthews’ audience that gays should be thrown in jail. Two years earlier, Sprigg told a reporter that he wanted gays “exported”.
- In February 2010, three days before the Tebow commercial was set to air, FRC Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Peter Sprigg unambiguously advocated kidnapping if a non-custodial parent doesn’t like the judge’s order.
These positions and more (I’ve barely scratched the surface) are supported by Heisman Trophy-winning Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow through his association with FoF. And don’t give me any guff on the harshness; we’d say the same thing if he did a commercial for any other supremacist group.
Hopefully next time Tebow’s on the field he’ll put Matthew 23:23-28 under his eyes. He (and they) could use the reminder.
P.S. Another reason I’m in favor of CBS running the commercial: That’s $2.8 million they won’t have to spread more vitriol against the LGBT community.