Tuesday, February 2, 2010

We need more of this...

This is getting pretty wide coverage. I will h/t my friend Pastor Shel Boese of Mercy Church, who linked it on Facebook:

A self-identified pro-choice journalist, Sally Jenkins, wrote this column defending Focus on the Family's paid pro-life ad during CBS's presentation of the Super Bowl this Sunday. The ad features the testimony of Pam Tebow, who chose to have her son despite medical advice to abort because of a tropical illness she had contracted. Her son is Tim Tebow, who won the Heisman Trophy as Quarterback for the University of Florida.

My two favorite things about Jenkins' column:

1. Her thinking leans on the traditional safeguards of our Constitutional and free market systems instead of ideological coercion -

Let me be clear again: I couldn't disagree with Tebow more. It's my own belief that the state has no business putting its hand under skirts. But I don't care that we differ. Some people will care that the ad is paid for by Focus on the Family, a group whose former spokesman, James Dobson, says loathsome things about gays. Some will care that Tebow is a creationist. Some will care that CBS has rejected a gay dating service ad. None of this is the point. CBS owns its broadcast and can run whatever advertising it wants, and Tebow has a right to express his beliefs publicly. Just as I have the right to reject or accept them after listening -- or think a little more deeply about the issues. If the pro-choice stance is so precarious that a story about someone who chose to carry a risky pregnancy to term undermines it, then CBS is not the problem.

2. She is willing to resist fringe or elitist groups, even though she might agree with them on a particular point, in order to identify virtues she might share with those who disagree with her -

I'm pro-choice, and Tebow clearly is not. But based on what I've heard in the past week, I'll take his side against the group-think, elitism and condescension of the "National Organization of Fewer and Fewer Women All The Time." For one thing, Tebow seems smarter than they do... Here's what we do need a lot more of: Tebows. Collegians who are selfless enough to choose not to spend summers poolside, but travel to impoverished countries to dispense medical care to children, as Tebow has every summer of his career. Athletes who believe in something other than themselves, and are willing to put their backbone where their mouth is. Celebrities who are self-possessed and self-controlled enough to use their wattage to advertise commitment over decadence.

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