Tim Tebow Super Bowl commercial with mom draws controversy

Brent Hatley Radio Personality
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Former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is drawing crowds, and NFL scouts to practice in Birmingham, Alabama for the Senior Bowl. For once, the controversy he’s set off has nothing to do with questions about his mechanics, or whether he will or won’t play quarterback in the NFL.

Tim Tebow and his mother Pam are set to star in an anti-abortion commercial during Superbowl 44, paid for by the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family. Pam Tebow claims that during her fifth pregnancy she was on a mission in the Philippines when doctors advised her to terminate the pregnancy due to health complications. Mrs. Tebow refused, and gave birth to Tim. No doubt the world is better place with Tim Tebow in it. Not for sports, just because he is a good person.

I am a free speech absolutist. The acid test for someone who advocates for free speech is if one defends the rights of those one disagrees with. In this case, I disagree with preaching morality to people on this issue. Abortion is a very personal, and usually a very sad thing. It isn’t as simple as the Tebows are portraying it. I disagree with the prohibiting of legal abortion.

Many leftist groups including the National Organization for Women are calling on CBS to not accept the ad based on its content. They are saying things like, sports shouldn’t be used to divide us. Obviously they’ve never been to an SEC football game. I’ve never seen anything more divisive.

Tim and Pam Tebow have the First Amendment right to free speech, and freedom of religion. CBS should not censor them; they should accept the ad and allow the Tebows to speak about whatever they would like. By the same token, PETA, Move On, or the NRA should be allowed to buy Superbowl commercials as well. Censoring speech always ends badly, no matter who it is you censor. If people’s ideas are good the public will accept them, if they are not good, their ideas will be rejected.

I don’t know why we have gotten away from letting the marketplace make its own decisions in the arena of ideas, but, it isn’t good. We need to be able to have open and frank discussions about any issue without name calling, or trying to get others censored or fired. Just because one disagrees with other persons ideas it doesn’t warrant censorship. Debating is how you arrive at the best ideas. Censorship stifles debate, once debate is stifled so are new ideas or the weeding out of bad ones.

Brent Hatley is executive producer of the Bubba the Love Sponge show on Sirius Satellite Radio