Posts Tagged tebow

What Focus on the Family Sold to Super Bowl Fans

Without the build-up and the context of CBS breaking its own ban on “political” messaging, the Focus on the Family ad which ran during the Super Bowl was itself not so remarkable.  The explicit message: Pam Tebow is tough, and decided to carry a pregnancy that could have killed her and the fetus, then gave birth to a Heismann trophy winning college football star she calls “Timmy.”

But look at the Focus website to which viewers were directed.  A discussion with Tebow’s parents and Jim Daly (James Dobson’s replacement at Focus on the Family) ends with Robert Tebow intoning into the camera, “DON’T KILL YOUR BABY.”

Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow, Biblical literalist, wears his beliefs on his face

Shelby Knox

Shelby Knox's Twitter profile

The back story, you learn in the film, is that the Tebows decided to have a fifth child who would become a preacher.  The parents and children named the fetus “Timothy.”  When Pam had a medical contraindication of pregnancy, she did not consider abortion, and says in the film that if she would have died, it would have been “worth it.”

So OK, that was her choice, given that she thinks god would have cared for her 4 live children, because she made such a sacrifice.  This Dark Ages approach to the role of women — as incubators of children before any other social role — is all over the Focus on the Family website.  Sunsara Taylor took it on in a video protesting the ad.

Go a few more clicks into the Focus on the Family site, under unplanned pregnancy, and you get to the “Know Your Options” link which is designed to appear as if it’s an actual source of information on options.  But no, the first paragraph of “Considering Abortion?” is

Abortion is not just a simple medical procedure. For many women, it is a life changing event with significant physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences. Most women who struggle with past abortions say that they wish they had been told all of the facts about abortion and its risks.

Which the site, of course, proceeds to do, repeating the lies that abortion causes breast cancer and that “death” is a complication of legal abortion in the U.S.  No information on the risks of pregnancy are given, for comparison.

There are more fake clinics, i.e. “crisis pregnancy centers” in the United States now, which provide no medical care or correct information to women with unplanned pregnancy – over 4,000 – than there are clinics which provide abortion and birth control.  To understand the damage these “clinics” do, see Crisis of Deception: Fake Clinics Spread Misinformation on the Federal Dime.

This network, which receives federal “abstinence-only” funds, and gobs of private funding, has more sophisticated imaging equipment than many medical offices responsible for women’s health.  They use fetal ultrasound images to convince women to continue pregnancies, whether they came into the facility seeking abortions, or genuinely wanted information on all the options.

Rosemary Candelario, in “Focusing on Families: Behind the Tebow Super Bowl Ad” asks

Is this ad, and its supporting web videos and pages, the Trojan horse of a new, slick, public relations attack on abortion? Coupled with the murder of Dr. George Tiller less than a year ago and increased threats against always (literally) embattled abortion providers, Focus on the Family’s ad could indeed prove quite dangerous.

This whole package of indoctrination, forced motherhood, and disinformation on women’s health is what CBS and Focus on the Family served up to Super Bowl watchers.


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Photos from today at CBS HQ (Christian Brainwashing Superbowl)

Today at CBS Headquarters. The NYPD came and threw us out of the lobby when we tried to deliver almost 200,000 letters protesting the Focus on the Family ad today.

Speaking out

What does CBS mean?

Debra Sweet

Cancel Broadcast Sexism

Christian Bigoted Super Bowl

Christian Broadcast System

And one photo from the San Francisco protest against CBS:

San Francisco

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From CBS to the Prayer Breakfast: Is Tebow the New Poster Boy for Theocracy?

Just got back from our lunch-time protest against CBS! It was very spirited – CBS freaked out and called the police on our relatively small gathering, but 6 of us managed to get in the doors and tried to deliver some of the messages that have been collected demanding the Super Bowl not feature Focus on the Family’s anti-abortion ad. Shelby Knox was there: especially moving was her story about the 14 year old girl living in Lubbock, TX who ends up in a Crisis Pregnancy Center and is lied to, manipulated and told she just has to give birth. Sunsara Taylor was there too, her usual fiery self. Some NYU students as well as others came out; and a few people stopped on the street and joined on the spot.

MEANWHILE, at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning, Obama, Clinton and… you guessed it: Tim Tebow spoke about “civility” and “faith.” Yep, Tebow’s really becoming the go-to poster boy when it comes to anti-women and anti-gay theocratic politics. Truly, Heisman-winning, straight, white, Christian fundamentalist college football players are the real experts on how women and gay people should live their lives. And Obama is still preaching Common Ground.

Little background for those who haven’t connected this seemingly harmless annual event to one of the most theocratic organizations in existence:

The NY Times reported yesterday:

The objections are focused on the sponsor of the breakfast, a secretive evangelical Christian network called The Fellowship, also known as The Family, and accusations that it has ties to legislation in Uganda that calls for the imprisonment and execution of homosexuals.

The piece goes on to quote Jeff Sharlet, author of the excellent book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (Harper Perennial, 2009). I highly recommend it to all those who want to understand better the agenda of this shadowy right-wing group. They not only run the National Prayer Breakfast (that every President is expected to attend), operate the C-Street house that Governor Sanford and other high level right-wing politicians live in while in Washington, DC, but they have members around the world. Including the Ugandan politicians who introduced the “Kill the Gays” legislation.

Protesting against the National Prayer Breakfast

Protesting against the National Prayer Breakfast (NY Times)

Rachel Maddow had a good interview on the subject the other night. I’m glad The Family is finally getting some attention.

But we need to break open some real resistance!

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