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Tim Tebow aligns himself with James Dobson and Focus on the Family with pro-life Super Bowl ad

GAINESVILLE -- You thought those little eye-black patches were polarizing? You thought Tim Tebow was done espousing his beliefs once he got to the NFL? Wrong. Former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow is just getting started. 

Tebow recently completed work on a pro-life television advertisement for the upcoming Super Bowl as a celebrity figure for Focus of the Family, a Christian ministry. The 30-second spot will feature a brief story about Tebow and his mother Pam, who told ESPN in December of 2007 (Heisman week) that doctors advised her to end her pregnancy while carrying Tim.

"Tim and Pam share our respect for life and our passion for helping families thrive," said Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the family, which is based out of Colorado Springs, Colo. "They live what we see every day -- that the desire for family closeness is written on the hearts of every generation. Focus on the Family is about nurturing that desire and strengthening families by empowering them with the tools they need to live lives rooted in morals and values."

Here's a link to Focus on the Family's press release. LINK!

I hope everyone is paying attention here. This is fascinating stuff. Pro athletes, especially those as recognizable as Tebow, hardly ever take public stands about anything let alone something as divisive as abortion. Thoughts?

Tebow hasn't even been drafted and already he's aligning himself with ultra-conservatives. This isn't exactly ideal for mainstream marketing, sponsorship and image branding. I'm sure Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Gatorade and all the rest are taking notice. Obviously, when you do Super Bowl ads for Focus on the Family you are automatically associating yourself with James Dobson, Focus on Family's public voice, cash cow, controversial leader and political arm. Do a Google search on James Dobson if you are unfamiliar with is work.

-jo-

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The last poll I recall said 54% of Americans opposed abortion. This means that Tim has "aligned himself" (your words) with the majority of Americans. He isn't adopting any political positio of James Dobson. He is espousing a deeply held belief of Tim Tebow.

Well he can keep his beliefs to himself. For someone who claims to not have had a girlfriend, it's pretty sanctimonious to put yourself out there telling women what to do. At least his mother had the right to exercise her CHOICE to keep Tim. Kudos for her.

I'm waiting for him to start the next Branch Davidian. Go get La** and enjoy life!

Rongosset

You're wrong, very wrong.

More people are pro choice to some extent than anti abortion.....just google abortion poll.


Welcome to the uber-conservative, selectively judgmental and holier-than-thou crowd, Tim...they're going to love you as their poster boy.

It is perfectly OK to harbor beliefs about religion and life. But to associate with far right radicals and their agenda is kinda risky. While I wish Tebow the greatest success as a pro athlete, I would caution him about having his name associated with these radicals. Image, as they often say, is everything. And to have your good image tarnished by these extremists is inadvisable.

What team is Tim tebow going to

Here's the bottom line guys: Because of his iconic image and Christian beliefs, Tebow is being used as a political tool and that's sad. First Gov. Crist and now James Dobson and Focus. I mean, Tebow was used at UF, but at least it was just all about making money for UF. The funny thing about it, Tebow would NEVER say ANYTHING remotely controversial while at UF and now this. Doesn't add up. While it matches his beliefs (obviously) it doesn't fit his personality. Like I said, I'm wondering how much this Super Bowl ad for Focus on the Family is Tebow's idea. Sounds like outside pressure to me.

-jo-

This absolutely is about Tim's personal beliefs. It is about Tim being unashamed of his faith and willing to be a spokesman for Jesus Christ.

Hopefully Tim will stick with what he believes and will continue to do good work. He has already done more for his faith than a guy like dobson will do in his lifetime. It is a shame that one of the most clean cut athletes is succumbing to an outside influence similar to so many other athletes before him...for him it is political rather than cocaine, alcohol and money.

Worst part, he'll likely not get big endorsements and that would have gone back to the poor he helped all over the world. He is a kid and influenced by outsiders like every other kid, just a shame it will likely impact the good he could have done with the extra money rather than getting involved with American politics.

I don't believe in what Tim Believes, but I respected the good he had done and hopefully will continue to do.

Jo,

There is no way you can just say "aligned" and "being used" when referring to Tebow's decision. Because of the controversy of abortion, he could have very well been a statistic and never existed to do a commercial or anything else.

I'm sure Jo, if you were informed you were an inch away from having been a abortion statistic you would probably be offended by those things written above. Your so focused on James Dobson you haven't questioned what Tebow has experienced knowing he could have been aborted. Sad very sad. Figure if anyone has anything to say about abortion, it is those who were close to have been victims because of it. Your stepping in some hot coal here buddy.

Hot coal? Save your moral soapbox for another forum. I'm 31 and my oldest son is 14, if that tells you anything about my stance on the issue. That's not what we're arguing. Just because abortion is a politically charged topic that means we can't discuss Tebow associating himself with James Dobson? Wrong, we can and we should. And, yes, I absolutely can write that Tebow is being used by for political gain just like Tebow can speak on behalf of pro-life supporters DURING THE SUPER BOWL if he wants. (If the NFL actually approves the ad.) I have nothing wrong with Tebow speaking out for that in which he believes. More athletes should do it. It's why Ali is my favorite athlete of all time. What I have a big problem with is Tebow possibly being exploited for politcal gain.

-jo-

Ultra-conservative?? Focus on the Family is a non-political organization, so what do you mean by "ultra-conservative" in a religious sense?

If Tebow says abortion is wrong... then it must be wrong. No more abortions for me.

Jo, I don't think Tebow is being used at all. It's condescending of you to say he's being used. You're implying Tebow lacks the intelligence to make his own decision about who he should support. If anything, I think Tebow has kept pretty quiet while at UF. Real Christians are a zealous and conservative lot, and the real ones (like Tebow) practice what they preach. I think we are going to start hearing and seeing a lot more of Tebow's views now that he's a "free man" who doesn't have to answer to the University of Florida. I think a lot of what Tebow says might be controversial only because we Americans are such a decadent and Godless lot. The only religous viewpoint that is uncontroversial here is the banal "God is love" or "God loves us all". You know how everybody likes to say "I'm spiritual not religious"? The masses hate a dogmatic, judgemental God, but that is who they'll find in the Bible and Tebow is going to let'em know. Go Tebow! Read your blog daily Jo: keep up the good work!

Tim will never change and will excel at whatever he does

who's using who ?

U

Bless U

Even if I don't agree with someone, it is a free country and they have every much right as I do to express their opinions. I am not an "organized religion" person and I don't go to church but that doesn't mean I can't respect Tim for the things he does.

Rico,

Tebow's intelligence? The guy graduated with honors.

Jeanne,

Focus is a political force. James Dobson has been a key figure in the political realm for years. He helped George W. Bush win Florida.

15,

Point taken, but anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis knows that I'm a Tebow supporter. Is Focus using Tebow for political gain by running this Super Bowl ad? Pro-life supporters will say no. Pro-choice supporters will say yes.

-jo-

boy, o boy, o boy.... jo as soon as you said that dobson helped bush get elected in the state of Florida, red flags went up. I'm all for standing in something that's worth believing in ... as long as there are no political and/ or religious undertones. once you've chosen sides, you become biased and that's not a good thing when you live in a country where there is an extremely large following that has trouble separating the views of the church and state and then there is an extremely large following that hates the other side. when u see tebow doing this commercial, u automatically think that he is taking sides with the extreme right and everything that is associated with pro-life (conservative right wing agenda), which may or may not be true. It doesn't matter. "suum cuique", right. personally, when you've seen a video of aborted babies, it really makes you think a good 10 times before one decides to kill the baby. I only wish that half these babies are at least given a chance for adoption. ANOTHER THING, THE PEOPLE OF HAITI ARE IN NEED OF GREAT HELP. IF THE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTS ITSELF WHERE YOU CAN HELP (OR IF U SEEK THAT OPPORTUNITY OUT) PLEASE, PLEASE DO WHAT YOU CAN TO HELP AND IF DOESN'T, JUST LOOK AT YOUR LOVE ONES, ANYBODY ... DOESN'T MATTER WHO .... JUST TELL EM THANK YOU OR I LOVE U ....JUST HAVE SOME SENSE OF HUMANITY WHEN YOU TREAT OTHER PEOPLE OR STRANGERS. THIS NO LONGER HAS TO DO WITH ANY OF THE IRRELEVANT BS THAT COMES ON THIS BLOG (UM VS UF OR WHATEVER)

Non-political?? Now Jeanne, you haven't been paying attention for the last 20+ years. I get defending Tim...he's young, he's smart, he's a Gator, and a damned good one at that (this is from a UM and FIU guy: TT is the best college QB I've ever seen). But please, don't pretend Rev. Dobson is any more fair and balanced than Fox News. Start by Googling the word "fruitcake" regarding the President to read about his non-political nature.

God Bless Tim Tebow!!!! The haters will just hate him more and criticize him more for being a vocal Christian now. Bring it! Christians and Jews believe Murder is a sin, and abortion is murder most foul. Those who think killing babies is OK have a new target now. Good Luck with that!

Tebow is indeed intelligent. He's preparing for the future.

Here's how I see this playing out. Tebow gets drafted, probably by the Jags. Tries to play QB in the NFL. Doesn't work. He simply doesn't have the accuracy as a passer, the strength/speed advantage he has in college is not there as a pro... c'mon folks, I like the kid, but we all know he will not make it as a QB in the big leagues.

So after a year or two of struggle, he pulls a Sarah Palin. He quits the Jags. He says in the press conference ( maybe he'll hold it by a lake) that he's doing it because he thinks he can help people more by... well, we'll have to see, but I'm thinking he'll join Dobson full time. He's still famous, he'll travel all over the county and the world, speaking with James Dobson, going on Fox to complain about whatever the hell is pissing off the religious right , stuff like that.

This is Tebow preparing for the end of his football career. Smart kid.

Ha ha ha.
What a bunch of cowards and superficial people who talk about Dobson and his "PRO FAMILY" as radical. Can you believe that anyone would be so "proud" of themselves and our ever- degrading culture that they would speak negatively of a guy who only wants us to have s strong and moral upright FAMILY. Have you ever listened to what Mr Dobson says? I have, for hours and he is interested in lifting up our families and our Country. Those who oppose him, better check their news sources and their hearts. Same for Tebow haters. Perhaps you folks would just like every positive voice to be silenced. God help you when we are gone.

Dobson is a hate monger and I am disappointed that Tebow is doing the spot.

But then again you have to admire someone who wil stand up for what he believes in, even when it will affect his popularity.

Chris H.,

Count me in with the people who think Tebow will succeed as an NFL quarterback. Topic for a different blog post, though.

-jo-

So, let me get this straight. A man sticks up for what 'he' thinks is right, morale and good and 'you' say he's being hollier than thou??? Who's really the hipocrate now? At least there are some who are brave enough to put what 'they' believe on the table knowing many, even the majority, will disagree. That, my civil man, is someone you should strive to be. God Bless

Jo -

Looking forward to the blog post. Actually, I think you'll probably end up turning that into an article or seven as the draft approaches. It seems to be shaping up as the story of the 2010 draft.

Well Dobson has quit FOF and I don't see them as a far right organization. Perhaps from a very liberal view they are. Tim (I believe) is not worried about maximizing his money but rather his influence. After all from a personal point of view how much money does a person really need.

I believe Tim Tebow is standing up for the unborn human beings that are killed every day. Focus on the Family is just the vehicle that has been afforded to him to do so. Actually Focus is not paying for the ad, it is being paid for by a few concerned individuals who are going through Focus to produce the ad. However Focus is a great organization that is promoting the family unit from an evangelical Christian point of view. I am an evangelical Christian and so is Tim Tebow and we respect James Dobson greatly for his stands. Focus on the Family is not a far right organization. Far right abortion advocates are the clinic bombers and Focus has never encouraged anything close to that. The liberal media paints them as far right wing conservatives to try to marginilize them (and me). Please folks it is not hate speech to try to save unborn lives. Every human life has a right to live, that is what we stand for and I hope every thinking individual would come to the same conclusion.

I do not share Tebow's beliefs. But I do not mind his sharing his beliefs. They appear to be genuine.

Ray,

Thanks for your input and your opinion, but I'm going to have to disagree with one point in particular. You said that Focus is not far right and abortion clinic bombers are far right. Let me correct you since I've actually been within about a thousand yards of an abortion clinic bombing (Eric Rudolph, Birmingham, Ala., Jan. 1998, first semester at UAB for me.) I don't know who's far right or far left or far anything and I don't care. I do know that people who bomb abortion clinics are criminals and classified by the FBI as domestic terrorists. I really hope that Focus has never "encouraged anything close to that."

People,

We all know Tebow's motives are genuine. No one is questioning that. No one is questioning Tebow, actually. We're glad he speaks out for his beliefs. It's refreshing. It's passionate. It's sincere. We are questioning whether or not Tebow is being used for political gain by Focus, which has a clear political agenda. If "private" investors paid for this Super Bowl ad and not Focus, then why is Focus' name going to be on the ad? Why is Focus creating all the buzz? Tebow could have just as easily gone to a newspaper and said, "We made a pro-life Super Bowl ad. Write something up." Heck, if it was going to be a pro-life ad and just a pro-life ad with no ties to Focus, then I actually might donate to the cause. But Focus has a history of anti-gay rhetoric and discourages things like interracial marriages. These are stupid and hateful ideas and I don't think Tebow should be any part of it.

-jo-

Jo:
The fact that it is being funded by individual is stated in the link you provided in your article http://www2.focusonthefamily.com/press/pressreleases/a000001434.cfm and states "all the funds to air the ad came from a handful of "very generous and committed friends" who donated specifically to support the project. No money from the ministry's general fund was used." Focus is producing the ad but not paying for it.

As to your statement about Focus having a history of "discouraging interracial marriage" I have listened to their daily program at least 90 to 95 percent of the past 5 years (poscast) and can't think of any statements made against interracial marriage. As to "anti-gay rhetoric", believing that a mother and father are esential to the family unit conflicts significantly with what might be termed "pro-gay rhetoric" and in that sense Focus's policies and statements might be seen as anti-gay but again, I have listened to a number of programs from Focus on homosexuality and they have commumicated great love and concern for the people in this lifestyle but have significant disagreements with the political goals of homosexual marriage and teaching homosexuality to students from elementry school to high school. I would like to send you the audio from one of those programs if you are willing to listen to it.
Also I would like to mention that being associated with James Dobson doesn't seem to have hurt Tony Dungy's professional reputation or for that matter Albert Pujols' or Kurt Warner's.

OK, just to point this out to readers, the original wording of this blog has been changed. I originally described Focus as an "ultra-conservative" Christian ministry. The blog has been changed to simply read "Christian ministry." In no way was my original blog post meant to marginalize Christians by associating them with anything "ulta" or "conservative" or whatever nonsense that goes on with American politics, if in fact using such words actually marginalizes anyone. I don't know and don't really care. Either way, that was a mistake and I apologize for it. That being said, I still stand by my original opinion that Tebow is in someway being used by Focus for political gain. It's a Super Bowl ad, folks. Super Bowl ad!

As for the interracial marriage comment, I can provide a link to Focus' website of an opinion written by James Dobson on the matter. While Dobson says he isn't against interracial marriage he does discourage it because, according to Dobson, it can cause suffering, or some kind of nonsense along those lines. I'm paraphrasing.

-jo-

Speaking as a reformed evangelical Christian who attends one of the most theologically conservative seminaries in the nation, I’d have to agree with Jo’s warning Tebow against locking arms with any organization that mixes Christianity with politics. We evangelicals have a tendency to confuse faith in Christ with fidelity to the Republican Party. Ronald Sider, president of Evangelicals for Social Action and the author of The Scandal of Evangelical Politics, helps make the point: “Consider the agenda of many Christian political movements. One sees a great deal on abortion, euthanasia, and the family. But hardly ever do they push for public policy to combat racism, protect the creation, or empower the poor. If it is the case that the Bible says that God cares both about the family and the poor, both about the sanctity of human life and racial justice and creation, then should not evangelical political movements be promoting all these things? Does not a one-sided focus on just the issues that happen to be the favored ones of either the left or the right suggest that one’s political agenda is shaped more by secular ideology than careful biblical, theological reflection?” We evangelicals need to consider whether our political agendas are being set by scripture or by secular ideology. If it turns out that some ideology is setting the agenda, then we’ve misplaced our faith. Ultimately, if the agenda is set by some ideology, then we’re obscuring our witness: at that point we start pointing people towards a political party, not Christ. So if Tebow creates an image for himself as a “God-and-Country Christian”, then ultimately he’s exacerbating a confusion and damaging his witness in the long run.

Full disclosure here. Matthew G. is my younger brother. He attends Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., and is pretty much one of the smartest people I know.

-jo-

Matthew G, great post. I'd never heard from Ronald Sider before, I plan on reading more of what he has to say.

well, he gained some respect from me with this one. he's got a lotta guts to do something like that, and its really quite awesome.

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