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Focus on the Family's much-ballyhooed Super Bowl ad basically comes across as benign...
...and that's why it's so dangerous for LGBT people. Because when one pays a visit to the FOTF website to "celebrate family" and "celebrate life" (which is the organization's only "ask" in the ad), the celebration they will find is one that, as a blanket policy, forcibly disinvites anyone who falls outside of heterosexual society. Like, for instance, when a parent of a fourteen-year-old gay son writes the FOTF forums for advice, the forum moderator is likely to refer them to scientifically discredited researchers and organizations who seek out "ex-gay" "change." Or when another parent seeks out advice on public (as in church-separated) schooling, he or she is likely to stumble on the writings of one Candi Cushman, a grown adult whose sole job -- WHOSE SOLE JOB! -- is, as best as we can discern, to keep LGBT students vulnerable to a host of obvious and easily discernible harms. Or there is Focus on the Family's CitizenLink "news" site, where one just might stumble on some extremely beyond-the-pale rhetoric from the likes of Peter "I personally attack gay people's individual marriages" LaBarbera or Matt "one man violently cramming his penis into another man’s lower intestine and calling it ‘love’” Barber. On Focus' site, you can can find all of this, coupled with daily assaults on marriage equality, decrial of even the most basic of rights or protections, and an overreaching refutation of just about anything that creates a more level-playing field for people who happen to have been born a certain way. All done in the name of a loving God, of course.
Despite a history of denying certain LGBT-themed ads, CBS has allowed Focus on the Family to buy into the most prominent night on television in order to advertise a site that attacks LGBT families (among others) on a daily hourly basis. So you'll have to forgive us if we temporarily pause our mindless consumerism and instead take mindful exception with the organization that won't rest until they consume the portion of normalcy's spectrum that includes LGBT people. We just don't like it when society-weakening discrimination goes commercial.
While I refuse to give FOTF.com even one more page hit, I would be willing to bet that once a person visits that site, they would be hit with the story about "evil doctors" who "attempted to coerce" Tebow into terminating her pregnancy because of "medical" concerns. And, while the CBS ad doesn't directly address that issue, they do (in a backhanded sort of way) condone fotf's attempts to lambaste medical professionals whose only motive in counseling Ms. Tebow about terminating the pregnancy, was to protect her life (and themselves from a malpractice law suit).
But fotf is actively (and again I'm just presuming about this, but it's a safe bet) attempting to undermine the value of a physician's medical opinion. A physician who feels so strongly that her life is in jeopardy, that he advocates termination of her pregnancy. That CBS would jump into bed with a group that advocates something as potentially detrimental to women's health as that, and opens themselves up to potential litigation, is almost unfathomable.
In Tebow's case, she could just as easily have not survived. And for every Tebow who has survived such an ordeal, there are probably several who didn't, or wouldn't have. To advocate that hers was the best or only choice is reprehensible at best, and criminal might be a better description.
Posted by: Dick Mills | Feb 7, 2010 7:28:41 PM
Yea, Dick, while I took the LGBT route because, well, that's what this site does, there are major concerns in multiple areas. We should build a large coalition of resistance against this ad. They got it on the air, but this is far from over.
Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 7, 2010 7:49:45 PM
And, one more thing, because these people infuriate me soooooo much: not only does fotf advocate that Tebow's choice was the "right" choice, but they want her choice to be the only choice that any woman has available to her. And that is as close as an ad can come to politically slanted advocacy.
One thing, though, that actually might be funny... fotf might have been hoping to propose an ad to CBS, and then ride on a stream of free publicity while they decried the fact that the big bad liberal network television company wouldn't allow them the opportunity freely speak. So, when CBS okay-ed the ad, they not only didn't get the free publicity, but they then were caught in a place where they had to cough up a couple million dollars of squeezed-from-the-dried-husks-of-their-dwindling-supporters money that they really hadn't planned to spend. The next couple of months might see more cut-backs over at Dobson's house.
Posted by: Dick Mills | Feb 7, 2010 8:08:25 PM
Women who ignore their doctor's advice and end up seriously injured need to sue CBS and Focus on the Family for celebrating medical malpractice and undermining the credibility of the medical profession. We need to have a protest outside the FOF headquarters with signs rebuking them for creating death panels for pregnant women. This time, the government or insurance companies won't decide who lives and dies, FOF (aided by CBS) will.
Posted by: Michael | Feb 8, 2010 1:43:31 AM
She SHOULD have aborted Tebow! He can't even win the Super Bowl.
Posted by: saintrage | Feb 8, 2010 8:58:18 AM
Utter crap...This whole blanket policy is sick. What about freedom? Whatever happened to that? I now want to check focus on the family and see what kind of drivel they are spewing.
Posted by: Elisabeth S. Paquet | Feb 8, 2010 4:58:22 PM
So much for "choice". "What about freedom" indeed. Sally Jenkins in WaPo said it best IMO:
"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."
Posted by: John | Feb 9, 2010 12:20:47 PM
John: I'm confused about your "so much for 'choice'" quip. What are you referencing?
Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 9, 2010 12:48:38 PM
I had Dick's and Michael's comments in mind, wherein it's not about "choice" to them but instead silencing those who would choose anything other than abortion. I get that they oppose those who want to make abortion illegal. Yet that's apparently not good enough. Instead it appears anyone even advocating for choosing life must be silenced. That's not "choice" at all and this Tebow ad was a ridiculous thing for folks to get upset over. If you favor abortion rights, great. Pay for your own ad.
Posted by: John | Feb 9, 2010 1:28:56 PM
Ah, I see, John. Thanks for clarifying.
I'll let Dick and Michael respond. My concern is with Focus on the Family advertising their site, with all of its rabidly anti-LGBT information, on the highest rated TV show of all time.
Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 9, 2010 1:30:14 PMcomments powered by Disqus