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Isn't Tim Tebow doing exactly what we want our star athletes to do?

03/31/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

What's with all the fuss about Tim Tebow being part of a TV commercial?

God only knows.

And therein, of course, lies the rub for almost everyone.

Let's agree that for the next few minutes we're going to tell the truth. Without hesitation. Also without any of the name-calling, threats of reprisal, promises of Hell and damnation or "holier than thou" attitudes.

Allow me to also note that my personal politics, religious beliefs, moral views and stand on abortion is not the issue here. While I may not agree or disagree with Tebow's views is irrelevant.

I'm going to see if you are willing to do the heavy mental lifting.

Tim Tebow is what many would call a "God Squadder". An immensely talented and intelligent individual, Tebow wears his religious beliefs right there on his sleeve and under his eyes. Proudly and without hesitation. For everyone to see and hear at all times. He is unashamed to give credit for his success in life, and certainly on the football field, to God.

He does not thrust it into your face in every sentence. He does not demand that you pray with him, nor even change your way of thinking to match his. Or His.

He is proud to proclaim to anyone who cares to listen, or is forced to listen during live or taped interviews, that were it not for God and/or Jesus Christ, he would likely not be alive. Much less able to sling footballs and make a certain Florida swamp so much fun to be in on Saturday afternoons.

He is, at his very core, an American citizen who is allowed and takes full advantage of speaking his mind without fear of reprisal. And he does so without care or concern of what you or anyone else thinks about him.

This trait makes him very brave. Or very foolish. It really depends on your point of view.

Along comes the group "Focus on the Family". Depending on whom you talk to, this organization is either a serious religious organization designed to promote family values using a Christian message, or a dangerous cult brainwashing weak-minded people into making another alleged Messenger of God wealthy during his time here on Earth.

Remember, we're not slinging mud here but being as brutally honest as possible.

They, and many others, see in Tebow the perfect vessel for delivering their message of objection to abortion. Tebow believes as they do that it is morally wrong. And the soon to be former UF quarterback has a degree of celebrity that will attract and polarize at the same time. Either way, the message will be out there and will generate publicity for the Focus group, attention on one of the most divisive issues in our Nation's history, and debate on the legality of abortion.

FOTF contacts and strikes a deal with the CBS Network, rights holder of the Super Bowl this season, for an advertisement featuring Tebow espousing their conjoined views on the issue. For the first time ever, a high-profile athlete will be seen talking controversial views on one of the most-watched TV programs in the world.

It would take hours and reams of pages here to delve into all of the various sidebars to this story. Abortion rights and opponents taking volatile stands on both sides. CBS and a long-standing edict against certain controversial advocacy claims in advertisements. There are also some questions that CBS needs to publicly answer in why it's accepting this ad at this time, where the money for the spot is going, should there be equal time given to abortion opponents immediately following that ad (and at what cost if any), and why such an ad is being allowed into the Super Bowl advertising rotation in the first place.

Now here come some hard facts that need to also be addressed.

Abortion, while either necessary or reprehensible, is legal in the United States. The medical need for choice to insure a woman's health and right to choose the fate or her body and that of the fetus is balanced by the moral issue of killing a living human life in the early stages of development.

Alcohol ads are also legal, and a case can be made that while many enjoy these products for entertainment purposes, the other side is an introduction to potentially fatal binge drinking, poisoning, and vehicular deaths. And they are a prominent part of every NFL telecast.

Condom ads, while not featured in the Super Bowl and most often late at night, deal with a related personal sexual issue. Birth control is seen one side as necessary for a number of health and social reasons, while the other side sees it as something against the moral fiber of preferred abstinence and pro-creation as ordained by God.

Should you want to address other widely-popular TV ads that more than a few find distasteful yet certainly legal, let's mention humorous erectile dysfunction sales pitches, pre-mixed and measured disposable douches, clothing for those suffering from incontinence, and a certain fast food chain talking about the shape of a woman's derriere.

All legal. All controversial. All morally debatable.

And finally, there is the issue of athletes taking personal stands in what they believe in to be morally correct.

We forgive our athletes so many indiscretions, most illegal and many immoral on some level. From the carrying of weapons in public to fraternizing with known criminals and being involved in sometimes deadly shootings. Driving while impaired on drugs and alcohol to being deadbeat fathers and convicted of sexual assault. I daresay that one day Tiger Woods will be forgiven by many for cheating on his wife, explained away by the pressures of stardom or a medical condition.

Al of these issues could and have in the past produced words of protest from groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, the NRA, sexual assault support groups, the ACLU, child support enforcement groups, spousal therapy advocates, sexual addiction experts, just to name a few.

And their public outcry brings attention to volatile issues that demand further discussion. Intelligent discussions, without threats of violence, hate speech or cries for retribution.

And as celebrities with a measure of influence over others, or at least the ability to generate discussion, don't we often deride them for being nothing more than money hungry party animals who never take stands on anything, potentially damaging their endorsement dollar and contract value? Don't we more than often ask, perhaps even demand, they tell us where they stand on controversial issues?

Seeing as Tim Tebow has done just what we as a society demand from our celebrities, "role models" and those with a measure of social responsibility, isn't he doing what we've always begged them to do in public?

So why is everyone so angry with Tim Tebow?

God only knows.

Ed Berliner is represented by Entourage Management. His editorial columns on sports and issues can be read here.

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