If you were watching Saturday night's Patriots-Broncos playoff game, you probably noticed a commercial that CBS aired in the second quarter. A group of young children quoted bible passages. The spot was brought to us by the right wing evangelical group Focus on the Family.
Now if you're like me, you don't want to be bothered with politics and religion while watching football. Unfortunately that barrier has been shattered forever thanks to Tim Tebow.
Tebow, along with Sarah Palin, George W. Bush and numerous right wing republicans support the group which sponsors religious prayer in schools, funds pregnant woman who are considering abortion to to view live sonograms of their developing fetus, and according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, FOTF is one of the "major groups (which) help drive the religious right's anti-gay crusade."
Sports used to be a refuge from the division and hatred which permeates the media nowadays. Not anymore. This all began in 2010 when Tebow and his mother starred in a controversial pro-life commercial sponsored by FOTF during the Super Bowl aired by CBS. What made it so controversial is that CBS had already turned down ads from left-leaning organizations like PETA and MoveOn.org. There was no room for their message on Super Sunday, but just like last night CBS has no problem airing evangelical right wing messages.
Of course the reason the FOTF commercial was aired in the first place was because Tebow was playing in the game. The Tebowization of the NFL will continue in this year's Super Bowl as Randall Terry (Who is running as a conservative Democrat challenging President Obama) plans to air a gruesome commercial featuring aborted fetuses. The Right has found their savior in Tebow and the NFL, which is obviously willing to turn Denver Bronco games into Christian recruiting lovefests.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm sure that Tim Tebow is a nice guy. However when you make the decision to wear your religion on your sleeve, you are pushing your beliefs on people who do not want to hear or see them, especially during an NFL playoff game. I don't begrudge anyone their own personal beliefs. When you push them and use your position as an NFL player as a platform to foist them on the public, that's out of bounds. Tebow also energizes the evangelicals who see him as a vessel to push their political agenda. (Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann have already co-opted the Tebow mystique.)
Thanks to CBS and Tebow's followers, we are headed down a slippery slope. Would it be too much to ask that sports be declared a no-religion zone? Could we have at least three hours of relaxation during a game instead of interrupting it with evangelical in-your-face messaging? Apparently CBS and the NFL agree that progressive and left wing messages have no place in sports. It would be nice if they treated the right wing the same.