COMMENTARY | Tim Tebow, the devout Christian quarterback of the Denver Broncos, has received tons of media attention and drawn the spotlight to the Bible passage John 3:16. The broadcast of the game Saturday against the New England Patriots included something unusual: a television commercial about that Bible verse. The commercial was well shot, artistically constructed, yet still in very poor taste.
The Christian lobbying group and think tank Focus On The Family created and paid for the ad, according to USA Today, going from concept to completion in three days. Focus On The Family has purchased ad space to promote its agenda before, according to the Denver Post, pushing an anti-abortion-rights message with an ad during the 2010 Super Bowl.
The ad, which features a series of children reciting John 3:16 in sequence, promotes Christianity andasks for donations to the organization. It seems un-American to push a religious and political message during a professional sporting event. The NFL should probably avoid appearing to promote a particular religion in preference to others. The professional football league is not a religious advocacy group.
It was shady for Focus On The Family to end with a call for donations. The group is essentially asking sports fans watching the game to reimburse the think tank for the cost of the ad. Using children to promote one spiritual group over another is unseemly.
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