Super Bowl ads: funny - and prejudiced?

In case you didn't see or hear, the non-profit organization Focus on the Family ran a television ad with Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow in it during the Super Bowl on Sunday.

The ad was meant to be a pro-life message. Tebow's mother was sick when pregnant with Tebow and was advised to get an abortion, but rejected the idea. The result? She's the mother of a Heisman Trophy winner and a young man with a pretty bright future.

Of course, even though that's a great story, it wasn't told during the commercial's airing. All that happens is Tim's mom tells us that he "almost didn't make it into this world." Then Tim comes in and tackles her (I guess that's funny?) before they smile into the camera and the audience is prompted to go to the Focus on the Family Web site to hear the full Tebow story.

In all honesty, it's not that controversial. I mean, yes, the full Tebow story is one that encourages a pro-life mindset as opposed to a pro-choice mindset (though one could say that it is pro-choice and that Tim's mom chose to conceive). But should an ad that is not indecent - especially compared to other sexed-up television commercials - be prevented from airing simply because it conveys a controversial message or has politics tied into it? Not so long as the ones who want to air it are paying the $2.5 million to get it on the air.

So the controversy over the ad itself is unwarranted. The content of the ad was not shocking or in your face, and we still have freedom of speech so long as that speech doesn't put anyone in immediate danger. There's nothing really wrong here …

But then we look at what didn't make the commercial cut on CBS. A gay dating site called Mancrunch.com wanted to buy airtime for an ad as well, but CBS turned them down. Is Mancrunch's money somehow less valuable than Focus on the Family's? The commercial must have been terribly indecent if it wasn't put on the air.

If you haven't seen it, the commercial portrays two guys sitting on a couch enthusiastically watching a football game and cheering for opposing sides in stereotypical crazy fan fashion, when they brush hands reaching into a bowl of chips and begin making out in a very comedic manner.

So where's the problem? Why does a commercial which aims to advocate a pro-life message get air time but an ad for a gay dating Web site doesn't? I hope, I sincerely hope, that it was a simple case of running out of time to air the Mancrunch commercial. Because I can't think of any other valid reason why the one ad would get in and the other wouldn't, can you?

Or is religion so powerful in this country that CBS couldn't risk the repercussions of rejecting an ad from the evangelical Christian foundation, but felt it was worth it to reject the gay dating site's ad?

I'm not exactly sure, but I do know when that feeling in my stomach that tells me something not quite right is going on, it's usually for a reason.

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