Super Weekend

Tomorrow is the annual Congregational showdown for the coveted Bigelow medallions. It is the greatest show on waxed alleys; the ultimate contest in funny shoes. Yes, it is Super Bowling Saturday. Assuming this snow storm stays south we will meet at Commack Lanes at 4:30 for most spectacular competition with ten pins.

And since tomorrow is Super Bowling Saturday that must mean that the Super Bowl will be played on Sunday. The NFL always schedules their annual championship on the day following our bowling showdown. Talk about jumping on the bandwagon!

The over-hyped lead-up to the Super Bowl includes a lot of anticipation about the commercials that will be shown during the game. Or, as many people, seem to prefer, the game that interrupts the commercials. This year’s commercial buzz has been particularly intense because of a scheduled commercial from Focus on the Family about Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam.

In case you have missed the story—Focus on the Family (a conservative Christian advocacy organization) has made a commercial with Mrs. Tebow talking about her difficult pregnancy. Evidently a doctor had recommended that she terminate her pregnancy, but Pam chose to continue the pregnancy and gave birth to Tim. Tebow is, of course, one the most famous college football stars of all time and a committed Christian who does some very important missionary work with orphanages and many others in need in the United States and abroad. The commercial is intended to bring attention to Focus on the Family’s anti-abortion work.

The early controversy concerning the commercial included the United Church of Christ. This was unusual for us, as we are seldom in the national news. A few years ago the UCC tried to run a commercial in support of our “God Is Still Speaking” campaign. The ad, which featured gay and lesbian couples coming to church, was considered too controversial by CBS and they refused to run it. This fact initially made CBS appear hypocritical in running the Tebow ad. CBS has since stated that they have recently changed their advertising policies and are now open to running advocacy ads. The UCC declined the chance to advertise during the Super Bowl, because even if we did have the $2.5 million dollars to spend we feel that our member’s donations could best be used elsewhere.

Planned Parenthood has made what I think is a very appropriate response to the Tebow ad. They have not protested its airing, they are for free speech, but have expanded the ad’s message. In a video on www.ppfa.org they feature two world class athletes, former Viking Sean James and Olympic gold medalist Al Joyner. In the ad, the athletes say they “respect Ms. Tebow’s decision” not to have an abortion when she was pregnant with her son Tim, but they are also “working toward the day where… every woman’s decision about her health and her family will be respected.” It is wonderful that Mrs. Tebow was able to make her own decision about her pregnancy according to her values and I hope that all women will continue to have the same choices.

But, you may ask, what about the game? I am afraid the commercials may be the most exciting part. I do not expect a close game. I haven’t been too accurate with my predictions this season, but I am really sticking my neck out on this one: Colts 27, Saints, 13.

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