I have watched with interest the furor surrounding Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.
Few deny that Tebow is a gifted athlete. Tebow was ranked among the top quarterback prospects in the nation as a high school senior and chose to attend the University of Florida.
As a backup, Tebow helped the Gators win the national championship during the 2006 college football season.
Tebow was the Gators’ starting quarterback during the 2007 season and became the first college football player to both rush and pass for 20 or more touchdowns in a single season.
Tebow became the first college sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.
In 2008, Tebow led Florida to a 13-1 record and its second national championship in three years, and was named the offensive MVP of the national championship game.
The Gators again went 13-1 and finished with a top ranking in 2009, Tebow’s senior year. Tebow was selected in the 1st round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.
While, at first blush, the controversy dogging Tebow appears to be his practice of kneeling in prayer during a game, such an action has been known among players for decades. Even when I was a child watching the games on black and white TV, it was not uncommon for players to kneel or to make the sign of the cross. Why single out Tebow and why now?
Tebow was born in Makati City in the Philippines, to American parents who were serving as Christian Baptist missionaries. His mother, Pamela Elaine, is the daughter of a U.S. Army colonel, and his father, Robert Ramsey Tebow II, is a pastor.
While pregnant, Tebow’s mother suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba. Because of the drugs used to rouse her from a coma and to treat her dysentery, the fetus experienced a severe placental abruption. Doctors had expected a stillbirth and recommended an abortion to protect her life. Tebow’s mother refused and Tim was born.
J.D. Millane, writing in phillyburbs.com, said, “NFL quarterback Tim Tebow’s unapologetic public witness to his Christian faith irritates his critics … It is not Tebow’s post-game Jesus talk that riles detractors. It’s that they know his mother, Pam, experiencing a difficult, high-risk pregnancy in 1987, chose not to abort him when her doctors insisted she would die if she didn’t.
“The decision to choose life, along with Tebow’s professional success this season leading the Denver Broncos, is a powerful pro-life message. This is anathema to pro-choicers. In the culture war over abortion, Tebow is a unique symbol and a potent threat. The rancor really began in January 2010 when Tebow and his mother made a pro-life ad that was broadcast during the Super Bowl. The ad obliquely mentioned her decision not to abort, with Pam Tebow saying, ‘Timmy almost didn’t make it into this world.’”
Sofia Brugato, a blogger for the pro-choice website “Abortion Gang,” was still smarting over Tebow’s Super Bowl ad, which she called “anti-choice propaganda.” She wrote: “The message is, ‘if you abort, just think, that could be the next president of the United States in there, the next scientist that cures cancer, or the next greatest football player alive!’”
Well, yeah, Sofia. That really is the message.
In January of 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the killing of children in the womb was legal. Since that time, in the United States alone, the death toll is 52,000,000 boys and girls who were destroyed without ever having seen the light of day. Not every one of those children, Ms. Brugato, would become “the next president of the United States … the next scientist that cures cancer, or the next greatest football player alive!”
But they would have become something — they would have become someone. And yes, one of these aborted children just might have been the next president, or a great scientist, or a phenomenal athlete.
Tim Tebow, because his mother chose life, got that chance and the fact he celebrates life — all life — is really what all the furor is about.
[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m.
(www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and is the mission pastor of Christ the King Fellowship in Champaign, IL. He may be contacted at email@example.com. Sources for this article include phillyburbs.com, abortiongang.org, and other Internet sources.]