Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

the ad that loosed 1,000 lips

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Feb 08, 2010

That's it? That?!

Two weeks of internet obsession, and the Tim Tebow ad was over in 30 seconds. It was nice.

If you were measuring public opinion with a sufficiently sensitive instrument, you might have seen the needle quiver for a second or two. Focus on the Family no doubt saw a big spike in internet traffic, and they generally do good work, so that's nice too. 

Today-- the morning after-- I see pro-lifers commenting that the abortion lobby looks foolish, for having fought so hard against the airing of such an inoffensive ad. It's true that abortion advocates came off as the extremists they truly are. But folks, let's be honest: they weren't the only ones shouting about this ad. And I read that a counter-commercial, quickly produced by the Planned Parenthood types, didn't even show the nerve to mention the "a" word. Um, folks, did you see that word in the Tebow script?

It was nice. That's all you can say for it, really. Did it deserve all the excitement, pro and con? Not a chance. 

Not quite 3 weeks ago, pro-lifers were giddy with delight at the election of a Senator nobody knows: a man who favors legal abortion. Last week we were caught up in a frenzy over a television commercial: a nice little story. Friends, we need to calm down. This is going to be a long struggle; we'll need hundreds-- thousands-- of such small incremental steps forward. Not every battle is Armageddon.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

  • Posted by: - Feb. 11, 2010 10:04 AM ET USA

    I initially felt the hype had let me down, but only because I was anticipating something dramatic. (Who can contemplate the issue without some passion?) In the end, I think the commercial was a good skirmish. We went from no pro-life message last year to this. Scott Brown's election is an effective comparison - he's wrong on abortion, but a lot of ground was gained in that battle. I don't favor the hype, but I do favor celebration of even small wins.

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Feb. 10, 2010 10:23 AM ET USA

    Phil Lawler is correct. Conservatives and pro-lifers going ga-ga over Scott Brown need to remember where he's from and who his constituents are. He will be infinitely better than a Ted Kennedy, but he won't be the next CEO of Focus on the Family. He's a pro-choice Republican and he will vote "right" on many issues that are important to us. But he won't vote right all of the time. Still, he got elected and party trumps person for all the reasons we know but do not necessarily love. Give thanks.

  • Posted by: Art Kelly - Feb. 10, 2010 12:34 AM ET USA

    Yes, I was underwhelmed by the ad. CBS had no problem accepting it for broadcast in the Super Bowl because it didn't really say anything. The only upside is that the controversy exposed the leadership of the "pro-choice" organizations for what they really are: abortion enthusiasts.

  • Posted by: dschenkjr9859 - Feb. 09, 2010 8:56 PM ET USA

    I have to go along with you Phil. Lets celebrate the "baby steps" But don't figuratively "close the schools" and have a parade and then sit back and unwind for a month or two. Obama is still in the White House; abortion is still a threat in the national healthcare discussion and Obama can't rsist nominating and renominating pro abortion zealots. Yes maybe we have a bit of wind at our backs but that only helps if we are playing the game harder than ever.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 09, 2010 8:30 PM ET USA

    He may be a disgusting politician in favor of slaughter but his election derailed a Sebelius/Obama killing spree.

  • Posted by: - Feb. 09, 2010 8:28 PM ET USA

    It was a nothing ad, but everyone knew exactly what it was all about. Good for the Tebow's and Focus on the Family!