Super Controversy

Florida Gator QB Tim Tebow and his mother are slated to appear in a Super Bowl commercial. That’s not the controversial part. The commercial is not for beer or snack foods. That makes it unusual, but not controversial. The commercial was produced by the conservative Christian group “Focus on the Family” and it conveys a pro life message – essentially noting that Ms. Tebow was counseled by some folks to abort the baby who eventually grew up to be her son Tim. That’s the controversial part. Some pro choice groups are concerned enough to have demanded that CBS not air the ad. Apparently, CBS is going forward with it. So Planned Parenthood has produced an ad featuring NFL player Sean James and Olympian Al Joyner. In the ad James and Joyner talk about the importance of choice. One of the key notions surrounding the First Amendment is that the best way to address controversial speech is not to suppress it, but to respond with a competing idea. This has been referred to as “the marketplace of ideas.” I am certain that folks reading this post come down on different sides of the abortion debate, but it seems that allowing both sides to be heard is a far better approach then shutting the debate down.