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Political Advocacy Tracker is a roundup of what Christian activist organizations have been talking about over the last week.

Superbowl (Non)Controversy

The Saints won the Superbowl, but another religious aspect of the game had advocacy groups' attention before the game.

In the days leading up to the big game—which garnered the largest TV audience in U.S. history, with 106 million viewers—CBS's decision to air an ad by Focus on the Family caused controversy. The ad, featuring Heisman Award winner Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam, was expected to be a pro-life ad focusing on the mother's decision to continue her pregnancy despite the urging of her doctors. Instead, it was a light-hearted ad that pointed viewers to the Focus website.

Focus's Gary Schneeberger said that reaction to the ad was much ado about nothing. "This wasn't political. This wasn't advocacy. This wasn't controversial. It's an inspirational story about a mother and son who love each other," said Schneeberger.

Tasha Easterling of the American Family Association and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commision (ERLC) agreed that despite the controversy leading up to the big game, the ad was noncontroversial.

Frances Kissling, former president of Catholics for Choice concurred. Kissling was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying "If there had not been all of that publicity over the last two weeks, this ad could have passed almost unnoticed. Who would have known what they're talking about? It's so subtle."

Prior to the game, pro-choice groups including Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the Women's Media Center opposed the airing of the ad. After the game, the Women's Media Center described the ...

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February 2010

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