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Another Innocuous Pro-Life Ad Draws Criticism

5:16 PM, Feb 24, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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When Tim Tebow's pro-life ad ran during the Super Bowl, I wasn't a fan of it. It seemed so innocuous as to be a lost opportunity. Why did Focus on the Family pay so much money, create such a ruckus only to punt (forgive the pun) the issue when the Tebows finally came on-screen? It was a nice ad, which drove traffic to the Tebows' powerful story, on Focus' website, but I thought it should have done more.

On the other hand, I may have been short-sighted. It occurs to me that the strategy for Focus on the Family may be to create pro-life ads so utterly innocuous that they necessarily make critics thereof look like total loons.

Case in point. Here's what left-leaning and women's groups/blogs are complaining about now:

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is taking heat over an ad for a conservative advocacy group that appeared for a time this week on its corporate Web site.

The promotion for the group, Focus on the Family, features a smiling father holding his young son, next to the words "Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life." Beneath the photo appears the message: "All I want for my son is for him to grow up knowing how to do the right thing."

Really? That's the message folks want to go on-record as opposing? A happy father, holding a baby, wishing to make a positive impact on the child's life. That's not a controversy; that's a dream.

The NCAA took the ad down despite the fact that its policy allows ads from "cause-related organizations...unless the cause endorses a controversial or unacceptable viewpoint." They would have done well to keep the ad. Focus on the Family is not a group renowned for its subtlety, first and foremost, but its recent embrace of the light touch is succeeding in making its critics look foolish, indeed.

And, since we're vaguely on the subject of football, let me reiterate that the Manning family remains all class, all the way.

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