Feb 16, 2010

Tackling Tebow criticism

by Nathan Brown

Warm. Inspiring. Touching. A mother rejoicing for a life that she was blessed with. Yes. But domestic violence? No.

In a recent Super Bowl ad, Pam Tebow spoke lovingly of her son, the more famous Tebow — Tim, the “miracle baby” — showing baby pictures as she recounted him “almost not making it into this world,” referencing her difficult pregnancy with Tim Tebow.

The commercial then carried true to the Super Bowl placement and Tim Tebow’s chosen craft, as Tim tackled his mom. Viewers were expected to laugh and in a motherly “I’m-not-putting-up-with-rough-housing-on-national-TV,” tone, Pam Tebow scolded her son and posed with him for the closing shot.

The National Organization for Women (NOW), a pro-abortion faction, has condemned the ad, not for its opposing “pro-life” stance, or its directive to the Focus on the Family Web site in which Tebow recounts in more detail his story, but rather purports that the commercial supports domestic abuse.

“I am blown away at the celebration of the violence against women in it,” NOW president Terry O’Neill told the Los Angeles Times.

But is this response a pro-abortion special interest group’s attempt to taint a commercial that has been largely viewed as an exciting step for pro-life supporters, or is the response a genuine complaint?

Mary Knight, a mother of seven, has a similar story to Pam Tebow’s. While pregnant with her third child, Knight was exposed to cytomegalovirus (CMV) early in her pregnancy.

CMV in pregnancy devastates embryos and fetuses, usually leaving them multi-handicapped, deformed, deaf and blind. The earlier in the pregnancy a mother and child are exposed, the more dangerous it is for the baby. Knight was exposed to CMV in the first week of her pregnancy while working at United Cerebral Palsy hospital in Houston.

Enduring criticism by the medical community, her friends, family and even her husband, Knight went through with her pregnancy.
“I was told I would be giving birth to a handicapped child. I worked in the medical community and the medical community promoted abortion and strongly opposed my morals. I was told that (the pregnancy) would be tough for me and be tough for the baby and I was told (the abortion) would be therapeutic. I said no. I wouldn’t even consider it. I refused,” Knight said.

Knight was at home watching the Super Bowl with her family, cheering “Who Dat,” and “Go Saints,” and sharing stories about growing up in New Orleans, when the Focus on the Family ad played. She loved it.

Pam Tebow’s story was her story. Pam Tebow’s fight for her son despite criticism was the epitome of Knight’s fight for her own son.
“I’m sure that people told her as well that she was making the wrong decision. No one understood why she was going through it, and they didn’t understand why I went through it.”

Naturally then, when attacks from NOW about the “celebration of violence against women,” were hurled at the ad, Knight was upset.
“For them to make a comment about it promoting abuse towards women demonstrates just how uninformed they are about domestic violence. There was nothing in that commercial that suggests that women should be abused,” Knight said.

And Knight should know. She was a victim of domestic violence herself. Knight still has scars from where her nose was broken, and the tears still flow when recalling the 10 doctor’s visits, eight times that law enforcement had to be involved, and the immeasurable terror she endured.

Even knowing she was bringing a child into a home and a world that did not want it there, she knew that she wanted that child. Ridicule, abuse and rejection could not change that. It has been said that courage is not the absence of fear, rather the recognition of something greater than your fear. For both Mary Knight and Pam Tebow, their courage prevailed over fear.

Tim Tebow understands the struggle of his own mother’s pregnancy and those with similar stories like Knight, and in a recent press conference spoke of his appreciation.

“It’s the reason I’m here. My mom is a very courageous woman. I’m very thankful for that,” he said.

Tim Tebow has his mother to thank for her determination and unwavering courage to believe in her faith, go through with her pregnancy and not have an abortion.

I have my mother to thank. Mary Knight is my mother, and without her love for her son, despite criticism and abuse, I would not have my healthy, intelligent younger brother with me today.

Focus on the Family made a bold move for the pro-life movement by sharing the Tebows’ story on national television. It would require a distinct lack of class and respect to try to detract anything from Pam Tebow’s fight for a son.

Contact Nathan Brown at

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