On this site, Evan Hurst wrote about new suspicions that Tim Tebow’ mother, Pam, may be fudging her story about defying a doctor’s recommendation to abort her unborn football star son Tim (pictured left) when she was facing a difficult pregnancy in the Philippines. CBS will air a controversial Focus on the Family ad during the Super Bowl where Ms. Tebow is portrayed as a hero, ironically, for choosing life.
The problem is, it appears unlikely that Tebow could have made this decision, since abortion is outlawed in the Philippines. Those who violate the law are often prosecuted and jailed.
As the facts come out, Ms. Tebow’ tale is under increased scrutiny. And if there is one thing we know, fundamentalists love magic stories of transformation, even if they are not true. In fact, the entire “ex-gay” industry is built on whoppers that often set a compelling narrative, but are left factually wanting.
Let’s be clear. The veracity of Ms. Tebow’s story may be verified. She could be honestly and sincerely recounting a true event in her life.
But, if Tebow is twisting the facts or exaggerating the circumstances to fit a desired storyline, perhaps she thinks that she can get away with it because the alleged incident took place overseas.
However, the truth almost always seeps out. Focus on the Family and Pam Tebow should remember the cautionary tale of another football player, Pat Tillman (pictured left). The military shamefully tried to conceal how the gridiron star turned soldier died at war in Afghanistan. They invented a heroic fictional storyline and thought they could get away with it because the incident took place in a distant land.
They were wrong.
If Focus on the Family executives believe that they can air a hoax and won’t be exposed as frauds, they are in greater denial than the hapless token “ex-gays” they keep on-staff.
A multi-million dollar ad aired during the Super Bowl will likely be investigated. Remember, there is a doctor still out there (unless he or she has passed away) who offered the alleged abortion advice to Pam Tebow. This doctor, if found, could very well contradict the her story.
Focus on the Family is already facing serious challenges, such as cutbacks and layoffs due to the recession. Their founder, James Dobson, is leaving the group next month to start a rival radio ministry with his son Ryan. If Mrs. Tebow’s story turns out to be a con job, her fable could destroy this once venerable, and now vulnerable, right wing organization. (Focus compound pictured left)
If they are wise, leaders of the Colorado Springs-based ministry will immediately dispatch a team of private investigators to the Philippines to rigorously fact check this fishy story. If they find a discrepancy and have the decency to pull the ad, Americans will be very forgiving. If the ad airs, however, and it is a fraud, they will lose face, trash their honor, destroy their reputation, and squander their already low stockpile of credibility.
Focus on the Family’s name is clearly on the line with this ad. If a mistake of consequence and magnitude is made, it will haunt this group and may cause the organization to go out of business.