Friday, January 29, 2010

Tim Tebow and American Freedom of Speech

I'm sure that any of you who have turned on the news in the past few days have heard about the marketing fiasco surrounding Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. One would think that a story of this magnitude would be something along the lines of the infidelity of a trusted politician or a case of corporate corruption. However, neither of these stories are anywhere near the truth. Tim Tebow is taking an intense amount of scrutiny for appearing in commercial sponsored by Focus on the Family that displays a pro-life message. Please do not stop reading here; I'm not here to lecture you on my own personal beliefs on this issue. I'm here to talk about the issue of basic American rights and the right to free speech. The Bill of Rights asserts that all Americans are guaranteed the freedom of speech. Therefore, where is Tim Tebow beyond his rights? Tebow is being attacked as being "un-American" by organizations such as Choice USA. I don't follow this logic; by actually expressing his right to free speech that is guaranteed under the American government, he is being un-American. I think that most people would not attack Tebow for his own personal views as each person is entitled to his or her own opinions. However, upon seeing how obsessed many people are with absolute fairness, I would be willing to guess that many people feel that this commercial is simply being used to advance the agenda of one side. However, CBS has offered to allow pro-choice groups to run "responsibly produced" commercial as well. If they choose not to exercise their right of free speech in this manner, Tebow cannot be blamed. He has nothing to do with their decision-making.

I support Tim Tebow in this commercial not only based on my own views about abortion but also on the simple fact that he has the right to say respectfully whatever he wants. To deny him his right based simply on the fact that what he said might not be popular would make a joke out of our Constitution. The claim that people are free to share their own personal story is valuable. Throughout my own life, I have heard many views presented that I will never agree with. However, I believe that hearing these views has only helped me further justify my own beliefs through forcing me to really consider why I believe what I believe. People do not have to agree, and many people will never agree on certain issues. Nevertheless, both sides at least deserve the right to be shared and heard. Acceptance is a personal decision; no amount of Super Bowl advertising can force people to accept opposing beliefs.

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