Sometimes, you know, my mind takes me to another place. That ever happen to you? Take this, for instance…
The other day in the New York Times I come across an article about this advertisement no one has seen but everyone has an opinion about. I’m talking about the one where this fellow Tebow says he’s happy his Mom let him get born.
Thirty seconds the ad is supposed to take. Thirty seconds squeezed in between all the beer ads with pretty girls and the car ads with pretty girls and the insurance ads and all the other ads with pretty girls, and the half time lollapalooza with pretty girls and ancient guitar players singing about how great it is to be us. Thirty seconds that cost the group that made the ad, Focus on the Family, about two and a half million bucks.
Now, Focus on the Family is one of those groups that says kids should be allowed to be born. I happen to think this is a good idea. They say some other stuff, too, that I happen to agree is a good idea. They say and do some stuff that I don’t happen to agree is so good an idea at all. But, that’s not what I’m on about, here.
There are folks, and we have all heard them, who do not agree with either Focus on the Family…or me…on this matter of allowing kids to be born. Well, no matter. The article in the New York Times said that the Tebow ad was a very clever thing that the FoF group did, because they will get a lot of people to go, “What’s wrong with that? Tebow’s Mom let him get born even after the Docs said he was gonna be a freak, or something. You see? That’s all the pro-life folks are saying. No doubt about it, the guy doesn’t get born and he don’t win the Heisman.” I got the feeling from the way the story was written that the reporter thought the ad, well it wasn’t subtle enough, sophisticated enough and nuanced enough for, for all of the sophistications, nuances and subtleties involved in the issue of getting, or not getting born, nowadays.
It’s a good ad for a football game I could imagine the reporter thinking; especially one with a hundred million member audience I guess, whose only interest in subtlety and nuance revolves around wide-outs and zone defenses. An audience whose understanding of sophistication is concentrated in the intricacies of smash-mouth ball. It’s a “Red State” ad I could hear the reporter thinking, and it will fall on deaf ears in the high rises along Lake Michigan’s sparkling shores, along Manhattan’s Upper East Side and Upper West Side and in Bean Town’s Back Bay or the shaded hills of Brookline and Newton, and Fairfiled and Goshen. Maybe. I ain’t a reporter, and don’t get paid to know this stuff.
The reporter, who refers to folks who want to allow kids to be born as “anti-abortionists”, talks to a few people who think that their side, which is the other side, is missing a golden opportunity, here. Two of them are mentioned by name, Kate Michaelman and Frances Kissling. I read what they say and a thought occurs to my mind, “They have a point, here.”
The girls say that they should be doing the same thing. They should find a few ladies who are happy they made some choices that turned out, well, like the choices that this young kid Tebow’s Mom’s choice turned out. Some of the ladies in their ad would say that they went ahead and got a degree, or chose to look for a career before settling down with a husband and having kids; or not. Big deal, sort of. Some would say that they did the same thing Tebow’s Mom did, and went ahead and had their child even after they got the news that things wouldn’t be all right; or they had the child and let someone adopt their baby.
Nothing wrong with that, is there? I’m in that parade, holding all of those posters. But I step out of line as I read the last “choice” Kate and Frances want to put in their ad; the one where the lady says she chose not to let her child be born.
When I read this, though I still I think it would be a good thing for the ad to be made, and if Kate and Frances don’t make it I think the FoF people ought to make it, or someone. I’m thinking that we ought to focus on all of the choices, and shine a little light on that special choice that isn’t a choice for someone. Because alongside all of the others it looks like a camel next to a flock of swans.
Then, this morning, another thought occurs to my mind that almost knocks me out of my chair. Here’s the thought: The Tebow ad costs 2.5 million. I figure the Kate and Frances people will spend about the same for theirs…or more. How many ladies are out there who are thinking, “I’m gonna make a choice for this baby that it ain’t gonna like, but then…?” How many of them could do a little better if they had some of that 5 million to help them make it through the night, sort of? And how many kids would get born that wouldn’t have if that money didn’t go for ad guys and network time?
My mind is out of the gate by now and thinks this other thought for me. Every year around this time a few hundred thousand close friends gather in DC. It’s gotta cost each one of them at least a hundred bucks for the trip; meals, bus fare, hotels, a day off. Maybe it’s more than a hundred. Maybe it’s five hundred. You do the math. That’s a lot of money. What if…?
“What if what?” You’re saying. What if, instead of dueling ads and lawyers, and committees, and lobbyists, and marches eating up all that dough, we figured out a way to help the ladies who really have no choice but the one I can’t bring my mind to calling a choice; help them so they don’t have to make it. Help them so that the baby who won’t get born does get born. And, plus, we keep on so that the choices this new person makes will be the right ones, and the good ones and the just ones for the rest of their lives. You think Kate and Frances would go along?
Call me crazy, but I think it’s something to focus on.