Friday, February 26, 2010

New Focus on the Family Ad Yanked

A new banner ad — provided to the NCAA.com Web sites as part of the original contract between Focus on the Family and CBS — has been removed from the sports organization's site. The ad shows a father holding his son, the title "Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life.", a caption that reads "All I want for my son is for him to grow up knowing how to do the right thing," and the Focus on the Family Web site address and phone number.

National Collegiate Athletic Association® spokesman Bob Williams said the decision to pull the ad was not based on the message, but on the messenger. The ad was originally approved by all CBS reviewers, but when hostile gay and lesbian groups began to complain, it was removed because of the perceived identity of Focus as portrayed in the liberal media, not the ad's message. Activists claimed Focus was too controversial for being pro-life and in favor of one-man, one-woman marriage. They said that runs counter to the NCAA's policies, despite the fact that it does strongly reflect the beliefs of a significant majority of Americans.

Pat Griffin, a retired University of Massachusetts Amherst professor who is a consultant to the NCAA® on gay and lesbian issues, said the slogan's reference to "life" is anti-abortion, and "celebrating families" does not extend to all families, but "a very specific kind of family — heterosexual married families." She continued on her blog, "It's not the right image or role for the NCAA to be endorsing an organization that has such an extreme right-wing Christian political mission."

Focus on the Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger said that, if such material were "all of a sudden labeled hate speech, we have deeper problems in our country than we even know. ... Have we really become a society where it's considered distasteful and controversial for a dad to hope the best for his son? If so, we have a lot of soul-searching to do as a nation." [The Associated Press, CitizenLink.com, LifeNews.com]

1 comment:

Jinx McHue said...

If a conservative organization did that with a pro-gay ad, it'd be labeled "intolerance" and "censorship."