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Victor Balke, Published February 07 2010

What better day for family issue?

I take issue with Jane Ahlin’s column (Jan. 31) titled: “Coming soon to a Super Bowl game near you: abortion issue.” She criticizes the decision of “the CBS mucky mucks” to allow a pro-life commercial sponsored by Focus on the Family. (She calls Focus on the Family a “right-wing” organization; I suspect her profound dislike for the organization arises from her own extreme views on the left-wing side.)

She refers to Super Bowl Sunday as “the all-American fun day, second only to the Fourth of July in magnitude.” This may well be true. I believe she is saying, in effect, that Super Bowl Sunday, like the Fourth of July, is a family day, even if some family members aren’t much interested in the game.

What better day, then, to have a family-focused commercial, one that celebrates the gift of life?

But the writer wants us to “forget the serious stuff and party hearty.” Why? Because Super Bowl Sunday, she says, is “a tribute to the American fondness for excessiveness.” What a surrender to one of the negative aspects of American (or any other) culture!

If there are places where the abortion issue doesn’t belong, as the writer asserts, I contend that the life issue belongs in every place, even the Super Bowl.


Balke is bishop emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Crookston, Minn.