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HomeGeneralCritics Blast Hobby Lobby-Funded Jesus Super Bowl Ads

Critics Blast Hobby Lobby-Funded Jesus Super Bowl Ads

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A hobby lobby protest
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The Super Bowl runs weird ads now and then. But none have been as eye-roll-inducing as the foot-washing ad from the “He Gets Us” campaign. The commercial featured a series of images of people washing another person’s feet.

Most offered an attention-grabbing role reversal of oppressor and oppressed. One saw a cop washing a young Black man’s feet, while another saw a white woman serving a migrant.

The worst of them saw an anti-abortion protester kneeling before a presumed patient of a family planning clinic. “Jesus didn’t teach hate,” the tagline reads as an INXS cover plays. “He washed feet.”

The Green family, who owns Hobby Lobby, are the biggest bankrollers of the “He Gets Us” campaign. They have made it their life’s mission to push their brand of far-right Christianity on the country. 

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ALSO READ: Democrats Admit Joe Biden’s Press Conference Was a Failure

The Green-funded group behind the “He Gets Us” ads last year has been linked to anti-LGBTQ hate groups and organizations opposing women’s rights. But that’s not the worst of it.

The family has also funded initiatives to put religious propaganda into public school classrooms, demanded the right to fire people for being homosexual, passed off forgeries as the “Dead Sea Scrolls,” stole antiquities from Iraq, and refused to comply with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions to protect profits. 

The Greens have never denied their donations to the “He Gets Us” campaign. But other donors are anonymous. The group behind the ads is the newly formed Come Near. The far-right Servant Foundation ran it last year.

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This shift in management not-so-coincidentally allows the campaign to conceal its funding and leadership further, as its tax documents aren’t yet publicly available. 

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Critics believe the “He Gets Us” website is an even worse thing to experience than their ads. On the FAQ sheet, they claim, “Jesus loves gay people, and Jesus loves trans people.”

This could lead queer people to believe that they will find affirmation from this group falsely. In reality, “loving” queer people for these far-right Christians means telling them they are sinners who need to give up their “lifestyle.”

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The site reportedly has all the hallmarks of what psychology experts call “spiritual abuse.” This is where a person’s longing for faith or higher meaning is used as a weapon to control them. 

There are many layers of obfuscation around who is behind the “He Gets Us” campaign. This is a big red flag. The packaging can be quite appealing for someone who sees the ads and isn’t aware of the malicious politics of the people behind them. It draws the “sinners” in, gets them emotionally dependent, and then starts trying to change them.

ALSO READ: Critics Blast Virginia’s “Women’s Bill of Rights,” Say It Aims to Suppress Transgenders

It’s easy to see how queer people, young women, or progressives could think this is the faith community for them, only to find out later that it’s just right-wing Christianity. The community’s tactic is to get them in so deep that they’re too afraid of losing the community to leave by the time they figure that out.

Critics hope people can be more careful when dealing with such things. After all, it gets more difficult to trick someone who can see through your gimmicks. 

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