Bias Watch

Conservative Christians are outraged that the Super Bowl Jesus ads weren’t homophobic

Scene from the He Gets Us ad that OMM thinks includes a nonbinary person
Scene from the He Gets Us ad that OMM thinks includes a nonbinary person Photo: Screenshot

A conservative Christian group is outraged that a billion-dollar ad campaign fueled by anti-LGBTQ+ forces is still not hateful enough toward the LGBTQ+ community.

The Jesus-infused “He Gets Us” campaign returned to the Super Bowl Sunday night for the second year in a row, airing two ads preaching to love one another and overcome hate – and yet the organization behind the ads donates generously to a prominent anti-LGBTQ+ hate group.

But for the anti-LGBTQ+ group One Million Moms (OMM), the campaign’s backdoor allegiances are not enough. The group recently posted on its website that the “He Gets Us” campaign is “misleading” and only shares “part of the truth.”

It blasted a section on the website promoting the campaign that claims to “love” LGBTQ+ people but does not state whether it supports LGBTQ+ relationships, equality laws, or anti-discrimination policies. The “He Gets Us” website states that “Jesus loves gay people and Jesus loves trans people” and that “the LGBTQ+ community, like all people, is invited to explore the story of Jesus and consider his example of unconditional love, grace, and forgiveness of others.”

OMM said this description “fails to mention individual accountability for sin – and the subsequent need for repentance for those sins.”

The group is also incensed that the campaign does not “ever mention the entire Gospel message or how to receive salvation from Jesus Christ.” It was especially peeved by an ad called “Foot Washing” that showed a variety of still shots of folks who may typically oppose one another washing each other’s feet. “Jesus didn’t teach hate. He washed feet,” the ad states at the end.

OMM called the ad “incomplete” because it did not explain that repentance is a key part of salvation.

“Sharing only part of the truth can be extremely misleading,” the OMM website says, “especially to those who are unsaved. It is also disturbing that the He Gets Us website describes Jesus as a mere storyteller instead of a Savior.”

Moreover, OMM accused He Gets Us of including a nonbinary person in the ad. No one’s gender identity was stated in the ad.

Until recently, He Gets Us was a subsidiary of the Servant Foundation, which has donated over $65 million to the anti-LGBTQ+ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Open Democracy reports.

One of the major funders of the campaign has been billionaire David Green, evangelical co-founder of Hobby Lobby, which is known for discriminating against trans folks and refusing to provide birth control coverage to employees.

Green’s oldest son, Mart, currently sits on the three-person board of the newly formed nonprofit that now manages the He Gets Us campaign – Come Near. While the campaign is no longer affiliated with the Servant Foundation, Yahoo reported that the Green family also has ties to a major ADF donor, the National Christian Foundation.

The “He Gets Us” campaign is not affiliated with a specific church or denomination, and many of the ads are designed in such a way that viewers don’t know they are religious until the end.

Last year, Christianity Today reported that the Super Bowl ads are part of a three-year, one billion-dollar campaign.

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