He Gets Us Causes Mass Controversy: The Criticism Is Unwarranted

Ads for Jesus were run that promoted kindness, respect, and love for everyone, and the heat it has received is highly unfair.

He Gets Us isnt the terrible organization its been made out to be.

The Washington Post

He Gets Us isn’t the terrible organization it’s been made out to be.

Canon Grant, Political Analyst

Two ads about Jesus were played during Super Bowl LVII and the resulting firestorm is surprising; the Independent reported that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) attacked the ad by tweeting “Something tells me Jesus would *not* spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads to make fascism look benign,” CNN published an unflattering article attacking the ad, and Twitter has been alight with rage. The ad is only the latest outlet in the current Culture War. 

The group called He Gets Us has been running advertisements since the start of 2022. Its goal is to “Rediscover the love story of Jesus, Christians, non-Christians, and everybody in between. All of us.” He Gets Us has said themselves that they do not align with any specific denomination. However, it has been theorized that He Gets Us is evangelical, as it is funded by some prominent evangelicals, though this has not been confirmed. The organization is a non-profit funded by donors, most of whom are anonymous but some of whom have only cast fuel to the fire. An example is David Green, founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, who has already been at the heart of several controversies. One involved filing a lawsuit against the federal government for the right to deny contraception to employees, as it went against his beliefs,  Business Insider reports.

Despite the ads’ message of kindness, inclusivity, and love for all people, the ad and organization have come under heavy fire from politicians and media outlets alike. In the aforementioned news article, CNN ties “He Gets Us” to right-wing extremism and other “ideologies that appear at odds with the campaign’s inclusive messaging.” Another critic of the ad was Sawyer Hackett, a political strategist with the Democratic Party, who said on his Twitter account that the money used to buy the advertising space could have been used to “permanently house 1,563 people experiencing homelessness.” It is here that many misunderstand Christianity as a whole.

The criticism facing the He Gets Us campaign is unwarranted and unnecessarily partisan; while the movement has been associated with right-of-center groups (as Christianity and conservatism have been culturally associated), the message of unity and kindness still stands, and while Sawyer Hackett’s does make a valid point he misunderstands one simple thing. Though many Christian churches do their best to help their community in the form of charity, there is also a duty to preach and to share Christian beliefs with others, a fundamental pillar of the religion.

 The attacks have only revealed a darker side to society, where the greater Culture War takes precedence over love, kindness, and respect. It also hints at a society where religion, primarily Christianity, has received a poor and unfair reputation. Almost daily we see articles exposing the “dark side” of religion. For example, AP News released an article about an abuse incident by a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which failed in professionalism as pointed out in a statement made by the Church. Rarely do we hear the good that religion does, but I speak from personal experience when I say religion does plenty of good. It has brought my family and I happiness, a loving community, and mental stability. Before we attack religion for being “hypocritical,” “non-inclusive,” and “unloving,” we need to remember that these are the faults of men and not the heart of Christianity itself, as humanity is imperfect and everything it touches becomes just as corrupted. This recent incident in the Culture War should be a wake-up call to all of America that we prioritize our pride and self-righteousness over our love for our fellow humans.

As the He Gets Us campaign becomes another battlefield in a Culture War that has dominated our news cycles and engulfed the political arena, it is important to remember that, while we may all have our differing opinions on Christianity and religion as a whole, we can still take the advice of Jesus, whatever you may think of Him, and love one another.