Opinion: The ‘He Gets Us’ Scheme


Photo from He Gets Us

Eden Evans (She/her), Staff Writer

If you watched the Super Bowl you probably saw the “He Gets Us” ads. An ad supporting Jesus and Christianity with depictions of riots and violence, “He Gets Us” has sparked a nationwide debate. On one hand, This campaign might seem like a gentle nudge in the ‘right direction’ for people who are looking for religious clarity. In reality, this company is deceiving its viewers in order to benefit the Republican party and eventually throw the votes in the next election. 

This Superbowl, the campaign spent an estimated 20 million dollars to air their two commercials. This makes the “He Gets Us” scheme the largest-ever campaign dedicated to Jesus. 

Photo from He Gets Us

You might be wondering what this campaign really is. Essentially, they have created a series of commercials that advertise their website. The whole point is to get more people to go to the website and then do their own research about the idea of Jesus and how devoting yourself religiously can change your life.

The website supplies plenty of resources for its cause, but many of the claims are likely untrue. They say that they just want you to consider the story of Jesus, and are not trying to convince anyone to go to church. Although this might be true to some extent, denying that part of the campaign is to fill churches is a bold claim. If one preaches Christianity, then shouldn’t it already be implied that it would cause the audience to begin to convert to the religion and hence go to church? This claim seems to be faulty in its logic, and just because “He Gets Us” isn’t directly supporting going to church, it is indirectly encouraging it. 

We all know that right-wing politicians typically hold more Christian-based values, but how does “He Gets Us” actually support the right wing? Well, one of the foundation’s biggest donors is David Green, founder, and CEO of Hobby Lobby, who is known for his controversial conservative-based values, his support for former-president Donald Trump, showing support for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, and more. In fact, in an interview with Glenn Beck, David Green talks about how much he loves “He Gets Us” and how he donates half of Hobby Lobby’s pre-taxed earnings to faith-based initiatives. Why would Green donate so much money towards a campaign that doesn’t support his own values? We can most likely draw a conclusion on why he and Hobby Lobby drain so much money into “He Gets Us”.

Photo from the Servant Foundation

Furthermore, we know that the campaign is a subsidy of the Servant Foundation. Based on research done by CNN, the Servant Foundation has donated tens of millions of dollars to the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal group. The ADF has been involved in several legislative pushes to abolish LGBTQ+ rights and non-discrimination legislation in the supreme court. These anti-gay and racist beliefs are often ones that align with the republican party and the push to vote right. 

Another problem with the commercials comes down to the target audience. “He Gets Us” tries to sell Jesus in a way that is relatable to younger people or minority groups. Those who are discovering their lives or looking for a way to make things better for themselves. By doing this, the commercials show a series of pictures all fitting a theme for that specific ad and then end with a tagline that is meant to draw people in. Some examples include:

“Jesus felt heartbroken, too.”

“Did Jesus live in poverty?”

“Jesus rejected resentment on the cross.”

“Jesus was a refugee.” 

“Jesus was canceled.”

Photo from He Gets Us

By making Jesus relatable and using words that might be found on social media like “canceled”, it compels the younger audience to look further into the campaign. They do the same thing with suffering groups like, “Jesus rejected resentment on the cross,” implying that he was a minority too and that he knows how to make change. 

Additionally, the commercials don’t tell you what is being advertised until the very end, so someone who isn’t religious is still compelled to watch.

Photo from He Gets Us

People who aren’t the target audience of this campaign (mostly people who are already religious) have problems with “He Gets Us”. They complain about how the campaign has a heavy focus on social justice rather than biblical justice, which is misleading to people who don’t know anything about the campaign. They bring on financial criticism, as many don’t believe that Jesus would spend 20 million dollars on Super Bowl marketing and would instead spend it on people in need. 

This campaign is not making anyone happy except those who are in on it like David Green. Perhaps Hobby Lobby should work on making their customers’ experience better rather than trying to sway the votes for the upcoming election. Maybe if the entire “He Gets Us” campaign was honest about their intent, they wouldn’t be getting so much backlash. These large corporations dedicated to spreading the word about Jesus don’t really care about your religious denomination, they care about your vote and the idea that not everyone should be equal. Would Jesus support that?