A billionaire CEO is a donor behind the enigmatic ads at this year’s Super Bowl promoting Jesus Christ with the words: “He gets us. All of us.”
David Green, the founder and CEO of craft store chain Hobby Lobby, is a donor to He Gets Us, the nonprofit organization that raised eyebrows this year with two black-and-white ads for Jesus, a spokesman confirmed to Forbes.
“The Greens are part of a diverse group of individuals and entities with a common goal of sharing Jesus’ image authentically,” said Jason Vanderground, a spokesperson for He Gets Us and president of its ad agency, Haven.
Hobby Lobby says in its mission statement that it is committed to “honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.” The company scored a win for religious liberties in a controversial 2014 Supreme Court ruling that allowed private companies to deny employees health coverage for contraception on religious grounds.
Green’s family has also worked to build one of the largest private collections of biblical artifacts in the world, the Atlantic reported, and founded the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.
In 2017, the year the museum opened, Hobby Lobby settled a federal case over the smuggling of thousands of ancient Middle Eastern artifacts intended for the museum. The company paid a $3 million fine and agreed to forfeit thousands of cuneiform tablets and small clay seals known as bullae, according to the Justice Department.
At this year’s Super Bowl, one 30-second He Gets Us ad showed photos of children being kind to each other and said, “Jesus didn’t want us to act like adults.”
Later, a 60-second ad showed people angrily confronting each other, especially at political protests, and said, “Jesus loved the people we hate.”
He Gets Us describes itself as a non-political, non-denominational organization promoting “the authentic Jesus as he’s depicted in the Bible — the Jesus of radical forgiveness, compassion, and love.” Its $100 million launch in 2022 was possibly the biggest-ever Christian ad campaign, Christianity Today reported.
Many donors to He Gets Us opt to remain anonymous, according to its website. But Green, valued by Forbes at $15 billion, alluded to his involvement in the campaign during a November interview with radio host Glenn Beck.
“You’re going to see it at the Super Bowl: He gets us,” he said, according to a transcript. “We’re wanting to say – ‘we’ being a lot of different people – that he gets us. He understands all of us. He loves who we hate, so I think we have to let the public know and create a movement, really.”