The high-dollar advertisements on Fox’s broadcast of Super Bowl 57 were pretty light and humorous, except for the dead-serious black-and-white messages pushing the message “Jesus: He Gets Us.”
This big ad campaign clearly wants to reach young people with Christian messaging in the most contemporary terms, with ads that claim “Jesus was a refugee” or a misunderstood criminal defendant. What’s unfolded is a comedy of liberals furious that anyone would recruit people to worship Jesus, as if it were a vast right-wing Christian conspiracy.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “Something tells me Jesus would *not* spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads to make fascism look benign.” If you thought that was too lame-brained to repeat, MSNBC host Joy Reid copy-catted that a bit on TV: “I think it is fair to say Jesus Christ wouldn’t spend millions of dollars on television ads promoting His image.”
Every Christian is instructed by the Bible to share the gospel of Jesus, from person to person, or on television, if possible. It’s not “fair to say” Jesus would somehow oppose that. It’s fair to say liberals hate it because they see religion — organized or unorganized — as a malignant right-wing sickness that ruins the culture.
It’s true that some conservative Christians fund these ads, like the owners of Hobby Lobby. Haven, the ad makers, previously built ad campaigns for conservative groups like the Alliance Defense Fund and the Family Research Council. That’s where the real objection lies.
CNN arrived early on the conspiracy trail on January 27. Reporter Tom Foreman brought on an atheist trans woman named Chrissy Stroop as an expert to denounce it as “strategically developed by right-wing evangelicals to rope people in with inclusive-sounding messaging and get them plugged into local churches that will eventually teach that to be a Christian means to support right-wing politics.”
Stroop’s pinned tweet on Twitter is “Conservatism leads to abuse because conservatism *is* abuse.“
Then came NPR, with a uniformly left-wing approach. On the dishonestly named All Things Considered news program on February 3, they turned to Religion News Service reporter Bob Smietana. “I think it goes back to the problem that American evangelicals in particular face is that their political ambitions and their deeply held religious beliefs and ethical beliefs are in conflict right now. So the things that will help them win politically will alienate people.”
As an Associated Press reporter in 2020, Smietana promoted Joe Biden’s chatter about loving his rosary without noting his “political ambitions” and his Catholic Church’s “religious beliefs” are at war.
On February 11, weekend All Things Considered anchor Michel Martin brought on Josiah Daniels of Sojourners, a “progressive Christian” website. He threw a red flag. “I think that it’s sort of the height of Christian hypocrisy to, on the one hand, say we really want to accept everyone, but then on the other hand, you’re taking money from people who have worked to curb access to abortion rights or they’ve worked to curb LGBTQ rights.”
The glaring hypocrisy here is the secular leftist media do not “accept everyone.” With zero dissent, NPR is putting on Daniels to insist Christians “should disassociate from these groups who are working to curb marginalized people’s rights.”
In the end, Jesus sounds “divisive” in the book of Matthew: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” Jesus isn’t accepting of everyone. He calls everyone to accept Him. Jesus warned of “false prophets.” These networks and their conspiracy-decrying experts fit the term.