I didn’t watch THE GAME. First time in 56 years. When you’re 75, you think twice before you throw away four of your remaining hours on earth.
The next day I was a bit remorseful for missing an enthralling game, but even more remorseful for missing the zany commercials.
Ever since Super Bowl XVIII (1984), when a woman sporting red athletic shorts burst through a cavernous auditorium of colorless automatons and hurled a swinging hammer at a droning Big Brother face, I’ve watched with high expectations. None of the subsequent Super Bowl ads have surpassed that one, but some have come close: The Budweiser frogs, Cindy Crawford sipping a Pepsi.
I heard I missed some good ones this year: PopCorners Breaking Good, Workday Rockstars, and a “very touching” ad with a dog. I also heard that two ads were offensive to many, including to AOC.
The offensive ads were not for beer (which fuels liver cancer, highway deaths, and domestic violence) or for Dunkin’ Donuts (which fuels moribund obesity) or for smartphones (which contribute to social isolation, self-hatred, and suicidal thoughts among young people).
No one protested those ads.
As it turns out, the offensive ads promoted JESUS: He Gets Us. All of Us. Be childlike. Love your enemies. (Cool! What’s not to like about Jesus?) No other prophet, living or dead, got a $100 million plug at Super Bowl LVII. Jesus was clearly the MVP (Most Valued Prophet).
I found out that the organization that sponsored the ads—the Servant Foundation—has a billion dollars (millions just from Hobby Lobby) to spend on a campaign to “rebrand” Jesus.
Excuse me. Rebrand Jesus?
NEWSFLASH: Most every one knows that Jesus practiced radical compassion and hospitality, and repudiated violence.
Jesus needs no rebranding.
The church needs rebranding.
And actually, rebranding isn’t what the church needs either. It needs a reformation from the inside out.
You can rebrand cancer, but it’s still cancer.
Servant Foundation wants people to discover “the Jesus of the Bible.” How convenient! Let’s keep Jesus in the first century and out of our own, where he just might turn over the profiteers’ tables and condemn to hell those who mistreat “the least of these.”
That’s in the Bible, too.
Yes, He Gets Us. And he gets that we ain’t doing right by a lot of God’s children.
Leave Jesus out of it.
Get in the game yourself.
I think it’s appropriate that the real religion in America–professional sports–finally has a sponsor promoting a male prophet. LOL
You got it.
I loathe the word “rebranding”! It implies that everything associated with it is about sales and profit. Enough already! And to apply it to Jesus? Arrrrgh!
Aw, gee, Diana. You don’t think The Servant Foundation was being sincere about promoting their Profit? (lol…) Ironically, Hobby Lobby won a SCOTUS decision to deny their female employees coverage for birth control. That might just be a Biblical misunderstanding of “the least of these.” Harumph.
When a corporate/business/profit making model was applied to healthcare and education, it all went downhill. Now this.
As someone pointed out on Facebook, how many unhoused people could have been helped with the money spent on those commercials? Christians still not putting money where their mouths are. Just ugh.
“rebranding isn’t what the church needs either. It needs a reformation from the inside out.”
I was a conscious human during the conception of the Madmen of Madison Avenue. The tone of our nation at that time was that of a boxer; half conscious and raging with the testosterone-tainted exultation of a big win. Having just won the war and replete with the spoils- an unprecedented mass resource extraction and manufacturing capability- we then birthed an institution for selling you something you had no idea you wanted. Being of age and interested in a good job in the graphic arts/imagination field, I avidly followed their progress in hopes of being a Madman.
It is this…. appetite for proprietorship….. that affects not only the church, but to some degree most of our modern human agenda. Everything we can count is property. I pray we are near the end of the Age of Greed. It feels so to me.
The Earth is willing us to do otherwise.
The change could be instant, like an electrical field reversal. (“Instant” in the planetary sense may wear on your patience, though). In the meantime; take it easy, be nice, do good works if you can.
I honor (appreciate) the way you write and remind us what’s important …
Thank you so much. The Christian church has lost the plot. While the zealots claim “The Word” to justify hate, violence and destruction of creation; the institutions have fallen in love with the comfortable status quo. For heavens sake, don’t rock the boat or upset the wealthy and powerful or meet the needs of the least of these who Jesus said were He Himself
Amos Wilder, a twentieth-century American literary critic, remarked, “In every decade we instruct Christ as to what he was and is, instead of allowing ourselves to be instructed by him.” Which is to say, let us—regardless of religious affiliation or none—be instructed, be taught, by the universal and timeless wisdom of radical compassion and love. Let us not be fooled by the propaganda of the corporate-owned Servant Foundation which is selling us—brainwashing us—with its version on Super Bowl Sunday.
Thank you. You “scored” the winning point! (Too much?) As each of your readers understands, all “reformation” is from the inside out — from humans within institutions and organizations, etc. and IN humans, from within. One positive came out of the actual ads — visual proof of Christian hypocrisy. And just after one of our presidential candidates, Ron DeSaint, boasted of a FL legislature vote to send all incoming ‘illegal’ immigrants to “the blue states.” Good old fashioned US warmth in practice, “treat thy neighbor as thyself.”
Yes! Get in the game yourself! Don’t worship…Follow!
I never watch the Super Bowl because I’m not a football fan, but also these spectacular events with overblown ads, overblown/overproduced and totally non-musical breaks featuring superstars of the music performance business do not inspire but, rather, overwhelm the senses. I’d rather listen to cicadas, crickets, birds, donkeys, anything but the braying voices of the glorified. But…I digress.
Thank you for your take on this Super Bowl ad. Rebranding Jesus, indeed. Why not try to find your own soul, befriend it, bathe it in light and let it do something good for somebody who needs a friend.
Ah, yes, Randy hits another home run, since we’re talking a bit about sports. I would maintain that most of the elite in this country (Sports team owners included) worship the Great God of Greed. And that leaves no room for compassion or treating all others as your brother or sister. And the church, by in large, maintains a deathly silence.
Yes, a home run, or a touchdown, as it were. A long time ago I had a worthless frat brother (I know, only one?) who came from a wealthy family, but spent his time skipping classes, drinking and bullying the rest of us. At graduation, when asked what he intended to do for a living, he said, I”m going to open up a string of tent revivals!” And he did just that. And like the Hawaii missionaries, he came to do good, and did very well. I wish that I also sensed the end of the Age of Greed, but when, within my lifetime millionaires have become dime-a-dozen and multi-billionaires proliferate, and giant corporations seem ever more determined to put obscene profits ahead of the very survival of our planet…well,one thing is sure, turning Jesus into a profit center is just another manifestation of the disease. Nevertheless, Jesus, the embodiment of Love and Compassion, represents the Answer. I’m sure that, indeed, Jesus Gets Us, but not in the way that Chick-Filet and Hobby Lobby think.
Again. Comments so apt. Thank you and your readers.