THAT WASHING OF THE FEET SUPER BOWL AD IS A BIT OF A SNAFU, AND IT’S NOT OVER
I watched all of the first half of the Super Bowl, 2024, as well as the halftime show and the first few minutes of the second half. Which, to be fair, didn’t seem to be a great start for the Kansas City Chiefs. Then, parenthood pulled me away from what turned out to be some amazing sports finals drama. But speaking of drama, I wasn’t surprised to read many of the reactions about the Washing of the Feet and other “Jesus” ads, having seen most of them myself, live. I called it a snafu in the title here, which seems fitting.
WASHING OF THE FEET IS A POSITIVE, WHOLESOME SPIRITUAL MESSAGE AND REFERENCE, OR AT LEAST IT WAS
When I saw the first depiction of someone washing someone else’s feet, my brain immediately brought up the name, Mary Magdalen. Which is fitting, especially if you had to go to Sunday School like I did, for years. And it’s a good, wholesome biblical reference. It touches on Jesus’s humility, the value of women; the value of everyone. And basic, human service. Community. So my immediate reaction to the ad wasn’t negative, or reflexively exasperated at what so often turns out to be proselytization. But I was curious at the disjointed presence of the ad, as well as the others. That’s not the snafu, however.
THE “FOOT WASHING” AD COMES FROM A CHRISTIAN GROUP THAT HAS SOME SCARY, HATE GROUP TIES
So what is the snafu, besides my not being reflexively suspicious and exasperated last night when I saw the ad? The fact that the $20 million “Foot Washing” ad as part of the “He Gets Us” ad campaign was brought to you by the PR firm, Haven, on behalf of the Servant Foundation. And that foundation is in the second of a three-year campaign with a budget of a billion dollars. Note the B. And the snafu? The fact that the Servant Foundation, aka the Signatry, has also funded hate groups. Oh, and there’s the little detail of the PR firm Haven also representing groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom, a known anti-LGBTQ hate group.
Now I remember why I stopped going to Church so many years ago. Now, the wolves are wearing woolens even on Super Bowl ads.