Super Bowl Off-The-Field Controversies – OpEd
The Super Bowl halftime show and commercials were a good index of the state of our culture. We are split between those who opt for a traditional moral stance and those who prefer a secular approach. Both were on display during the game. More interesting was the reaction to what occurred.
He Gets Us is a Christian organization that has taken to the airwaves promoting the message of Jesus. It featured two Super Bowl ads, which cost $20 million, and they got right to the point.
One ad depicted migrants seeking refuge from persecution, referencing Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The other portrayed people bickering over racial issues and the pandemic, reminding us that “Jesus loved the people we hate”
Had these ads run on TV decades ago, few would blink. But not today.
Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez channeled Jesus, saying he would not “spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads to make fascism look benign.” AOC did not explain what was fascistic about either of the Christian commercials.
Nick Fish is the president of American Atheists, and he too hated the Jesus commercials. He said those behind the ads “have funded anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice, anti-immigrant, and anti-democracy extremism from the Christian Nationalism movement.” He offered no evidence to support his hysterical claims.
Both AOC and Fish made it clear, without being explicit, that they are perturbed because one of the organizations supporting the Jesus ads is Hobby Lobby, the evangelical-run store chain that won an important religious liberty victory in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Then we have Rihanna, who took the opportunity to portray herself as a role model for young black girls. During her halftime show, she grabbed her behind and her crotch, smelled her hand, and humped around the stage. She did so while singing, “Come here rude boy, boy, can you get it up? Come here rude boy, boy, is you big enough?” The men got the message.
Why does the NFL invite halftime performers to wallow in the gutter? This seems to be the norm. Can any of these entertainers put on a show without getting vulgar? Are they all that morally debased?
Apparently, Rihanna drew less criticism from public figures than He Gets Us. That is a telling commentary on the direction of our culture.