On Friday, The Lead with Jake Tapper on CNN investigated the currently prominent “He Gets Us” TV ads promoting Jesus in terms meant to please centrists and liberals. Comically, CNN presented this largely as a right-wing conspiracy.
Fill-in host Pamela Brown explained: “If you’re planning to watch the upcoming Super Bowl, you’ll likely see a few ads about Jesus. CNN’s Tom Foreman looks into the He Gets Us campaign and why some are calling this a PR stunt for right-wing politics.” Notice “some” is the usual phrase for “some left-wing hacks.”
FOREMAN: The message is stark, arresting, and backed by $100 million. That’s how much organizers say is behind this campaign to market Jesus as a patient, loving, inclusive cure for our divisive times. With the tag line, “He gets us”.
JASON VANDERGROUND, president of Haven: We’re trying to unify the American around the confounding love and forgiveness of Jesus.
FOREMAN: The campaign website is filled with phrases saying Jesus called out the toxic religious and political systems, led the protest against the walls that divide us, and broke the chains that held women in bondage. Merchandise declares Jesus was a refugee and an immigrant.
CNN can’t provide any Catholic or evangelical scholars to critique this narrative. Nah, only the experts that hate Christianity as the training ground for the radical right:
FOREMAN: Add the fact that “He Gets Us” is funded by anonymous donors acting through a Kansas nonprofit linked to conservative causes, and it raises alarms for some skeptics, such as Chrissy Stroop, a former evangelical who now reports on religion.
CHRISSY STROOP, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, RELIGION DISPATCHES: I believe the “He Gets Us” campaign is a PR effort and website 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.
CNN presents as some kind of objective journalist a writer for “Religion Dispatches,” a project of the far-left Political Research Associates. Stroop’s pinned tweet on Twitter is ”Conservatism leads to abuse because conservatism *is* abuse.”
CNN’s chosen expert speaks at atheist conventions about the “alternative facts” of the mouth-breathing theists:
The creator of viral hashtags including #EmptyThePews and #ExposeChristianSchools, Stroop is now an outspoken ex-evangelical writer and advocate, and is fiercely critical of conservative evangelical subculture….She currently resides in Portland, OR, where she moved in the summer of 2019 after coming out as a transgender woman.
Stroop tweeted that Foreman was fascinated with her work:
I had a great chat with @tomforemancnn beyond what you see here, and he told me finds my work very interesting—of course including the reporting and commentary I did about the “He gets us” campaign for @RDispatches last Marchhttps://t.co/yxDdmT1Zkq
— Chrissy Stroop (@C_Stroop) January 28, 2023
In short, CNN is a sucker for the notion that any attempt to recruit people into evangelical Christianity is inherently political, and inherently opposed to the Left.
Conservative Christians on the HeGetsUs ads: ack, hipsters trying to create Cool Tolerant Jesus for youngsters.
CNN: Squishy hipsters, my foot. They are a stalking horse for the Religious Right! The atheist transgender critic is described as just a reporter on religion. pic.twitter.com/c1afqYAbPy
— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) January 27, 2023
This CNN segment was brought to you in part by Progressive.