The power behind the ads
The $20 million “He Gets Us” campaign about Jesus – is funded by an influential donor to some of the most active and litigious Shadow Network groups working to undermine church-state separation.
The Servant Foundation
The Servant Foundation, also known as The Signatry, is behind the “He Gets Us” ad campaign that debuted during the 2023 Super Bowl. Over the next three years, the Servant Foundation plans to spend “about a billion dollars” toward this public relations campaign. They’ve hired a PR firm to address, in the firm’s words, the problem of “How did the world’s greatest love story in Jesus become known as a hate group?”
Of course, they’re the cause of their own problem – not only has the Servant Foundation funded hate groups, but the PR firm, Haven, has represented these organizations. Key Shadow Network members Focus on the Family and Alliance Defending Freedom are in their portfolio. ADF is a noted anti-LGBTQ hate group that has argued repeatedly in courts that religion, and specifically Christianity, is a license to discriminate; they have one such case pending before the Supreme Court right now.
The money trail
The Servant Foundation is one of ADF’s biggest financial backers. A recent exposé reports that, “between 2018-20, the Servant Foundation donated more than $50 million to the Alliance Defending Freedom and that those contributions “were among the five largest donations given out by the foundation in each of those three years.”
Other recipients of the Servant Foundation’s billion dollars in assets include:
- Nearly $8 million went to Answers in Genesis, creationist Ken Ham’s fundamentalist ministry behind the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter, an organization that has been championed by Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, a former ADF attorney.
- Over $1 million was designated for the anti-LGBTQ Campus Crusade for Christ (rebranded as “Cru” since 2011).
- $374,800 went to Al Hayat Ministries, an organization that seeks to “respectfully yet fearlessly unveil the deception of Islam,” and runs an Arabic-language Christian satellite TV station with the goal of converting Muslims to Christianity.
In 2020 alone, we found donations to prominent Shadow Network members American Center for Law and Justice, First Liberty Institute, and Liberty Counsel.
Also helping to fund the Super Bowl ads are the Greens, the billionaire family behind the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., and the Hobby Lobby craft store chain that got the Supreme Court to grant corporations a religious exemption to deny workers access to birth control.
This is how the Shadow Network operates – an expensive, gimmicky ad campaign that pastes a feel-good, faith-friendly face on their behind-the-scenes efforts to redefine religious freedom and gut church-state separation.
White Christian Nationalists want to divide America into two distinct classes. They will not stop until conservative white Christian men are a special, privileged class and everyone else sits in the second class cars.White Christian Nationalists want to divide America into two distinct classes. They will not stop until conservative white Christian men are a special, privileged class and everyone else sits in the second class cars.