The most recent controversy surrounding the NFL’s greatest game of the year centres on a multimillion-dollar Super Bowl advertisement reminding viewers that Jesus Christ “gets” them.

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Two new commercials from the “He Gets Us” campaign will run on Sunday during the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Kansas City Chiefs game. Although the advertising’s religious content was expected to stir viewers, the $20 million price tag is what has drawn criticism online.

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Social media users questioned whether the wealthy Christian backers of the ad campaign were hypocrites for spending millions on marketing Christianity rather than using the money for another religious initiative, like philanthropy, which is typically promoted as the foundation of faith. This debate took place before the Super Bowl weekend.

At a time when Christianity is declining in the United States, the ad’s creators hope to reach more than 100 million viewers. Despite the fact that 63 percent of persons in the country identify as Christians, only 3 in 10 Americans, according to the Pew Research Center, perceive themselves as belonging to a particular religion.

They said, “There are a lot more Jesus-like things that could be done with that money”.

Another user claimed that the extensive advertising was “all the proof” they required to support their decision to stop giving to religious institutions going forward: They tweeted, “Religions certainly don’t need the small donations that I can afford since they have millions for Super Bowl advertising.”

Approximately 15 years ago, only 16 per cent of adults identified as religiously attached, compared to today’s almost 80 per cent, with 78 per cent of adults identifying as Christians.

Many of the campaign’s financial backers have remained secret, although David Green, one of Hobby Lobby’s millionaire co-founders, has publicly acknowledged supporting the effort, according to Christianity Today.

The commercials were made by the Michigan-based creative agency Haven, whose founder and CCO Bill McKendry told news source MLive that the company went to “great measures” to avoid politicising the advertisement.

There is no purpose here other than to show people what Jesus did because, according to McKendry, if we all followed his example, our society would advance.

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