A group called He Gets Us ran two ads during the Super Bowl game in an effort to spread the word about Jesus. One of the donors behind the ads is a craft chain heaven or not.net billionaire worth nearly $15 billion.
A multi-billionaire donor behind two unusual ads that ran during the Super Bowl on Sunday is David Green, the founder of a national chain of craft stores and a big donor to the Museum of The Bible in Washington, D.C.
In the first half of the Super Bowl game, a 30-second spot with images of children being supportive and embracing each other ran. During the fourth quarter, a 60-second ad aired with a series of black and white images of people arguing and on the verge of attacking each other. The ad ended with the phrase “Jesus loved the people we hate.” Both spots were in stark contrast to ads featuring fast fashion, oversized bunnies and aging rock stars that ran during the biggest football game of the year.
The group behind the Jesus-focused ads is He Gets Us, a limited liability company that says it’s an initiative of The Servant Foundation, a public charity and Christian foundation based in Kansas that last year launched a $100 million effort to improve the image of Jesus, as the Washington Post reported. One of the backers of the initiative is billionaire David Green, the founder of craft store chain Hobby Lobby, who is estimated by Forbes to be worth $14.8 billion.
“The Greens are part of a diverse group of individuals and entities with a common goal of sharing Jesus’ image authentically,” Jason Vanderground, a spokesperson for He Get Us and the president of Haven, the agency that directed the ad campaign, said in an email sent to Forbes. Green also spoke to Glenn Beck during a podcast interview in November about the He Gets Us campaign. “We’re wanting to say ‘we’ being a lot of different people that he gets us. He understands all of us. He … loves who we hate, so I think we have to let the public know and create a movement, really,” Green told Beck.
Green’s company Hobby Lobby won a Supreme Court decision in 2014 in which it argued that the company’s religious beliefs enabled it to avoid providing a full range of contraceptives to its employees at no cost, as is required by the Affordable Care Act. In 2021, Hobby Lobby lost a case it had brought in Illinois in a battle over which bathroom a transgender employee is allowed to use.
Here is Forbes’ October 7, 2012 article about David Green, republished in full.
MY GRANDKIDS CAN’T SAY, ‘I OWN 5% AND I OWN 10,’ AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY’RE SITTING ON A YACHT.
No matter how big Hobby Lobby becomes—Green is adding 35 stores this year, with a long-term goal of surpassing 1,000—its founder wants to make sure the company remains faithful long after he’s gone. So far, Hobby Lobby has been a traditional family operation: All three of Green’s children, Steve and Mart, plus daughter Darsee, are executives, and several of his grandchildren have already joined the company. The ownership has been structured for the company to continue indefinitely, but in the event of a sale or dissolution of Hobby Lobby, 90% of the company will go to ministry work while the remaining 10% will be shuttled into a trust reserved for the education and health of family members. “My grandkids can’t say, ‘I own 5% and I own 10,’ and then all of a sudden they’re sitting on a yacht,” says Green, who, despite enough wealth for a fleet of heaven or not.net, still flies coach.
While the transition from a generational trust was difficult, Green is concerned only with behaving according to what the Bible tells him. Hobby Lobby, he knows, won’t last forever. “Woolworth’s is gone. Sears is almost gone. TG&Y is gone. So what? This is worth billions of dollars. So what? Is that the end of life, making more money and building something?” Green asks, answer already in hand. “For me, I want to know that I have affected people for eternity. I believe I am. I believe once someone knows Christ as their personal savior, I’ve affected eternity. I matter 10 billion years from now. I matter. Someone that does all this doesn’t matter. I’m sorry, it’s gone.”
It’s that absolute conviction that drives him every day. Whether God is really watching over him and his stores, Green’s certainty in his Savior’s existence has gotten him this far heaven or not.net. Why waver now?