A Colorado-based Christian ministry is bracing for criticism after they aired a religious-themed commercial during Saturday night’s Broncos-Patriots game on CBS.
Focus on the Family’s 30-second ad featured boys and girls reciting John 3:16. It aired during the second quarter of the football game.
John 3:16 declares: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
According to the Denver Post, CBS faced outrage for accepting the ad because it contained a religious theme.
The Colorado House Majority Project, an organization dedicated to securing a Democratic majority in the state House of Representatives, published a tweet calling the ad “kidsploitation.”
David Barron, who writes a blog for the Houston Chronicle, said he received a call from a friend who said the ad “was one of the most offensive things I’ve seen.”
“When I asked why, he said, ‘Time and place. I don’t want to see a Cialis ad on the 700 Club, either,'” Barron recounted in his blog.
Focus on the Family’s 2010 Super Bowl ad was also the focus of criticism because the spot featured a pro-life message delivered by quarterback Tim Tebow.
Focus President and CEO Jim Daly told the Post that they expect people to be upset over the ad.
“We will hear about shoving religion down people’s throats,” Schneeberger said. “But if it’s OK to shove Doritos down people’s throats, and cars and everything else, we have the right to advertise, too.”
But he said the central message of the ministry is to share the Gospel of Christ with people.
“There’s been a lot of buzz lately about what John 3:16 says, and we wanted to help people understand it without having to run to their computer to look it up,” Daly said in a press release. “For Christians, the verse is the essence of the Good News of Jesus Christ, and when you have good news you want to share it with as many people as possible. We hope this helps everyone understand some numbers are more important than the ones on the scoreboard.”
Focus on the Family said private donations covered the costs of the advertisement.
Check out the ad: