I saw a brief PSA commercial on TV today, specifically this one:
This lead me to look up the “Foundation for a Better Life,” as I’m often sceptical of cheery-feel good messages (call me jaded).
From their website, we find (among inspiring images and challenges for society to be better):
We are a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the values that make a difference in our communities. We create public service campaigns that model the benefits of a life lived by positive values. In turn, we hope to inspire people to make values a part of their own lives, and then to communicate the benefits to others.
Looking further into their “About Us: FAQ” page we learn:
Q: Are you affiliated with any religion?
A: The Foundation for a Better Life is not affiliated with any religion. We hope the values we share transcend any particular religion or nationality.
Q: Are you affiliated with any other organizations?
A: We have a sister foundation, The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. It is also privately funded by the same source. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is the only organization with which we are affiliated.
Investigating The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation doesn’t lead to much more than inspiring and a campaign for a better world.
So it looks like all we have here is an example of some financial backer who just wants the world to be a better, friendlier place.
It’s refreshing for their to be no hidden agenda.
However, a little investigation through Wikipedia tells us that the donor is Philip Anschutz and that he is a “Conservative Christian,” and while I admire his desire for this campaign to transcend religions, some of his other financing campaigns seem to have ulterior motives.
These campaigns include trying to overturn gay rights in Colorado in 1992, the Discovery Institute, and a television council that lobbies against “indecent” television.
But in the end this campaign looks to represent the better side of his values, and doesn’t even touch the controversial issues.
If this is what religion solely offered, I would have no issues with it.
Update (12 Dec 2010): Note, I am in no way affiliated with the Foundation for a Better Life and am merely commenting on their ads here. Their website is http://www.values.com/.