NEW YORK -- America’s Christian right is aglow with rage over the portrayal of Jesus Christ as altruistic black guy living in modern-day Compton, California.
The trailer for Black Jesus, a comedy show scheduled to air on the Adult Swim cable network - the evening schedule of the Cartoon Network in the US - features the Messiah as a man on a "daily mission to spread love and kindness throughout the neighbourhood with the help of his small but loyal group of downtrodden followers".
Or, as the Christian Post decried, a “faux messiah dropping four-letter expletives and being accused of ‘smoking all the f*cking weed,’ in addition to being shot at and getting carjacked.” Adult Swim is billing the show as “the most anticipated comeback in history".
The reaction has been unsurprisingly earnest, with David Rodgers, a pastor of the House of Prayer for All Nations Ministries in Chicago, posting a Facebook petition demanding Turner Broadcasting System (TBS), the owners of Adult Swim, remove the show due to the “degrading imagery of the Lord Jesus Christ”.
We, the Christian Community are vehemently opposed and violently offended at this upcoming program soon to air on your channel called BLACK JESUS. The level of disrespect aimed at the depiction of our Lord and Savior is inexcusable. We are hard pressed to find any value in this program, its message or its purpose. As a group of believers, we are prepared to launch a mass campaign and boycott of your channel and any advertisers that are financially profiting from this program. These continued attacks against our Christian Values and the degrading imagery of the Lord Jesus Christ, will be met with social media awareness to the entire Christian Community and a targeted boycott of your advertisers.
An advocacy group for social conservatism called One Million Moms (which has several thousand members) has also lodged a petition calling for advertisers to boycott the show, admonishing TBS for the “violence, gunfire and other inappropriate gestures, which completely misrepresents Jesus”.
Likewise, the American Family Association (AFA) has failed to turn the other cheek, emailing its membership asking them to petition TBS, while quoting scripture at the presidents of the network: “We are told in Hebrews ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever’. Obviously Black Jesus makes a mockery of the Christian faith. It would be beneficial to all if TBS and Adult Swim showed a little more respect for Christians who believe the Bible.”
Black Jesus is created by cartoonist Aaron McGruder, previously responsible for the controversial offering Boondocks, which airs on the same network. After leaving Boondocks, McGruder said: “For three seasons I personally navigated this show through the minefields of controversy. It was not perfect. And it definitely was not quick. But it was always done with a keen sense of duty, history, culture, and love. Anything less would have been simply unacceptable. I'm finally putting a life of controversy and trouble-making behind me with my upcoming Adult Swim show, 'Black Jesus.'"
The HuffPost UK has reached out to Adult Swim for comment.
(H/T Right Wing Watch)
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