Posted: 5:07 pm Friday, July 25th, 2014

‘Black Jesus’ comedy angers Christian groups 

By George Mathis

Comedian Gerald ‘Slink’ Johnson as "Black Jesus" with his Compton disciples. (Image from video trailer)

Comedian Gerald ‘Slink’ Johnson as “Black Jesus” with his gang … err … disciples. (Image from video trailer)

Was Jesus black? Does it matter?

I would say no to both of those questions, but we’ll never know the answer to the first one. Even if scientists had DNA samples they wouldn’t know the exact color of Jesus’ skin.

Jesus, like most people from the Middle East today, would likely check “white” on a U.S. Census form. Curiously, Jesus’ parents, Joseph and Mary, are said to have traveled about 80 miles in the days before Jesus’ birth so the newborn could be counted in a Roman census and/or be born in Bethlehem, the hometown of David, the former king of Israel.

The bad thing about historical accuracy, and the preceding paragraphs, is that it’s not very funny. The topic of Jesus isn’t known to get a lot of laughs either.

But that hasn’t stopped Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder from making the upcoming comedy TV series “Black Jesus,” which features a comedian that is literally straight out of Compton. The robed and sandaled Jesus spreads love while sharing “forties” of beer and tokes of weed with foul-mouthed disciples. He even pulls bottles of wine out of thin air whenever the crew runs low.

The series is to premier Aug. 7, a Thursday, on the Adult Swim network, a part of Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting System.

As might be expected, some aren’t happy with what Adult Swim calls “the most anticipated comeback in history.”

The New York Daily News says Christian groups are “violently offended” that Adult Swim is “messing with their Messiah by giving him a filthy mouth and dropping him off in Compton, Calif.”

One Million Moms, a conservative Christian activist organization, says the non-animated show “makes a mockery of our Lord” and portrays Jesus as a “black guy living in the hood.”

“The foul language used in the trailer, including using the Lord’s name in vain, is disgusting. In addition, there is violence, gunfire and other inappropriate gestures which completely misrepresent Jesus. This is blasphemy!” the group writes on its website. “Adult Swim plans to blaspheme Jesus on a weekly basis. This mockery will be similar to ‘South Park’ and ‘Family Guy’ but much worse since the entire program will be based on lies about Christianity.”

A Facebook group and an online petition are also seeking the show’s cancellation, but less than 500 people have supported the petition.

The show’s supporters say “Black Jesus” is just over-the-top satire and people that don’t like it don’t have to watch it.

Should “Black Jesus” be canceled? I say let audience ratings determine when it is canceled.

After all, if TV shows were canceled just because a group of people found them offensive we’d have nothing to watch but B.J. and the Bear reruns.

 

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