A family-activist group says major retailers including Sears and JC Penney are removing their ads from NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” after the comedy show aired a movie spoof featuring the risen Jesus Christ going on a bloodthirsty, gun-packing vengeance mission.
“We applaud Sears and JCPenney for their wise action to stop funding damaging material such as the skit that mocked our Lord Jesus Christ on ‘Saturday Night Live,'” Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association said Tuesday.
“I can tell you that as long as corporations support this kind of offensive material, their sales are going to suffer as shoppers abandon retailers that support blasphemy,” he said.
“I hope folks can reinstate their patronage to these stores, and that Sears and JCPenney can stick with the good decisions they have now made,” he added.
A statement from Sears indicated, “It wasn’t supposed to happen and we’re taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Going forward our ads will not run in this form again around ‘SNL.'”
A spokeswoman for JCPenney told the New York Times reported the company does not even advertise on “Saturday Night Live.”
As WND reported, the show mocked famous Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino Feb. 16 with a gruesomely violent, fictitious movie trailer about Jesus wreaking bloody revenge upon the Romans who killed him.
The parody trailer can be seen below (Editor’s note: Contains extreme violence and language that may be offensive to some viewers):
"He's risen from the dead," the parody's voiceover intones, "and He's preaching anything but forgiveness. He may be wearing sandals, but He can still kick a--."
The parody then re-enacts a number of Tarantino's scenes, only with "Jesus," "St. Peter" and other biblical characters shooting, beating and slicing their victims, all while sprays of blood splatter the screen.
"Jesus? O sh--!" shouts one victim about to suffer Jesus' wrath. "Chill, man, chill!"
To which the "Jesus" character responds, "When you get to heaven, say 'hi' to my dad," before blowing a melon-sized hole in the man's torso.
The parody was also blasted by some American Muslims, who called it insulting to both Christians and Muslims worldwide.
"Such misrepresentation of what Jesus, peace be upon him, stands for is extremely offensive to Muslims and to all those who believe in his message," said Nihad Awad, executive director of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
"While we understand the use of shocking imagery and bizarre juxtapositions to provoke a humorous response, we believe such a distasteful portrayal of a religious figure revered by billions of Muslims and Christians worldwide crosses the comedic line.
"We strongly support free speech rights for all, but one would hope that common decency and respect for the beliefs of others would help avoid such unfortunate depictions."
Awad noted many people are unaware that Muslims revere and love Jesus as one of God's greatest messengers, and that every time Muslims mention Jesus' name, they add "peace be upon him."
Islam's holy book, the Quran, states: "Behold! The angels said: 'O Mary! God gives thee glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Jesus Christ, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and in (the company of) those nearest to God.'" (3:45)
The Quran also depicts Jesus speaking from the cradle and, with God's permission, curing lepers and the blind. (5:110) God also states in the Quran: "We gave (Jesus) the Gospel and put compassion and mercy into the hearts of his followers." (57:27)
Tarantino has a reputation for creating blood-splattered and violent films, including "Pulp Fiction," the "Kill Bill" series, "Inglorious Basterds" and the most recent "Django Unchained," each of which was spoofed in the parody movie trailer titled "Djesus Uncrossed."
Guest host Christoph Waltz, who won an Academy Award for his role in "Inglorious Basterds," played the part of "Djesus" in the SNL trailer.
The voiceover bills the fake movie as "the ultimate historical revenge fantasy."
Rolling Stone called the SNL spoof trailer "stunning, in the best way possible … a spot-on send-up of Quentin Tarantino's films, where Jesus (Waltz) rises from the dead, cuts down armies of Romans with swords and Uzis and leaves behind equal amounts hilarious blood and hilarious one-liners. Every last line in this gory sketch was written with impeccable sophistication."
WND movie critic Drew Zahn, however, found it something less than "impeccable."
"I'm reminded of the line from Steve Martin's 'Cheaper by the Dozen,' when he declared his children's pranks to be 'wrong – funny, but wrong,'" Zahn said. "Yes, the parody is well made, and yes, Tarantino is ripe for a spoof just like this. Shoot, I can even see the humor in it. But its subject matter can only be described with one word: blasphemous.
"If anything in our PC culture should be considered obviously offensive, this is it," Zahn continued. "Can you imagine the uproar that would occur if SNL made a parody, 'Muhammad Unleashed?' People at NBC would be losing their jobs. The 'sensitivity police' would be out in full force. It would cause international outcry.
"I just have to believe that if God gifted these actors and writers with such a gift for humor and wit," Zahn concluded, "that He intended it for nobler purposes than mocking His Son."
Christian TV host and best-selling author Ray Comfort said, "I wonder if the funny folks at 'Saturday Night Live' know that Muslims believe in Jesus Christ, and that they might not like one of their prophets being mocked in a blasphemous skit."
Comfort said that according to Islam-guide: "Muslims respect and revere Jesus (peace be upon him). They consider him one of the greatest of God's messengers to mankind." While they don't believe, as Christians do, that Jesus is God in human form, they do revere Him and believe that He performed miracles: "He was sent by God to us as a Messenger, to deliver to us the Bible and to guide humanity to the right path. God gave Jesus the ability to perform numerous miracles so that his people would believe him and follow his teachings. These miracles include curing the diseased, giving sight to the blind and even raising the dead."
Comfort went on to warn, "If Muslims threaten a man with death simply because he drew a cartoon of a prophet, the 'Saturday Night Live' writers and actors might like to think twice if they plan a second spoof because the first mocking clip was so well-received."
He added, "Take a moment to try and think of any human being in history, whose name has been so hated it has been so mocked and even adopted as profanity. Think of Gandhi, Hitler, Mother Teresa, Churchill, Mussolini, Muhammad, Buddha, Rasputin, Castro, or Lincoln. No human being, living or dead, good or evil, has had such a thing happen; no human being except one. Only the Name of Jesus is used internationally to cuss. You will hear it commonly used in movies to express disgust. You will hear it on television, on the radio, in songs, in the newspapers, in books and magazines, on the Internet, and in everyday speech throughout the world."