Jesus is back, and he’s still black – at least on “Black Jesus.”
The late-night TV show that has outraged Christians for having a modern-day Jesus as a black guy living in the hood, smoking dope and dropping F-bombs has been renewed on Adult Swim, the cable network that shares airtime with Cartoon Network on Turner Broadcasting.
The second season has caught the attention of OneMillionMoms, a division of the American Family Association, which is blasting Turner Broadcasting and its parent company, Time Warner.
“The show makes a mockery of our Lord,” OneMillionMoms said Monday. “The foul language used, including using the Lord’s name in vain, is disgusting. In addition, there is violence, gunfire, drugs, and other inappropriate gestures which completely misrepresent Jesus. This is blasphemy!”
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“Adult Swim is not ridiculing any other religion currently and wouldn’t dream of mocking Muhammad or Muslims. ‘Black Jesus’ is another attempt to distort the truth about Christianity,” the group continued.
“We need to send a loud and clear message to Adult Swim, its owner Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (a Time Warner Company), and all potential advertisers of ‘Black Jesus’ that this kind of programming is insulting and completely unacceptable.”
A trailer for the program can be seen below. (Editor’s note: The video contains language – some bleeped out, some not – that may be offensive to some viewers.)
Already the group has seen some success, as Prestone has just notified OneMillionMoms it was yanking its sponsorship of the program.
“Our company’s advertising during an episode of ‘Black Jesus’ was an oversight and not intentional,” said Steven Clancy, president of Prestone. “As soon as we were made aware of the situation, we took steps to ensure that our advertisements do not air during that show.”
The program stars Gerald “Slink” Johnson as a modern-day black Jesus living in Compton, California, spreading “love and kindness,” according to Turner Broadcasting’s news release.
In a statement, Adult Swim said, “‘Black Jesus’ is a satire and one interpretation of the message of Jesus played out in modern-day morality tales; and despite what some may consider a controversial depiction of Jesus, it is not the intent to offend any race or people of faith.”
“‘Black Jesus’ is not only an ugly attack on Christianity, but a horrible example of racism,” David Outten, production editor of the Christian media ministry Movieguide, told WND when the show originally debuted last year.
“It implies that, if Jesus Christ were black, he would be vulgar and use drugs and alcohol. It also presents the African-American community he comes to using the worst of black stereotypes.”
In fact, the trailer for the program shows “Black Jesus,” when confronted by his pals for smoking up all their marijuana, defending himself by declaring, “You do realize I died for your motherf—ing sins, right?”
In a column on WND, Outten and his Movieguide colleague, Ted Baehr, noted: “Fully knowing that ‘Black Jesus’ is profoundly offensive, Turner Broadcasting chose to tweak Christians. They enjoy it. Even if the show gets canceled there will be people who chuckle in self-satisfaction that they even got it on the air. They are at war with Christianity and, in particular, Christian morality. …
“Hatred and ridicule of Christianity is not funny; it is bigotry. The great atrocities of world history begin with the demeaning of one group or another.”