Saturday Night Live recently aired a fictitious movie trailer for “DJesus Uncrossed,” a spoof of the film, “Django Unchained.” The skit was based on Jesus’ return, stating that “he’s risen from the dead . . . and he’s preaching anything but forgiveness.” It was one of the most blasphemous videos I’ve ever seen.
Response from the Christian community has been swift. The American Family Association asked people to petition Kmart, Sears, and J.C. Penney, asking that they pull all advertising from Saturday Night Live. Televangelist Pat Robertson described SNL’s skits as “anti-Christian bigotry that is just disgusting.”
Fox News contributor Todd Starnes wondered, “Does NBC hate Christians?” and noted that “offending Christians is apparently what passes for entertainment these days.” He added, “I find it interesting that the networks always mock and ridicule Christianity—but they give other religions a pass. Why aren’t the writers at SNL churning out weekly skits about Islam—or the Prophet Muhammad?”
Mark Joseph, a movie producer who worked on such films as Ray and Amazing Grace, said that the Christian community needs to push back if it wants to prevent similar sketches in the future. “If Harvey Milk or Martin Luther King Jr. had been depicted like this, [the show’s producers] would be undergoing sensitivity training this week,” he predicted. “The Christian community has nobody to blame but itself since there is no price to pay for doing things like this. In our culture artists will push until they get pushback. Why should they stop when there is never any serious pushback from a respected leader or group in the faith community?”
Is he right? How should Christians respond to attacks on our Lord?
On one hand, Jesus taught us: “Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:39). In the Garden of Gethsemane, he refused to call twelve legions of angels to his defense (Matthew 26:53) and told Peter to “put your sword back in its place” (v. 52). On the other hand, he drove moneychangers from the temple (Matthew 21:12-16) and denounced the sinful religious authorities of his day (Matthew 23).
What should believers do when Jesus is slandered by our culture? Please share your thoughts. And join me in seeking to live today so that you honor your Lord. Jesus is not be surprised when lost people act like lost people. But he is grieved when his followers do.