Thursday, March 7, 2013

Live From New York! It's Saturday Night! Featuring Jesus!

Saturday Night Live.


This time, sponsors are bailing because of complaints from the Christian community.


All prompted by a recent skit.


The comedy piece is actually a fake movie trailer for a fake movie called "Jesus Uncrossed."


It opens with Jesus rolling the stone from his own tomb.


He emerges.


He  looks into the camera.


"Guess who's back?"


So far, so good.


After all, resurrection scenes are uplifting for everybody, right?


It goes downhill from there.


The balance of the faux film promo shows Jesus surprising the Romans.


And then slaughtering them.


Jesus is pictured using the broadsword to dispatch one centurion  after another.


The closing scene shows the Son of Man announcing "no more Mr. Nice Jesus."


And using a machine gun to dispatch a bunch of armor-plated Roman soldiers.


The voiceover during the pretend spot is one of those dramatic baritones proclaiming that Jesus is back for revenge.


Sears has withdrawn its advertising for the online rebroadcast versions of the  program.


The American Family Association has described the levity as disgusting and despicable.


Here's my take.


It's not so bad.


Remember your Bible history.


The Jews of the New Testament awaited the Messiah and were disappointed.


They indeed wanted a king of this world, replete with armies and worldly power.


The Jesus of violent retribution is the kind of savior many prayed for two thousand years ago.


They knew the Old Testament God who sent plagues to put the Egyptians in their place.


The Philistines were visited by a rash of heaven-sent hemorrhoids after they stole the ark of the covenant.


It's in the book of Samuel, no kidding.


Of course, the real Jesus was anything but violent.


He preached the gospel of love.


Turn the other cheek.


Forgive 7 times 70 times.


That's the reason some  producer thought this bit would be so funny.


It's called humor through unexpected contrast.


It's the reason  Schwarzenegger in drag is hilarious.


So I'm not disturbed by this set piece from the folks who brought us Belushi and Aykroyd.


I actually think the humor reminds us of the reality: Jesus was gentle and forgiving.


He didn't rise to avenge.


He rose to save.


The concept of a bloodthirsty Jesus is so laughably ridiculous that the viewer gets the real message.


And if there's a way to remind a national audience on late-night television that Jesus died and rose to save them,  then I'm okay with it.


Is it disrespectful?


Well, maybe a little.


But the Jesus I know has broad shoulders.


Suitable for carrying crosses.


I don't think a little humor is going to bother him.


Especially if it points to his real message.


Imagine Jesus, Peter, James, and John hanging out to watch SNL in the college dorm.


Jesus might even have giggled at the goofy mock commercial.


So, chill everybody.


Jesus loves all of us, including a few wayward comedy writers.


He's pretty good at turning the darkest things into history's brightest moments.


Happy Easter.


  1. The skit was satire, using Jesus to make fun of the current gun debate. Funny how so many in the Christian community see nothing wrong with having deadly weapons available to anyone who can round up the purchase price.
    In the Garden, on Jesus' last night, one of the men with him cut off a slave's ear. Jesus healed the man and said -- "No more of this."
    That command is meant for those of us today, as much as it was for the people with him then.
    How is "No More of This" compatible with 100 round magazines?

  2. Sad commentary on our societal mores of today. Nothing is sacred in our world any more. It is OK to make fun of or belittle anything and/or anyone. What we fail to realize is that when we are enjoying such base humor, there are those who are suffering because of it. I would submit that we are a country out of control and in a downward spiral. We are at a negative level never before seen in this country. No jobs, repossessed homes, homelessness, hunger but we still spend millions and even billions on trivial "entitlements."
    Back to the "skit": Lynch says "not so bad" - depends where you are looking at it from. He then saysd "chill everybody".
    Well I find it inappropriate and in very bad taste. Again, the media is afforded the opportunity to do or say whatever they please without consequence.