Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Can't muster any outrage

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Romans 8:35-39

All too often in today's society, people look for ways to be offended. It's almost as if "victimhood" is becoming most prevalent in our culture. Whether it's based on race, class or political affiliation, one can always gin up scenarios where their sector of society is being bludgeoned with bigotry.

But these days, religion is at the epicenter of the culture war. And once again, cable channel Comedy Central finds itself in the midst of the latest controversy.

It's not on the air yet. It's not shot yet. There's no pilot yet. Hell, there might not even be a script yet.

But Comedy Central developing an animated project about Jesus Christ has the biggest names in the TV watchdog business forming a Super Best Friends protest super-group to preemptively smite the show.

Brent Bozell (president, Media Research Center), Tony Perkins (president, Family Research Council), Michael Medved (talk radio host), Bill Donohue (president, Catholic League), Rabbi Daniel Lapin (American Alliance of Jews and Christians) and, of course, Tim Winter (president, Parents Television Council) are joining forces to form the Citizens Against Religious Bigotry.

Comedy Central's "JC" is currently in development, which means it's still a couple steps away from becoming a Go project. The show is about Jesus trying to live as a regular guy in New York City and wanting to escape the shadow of his "powerful but apathetic father". With Comedy Central having recently censored frequent parenting group target "South Park" for trying to portray the Prophet Muhammad, some Christian leaders see the development of a Jesus cartoon as exhibiting an offensive double standard.

Double standard? Sure. But it's not so difficult to understand why. Extremist Muslims threaten violent retribution when the prophet Muhammad is perceived to have been depicted in a disrespectful manner. In fact, Muslim violence in Europe is occurring at an alarming rate. However, even the most radical Christians eschew any crude or violent retort to the defiling of Jesus Christ or His followers. Bottom line is the entertainment industry will often take the path of least resistance in an effort to attain cheap laughter.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, I find it hard to be outraged over the parodying of my Lord and Savior, much less portray myself as a victim of bigotry. If one merely examines the life of Jesus Himself, one would ascertain He suffered betrayal and physical beatings far beyond a human being's comprehension. And His words during his final hours still resonate to this day: "Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do." And as history reminds us, Jesus had the ultimate victory three days later.

I've had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ since 1986. One simple immutable truth is there's literally nothing that can jeopardize my faith and belief in my Savior, least of all a morally depraved industry which chooses to mock Him.


No comments: