Video trailer of “Black Jesus” courtesy of Adult Swim

(RNS) Conservative Christian activists, led by the group One Million Moms and the American Family Association, are pushing Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim series to cancel the new show “Black Jesus,” which they call offensive and “full of lies.”

Gerald "Slink" Johnson plays the role of God's son in Adult Swim's new comedy, "Black Jesus."

Gerald “Slink” Johnson plays the role of God’s son in Adult Swim’s new comedy, “Black Jesus.” Photo courtesy Adult Swim


This image is available for Web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

The show, set to premiere Thursday (Aug. 7 at 11 p.m., is written and produced by Aaron McGruder, best known for the comic strip and animated series “The Boondocks,” about two young black brothers.

The new show stars Gerald “Slink” Johnson as a modern-day black Jesus living in rough-and-tumble Compton, Calif., spreading “love and kindness” with a “loyal group of downtrodden followers,” according to Turner Broadcasting System’s press release.

But Monica Cole, director of One Million Moms, said the show is “blasphemous, irreverent and disrespectful.” Her group is basing its criticisms on the show’s YouTube trailer, which shows Jesus using explicit language and includes violence and drinking.

She, like other critics, hasn’t seen a full episode yet.

Monica Cole image courtesy of Monica Cole.

Monica Cole, director of One Million Moms. Photo courtesy of Monica Cole


This image is available for Web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

One Million Moms does not typically go after shows intended for adult audiences, but Cole said as a “Christian ministry, we felt like we could not excuse this behavior for any television company.”

It’s “extremely sad when mocking someone’s faith is someone’s entertainment,” she said.

“Black Jesus” will air late at night, well after most kids are in bed, but Cole said the time of day is almost irrelevant. “No excuse, blasphemy is blasphemy, no matter what time of day it is,” Cole said.

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.”

One Million Moms and  the American Family Association, which have previously targeted Honey Maid graham crackers,the Disney Channel show “Good Luck Charlie” and JC Penney for gay-friendly messages, have launched a campaign asking people to send an email to the Turner Broadcasting Co. to pull the show before it airs. Supporters have sent more than 131,000 emails, according to the AFA. 

A similar petition to cancel the show, started by a group called Christian Network, has reached almost 7,000 signatures.

If the show stays on the air, Cole said, her group would go after the show’s advertisers. For now, an Adult Swim representative said Turner has no intentions to cancel “Black Jesus.”

DeWayne Wickham, dean of Morgan State University’s School of Global Journalism and Communication, wrote in USA Today that the show should stay on the air because it may actually convert people.

Referring to McGruder, Wickham wrote that “there’s always a positive message buried just beneath the outrage that he doles out.”

Wickham argued that Jesus’ original disciples came from questionable backgrounds, just like in the show, and “though a pastor might tell these stories in church, such a message of deliverance from a life of sin might not reach deep into McGruder’s audience,” Wickham said.

This is not the first time racial depictions of Jesus have raised eyebrows. Last December, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly irked black audiences when she said, “Jesus was a white man, too. It’s like we have, he’s a historical figure that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa, I just want kids to know that.”

Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television & Popular Culture at Syracuse University, said Jesus has been a tricky subject for artists going all the way back to Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.

“There has been a lot of visualizations of Jesus that have been on a whole spectrum of what might have been considered an accurate depiction of what he might have actually looked like,” Thompson said.

But Thompson said he thinks a lot of people who are upset about the show might be more concerned with “contemporary culture wars” rather than the show’s actual message.

“I think by and large, if you go to the actual basic teaching of love and turning the other cheek and feeding the poor, they are very, very good messages,” Thompson said. “And to me, if you can get to the base of that kind of story, it can be told in a lot of different contexts.”

KRE/MG END ADAMS

154 Comments

  1. While portraying Jesus as black is like portraying Him as a WASP American — dumb but not offensive — portraying Him as morally degenerate is offensive. Not “let’s go out and kill these folks while they’re out riding their bicycles” offensive, but offensive nonetheless.

    • Theophilus: Portraying Jesus as black is not at all dumb, offensive, or unbiblical. Jesus did come from the old Middle East. Those people were darker than lily-white Americans, and many were Jews for whom the Old Testament was their sacred scripture. Jesus was a Jew, you know!

      It is necessary to know the history of biblical writings and their canonization. The choice of writings came long, long after the time of the man Jesus–or the man Noah. The writings are so distant from the characters portrayed in them, there is no proof that the characters ever even existed.

      There is nothing degenerate about the “f” word. It is only a word. Words cannot be “degenerate.”

      As for character traits, as for religious “morals,” as for human ethics, it seems quite well summed up in the claim of the character Jesus that of the three virtues he listed, faith, hope, and charity–caring for others–that charity was the greatest. I don’t think Jesus would have any problem in choosing honesty as the greatest virtue if that were added to his list. The other three all seem to depend on honesty.

      Of course there are numerous conservatives for whom honesty is not even a consideration. Consider the nasty language they use toward those who disagree with them. Consider the racial bigotry that is at the base of the total opposition to the half-white Barack Obama. Their prejudice only shows they are prejudiced against their own white race. And they don’t begin to realize it.

      • Actually American liberals tend to be more dishonest, hateful and racist then conservatives. For example, who brings up the issue in hiring quotas and school admissions? Who is more likely to use race as an excuse for crime or broken families? In terms of hate, who physically threatens conservative speakers on college campus?

        • Ah, “your the real racist” argument.

          Never mind that conservatives demonize people as a political campaign tactic, work to disenfranchise voters of minority groups, frequently engage blatant bigots of all stripes (including the AFA) as loyal rank and file and engage in half-baked fictions to portray themselves as victims.

          One would think Jesus, as a person from the Middle East is probably going to be a lot swarthier than previous actors who have portrayed him such as blond blue eyed pale Scandinavian complexioned Max von Sydow.

          • Trying to make sure people only vote once is racist, how?
            In any event, the main complaint about this show is not the actor’s race but the portrayal of Jesus.

          • Using the phony pretext of “voter fraud” to cause a deliberate drop in voting is not only racist but bigoted against the poor and elderly. Finding a new variation of the “poll tax” reeks of what racists groups used to do to deny people the vote.

            Preventing the voting of tens of thousands entitled citizens to prevent one or two possible fraudulent votes (while engaging in massive polling place fraud and dumping ballots) is hardly the act of people acting in good faith.

            The main complaint is by a bunch of bigots and ne’er do wells who want their version of Jesus to be sanitized, white and without any interest to anyone but the “church basement crowd”

          • No I don’t project, just see liberals for what they are: bringing up race at times when race is not a factor, threatening people, trying to have speech codes,,,,,,,,,

          • So that’s a “yes,” then. Gotcha. And what you know about voter-ID laws, and the history behind them, apparently could fit into a thimble. But good to know we can count on people like you to tell us all when race does and does not matter.

      • I like how it’s just awful for a white celebrity or any white person for that matter to say the n word or racial slurs but if a black comedian lets say makes a joke about a “white boy” it’s funny. That’s exactly what this show is about,god forbid that a white person make joke about race but it’s okay for this show to first make fun of a religion and second to make fun of a race but no it’s okay because it’s the black man doing it. I myself really don’t care I don’t think that people should be so sensitive about stuff like this but the fact that people will freak out and be kicked out of all media and their own job because they said one word. The n word is bleeped out on tv but how come cracker isn’t how come a black man can say that and not have his show KICKED OFF THE AIR. That’s all I care about you idiots. This isn’t about liberals and democrats it’s about religion and race… Stupid idiots.

        • I agree. Its about the religion and race i do not like this show at all. Maybe not everyone thinks this show is offensive but there not the only.people on earth. For me this is extremely offensive and i would never watch it… EVER..

          • That is your right. If you don’t like something don’t watch it. Our society and television Is based on free speech within reason, and everyone has a different opinion on where the line is. I am a devout catholic but I enjoy the show so I watch it. Shows like tyler perry house of paine I find to be offensive and dont watch them. Black Jesus is just an interpretation of the writer and/or creators point of view. The point is I find house of paine to be racist and demeaning so I dont watch it I’m not going to knock anyone who does but I will choose not to. That is my right just as it is tyler perry and company right to tell a story in whatever manner they see fit. I dont have to agree with it but I respect the right to for them to express themselves….

    • The Constitution or the preamble do not protect ur feelings. With the hundreds of shows pushing the immorality of , get over your self. Beliefs are not deserving respect just because it’s a belief

    • Watched it. Liked it, a lot. Surprisingly orthodox theology so far, to be honest. Jesus died for your sins, calls people out for their short-comings, builds up those in need, performs miracles for others, but rebukes those who demand them selfishly. Sure he cusses. A lot. He’s a very incarnate Jesus, that’s for sure. More to reflect on later. Just wonder if the haters bothered to watch.

          • Well, yeah, Larry, you and your fellow atheists don’t like this Jesus guy acting like such a superior know-it-all. But Eric (I think) claims to be a Christian. I’m supposing he’s gay and thinks that Christians who take the plain sense of Scripture as truth are haters. And I personally think it is ungentlemanly and intolerant to call anyone a hater who hasn’t actually said that they feel hate for someone else. Beliefs, even unpopular beliefs, do not make one a hater.

      • I watched and I liked it too..let me say I was raised in a Southern Baptist family and I continue to live my life that way..HOWEVER, I’m not an uptight Christian, I don’t see a problem with every tiny thing and I’m a huge Boondocks fan.. (The strip AND animated..) You’re very correct about the context of the show and I agree with you 100%. In fact, I watched the first episode twice. Aaron McGruder is very talented with how he always implants some sort of moral message into his work that is unfailing mired in satire. Yes, Black Jesus curses like a sailor but the last time, I made my way thru the bible, I don’t recall curse words being a thing..Society made it a thing and suddenly it’s sinful? It was probably some stuffy holier than thou person that came up with that TOO. I found that ultimately Black Jesus, in it’s Aaron McGruder way is on parole with the Jesus i learned about growing up. (For the same reasons you listed and other than the cursing but for all we know, maybe he cursed too! Who’s to say he didnt?)..How is it blasphemous? I guess at the end of the day, the “uptight” Christians(who make us normal Christians look bad) are going to make it into a huge deal because THEY don’t like it for imagined reasons of their own. I’m actually looking forward to tonight’s episode..I’m glad at least one other person on here actually watched the show b4 deciding if they like it or not..I hope it stays and has more seasons going forward.

        • Ephesians, 1 Peter and James all speak of cursing. Cursing is considered negative speech and not uplifting to ourselves or others. If it comes out of your mouth it is in your heart. Society has indeed developed additional curse words since the speaking and then writing of the Bible but negative, unwholesome speech is directly addressed. As is the statement that praise and cursing should not come out of the same mouth. If you are looking for specific and or identical words to determine if an action is or is not a sin you should always trace the word/sin you are seeking back to the origin or root of the word. For example child pornography, internet bullying or DUI are not specifically mentioned in the Bible. But they should never be doubted in Christian faiths as being a sin. If an action, lack of action, thought etc. take us further from loving God and living and treating others with the love of God it is a sin.

    • portraying Him as morally degenerate is offensive.

      Well, when His followers stop screaming at me that I’m morally degenerate, we can talk.

      Too bad, so sad. Public domain, get the hell over it you thin-skinned sissies.

  2. If One Million Moms, a section of hate group The American Family Association doesn’t like something, I have to see it now!

    The trailers for the show looked hilarious.
    “You should be able to handle being hit by a car”
    [“I’m Jesus not —-ing Superman”

    Of course any depiction of Jesus as a person who hangs around with the lowest of society and preaches love and kindness must be blasphemy!

      • Why would you think the “f” word is incompatible with Jesus? There’s nothing satanic about the “f” word or anything else freely chosen about sex. There is a crying need to grow beyond the “holy picture” concept of Jesus. As for the bible, there is nothing contradictory in it. After all, Jesus did chase the money changers out of the temple, and we have no idea what language he might have used in doing so.

        Also, the writings that were eventually included in the bible canon–as opposed to those that were purposely left out–were selected by a closed group, had no public input. We know nothing of what the original writings might have included. They were long gone before the canon was selected. Also, we know little about the mistakes and purposeful changes made by very incompetent scribes over the centuries before the canon was formed.

        We don’t even have historical proof that a real “Jesus” existed.

        • The texts of the Bible (New testament) were clearly composed in the late 1st century, perhaps early 2nd century, though extant copies (fragments) generally tend to date from the 3rd or 4th century. On the other hand, both Josephus and Tacitus make reference to Jesus. There is more textual evidence for the existence of Jesus than there is for Socrates, yet no doubts Socrates existence. It is highly unlikely that a world encompassing religion dating back two thousand years founded in the region of the world where literacy was at its highest (generally speaking) was founded on the vain imaginings of a gullible populace. The characterizations of Jesus in the gospels are too human and true to life too be dismissed so easily, He knew His time, His culture, and the depraved spirit of man too well to be a figment. Skeptics always raise shopworn arguments against the historicity of Jesus. What is Higher Criticism but the smug superiority of people who come hundreds and thousands of years after events and claim they have a better grasp than those who experienced and wrote about them..

          • Josephus writings were no earlier than 93ad and Tacticus was the start of the 2nd century. Neither met jesus nor anyone jesus ever knew. Even if they did it only proves he was a man on earth.. A jewish preacher at best. I’m pretty sure there would be more doubts about Socrates if people wrote he was the sun of some god and he could walk on water.

          • “There is more textual evidence for the existence of Jesus than there is for Socrates, yet no doubts Socrates existence.”

            Untrue, Socrates wrote his own material.

            “It is highly unlikely that a world encompassing religion dating back two thousand years founded in the region of the world where literacy was at its highest (generally speaking) was founded on the vain imaginings of a gullible populace”

            Joseph Smith is calling, he wants an apology on behalf of all mainstream Christian sects.

          • We have accounts of Socrates as a soldier on the Peloponnese war before he was well known. He received commendation in battle. Including saving the life of Alcibiades. A contemporary mundane record with a level of corroboration for Socrates which is absent with Jesus.

          • Socrates’s existence is verified by a lot more people than Plato. Like Xenophon, Antisthenes, Aristophanes, Aristotle and Plutarch.

            Aristophanes ridiculed Socrates in his lifetime (show me a contemporary of the Apostles with an irreverent view of Jesus!). Xenophon, a soldier/historian corroborates a good deal of Plato.

            Being a man of position and status, there is a lot more expected to have been written about the life of Socrates (some of it not at all flattering either). There is no such expectation for Jesus. A man for all intents and purposes was a peasant laborer in a backwater province of the Roman Empire, who went out of his way not to annoy the Imperial authorities. You would be lucky if anyone took note of his existence during his life.

          • Xenophon was evidently another of Socrates’ disciples, and Aristophanes mentioned Socrates in his work. The others draw on Plato.

            “There is no such expectation for Jesus. A man for all intents and purposes was a peasant laborer in a backwater province of the Roman Empire, who went out of his way not to annoy the Imperial authorities. You would be lucky if anyone took note of his existence during his life.”

            You probably don’t realize it, but it just makes it that much more certain that such a man having four separate biographies written about him within a generation of his death was an actual person.

            You’re not really going down the Jesus-myth rabbit-hole, are you? Because that’s a crackpot argument if ever there was one, dismissed by nearly all of academia.

          • Again, unlike Jesus we know what kind of criticism was leveled by Socrates’s contemporaries in their own words. Aristophanes was a critic of Socrates in life. Xenophon, although a student was also rather critical of Socrates as a man.

            Both are in stark contrast to the encomiums of Plato. A situation much different from the Gospels which only depicts Jesus in a positive light. If we had an account of one of the Pharisees who opposed him or some artistic work written in 30 AD making fun of Jesus, then a point could be made.

            I take it you never read Xenophon’s Anabasis. It is one of the first military narrative’s from a soldier’s POV. The man knew how to commit his memories to print. He is one of the few classical writers where one can claim that all of his works still survive.

            So no, trying to fob it off as adherents sticking to a story (as frequently leveled at the Gospel writers) is not even close to accurate.

            “You’re not really going down the Jesus-myth rabbit-hole, are you? ”

            No, I just took issue with the claims that there is more evidence of Jesus existing than Socrates. It was silly.

          • If you had read the gospels you would know that it records literally ALL KINDS of criticisms leveled against Jesus by his opponents. He was accused of sorcery, blasphemy, gluttony, drunkenness, treason, and association with the most disreputable elements of society. And all of these accusations live on today not just in the gospels but in the Talmud–where you would most expect to find denials of His existence if they had ever been plausible to begin with.

            Not that a lack of criticism recorded in the gospels would take anything away from their evidentiary value as proof of the existence of Jesus, of course. That is merely another nonsense assumption that you have pulled from you-know-where, along with your claims about Socrates’ non-existent “writings.”

          • Nice try, but we have none written BY the critics of Jesus, only his followers. Not even close the same thing. I applaud the effort.

            A story becomes unencumbered with things like ambiguity or dissent when there is only one side of it being told. In the case of Jesus we do not have the writings of his detractors to contrast. There is always going to be a question of reliability of the Biblical texts and a lack of trustworthy corroboration. You can either sweep them under the rug, make excuses for it, or just acknowledge it and move on.

            “Not that a lack of criticism recorded in the gospels would take anything away from their evidentiary value as proof of the existence of Jesus, of course.”

            Not my point. You were too busy being a little snark-monkey to notice. I wasn’t trying to make an argument against Jesus. I was making one for Socrates. There is a difference here. You are too hung up on false dichotomy and being a disagreeable person to notice.

            Why do you continue to defend Diogenes’s ignorant remark?

            There is more clear and convincing evidence that Socrates existed than Jesus. So what? Its not an either or thing.

            I find the arguments against the existence of Jesus to be far too based on absence of evidence rather than evidence of absence.

          • Excuse me, but do you not know what the Babylonian Talmud is? It is a compilation of the teachings of the rabbis from the early Christian era who were anything but supporters of Jesus. I’d say rabbis who refer to Jesus as the “bastard son of an adulteress” who was executed on Passover eve for “performing magic and inciting the people and leading them astray” and thus did not “deserve to be spared” qualify pretty well as “detractors.” The only accusation against Jesus you WON’T find in the Talmud (or anywhere else) is that He didn’t exist. It took anti-Christian johnny-come-latelies of just the last couple of generations to come up with that notion.

            “Why do you continue to defend Diogenes’s ignorant remark?”

            Diogenes’ remark wasn’t ignorant. You’re the one who got your facts wrong. But I might be more inclined to answer your question in more detail if you would ever answer my question about why you feel obligated to defend the foolish Boswellian arguments about the scriptures and homosexuality that the Carrot keeps pasting around here.

          • The Talmud was written 200-500 years after Jesus. So it is not contemporaneous. No comparison with Aristophanes and Socrates. Aristophanes wrote during Socrates’s life. The level of evidence for Socrates is simply better than Jesus. So what? Socrates is a figure more likely to have such evidence. One does not negate the other.

            I may have gotten Socrates’s writings wrong, but I recovered to refute the nonsense that it all came from Plato. Diogenes was still ignorant, but your apologist nature sought the need to defend it to a ridiculous degree.

            We know Socrates existed. We have clear and contemporaneous evidence of this existence. Jesus most likely existed, we have writings long after the fact. But with ancient texts its all you have sometimes. The claims to the contrary with Jesus aren’t credibly supported.

            “But I might be more inclined to answer your question in more detail if you would ever answer my question about why you feel obligated to defend the foolish Boswellian arguments about the scriptures and homosexuality that the Carrot keeps pasting around here.”

            Because you have this delusional idea of having a monopoly on Biblical interpretation. That is simply an attempt to flex your ego and nothing else. He is entitled to his views, you are entitled to yours. Neither of them are credible beyond what one is willing to personally impute to them. You can claim scholars say it has to be interpreted in so and so manner, but that has no bearing on how it is actually believed or has to be accepted.

            The thing about theology is its an area of study whose credibility is strictly based on the predisposition of the reader. There are no objective facts or evidence anyone has to take seriously.

          • “… but I recovered to refute the nonsense that it all came from Plato.”

            That was NOT my claim. I said that ALMOST ALL of what we know of Socrates comes from Plato. And so it does. One non-contemporaneous extensive account, one non-contemporaneous minor account, and one contemporaneous reference. With Jesus we have four extensive, non-contemporaneous accounts written by contemporaries. That they weren’t written DURING his life no more works against his historicity than it does against other Jews of the time such as Gamaliel, Shammai and Hillel (either you or Max have referenced Hillel before without any qualms) whose existence no one particularly doubts. It doesn’t work against the existence of Confucius or the Buddha, for that matter.

            I understand that you are not actually attacking the existence of Jesus, but you are making more out of contemporaneity than there really is. I write for the benefit of others, not you.

            “The thing about theology is its an area of study whose credibility is strictly based on the predisposition of the reader. There are no objective facts or evidence anyone has to take seriously.”

            What you consistently fail to understand is that the Bible is NOT only a work of theology. It is composed of books of history, of law, of poetry, and of theology. The key passages concerning same-sex behavior come from a book of law. The civil and criminal code of the Jews, if you will. Or constitution, even. Is every interpretation of the US constitution equally valid? Of course not. How do we know a valid interpretation from an invalid one? By studying the writings and opinions of those who have interpreted it along the way. And the Torah works the same way. We CAN understand the meanings assigned to it by Jesus and His followers and audiences by consulting Jewish commentary upon it from the early Christian era, many of which I referenced in an earlier thread. And what we find there is remarkably straightforward. The Carrot never produces anything to refute it (not that any such thing exists) because he doesn’t really understand the issue. He is equivalent to an ignoramus with a sign standing outside the Supreme Court building screaming that he likes or doesn’t like the ruling, with no clue about what has transpired inside. No, his opinion is NOT equally credible–but you have to do a bit of homework to understand why and most people aren’t willing to do that. Either because it’s too much trouble, or because they suspect they won’t like what they find.

        • I care not about the race of an actor portraying Jesus as long as it is done with dignity and grace; but that ship has clearly sailed. Just another sign of the decay of our culture, a decay that comes to all cultures. Every culture has a beginning, an apex, and a nadir. My pet theory is that the faster a culture rises to dominance, equally swift is the decline (view Greece and Rome as examples), since America’s rise was precipitously swift, so shall also be it’s fall. So says History, and so say all of us.

          • So our apex was at a time when crime was more rampant, people lived shorter lives, bigotry was more socially acceptable, wars between nations and genocide was much more common in the world, when lives were shorter, people less educated on average, and famine more widespread?

            Your “Golden Age” kinda sucked. :)

          • “What was the apex? When Charleton Heston was in Ben Hur?”

            In all fairness Ben Hur was an awesome film. According to completely unreliable sources and rumor, Director William Wyler told co-star Stephen Boyd (playing the villainous Messala) to play the part as if he was a jilted gay crush on Ben Hur and not to tell Charlton about it..

      • Because using profanity after being hit by a car is so unnatural and sinful. :)

        The subtext I gleaned from the trailers is that the show is going to be ambiguous as to whether the title character is crazy or really Jesus incarnate.

        There is no way to depict Jesus in a remotely realistic fashion which will make the Evangelical set happy. They only want to see their sanitized, mythological, frankly boring version depicted. Except, when they want to indulge a secret taste for senseless gore and sadism and see him as a human pincushion, as Mel Gibson did rather successfully.

        Even when someone is overly reverential but casts someone vaguely “Fabio-like”, there was uproar. The only 2 times anyone really tried realism (or neo-realism anyway) in a story about Jesus were lambasted by the Bible thumper Crowd. The Last Temptation of Christ and The Gospel According to St. Matthew are never going to be high on the “One Million Moms” list of approved films.

        Film which ridicule the lack of verisimilitude in the Bible Film genre will never be liked by that set. (Life of Brian, History of the World Part 1, Wholly Moses, Year Zero…)

        • No because profanity usually shows a lack of respect for your fellow humans, much like racial or sexual slurs.

          If this Jesus used words like the n word would that be acceptable?

          • Usually being the operative word. But in the context of an interjection displaying physical pain upon BEING HIT BY A CAR! It would not be the case.

            People have “swear jars” for a reason, right?

          • Btw given that this Jesus is black, I would not be surprised if he used the N-word often. Its a little different when spoken by black people to each other.

            You seem to be under the impression that context never exists in any situation.

          • Bill, I’m not clear why you seem so intent on defending the mindless critics of this show (which they haven’t seen), but in any case do yourself a favor and read:

            Mark 11:12-25
            Matthew 23:13-39 (esp. v. 17)
            John 8:39-47

    • Jesus is probably laughing and shaking His head wondering how much longer He has to tolerate us earthly-minded humans.Jesus would not tolerate lies about His character for He is truth. I don’t need a cool Jesus just the one who is God. If you truly followed Christ garbage like this wouldn’t be written.

  3. Since Jesus, whoever he was, came from the Middle East 2,000 years ago, he was a whole lot darker than the vast majority of prejudiced conservatives who resent the probability only as an extension of their racial prejudice.

      • Frankie-No-Facts back at it, I see. So what is your point there, Mr. No-Facts? That Jesus can’t be depicted as African-American because he wasn’t African-American? Do you think he can be depicted as a Euro-Caucasian? Do you think he should be? If not, how should he be depicted in a modern context?

          • Listen up, folks! The Founder and President of the “I’m Rubber, You’re Glue Remedial School of Debate” has spoken! That’s right, Frankie-No-Facts is offering you his priceless rhetorical gems for free! Don’t miss your chance to learn the time-dishonored techniques that made Mr. No-Facts the man he is today!

          • Biblical films are an inherently silly genre. Lets be brutally honest, virtually every film depicting Jesus was boring and ridiculous.

            In the 80’s, The Last Temptation of Christ tried to make it a little more fun with brief nudity, a Peter Gabriel score and the hilariously intentionally inappropriate casting of Harvey Keitel.

            The last time someone tried to put a little life back in it, they turned the story into “Hostel, 33AD”. The gore film for people who usually protest gore films.

          • I agree. It’s just not possible to adequately dramatize the story of God but I don’t blame people for trying.

      • So, Frank, would that make Jesus white, then?

        Or are you forced to admit that your Jesus is mostly a fictional composite of whatever the hell you people feel like making him?

        • C’mon Frankie-No-Facts. Don’t lamely dismiss a direct question for once. Answer it with an actual answer. Make a point. Provide some evidence. Use reasons and logic to establish your claim. Or at least try, geez.

    • So some claim, as do you. Others see his basic teaching as concern for others. You know, of the virtues attributed to his listing, “…the greatest of these is charity.”

          • Sad. I had such high hopes for Frankie No-Facts. Thought he might be quiet and learn for once. Clearly I was mistaken.

          • When you have something to teach I’ll listen. I don’t need more ignorant people spouting ignorance in my life.

          • Poor Frankie No-Facts. Can’t see plain facts in front of his face. Here, let me help: Jesus taught about the coming kingdom of God, not eternal salvation for your immortal soul when you die. Source? The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. See, I like to think Frankie’s ignorance is a choice, not innate, so I try to help him when I can.

          • You’ve both got only half of it. Jesus’ central message was the kingdom of God, but eternal salvation is part and parcel of it because His kingdom is not of this world but instead its citizens are called out from the world to an eternal heavenly citizenship.

  4. The Great God Pan

    “One Million Moms and the American Family Association, which have previously targeted Honey Maid graham crackers,the Disney Channel show “Good Luck Charlie” and JC Penney for gay-friendly messages…”

    The Moms have a lot of time on their hands. And they actually boycotted JC Penney not for “gay-friendly messages,” but for hiring a lesbian employee. No joke.

  5. It’s not just conservatives. That is just a convenient narrative that has been created so that The Network PR team can create a straw an argument based on race.

    http://nowarningshotsfired.blogspot.com/2014/07/open-letter-to-araon-mcgruder.html?m=0

  6. Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    As a Catholic, I have no problem with Jesus being portrayed as Black. All around the world there are statues of Jesus with Black coloration in Catholic churches. And Black Madonnas (from candle smoke) are among the most venerated icons in Christendom.
    But portraying Jesus as foul-mouthed is another matter. Most foul-mouth words are implied violence and hatred of women. It appears the media and Hollywood people have the elite’s image of low income or working people as people who are in many ways sleazy.

    • Deacon, try rereading your New Testament, especially Mark 11:2-25; Matthew 23:13-39; and John 8:39-47. Jesus could use rough language when it suited him, at least according to the evangelists. And the creator, Aaron McGruder, is hardly your typical Hollywood “elite” and I’ll take his representation of inner-city life over your ill-informed assumptions any day of the week: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_McGruder

    • John, you obviously aren’t going to be the audience of the show. You have no idea what Aaron McGruder has done before (calling him a Hollywood elite is laughably ignorant on your part).

      The only foul language used by Black Jesus in the trailer was AFTER GETTING HIT BY A CAR saying “that —-ing hurts”. Not exactly the kind of denigrating language you are thinking of. Pretty tame even by hypocritical ignorant Bible thumper standards. I am sure you have made similar interjection after being injured suddenly. Protest too much?

  7. I am a red-blooded Christian boy and that trailer is hilarious! Conservative Christians are always missing the point. Try arguing with one…say over any issue…it can be over the death of your mother…but if you say the F word then that trumps everything…The issue immediately becomes about THAT. Your mother can wait. Evangelicals will never get this show.

    And I honestly don’t think this is racial for them…it’s ALL about the F word in the mouth of Jesus.

          • That’s true! That’s doesn’t say much about you though since you are schooled by me every single time.

            Insert foolish, immature comment below….

          • Frankie No-Facts, you have yet to school anyone on anything. Because, somehow, you claim a position knowing superiority, yet never manage to offer an argument or respond to disagreements and critiques. You just blather on and on and f-ing on with dismissals, waving your hand at anyone or anything you can’t actually engage. I’m quite serious when I describe your comments as examples of “I’m rubber, you’re glue” rhetoric.

  8. Nobody owns the idea of Jesus. Jesus is in the public domain, and free for anybody to do anything they want. All of these people complaining about the accuracy of the portrayal of Jesus — please raise your hands if you were alive 2,000 years ago and actually knew Jesus.

    Nobody? Great. So, that means that none of us were eyewitnesses. We’ve all heard the mythological stories of Jesus as passed down through the ages, and the interpretation of those stories has varied wildly from generation to generation.

    And for those of us who do not take the Bible as literally true… I personally think the trailer for Black Jesus looks friggen’ hilarious.

  9. Why stop at a black Jesus? Maybe the Great Deity is a an Asian-black-Hispanic, female dwarf paraplegic who also has a “different world view from the rest of us.”

    Besides, I always thought that the old white guy who needed a haircut and a flowing white beard pointing his finger down at his subjects was a pretty scary looking fellow.

    • Why not? Its not like the show is going for historical accuracy or adherence Biblical canon.

      Its a comedy set in contemporary times.

      If Kevin Smith can have Alanis Morrisette as God and angels decrying the lack of ability to self-pleasure and intoxication, the door is pretty wide open for a lot of things.

  10. Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    I wonder when the cowardly Hollywood elites will get around to doing a parody or comedy about Mohammed. The only such movie I have read about was one that supposedly caused the Benghazi,Libya killings. And somehow over here our government found a way to jail the maker of the movie.

    • Ah, the “why don’t they insult the religion I don’t like” argument. With a side of Benghazi trutherism too! Poor Deacon. You want McGruder “somehow” arrested for his Jesus TV show, maybe? Or do you just want to act like Christians are put upon in America, because our government luvs them some Muslims?

      • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

        No Eric–I support the First Amendment–even when it is used to slime something I value. My point is the cowardice of the media to be even-handed in its parodies and satires.
        And you may not consider what happened at Benghazi as beneath bother by calling interest in that issue : “trutherism” But it was the defenders of the current regime that said the truth was that it was a movie that instigated the deaths. That was their proven bogus “trutherism.”

        • i said your comment had a side of Benghazi trutherism because your tone implied you didn’t believe the accounts of what happened, accounts that said the video helped inspire the attack. Nothing about that claim has been proven “bogus,” though it is an unsettled question.

          Media “cowardice”–yeah, I stand by what I said before: you just want the media to mock a group you don’t like. Parody and satire, though, tend not to work on any minority groups when done in and by the dominant culture; they just come across as prejudice. Parody and satire are best aimed at powerful, influential, or otherwise dominant groups and individuals or ideas. The whole point of satire is to unsettle what is taken for granted.

  11. Watched the first episode. The show did not impress me. It just wasn’t particularly funny.

    The Boondocks it ain’t.

    The “One Million Moms” can still kiss my ever widening behind on principle.

  12. The latter few comments on this thread only prove my point about the decline in our culture; lack of civility, utter coarseness, pride and ungodliness. As far as the apex of our empire is concerned, from an economic standpoint I would think few would disagree that noontide is passed; For my part the rejection of moral rectitude and Christian propriety is a good hallmark for the beginning of a downward spiral, examine the vile, prideful, uncharitable comments on this site by purportedly civilized, enlightened, educated people. From a political perspective, America is becoming increasingly less relevant to the balance of the world. And Larry, whoever said anything about a Golden Age? I was talking about the constitution of an empire with no reference to its particular merits.

    • Give me a break! Civility is something you only seem to expect in others but never provide yourself.

      “As far as the apex of our empire is concerned, from an economic standpoint I would think few would disagree that noontide is passed; ”

      I disagree, rather vociferously! I guess if Armageddon isn’t on the horizon, Christians are disappointed. The world has to be a crappy place for them to be happy.

      From an economic standpoint things are getting better. We have a world which is becoming more democratic by and large, has been more peaceful, with far less famine, more capable of communication and trade in a ways never conceived in the past. We are living in a more peaceful age now than we did a century ago, more peaceful than centuries ago.

      Your “empire” is as fictional as its apex. The period you would consider the peak of civilized society was pretty crappy by all objective standards. You were engaging in useless ignorant nostalgia.

      Your political perspective on America is deeply flawed. It is like complaining a fireman is less relevant in a neighborhood because newer buildings have sprinkler systems. If the US has become less relevant it is because its influence on the world has become more widespread. Things like democracy, separation of church and state, anti-authoritarian attitudes which used to be American trademarks are becoming more common in the rest of the world.

      “examine the vile, prideful, uncharitable comments on this site by purportedly civilized, enlightened, educated people”

      As I recall, you are no stranger to such things. Mendacity thy name is Diogenes.

      • It is laughable for you Larry to comment on civility…oxymoronic in fact. I reference the American empire and you draw in the whole world; which in fact is not getting better in human terms. If you knew history as well as you claim, you would recognize that no empire is eternal and America is certainly an empire and shows presently all the hallmarks of decay that afflicted all past earthly empires. I do not deny a certain incivility on occasion… and occasional error, but I have yet to hear or see any atheist I have ever conversed with demonstrate any willingness to confess error, though you came close with one comment in your argument with Shawnie5 about Socrates. The bulk of atheists I have known demonstrate a ‘superior’ attitude, large egos, short fuses, and supreme self regard. They do indeed have a god…themselves.

  13. I am wondering why McGruder has Jesus acting the way I guess ‘blacks’ act in Compton, CA or the world in general. If he didn’t have Jesus cursing, drinking, smoking, etc., and instead performing miracles in modern day time as in new testament times, I would consider it being aired. However, they are mocking my Jesus, someone who out of love and obedience for God the Father to come down to earth and die for our sins, not His. He had no sins. He was innocent. Unfortunately for the nonbelievers, He rose from the dead and will return soon. I’m not saying to give up on the petitions and protests, but the networks are going to do what they want. In the end, we will all be judged. GET YOUR HOUSES IN ORDER.

    • “I would consider it be aired”

      Pretty sure it is not your choice. If you won’t want to watch, don’t watch. Just spare the rest of us your Warner-Sallman-Sunday-School expectations of how Jesus should look and act.

      • First and foremost, I’m no saint. I did say our sins. Secondly, I didn’t argue on how Jesus looks, just the way that He is being portrayed. O, for the record…Im black and I don’t care if Jesus is white, black, red, yellow, or green. Don’t mock My Savior.

        • Did you watch the first episode? If not, I don’t think you have any ground for complaining about the show. If you did, how exactly was the show mocking Jesus? I watched it and didn’t see anything resembling mockery. In fact, “Black Jesus” conforms to orthodox theology in many ways–and virtually every character acknowledges his identity as the Son of God, without any condescension. Yes, this Jesus cusses and smokes weed, but there is nothing in that depiction meant to mock him.

          • I’m sorry. Larry M? Welcome to the conversation ( sarcasm). Eric, I don’t need to watch the first, second, or third episode. The trailer was enough. If McGruder has the grounds to create and Nick Adult Swim has the grounds to air it, then I have the grounds to complain. Its called freedom of speech. Yes, the show recognizes Jesus as the Son of God. But any man, demon possessed recognizes Him as God the Son–Mark 5:2-13 (read your bible). As a matter of fact, pick up a Webster and look up mockery-to mimic in sport, jester, derision. I’m done.

          • Of course you are done. You never started. Making sense, that is. No one questioned your “right” to complain. Just what you do with that right. You’ve told us more about your lack of honest thinking than about the show’s lack of reverence. So you’ll understand if I find your word-of-they-day exercise unconvincing.

          • So Gabrielle, if you didn’t actually watch the show, nobody has to take your complaints about it seriously. You are just another hysteric who is joining in phony outrage.

        • I believe you have referenced yourself as a ‘christian’ but nothing you’ve said since you entered this thread appears to demonstrate it. (Yes, other Larry, another uncivil ad hominem attack by Diogenes) Just making an observation on a par with a large measure of the diverse viewpoints, but unfailing hostility endemic among the posters on this thread. Even though the pot is calling the kettle black, the pot is also calling the pot black. P.S. This is in NO WAY A RACIAL REFERENCE. Don’t want any professional bedwetters to get their knickers in a twist.

          • Diogenes…you would not be the first person from the conservative Christian camp to label me an unbeliever. That’s their default position when anyone disagress with them.

            I am a disciple and a lover of Christ and I do try to display that even in my comments. But I use the F- word from time to time because it is the perfect word for the situation.

            As for the Black Jesus sitcom which I saw last right….NOT FUNNY. Every funny bit was put in the trailer. Disappointing.

  14. The only thing I can say is. South park made ruse of Muhammad muslims demanded the death of the writers, was that a reasonable response to a little fun poking in a single episode? I say no, yet so many would say ‘it was insensitive to the muslim population at large.’ and other PC spewings. A teacher in the middle east only avoided death because she left the country after one of her students named their bear Muhammad. Ridiculous no? If you think those things were not outrageous than you have no place to speak against the people offended by this show.

    So I say knock the chip off your shoulder, hold in all things equality or shut up. if its not okay to make light of one religion its not okay to make fun of another.

    • Ah, another Islamophobe upset that the media doesn’t share his prejudices. How much do you want to bet he hasn’t even watched “Black Jesus”? “Make fun of”—how would you know if you haven’t seen the episode?

      • @Eric, this comment is nothing but assumptions about wrath and his/her views with no evidence to support it. Wrath did not declare whether he/she viewed the program or not, etc.

        • Not sure why you are jumping in here, D, but…

          The evidence for my claims about Wrath’s Islamophobia are Wrath’s words: his/her whining on about “political correctness” and violent Muslims.

          Wrath also said the show “makes fun of” Christianity. But I didn’t assume Wrath has not seen the show; I said you can’t make that claim without watching it AND I asked if he/she had watched.

          Feel better, now?

      • That’s rather presumptuous. You sound like a sad little misinformed Islamic apologist who has absolutely no knowledge on anything regarding islam or its militant followers.
        what prejudices did I even once mention? The simple honest truth that muslims threatened death to the writers of southpark for a single episode? Or that the equally true fact that they were going to kill a school teacher for a student naming their bear?
        another fun tid-bit you ‘air quoted’ me to be saying ‘make fun of’ as if I said they made fun of Christianity? did I? Interestingly enough, no, I did not. I said “if its not okay to make light of one religion its not okay to make fun of another.” that means every last religion to exist. I watched the first episode, I didn’t really enjoy it, nor did I really have a problem with it. It had its pro’s and con’s like any program am I going to set my DVR so I don’t miss it? No. am I going to protest it? No. If it is on, and I happen to be watching cartoon network at the time will I change the channel? Only if there is something else on that I was wanting to watch.

        Don’t be such a presumptuous apologist it makes you seem rather desperate for attention and acceptance. Unless you can explain to me how it was reasonable for members of a religion to demand death in those cases that I referenced. if you cannot, you are just talking out of an empty misguided sense that you somehow must defend members of a religion who couldn’t care less if you existed.

    • So you are saying that Christians should act as obnoxious as Islamicists?

      Really?

      Maybe you should relax at take things into perspective.

      Be happy that the opinion of Christians is that they are by and large not really scary dangerous people. That they are considered inherently reasonable enough to not become homicidal when their religious belief is made the subject of humor. Civilized enough to take the barbs and humorous intentions coming their way with dignity and sanity.

      Or you could just roll around in the mud with the rest of the crazies.

  15. I don’t see the point in making such a big fuss over it. If you are offended, don’t watch it. Nobody is making you watch it or support it. It’s not like children will be watching it anyway, since the program is on so late at night.

    I feel like some people are treating Black Jesus as though it’s a serious show presenting information as being true, when they need to be keeping in mind that this is a comedy and a satire playing on not only the stereotypes associated with the Christian faith, but also those found in our own culture.

    For those saying that nobody would dare make a show with a similar premise about Mohammed, I point out that Christianity is a part of American culture. It is one to borrow from and poke fun at our own culture; when we do it to another culture we enter dangerously offensive territory. If this show had been devised by someone of Indian or Middle Eastern descent for example, where Christianity is not the dominant faith, the Mohammed argument would hold more water.

    • I wasn’t making a fuss. Just wanted to bring out some critical thought to the people who were fitting on people who were offended, and who have every right to express such. You need to ask yourself where you would stand on a similar issue. Would you declare that the program depicting something that you, or a group that you stand with, finds offensive is unacceptable and therefore make a stand against it?

      “Christianity is a part of American culture”
      So, then its logical that we can also make fun of nearly any other religion, seeing as America in no way made Christianity, its a religion that exists within the fold of our culture as do many many others, if you ask the people of Dearborne Michigan Islam is a part of our culture. Our president also claims Islam was instrumental in the foundation of our country, while the claim is controversial, that would lend credence to it being “part of American culture”

      So I stand firmly by the fact that someone would not make a show with a similar concept based on Muhammad. Seeing as, according to our own government, an attack on a US embassy was due to an internet video made by an Egyptian born man. Meaning that no matter where you are in the world, the muslims have the ‘right’ to be inflamed by your ‘joke making’ and attack anyone they see fit in response.

  16. It doesn’t take a conservative to find this show offensive, but it does take someone implying that sense conservative groups are offended by it, like this article for example, that they must be over reacting. I’ve seen more than the trailer, and I can understand why Christians would get offended. All it takes is some no-name pastor in Florida who may or may-not burn a Quran or the assumption that Christians are somehow behind the bullying of homosexual teens for the news media to headline how offensive and intolerant Christians are, while the entertainment industry and news media regularly portray Christians in a negative light, while ignoring all the acts of vandalism and arsons against Christian Churches taking place in the U.S. that can be found simply by searching Google for “Church Vandal” or “Church Arson”. Covered only by local media because the national media is too busy with following Westboro Baptist Church or reporting on the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church some fifty plus years ago while driving by all the modern day scandals – which far exceeds the churches – taking place in public schools. Search Religion in the Media 2010 and then 2011 (from the Pew). Christians are intolerant when a few of the 2.1 billion of them do something stupid like burn a Quran or protest a funeral, but when acts of intolerance that far exceed the headlines directed at them take place, they must be conservatives.

  17. I pity you U.S. folks… don’t your public figures have anything better to do with their time than going after some random TV show? Futile and moronic… but what would one expect from zealous xians…

  18. I met my first black Jesus 20 years ago in involuntary committmitment court. I was often amused by these poor sick people, some of whom were convinced the CI A had planted radios of TVs in their head. One lady had to be covered in aluminum foil to secure her court appearance. They were accused of being mentally I’ll and acdanger to themselves or others. But, the black Jesus I saw was a happy, middle aged woman.mshe only wished to spread God’s name as a begot love. She opened her arms and proclaimed herself to be Jesus. I wondered what harm shevposed to anyone. She be manager goodness. Unfortunately, she was headed to a mental institution where she would be sedated.
    I agree with Vic. Black Jesus is not the son of Mary, but he is a son of God. Who is to say that God does not have him here to spread the Holy Word. Can He not work miracle through us all?

  19. If you guys actually watch the show, it’s not offensive if anything it’s just putting Jesus in a modern day world. I believe in God, and i enjoy this show, sure it’s sarcastic at times but it’s a comedy, relax it still has a good story to tell. Besides that if your offended by the fact Jesus is portrait by a black guy than your being racist cuz I know blenty of people that have Jesus memorials that portray him as being black, so get over it, or get more black friends lol. Besides if you study religion, you’ll realize have the things in bible have been added or rewritten by priest to fit their king so who’s to say what’s right and wrong, so I guess long story short don’t be so literally, relax, laugh, have fun and believe in God. You’re not here to judge ;)

  20. I honestly didn’t approve of the show at first when I saw the previews for it, but after watching an episode. I realized that it’s more of a positive show compared to a lot of the satanic shows on Adult Swim and it should stay to convert the ones that come to watch those shows

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