Thursday, August 7, 2014

It's Black Jesus Night, Much to the Dismay of the People You'd Expect to be Dismayed

Posted By on Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Tonight's a night I've been awaiting for awhile - which might say something about the general excitement of my life in general, but whatever - the premiere of Black Jesus on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.

The show, from Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder, is basically what the title promises: a show about Black Jesus, and as you probably could guess, a bunch of white Christians are proceeding to lose their minds, probably not because of the Black part, but perhaps because the show's Jesus smokes a lot of weed and turns water into Cognac (although you have to imagine the black part's not super comfortable either).

From the One Million Moms petition site, which almost reads like a backwards ad for the show, if I didn't know better:

The late night programming on the Cartoon Network, known as Adult Swim, plans to air the non-animated show "Black Jesus" portraying Jesus as a "black guy living in the hood." The show depicts him living in Compton Gardens and makes a mockery of our Lord. The foul language used in the trailer, including using the Lord's name in vain, is disgusting. In addition, there is violence, gunfire and other inappropriate gestures which completely misrepresent Jesus. This is blasphemy!

"Black Jesus" is set to premiere on August 7 at 11:00 pm ET/ 10:00 pm CT, unless we intervene. Adult Swim plans to blaspheme Jesus on a weekly basis. This mockery will be similar to "South Park" and "Family Guy," but much worse since the entire program will be based on lies about Christianity.

For what its worth, the New York Times seemed to like the show, at least:

Slink Johnson, an imposing actor with a suitably beatific expression, plays Black Jesus, who may be the son of God or may just be a big-talking con man with an unusual game. The show’s central joke is that these two options aren’t all that different.

Wearing brown robes and a permanent crown of thorns, Black Jesus walks the streets of Los Angeles with his Compton posse, a small, mostly useless band of apostles. He encounters unbelievers — Latino gangbangers, cops, a churlish apartment manager (Charlie Murphy of “Chappelle’s Show”) — and he dispenses homilies on forgiveness and faith. He also serves as the wheel man on a trip to buy a pound of marijuana. “All you need me to do is drive the car and watch over all your guys’ good graces?” he asks.

Weed takes the place of loaves and fishes for this 21st-century holy man. He has a bad habit of bogarting other people’s joints, and a running story line involves his efforts to turn an abandoned lot into a community garden whose vegetables will feed the people as well as hide the marijuana plants. As he clears trash from the lot, he sings to himself, “This little light of mine/We gonna grow some pine.”

Yes, it's almost certainly blasphemous, based on the definition of that term, but conservative Christians protesting a show that's entirely created to upset people like them? Definitely predictable and almost certainly counter-productive.

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