Outraged Christians and Muslims cancel Netflix over 'gay Jesus'
The First Temptation of Christ, made by a YouTube comedy group was released on Netflix in Brazil on 3 December and swiftly drew criticism from Christians and Muslims across the world.
In the show, it is implied that Jesus is in a sexual relationship with his male friend Orlando, which has prompted outrage.
Netflix’s description of the show reads: “Jesus, who’s hitting the big 3-0, brings a surprise guest to meet the family. A Christmas special so wrong, it must be from comedians Porta dos Fundos.”
The film sees Jesus and friend Orlando arrive at Mary and Joseph’s house where they’ve thrown a birthday party for their son.
There are constant hints and hijinks that imply Jesus and Orlando are romantically involved.
A Change.org petition was set up calling on the streaming giant to “ban” the film. As of the writing of this article, 1,781,444 have signed the petition.
The subject matter is thorny for Muslims and Christians, as Jesus is an important part of both lexicons of the Abrahamic faiths.
Christians believe that Jesus is the son of God, and is a vital part of the Holy Trinity made up of the father, the son and the holy spirit.
In the Old Testament of the bible, homosexuality is a sin, and most Christians around the world still adhere to some extent to that belief, making the Netflix comedy especially egregious.
The Catholic Bishop of Tyler, Texas condemned the satirical religious comedy, and revealed that he had cancelled Netflix over the film.
“Just cancelled Netflix,” he wrote on Twitter. “Hardly have time to watch it anyway but blasphemers don’t deserve a penny of support!”
Host of Dear America Podcast Graham Allen was similarly appalled, writing: “Let’s make this CLEAR! Jesus isn’t some “woke” culture experiment for you to convince young people that biblical teachings are “debatable.”
“Jesus is the SON OF GOD and died for our sins. Show some RESPECT!”
Pew Centre research into homosexuality and religiosity found that of Americans who view religion as important in one’s life, 78 percent were against the promotion of homosexuality.
Those who actively participated in religion, by way of prayer and attendance of religious services tended towards the view that homosexuality should be discouraged.
And this isn’t limited to Christianity. In Islam, Jesus is an important prophet, and many Muslims took to Twitter to air their anger.
One user said: “The NETFLIX movie portraying CHRIST JESUS as GAY is not only abhorrent, ridiculous, obnoxious, pestiferous, loathsome, condescending, harmful, invidious but also un-Godly. Christ Jesus is a prophet to the Muslims (and of Islam) too and deserves respect...”
Another Twitter user is calling on people to boycott Netflix: “Netflix is releasing a comedy about a “gay Jesus.”
|Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) is a Prophet of God, highly respected by Muslims. Christians have also been voicing their concerns on social media. We request this video is removed immediately #BoycottNetflix|
However, the comedy group which made the film seem unperturbed by the backlash. They recently posted a joke tweet linking to another petition calling for the film’s removal.
In a statement to New York Daily News, the troupe, who recently won an International Emmy Award for best comedy web television special for “The Last Hangover” said:
“Porta dos Fundos values artistic freedom and humour through satire on the most diverse cultural themes of our society and believes that freedom of expression is an essential construction for a democratic country.”