The Lone Ranger and Proof Tonto is Jesus

tonto is jesus cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

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This is conclusive evidence that Tonto is, in fact, Jesus! Here’s the story behind the cartoon:

I read a few articles indicating that some Christians were going to boycott The Lone Ranger because of it’s deviation from the more Christian emphasis of the original film, as well as its dabbling in native spirituality and paganism. Plus, Christians, particularly Presbyterians, aren’t put in a very complimentary light. I was Presbyterian for a while. Actually, that’s who ordained me.

Jeffrey Weiss, writing for Religion News, calls it a mess of a movie and basically blames it on the fact that it “thrashes Christianity” in his review, “‘The Lone Ranger remake thrashes Christianity”.

Tyler O’Neil, writing for the Christian Post, delights in the fact that Despicable Me 2 crushes The Lone Ranger at the box office because it is more Christian. The Lone Ranger is “pagan” and “anti-Christian”.

Actually, Nathaniel Downes insights on the Christian Right’s protest and dismissal of the movie are worth reading in his post, “Christians Go On the Attack Against ‘Pagan’ Lone Ranger”:

“The point of the message within the film is lost on the very audience which needs it the most. The movie, while not a perfectly historical example, was actually quite accurate in its portrayal of white, Christian privilege which was rampant in the 19th century. It is a sad reminder of the atrocities humankind has done to itself, in the name of wealth and religion. To attack the movie for showing this is instead a reminder of the fanatical Christian Right, who would seek to restore this to the United States.

The movie held up a mirror, and the reviewers stood in fear of their own reflections. The attempt to mis-label native spirituality, the attacks on the movies inclusion of historical accuracy, denote what is truly within their hearts. They are like a child who wishes to cling to tales and not an adult who wishes to learn. This is ultimately what is wrong with the Christian Right, they are, in the end, children who wish to never grow up.”

Nailed it! I wasn’t planning on seeing the movie, but now I will.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • matthewbeams

    I haven’t seen the movie, but in my circles, most of the criticism about the movie comes from the fact that Johnny Depp is playing in “red face” and insulting/degrading Native Americans at every turn. I’ve heard the movie is long and boring but for the opening and ending sequences, and I don’t think I need to see it since I already suffered through a number of “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, but the trailer’s portrayal of Tonto is offensive enough to make me not want to see it.

  • klhayes

    I have just heard that it was a bad movie, but no group should expect accurate historical events to make them look favorable if that was not the case. And unfortunately, in many instances God is used by those in power, whatever religion they are, to justify arocities.

  • http://henryimler.com/ Henry Imler

    I’m boycotting because a) uninteresting and b) redface.

  • http://henryimler.com/ Henry Imler

    BUT, I love this comic. It reminds me of crazed Christian sybologists who see the antichrist and the rapture behind every chart.

  • JeffreyWeiss

    Thanks for the shout-out. I will gently suggest that looking to the Lone Ranger for history lessons is like looking to Star Wars to teach science. My problem was not so much the specifics of the content but that it made no narrative sense. Why was it there? But that was true for a lot of elements in the movie. Your comic, however, is great.

  • Jerry Lynch

    I saw an image of Tonto on my tortilla and I am organizing a protest of that product at the local supermarket. No one in a free Amerca should have to endure having pagan symbols forced down their throats.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    I’m going to wait until the movie is released on DVD. And then use it as a sleep aid.

    The reviewers say it is very slow moving and boring.

    __

    And yes, Christians do say very stupid things. But that’s not enough to make me waste my money on a bad movie.

  • slloop3

    Spot on. I actually enjoyed the movie quite a bit, ‘pagan’ overtones, quirkiness and all. It was a campy Disney movie, what do you expect? Plus, Johnny Depp. Nuff said.
    Does the xtian right really, truly still believe they did a good thing by the rape of the Native culture & stealing of their lands? Is this still the tale they tell themselves at night to feel better? I thought they’d at least moved on to insincere shame of it.

  • Michelle

    Harry Potter, Da vinci Code, The Hunger Games… All movies I’ve
    heard ‘Christians’ talk about and dissect. Without watching them. This makes no
    sense to me. If you are going to have a discussion about something please at
    least know the content.

    This doesn’t mean that I have to watch something to have an opinion of it but if we are going to say ‘this is wrong because God…’ or ‘they portrayed…’ we should at least know what we are talking about.
    That said, I would recommend watching the Lone Ranger. It was a great story of good and evil. Of good saying ‘f*** this!’ and pulling out the guns. My favorite character is the Madame with the ivory leg. She’s sassy, she’s sexy and she knows how to use a gun. Yes, this is my shallow favorite character but she also portrays something of the female that is missing in today’s culture.

    You should not bring your children to watch this movie. Let me repeat. GET A BABYSITTER! There is blood. A lot of it. And scorpions (which is almost worse than the blood). And it’s a long movie. Your kids will cry and people like me will kindly (or not depending on the volume of your child) ask you to leave.

    If you know your movies you will love the spoofs.

    Depp is great. Always. I saw nothing degrading of Native Americans. There is sacrifice and loyalty. I don’t think the movie industry will ever make any movie with Native Americans in it that will make people happy (outside of a documentary) so we should all just get over our judgment. No matter what actor they got to play Tonto people would complain. So go for the comedic and famous guy. Makes sense to me.

    I wouldn’t buy the movie. I wouldn’t see it again. It’s kind of like listening to a band because you liked them as a kid and want to relive the memories. Open your mind and enjoy the action and storyline.

  • Al Cruise

    The movie is fluff entertainment, unfortunately so is the institutionalized Church, so the reviewer has every right to criticize the movie, he would no doubt be an expert on that medium.

  • Levedi

    I haven’t seen the movie, but I’m disturbed that Depp’s costume is based on a white man’s portrait of a fictional Native American that deliberately avoided being accurate. And from what I hear, it’s just a poorly told story. Now if they had gotten Sherman Alexie to write the script I would have shown up to a midnight premier. As it is, I wouldn’t say I’m boycotting the movie, but I’m not going to see it either. Just because the Christian Right dislikes something isn’t enough of a reason for me to support it.

  • Elizabeth Vreugdenhil

    Please don’t insult children. They are wiser than this.

  • JessieQ

    I saw the movie, and while it didn’t promote Christianity or Christian thought (at least not overtly), I didn’t see the movie as disparaging Christians or Christianity. There were good white guys, and bad white guys; selfishness and greed drove the baddies, not “Christian privilege,” and I think that was clear in the movie.

  • Jim Davis

    How come any Christians who criticize The Lone Ranger movie
    are necessarily in “the fanatical Christian Right”? Isn’t this a bit
    of pigeonholing?

  • Guest

    Total agreement, Jeff. Throwing in a trainload of caricatured
    Christians makes as much sense as showing a horse that can run on the roofs of
    houses and trains — which, of course, is also in the movie.

  • Jim Davis

    Total agreement, Jeff. Throwing in a trainload of caricatured Christians makes as much sense as making a horse run on the roofs of houses and trains — which, of course, is also in the movie.

  • JeffreyWeiss

    Heh. Indeed. As I say, there were *lots* of reasons the movie is a mess. Substituting Comet the Superhorse for Silver was another…

  • Jeremy Christensen

    Okay, I know I’m a few months late to this freakshow. But your rationalization for Tonto being Jesus is completely ridiculous. I didn’t know that people actually thought like this! It reminds me of the detective skills of the 1966 Batman movie when they are trying to figure out who is behind the evil plot of the movie.

    Commissioner Gordon: It could be any one of them… But which one? Which ones?

    Batman: Pretty *fishy* what happened to me on that ladder…

    Commissioner Gordon: You mean where there’s a fish there could be a Penguin?

    Robin: But wait! It happened at sea… Sea. C for Catwoman!

    Batman: Yet, an exploding shark *was* pulling my leg…

    Commissioner Gordon: The Joker!

    Chief O’Hara: All adds up to a sinister riddle… Riddle-R. Riddler!

    Commissioner Gordon: A thought strikes me… So dreadful I scarcely dare give it utterance…

    Batman: The four of them… Their forces combined…

    Robin: Holy nightmare!

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Have you ever heard of something called sarcasm?


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