Why I’m Not Outraged by Saturday Night Lives’ Blasphemous Skit on “Djesus”

Yawn.

Not that I’m turning cartwheels over it, or anything. Now, I didn’t catch it live last night, but I’ve seen the skit that portrays the risen Lord as a revenge killer in the sanguine style of Quentin Tarentinos’ take on justice.

I’m not going to embed it here, but I’ll supply you the link from Mashable, which is where I ran across it.

So why am I not outraged by it? Because to me, whether they intended it to be the case (or not), it shows more of what’s wrong with popular culture than what is wrong with the redemptive mission of Jesus. In a head turned upside down way, it shows how ludicrous the Messiah’s mission would have been if he rose again only to kill, and kill again. And in a way, as jesters are wont to be from time to time, SNL plays the prophet pointing out the madness of our solution to all problems.

Dealing death to all that cross us the wrong way. Some solution.

Ridding all of Judea of the scourge of the Romans is what many hoped for, and longed for when Jesus came into the world.  But Gods’ ways are not our ways.

SNL may not realize it, but their skit points to the reason why the first century Israelites didn’t get their temporal deliverer. And they ingeniously point out why we don’t either. The world will not be redeemed through killing, though it is redeemed through the death of the Christ.

Jesus the Christ, the Suffering Servant Himself, tells us clearly why he came.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Something tells me we’ll be seeing you in theaters soon

And so as Satan attempts to enrage us during our penitential season, and like a thief who wishes to steal, kill, and destroy our joy (as he seems to always try to do around this time of year), I’m not going to give him the pleasure.

For it is the Lord I serve, and the Christ whom I seek to imitate. He is no weak, bloodthirsty, fallen creature bent on killing his way to heavenly glory. You must have Him confused with Lt. Commander Gary Mitchell, or some other stock character.

It’s like il Papa said in his interview with Peter Seewald,

The truth comes to rule, not through violence, but rather through its own power; this is the central theme of John’s Gospel: When brought before Pilate, Jesus professes that he himself is The Truth and the witness to the truth. He does not defend the truth with legions but rather makes it visible through his Passion and thereby also implements it.

Viewer Discretion is advised: ‘SNL’ Debuts New Tarantino Movie, ‘DJesus Uncrossed’

  • Claude

    It’s satire.

  • Stephen J.

    I myself was startled by how hysterically funny I found it, especially the INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS pastiche with “Brad Pitt” as “Saint Peter” (“We will make the Roe-Mann fear us! We will make the Roe-Mann talk about us! Now each of you owes me one hunnert Roe-Mann scalps!”) and the throwaway critical-praise gag line, “‘A less violent PASSION OF THE CHRIST’ — A.O. Scott”.

    If anything, the sketch is far more a superb satire on Tarantino’s bloodstorm-revenge-fantasy *oeuvre*, and on the pop-culture moral-concern brouhahas that inevitably follow such films; like most of SOUTH PARK, it is simply so deliberately ludicrous that (unlike Dan Brown’s pseudo-”serious” criticism) I can’t imagine anybody taking it seriously as a religious critique for a second. It may also have helped me take it less seriously to know that this joke has been done before; you can probably find on YouTube a copy of the gag trailer for “Gandhi II: THE REVENGE”.

  • http://www.lesbiansinmysoup.com/ Katy Anders

    It was funny. I thought it was satirizing Tarantino’s rewriting of history in his recent revenge flicks (Hitler gets killed in “Inglorious Bastards”) than it was a slap at Jesus.

    Still, I have a feeling that Bill Donahue of the Catholic League is going to have a busy week, screaming and hollering. Assuming he survived his first viewing of it.

  • Ted

    Well said, sir. If our fellow believers took the time to consider such issues thoughtfully, as you have done, rather than give in to the knee-jerk outrage our community is known for, perhaps the world would listen to us more.

  • Marie

    Hi:
    I think seeing Jesus coming out with guns blazing and sharpened swords showing no mercy to his Roman enemies is funny because it is such a ridiculous sight to see because we know of His message. We know that as Catholic Christians, the Son of Man preached God’s love in us so that we may be His disciples on earth. Remember, it was Judas and other Jewish zealots of the time who wanted a Messiah to violently overthrow their Roman captors. So, I’m not going to let a skit like this one shake my faith. The only thing that I didn’t like was that the skit showed Jesus as a hypocrite who turned his back on his teachings. Some of my friends felt that the skit satirized the Hollywood film industry in that Hollywood would do anything to make a buck even if it is to make Jesus a psychopath. I think that’s true. I agree with Stephen J. that Taran Killiam as Brad Pitt in “Inglorious Basterds” and that fake A.O. Scott line were very funny.

  • A E

    Yes, it was ridiculous & so “funny” in a way, but I found it also offensive. We already have too many humorists on TV who mention “priest” with “pedophile” for a laugh, & I cringe every time I see those jokes coming. In major urban centers, one encounters more and more comments from our non-believing coworkers or friends generalizing that “the Church” or “Christianity & the Inquisition” are responsible for most of the wars & hatred in the world. Sadly, Christian people and their leaders have been guilty of crimes and sadly, we don’t have a perfect Christian life among humans. But there is a line often crossed by broad “generalizations” — which really cloud over or defame others, or subtly mock another’s belief. We don’t assume children will display good judgement, nor can we expect it of Hollywood’s quest for ratings. And given the amount of misinformation about — as well as sometimes hostility — generally aimed at Christians or Jews or Muslims (not often aimed at Buddhists or “karma” or anything seen as more “cool” today), I am not amused at this comedy sketch on Jesus. It feels too close to mocking of something central – belief in Jesus as truly Good – something that formerly was not often played with for laughs even by non-believers. We now live in an age that shows little respect for anything if a parody can get a laugh & increase ratings — thereby enriching sponsoring corporations. Of course not all is bad in society today. It is good that we do see media exposure of much evil. But I do think we need to pressure sponsors of films or TV using the central Person and Event of our faith for a laugh to leave that alone (even if any mockery was “of course, unintended”). That goes also for a film that would mock people for being crippled, or for dressing in the way of a faraway culture they have just come here from, or of being of another ethnicity or race or sexuality or whatever is vital, central and unchangeable to someone. And that goes for showing respect for religion, too — Otherwise, what’s next? Jesus in car ads? Selling shaving cream? There are reasonable & respectful limits we should demand! This is not “censorship” — It is not a thing of law. It is a community saying to corporate sponsors, ENOUGH! – or you’ll lose our business! — language corporations understand. It needs to be voiced when something goes WAY over the line. I think we’re there.