DJesus UnCrossed SNL Skit and the Violence of American Christianity

DJesus UnCrossed SNL Skit and the Violence of American Christianity February 19, 2013

Warning, the following video has violent and bloody imagery. If this offends you, do not watch the SNL skit.

Many have written about this skit over the past couple of days. My view is that their reflections are suffient so I’m going to link to them.

Briefly, let me say that I believe that only in a culture dominated by the bad fruit of militant Christendom is such a skit even concievable. In many ways, this skit sadly portrays the perceptions of pop-culture about the nonchalant posture of many American Christians toward issues of violence. Christ have mercy…

David Flowers: “I believe that SNL’s portrayal of a “kick ass” Jesus is representative of the bad theology and sloppy biblical hermeneutics that’s so often prevalent among believers who have shaped for themselves an American gun-slinging Jesus—a Jesus that is unlike the Christ revealed in the Gospels.”

David Henson: “But satire reveals truths that are hard to hear. That triumphalist Savior many of us worship? He more resembles the sword and gun-toting DJesus who brings righteous vengeance than the prophetic vagabond foot-washer Jesus who preaches liberation and love of neighbor in the Gospels. The Savior we have created in our own violent images seems more like a character of a Tarantino film than the one at the heart of God’s story of eternal love.”

Heath Bradley: “The judgment that Christ brings is the penetrating message of sacrificial divine love that can leave the hardest of God’s enemies feeling “cut” to the heart. When read carefully, with attention to the details and to the central message of Rev­elation as the unveiling of the One on the throne as the Lamb that was slain (Rev 4–5), we are not forced to choose between competing concep­tions of Christ’s character. The apocalyptic Jesus is not the alter ego of the incarnational Jesus.”



Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • I thought that it was a brilliant satire. DJesus is nothing like Jesus. But Djesus is uncomfortably close to many modern Christian’s perspective on the world. DJesus Uncrossed mocks Christians who permit or even revel in violence and revenge.

  • Leo Campos

    Alas I believe this to be awfully close to reality. Especially those Christian t-shirts showing a muscular Jesus and saying things like “The Lord’s Gym” and Jesus bench pressing a cross, or the apparently popular MMA apparel which states that “Jesus never tapped out.” Sigh and double sigh.

    • Or Jesus armbarring the Devil with the caption “BREAK YOUR BAD HABITS”…

  • Emily Wilson

    SNL does not produce skits for accuracy but to push buttons and make people laugh…and they achieved that here! It is very sad that people are actually taking this skit seriously. It’s SNL. Come on.

    • I agree that reading the sketch as an intentional critique of Christian culture is probably not an accurate reading. But even if the critique was unintentional, it was still prophetic.

      • Intentional or not, the truth is the truth. Also, while they may not have been criticizing American Christianity intentionally, SNL regularly uses comedy to make serious points.

  • It actually reminds me of Ghandi II in UHF, Weird Al’s movie from the late 1980s. I think a great point is that Peter, Judas, and others wanted Jesus to be Djesus and kick some Ro-man butt.

    I’ve been considering something, though. Jesus said to turn the other cheek, but what about when someone is doing violence to others, not you. He kicked out the money-changers from the temple, I think, because they were keeping Gentiles from worshipping God.

    I don’t think it’s as easy as being a pacifist under all circumstances or Jesus wouldn’t have woven a leather whip before kick tail.

    Perhaps like so much, the answer is a little more nuanced.

    BTW, I think the point of “Jesus didn’t tap out” isn’t that He beat up people, but that He could have stopped His crucifixion (being God and all) and didn’t. I’m not saying I’d buy one of those shirts, but it’s not as black and white as it seems.


  • OwenW

    Satire is satire because it takes one element and exaggerates to an absurd extreme. This is not representative of American Christians and their reflections on violence. It is as extreme as saying pacifists have a secret feel of schaudenfraude, loving to see others suffer and won’t help. This is essentially a straw man and does nothing to help the dialogue and discussion on violence. I live in the heart of the South, where people love their guns. While there are some people at the extremes, most of the Christians I spend time with have an ambivalence towards war.

    But yes, lets create straw men and satire and treat it as if it is accurate reflection of others. Lets not get to know the people, but lets paint people with a broad brush with an off-tone color… That will surely help counter violence.

  • Kurt: Thanks for sharing. I think Henson’s piece hits the nail squarely on the head. Some pastor friends of mine were getting riled up about the “heretical” depiction of Jesus — not because he was portrayed as violent and they subscribe to the way of peace, but because they thought the portrayal was “Hollywood-ized.” They couldn’t see through the satire to the larger (and I would say Christian) truth that the satire was articulating: namely, as Henson puts it, that Americans have tended to “rema[ke] Jesus in our own violent images.”

  • Michael Snow

    If more of our Evangelical brethren who are apt to be cheerleaders on the path to wars would read and hear what one of the heroes of the faith wrote, the world would have a different perception.

  • atheist here. i hope you don’t mind me commenting on your blog.

    i found it hilarious. because it’s so true. so many right wing and christian people have been “yeah! war!” and “jesus wants me to have ALL the gunz” and other ridiculous things that aren’t in keeping with the general message of christianity, it’s not even funny. voting for pro-war politicians. pro-gun politicians. extolling the benefits of “shoot first, ask questions later.” etc.

    american christianity has a problem, and i’m glad patheos allows me to speak with progressive christians. yall have to fix this sh*t. only you can change the face of american christianity; the right wing christians hate and despise me because i’m a black gay atheist. despite the fact that i have a masters in divinity from the nation’s topped ranked divinity school, they won’t listen to anything i say. but they will listen to you. because of your shared love of Christ. so go teach them! preach peace! go into those hater churches and shout them down, like Christ, if you have to!

    don’t spend too much time in the comfort of your own, where some reason prevails and love really is the center of your worship.

    • I don’t dare speak for everyone, but I’m glad you posted.

      BTW, I consider myself more right-leaning, but I think that a lot of people remake Jesus in their own images. Jesus wasn’t against righting injustice, but he clearly wasn’t the general a lot of people of his day wanted who looked a lot like Djesus (except for the gun part).