By now, you’ve seen this parody commercial from SNL:
Obviously it’s making fun on Quentin Tarantino and his love of ultra-violent revenge movies (Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained). More broadly it could be seen as an indictment of our culture’s love of the The Myth of Redemptive Violence:
So what is the myth of redemptive violence? The ‘good guys’–who may be disavowed, disenfranchised, bullied, underdogs, smaller in numbers, etc.–have their backs against the wall, are usually being given no choice, and must use some sort of violence–martial arts, sword-play, weapons, war, etc.–to make things ‘right’.
The “critic blurb” at the end gets it right: “A less violent ‘Passion of Christ’.” Mel Gibson’s Passion was essentially a prelude to a revenge flic like Django Unchained. In Gibson’s mind, the redemptive violence is still coming in the last days.
Anyway, despite the fact that this is a fairly obvious parody, the outrage merchants on the right feel the need to vent. From the WND movie critic Drew Zahn:
I believe this is called “jihad envy.” Nevermind that the same joke wouldn’t work with a military leader like Muhammad. Meanwhile, Ray Comfort decides to threaten jihad by proxy, “I wonder if the funny folks at ‘Saturday Night Live’ know that Muslims believe in Jesus Christ, and that they might not like one of their prophets being mocked in a blasphemous skit.”
Its subject matter can only be described with one word: blasphemous. If anything in our PC culture should be considered obviously offensive, this is it. Can you imagine the uproar that would occur if SNL made a parody, ‘Muhammad Unleashed?’ People at NBC would be losing their jobs. The ‘sensitivity police’ would be out in full force. It would cause international outcry. I just have to believe that if God gifted these actors and writers with such a gift for humor and wit, that He intended it for nobler purposes than mocking His Son.
Fortunately, our go-to fundamentalist will not be outdone:
Which gets at the absurd part of this conflict: these folks believe in a Left Behind style revenge fantasy about the end times. Jesus will be kicking some ass, and everybody who has laughed at Fischer and his fundamentalist pals will be getting what’s coming to them.