Bill Donohue comments on the premiere episode of “Black Jesus,” which aired last night on the Cartoon Network:
We have long taken the position that portraying Jesus as black is fine with the Catholic League, and indeed we find it silly that anyone would object. The Jesus character in this show is a mixed bag: He is irreverent, and can be downright crude, but he also has many redeeming qualities.
The Jesus character parks illegally, curses, smokes pot, drinks, and hits on women. At one point he is depicted as the get-away driver for a drug deal gone wrong; he is eventually robbed and gets busted. But he is also forgiving, kind, respectful, and condemns violence. No one questions his divinity, and even an atheist detective who interviews him after his arrest appears to sense that there is more to this man than what first appears.
If the goal is to lure young people to take a closer look at Jesus, the Son of God, that is noble (the show airs at 11:00 p.m.). But if so, it is not a good sociological sign: Must we debase Jesus to make him real? It will be interesting to see how the show develops, and how the audience reacts to the Jesus message, however twisted his delivery.