Imagine what would happen if conservatives created a television series designed to mock Muhammad, the founder of Islam. No doubt progressive journalists would take to the airwaves to condemn the show. Left-leaning commentators would write numerous op-eds decrying the move. But it is unlikely that these same individuals would react with the same energy when Christianity is mocked. 

Netflix recently began streaming a Christmas special created by a Brazilian YouTube comedy group depicting Jesus Christ as a gay man. The film, titled “The First Temptation of Christ” has sparked a widespread controversy with many criticizing the movie. 

Over 1 million people have signed a petition calling on Netflix to remove the holiday special because of its offensive themes. The show tells the story of Jesus and a friend arriving at Mary and Joseph’s house where they are throwing a birthday party for him. Christ is accompanied by a friend named Orlando who continually hints that they are a couple. 

The group that created the special is called Porta dos Fundos, and it has created other forms of religious satire before. They made another production title “The Last Hangover,” which feature Jesus’ disciples searching for him the morning after the Last Supper. 

In response to the petition, the group posted a tweet calling the effort to remove their special as “tragic and sad.” 

They also told Yahoo! News that, “Porta dos Fundos values artistic freedom and humor through satire on the most diverse cultural themes of our society and believes that freedom of expression is an essential construction for a democratic country.”

Of course, groups like Porta dos Fundos have the right to create their art mocking Christianity, and Netflix has the right to stream it. But those who oppose this type of insulting work also have the right to publicly express their consternation. But will Netflix listen to its customers who take issue with the content? 

On one hand, Netflix knows that the entertainment industry is dominated by the left — which would no doubt support their streaming the special. Moreover, they might decide that it is unlikely that the more than 1 million viewers who signed the petition will stop using their service. It would be the same observation that Chick Fil A made when they decided to stop donating to groups like the Salvation Army because of their views on gay marriage; they knew that Christians wouldn’t stop frequenting their restaurants despite the fact that Popeye’s clearly makes a superior chicken sandwich. Yeah, I said it. 

But what would happen if they were wrong? Netflix is already in financial trouble; they are earning more customers, but their debt is also growing. Can they really afford to lose even half the number of subscribers that signed the petition? It’s possible that they might be unwilling to take the risk just to promote a controversial film. 

Either way, it’s clear that Christians have their work cut out for them if they wish to become more influential in the culture. The entertainment industry — along with the country’s other influential institutions — is firmly against them. 

 

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