Opponents of Jesus Cartoon Take Protest to Advertisers

A coalition opposed to a potential Comedy Central cartoon about Jesus Christ is taking the fight to where the money is – advertisers.

The newly formed Citizens Against Religious Bigotry on Thursday denounced the animated series in development called "JC" about God and his son, Jesus Christ. Leaders of CARB plan to send letters to companies that have advertised on Comedy Central in the past, urging them to resist from advertising on "JC."

"Why does Comedy Central give such deference to Islam while mocking Christianity," asked Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, in a teleconference Thursday. "Is it because they confuse the civility of Christianity with weakness?"

He acknowledged that many people who would be concerned about the "JC" series probably do not watch Comedy Central. But he believes when they are alerted about such programming they will contact potential sponsors.

"I believe that as the word spreads advertisers will be concerned," Perkins said.

According to Comedy Central, the series under development would depict God as "an apathetic man who would rather play video games than listen to his son talk about his new life [in New York City]."

CARB leaders admitted they have not seen the series, which has not yet aired, but pointed to past vulgar mockery of Jesus and Christianity on Comedy Central.

A four-minute video posted on the CARB website collects some of the network's most offensive portrayals of Jesus Christ and God, including Jesus defecating on President George W. Bush and a statue of the Virgin Mary menstruating on the Pope.

Given Comedy Central's history of mocking Jesus and Christianity, the group said it can only expect the same for the "JC" show.

Speakers repeatedly highlighted the double standard Comedy Central has regarding the treatment of Islam and Christianity.

In April, the network censored parts of a South Park's episode by bleeping out every mention of the word "Muhammad" and an entire speech at the end of the show. The censor was imposed without the approval of South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker and came after Muslim extremists threatened physical harm to Stone and Parker.

"The first point is the question of double standard," said Michael Medved, a nationally syndicated talk radio host, during the teleconference. "You can say they (Comedy Central) pulled back because of threats and violence. Does that indicate that Christians then get punished because they aren't crazy? That they get punished because their religion doesn't encourage people to commit acts of violence…"

"That would be a sad double standard indeed," he said.

The CARB coalition includes conservative Christian, secular and Jewish organizations.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin of The American Alliance of Jews and Christianity said that he believes it is in "paramount" Jewish interest to support Christians in their defense of Christianity.

"As an orthodox Jewish rabbi, I know that nowhere in the past 2,000 years have Jews enjoyed as lengthy, as prosperous and tranquil a stay as here in the United States of America," he said. "And I believe passionately that this is not in spite of the vitality of Christianity in America and its centrality in American civilization."

He added, "Unlike Europe, with it seemingly insurmountable problems, thank God America is a Christian nation as I see it."

CARB hopes to get enough advertisers to vow not to spend ad funds on "JC" so that Comedy Central will never air the show.