Can you imagine a television program airing in America that portrayed Muhammad as a foul-mouthed pothead? Given that earlier this year ABC canceled Alice in Arabia—a show about an Arab-American who goes to live with her grandparents in Saudi Arabia—because CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) complained that the show relied on stereotypes of Muslims, it seems highly unlikely. Yet Black Jesus –the latest reminder that Christianity is the only major religion it is universally permissible to denigrate—began airing August 7 on Adult Swim.
Why did this show make it past the network censors while a similar show about Muhammad never would have? Probably for the same reason P*ss Christ—a 1987 photograph of a crucifix submerged in the "artist's" urine—was exhibited in the Stux Gallery in New York and won an award for visual arts from the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. And the same reason Madonna could perform her single Live to Tell wearing a crown of thorns while suspended from a giant cross. In America, mocking Christianity has gone from being considered a sign of poor taste to the mark of artistic courage.
Although Megan Kelly was nearly "crucified" for affirming that Jesus was white, this series takes the issue of Jesus' ethnicity to the point of absurdity. Black Jesus began as a series of shorter skits on YouTube, where its antics fit well with the millions of hours of similarly amateurish material. The show has one joke: a black man in Compton dresses in robes suitable for a middle school play and calls himself Jesus. He's a nice enough guy, but he spends his days drinking forties, smoking joints, and dropping the f-bomb. And if you don't think that's just hilarious, then according to Robert Lloyd of the Chicago Tribune, you are an uptight religious fanatic who needs to relax. Lloyd writes: more >>
A large Catholic pro-life organization is demanding that the PBS cancel its airing of the controversial pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller."
The American Life League released a statement Wednesday calling upon the taxpayer funded PBS to cancel the "After Tiller" showing, scheduled for Labor Day.
Judie Brown, president of American Life League, said in a statement that the documentary "has no business airing on a publicly funded network." more >>
Late last week, on Friday afternoon, while most of us were checking out of work (mentally if not physically) and focusing on the weekend, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a press release informing of yet another revision to its contraceptive/abortion pill mandate. As it turns out, we didn't miss much.
The HHS was obliged to make changes following the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case, which struck down the Mandate as it applies to closely held for-profit corporations. Also, the HHS could hardly ignore the string of subsequent court rulings casting doubt on the propriety of an "accommodation" the department set aside for religious non-profits.
Like a number of federal courts figured out, the "accommodation" given to religious non-profits is not very accommodating. The HHS decided they'd make the insurance company, and not the ministry, pay for contraceptive and abortion services, conveniently ignoring the real-world effect of increased premiums that cause employers to cover the additional costs in a back-door way. And, HHS glosses over the actual concern: More than just paying for it, Christian ministries are compelled to be deal-brokers between their own employees and providers of highly objectionable services. But for the employment, their employees do not receive free abortions. more >>
I recently had an exchange with a Duke Divinity School student regarding many of things I've written at the Acton Institute over the past 12 years. The student said this about me:
When it comes to speaking comfort to power and castigating the most vulnerable in our society, there is perhaps no public theological voice more eager than that of Anthony Bradley's. His body of work is a textbook in blaming the victim and reducing problems to pathology.
Not only had the student actually not read most of the things that I have written but the comment exposes something that Jonathan Haidt explains well that I've talked about before: ideological "tribalism." more >>
A pastor who oversees a Messianic Jewish congregation has filed a complaint with a Texas public library over books in the young adult section which he dubs "demonic."
Phillip Missick, pastor at King of Saints Tabernacle of Cleveland, has asked the Austin memorial Library to remove book series including "Twilight" and "Vampire Knight."
In an interview with local media, Missick explained that these books should not be in the young adult section due to their tone. more >>
There is a myth of church success in America that says, "The bigger the building, the bigger the budget, the bigger the attendance, the more successful you are."
In the sight of man, this might equal success, but in the sight of God, it might have nothing to do with success. In fact, it might simply be the beautiful façade hiding all kinds of spiritual rot and decay.
To be clear, I have had the privilege of preaching in some of the finest mega-churches in America, replete with large buildings, big budgets, and multiplied thousands of attendees. And I can personally attest to the fact that some of these churches are healthy in many ways: focused on Jesus, reaching the lost, making disciples, and giving themselves to prayer. more >>