A Christmas comedy special which implies Jesus was gay is no laughing matter for more than a million angry viewers, who have signed a petition demanding it is pulled from Netflix on the grounds that it is offensive to Christians.
As the New York Daily News reports, The First Temptation of Christ from Brazil-based YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos is causing a stir with its irreverent take on the holiday. In addition to a weed-smoking Mary, the 46-minute special sees Jesus — accompanied by a flamboyant male friend — coming home to a surprise birthday party in his honour.
Jesus appears to try to conceal his friend, who later joins the party and belts out an eyebrow-raising holiday ditty that includes the lyrics “In the heat of the desert I saw the size of his huge ... power.”
Those upset over the depiction are calling for Netflix to stop streaming the special, with more than 1.1 million people signing a petition.
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Comments left by critics have accused Porta dos Fundos (which translates to Back Door) of showing religious discrimination and “derision and disrespect for the faith of the Catholic Church and especially for God.”
“No one is obliged to believe in Jesus Christ, but we demand respect for our beliefs,” wrote a commenter who claimed to have canceled his Netflix subscription in protest. “Whoever disrespects my God does not deserve my money.”
While Netflix did not have a comment on the matter, Porto dos Fundos is taking the charges of “blasphemy” in stride, even tweeting out a link to a second petition calling the special “tragic and sad.”
Enquanto tá rolando abaixo assinado contra, a gente comemora o sucesso de mais uma criação de Deus: nosso Especial de Natal @NetflixBrasil "A Primeira Tentação de Cristo" continua cada vez mais poderosíssimo. Mas querendo assinar, segue o link: https://t.co/pU0tk1J59z pic.twitter.com/sVYRtyru5w— Porta dos Fundos (@portadosfundos) December 9, 2019
“Porta dos Fundos values artistic freedom and humour 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,” the group, which has produced religious satires for years, said in a statement.