Don’t even think about airing a cartoon about Jesus. That’s the message an absurdly large coalition of Christian groups are sending Comedy Central in response to the announcement that it has greenlighted a show called JC. Now, these religious leaders haven’t actually seen it yet. In fact, Comedy Central is not yet shooting the series and hasn’t even come forward with a premiere date yet. But apparently conservatives have nothing better to do than try to stop a cable channel from producing a show that may or may not ever air.
Assuming it ever sees the light of day, JC would feature its title character moving to modern-day New York in an attempt to flee his video game-obsessed dad. (And you thought your parents had high expectations!) According to Comedy Central, the show’s tone is “a playful take on religion and society with a sprinkle of dumb.”
The whole thing sounds fairly lighthearted and harmless to us, but to Christianity’s least reasonable TV watchdogs, there’s nothing “playful” about faith. In fact, they’re so angry that they’ve formed a new organization: With Brent Bozell (president, Media Research Center), Bill Donohue (president, Catholic League), Michael Medved (talk radio host), Tony Perkins (president, Family Research Council), Rabbi Daniel Lapin (American Alliance of Jews and Christians) and Parents Television Council president Tim Winter’s powers combined, they are… Coalition Against Religious Bigotry! (You know, unless that religion is Islam!)
Observation #1: Um, not in our name, rabbi. Let’s leave the Jewish people out of this one, shall we?
Observation #2: Let the lo-CARB jokes begin.
As for the fact that the show hasn’t even been fully fleshed out yet, that doesn’t seem to bother CARB. “After we reveal the vile and offensive nature of Comedy Central’s previous characterizations of Jesus Christ and God the Father, we expect these advertisers to agree wholeheartedly to end their advertising on Comedy Central and discontinue their support for unabashed, anti-Christian discrimination,” said Bozell, according to TV Squad. “Why should they be supporting a business that makes a habit of attacking Christianity and yet has a formal policy to censor anything considered offensive to followers of Islam? This double standard is pure bigotry, one from which advertisers should quickly shy away.”
Bozell declined to comment further on free expression, why it’s good that fundamentalist Christians don’t threaten to kill TV show creators (abortion doctors, however, are another issue altogether), or what exactly is great about this diverse and opinionated country we call the United States of America. Meanwhile, a comment from Comedy Central programming head Kent Alterman suggests that CARB’s superfriends may be gifted with the power of clairvoyance. Asked to respond to the protest, Alterman told the Hollywood Reporter, “We don’t even know what the show is yet.”