The Daily Gamecock

Christian persecution exaggerated

Recent 'SNL' skits sparks unreasonable outrage


“Saturday Night Live” recently aired a skit parodying Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.” It featured a mock trailer for the upcoming ultimate revenge fantasy, “Djesus Uncrossed.” It features Jesus rising from the dead, but now “preaching anything but forgiveness.” While utterly hilarious, conservative Christians have come running forward crying foul play, using this as another example of Christian oppression in America. But Christians need to actually understand what oppression is before they go pointing fingers first.

And although they labeled it “blasphemous,” and “just wrong,” is it really? The skit seems to accurately parody the hyper-violence that saturates American culture, including religion. It’s not that hard to look around and see representation of the now-popular American theology that progressive Christian David Henson describes as “camouflage and flag-draped Bibles that segregate the story of God for American patriots only.”

In fact, the sword-wielding and gun-toting Jesus is probably exactly what mega-pastor Mark Driscoll would approve of. His version of Jesus has a “commitment to make someone bleed.” Driscoll even refuses to believe in a “hippie, diaper, halo Christ” because, as he states, “I cannot worship a guy I can beat up.”

And then there’s Mike Huckabee, the Christian, conservative former governor who argued that the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was the result of God’s righteous. It’s just ironic that the same Christians who complain about a skit depicting an “uncharacteristically bloody” Jesus accepts that their own cohorts promote violence or even have the nerve to claim the death of children in a bloody massacre was part of “God’s plan.”

But the incredibly frustrating part is that conservative Christians want to claim this skit as one of many “instances” of persecution. Pat Robertson, for example, called this simple parody “anti-Christian bigotry that is just disgusting.” Yet beatings, stonings and imprisonment were forms of persecution for Christians under Roman rule — 2,000 years ago. While those Christians were persecuted for their faith and belief in Jesus Christ, modern-day conservative Christians are not. They’re simply being questioned for supporting causes and issues notcovered by Jesus.

And besides, conservative Christians should recognize the role their own brand of religion has played in persecuting others. Throughout this country’s history, Christianity has been used to wipe out Native Americans and encroach on their land, enslave and then later disenfranchise African-Americans and limit the rights of countless minority groups, most recently being the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Despite living in a country where a church is on almost every block and government officials are sworn in on Bibles, it’s amazing how some still complain about how they are treated but not how they treat others.