Progressive National Baptist Convention Mounts Petition Drive Against ‘Black Jesus’

Reverend Dr. James C. Perkins, president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention
Reverend Dr. James C. Perkins, president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention

An African-American Baptist convention born out of the 1960s struggle for civil rights has denounced the television comedy “Black Jesus” and is mobilizing members to join a petition drive asking network officials to take the program off the air.

The Progressive National Baptist Convention, formed in the early 1960s and the denominational home of Martin Luther King, denounced the program that airs on Adult Swim — a Turner Broadcasting System-owned cable network that shares channel space with the Cartoon Network — as “nothing short of blasphemous.”

“’Black Jesus’ undermines the faith of the African-American community when our faith in Jesus is the only consistent source of empowerment that has brought us through centuries of enslavement, dehumanization and depersonalization,” says a description of the Washington-based PNBC’s Cancel Black Jesus Campaign.

“We cannot ignore those indignities that stare us in the face and undermine our faith,” the petition says. “It was only through our faith that we found meaning in life and the strength and courage to face life’s challenges.”

“Black Jesus,” which just completed its first season, features Jesus Christ living in modern-day Compton, Calif., a Los Angeles County slum known for gang violence, sex and drug dealing and home to famous rap artists including Ice Cube and Dr. Dre.

As portrayed by actor Gerald “Slink” Johnson, creator Aaron McGruder’s Jesus is on a mission to spread love and kindness to a small group of followers. The show has received generally favorable reviews, but a plot line that includes growing marijuana in a community garden sparked controversy even before the series premiere Aug. 7.

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SOURCE: Baptist News Global
Bob Allen

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