We must be free to call Jesus gay

Outraged Christians are calling for a ‘blasphemous’ comedic film to be banned.

Ben Thompson


A new film on Netflix, The First Temptation of Christ, produced by Brazilian YouTube channel Porta Dos Fundos, has been controversial to say the least. Even a glimpse at the film’s synopsis makes clear why some Christians have raised an eyebrow. The comedy follows Jesus Christ as he returns to his family home for his 30th birthday, with his homosexual lover, Orlando, in tow. Most of the film revolves around Jesus trying to tell his parents – Mary, Joseph and a humanised God – about his secret.

The film’s worst sin is that it is not very funny. But Christians around the world are indignant about the film, purely because it is ‘blasphemous’. A petition on Change.org, calling for the film to be removed from Netflix and for Porta Dos Fundos to be held responsible for ‘the crime of villainous faith’, has gathered over two million signatures.

At the extreme end of the backlash, Porta Dos Fundos’ office in Rio de Janeiro was attacked by a Molotov cocktail on Christmas Eve. Nobody was injured, but the attack was a clear expression of intolerance. The Popular Nationalist Insurgency Command of the Large Brazilian Integralist Family – a far-right religious group – has claimed responsibility. It condemns the film as blasphemous.

It is totally understandable that Christians would find this film distasteful. But to call for it to be banned or to attack its producers on the grounds of religious decency is censorious and stupid. If atheists called for a religious film to be banned, would those Christians who signed the petition now be able to keep a straight face and cry ‘free speech’?

For as long as there have been works of poor taste, there have been people trying to ban them. A poem about a Roman soldier having sex with Jesus – James Kirkup’s ‘The Love that Dares to Speak its Name’ – was at the centre of the last successful blasphemy trial in the UK, thanks to the crusading efforts of Christian campaigner Mary Whitehouse.

Many Christians will proudly vouch for freedom of speech when it comes to their right to criticise same-sex marriage and transgenderism or other faiths. If they want to be consistent, they must not suppress views and artworks that they find offensive or blasphemous.

Ben Thompson is a writer. Follow him on Twitter: @BOThompson98

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the slug

19th January 2020 at 10:59 pm

If someone, on this blog said the same about the founder of Islam – I bet the comment would be removed.

Dan Under

17th January 2020 at 11:44 pm

Cultural, religious societal, moral, ethical, sexual, (you get the point) iconoclastic fervour is the base load voltage of neo-Marxism. The desecration of belief by the disrespectful and vacant, the eradication of and dislocation from history, the detachment from tradition, these are the obvious and deliberate hallmarks of evil. Intentionally wounding for effect is the hallmark of the sociopath.

Jonathan Swift

17th January 2020 at 6:39 pm

I have a couple of positions on this topic.

1. Calling for a movie to be banned give is free publicity and promotes what you don’t to promote. Doubt me? Do a simple test. Randomly tell someone, “Don’t look over there!” How long does it take for them to look there?

2. The concept that Jesus was “gay” is nonsense without any historical or Biblical evidence.

3. God gave everyone the right to be wrong, which includes the right to blaspheme.

4. God doesn’t want us to obey Him because we have to, but He wants to to obey because we really want to.

5. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict people of their sins. It is not our job.

Aunty Podes

17th January 2020 at 10:26 pm

As a total fiction, gods have nothing whatever to do with this – or anything else.
Those obsessed with sexuality – be it devious or normal – will do anything they can to advertise their deviances and/or crudity. They are free to do so. Anybody with a smidgeon of sense will do their nest to simply ignore them.

Ken Bowker

20th January 2020 at 5:41 pm

Say what you want about ‘Jesus’; it’s a free country, since Labour lost. Because there is no proof that he or his equally-mythical father ever existed you might as well complain about Fozzy Bear or Donald Duck being ‘gay’ … shame; ‘gay used to be a lovely word.

Danny Rees

15th January 2020 at 12:52 am

“At the extreme end of the backlash, Porta Dos Fundos’ office in Rio de Janeiro was attacked by a Molotov cocktail on Christmas Eve. Nobody was injured, but the attack was a clear expression of intolerance. ”

Strangely many of the free speech libertarian warriors were silent about this.

Had this been Muslims doing this in protest against a piece of art that offended them and their religion the howls of outrage would have been deafening.

Nick McG

15th January 2020 at 10:15 am

To be fair, when Charlie Hebdo’s offices were firebombed it wasn’t that big a news item. If they start killing people, it will.

steve Brown

14th January 2020 at 10:48 pm

If this film was about ISLAM would the same argument be put ?
(Ohhhhh ??? we need to tolerate the Leftist perversions and their agenda to destroy Western Civilization and its ethical foundations because we wish to defend free speech)
This film is aimed at destroying all that has been built on Christian ethics.

Danny Rees

15th January 2020 at 12:49 am

If such a film about Islam was made and it was banned on the grounds that it offends Muslims you would be screeching about how Islam/Muslims are a threat to freedom of speech.

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