Whether it is Starbucks coffee cups or stores using the phrase “Happy Holidays,” the winter season seems to be a moment when all sorts of cultural tensions arise. Typically, these are tensions surrounding religion.
In many of these cases, Christians get frustrated and angry when the rest of the non-Christian world does not want to celebrate their holiday. This year, a new Netflix special is taking the brunt of Christianity’s holiday persecution complex.
“The First Temptation of Christ” bills itself as a comedy Christmas special. But Christians around the world don’t see it that way.
In fact, millions around the world are so offended by the show that they have signed a petition calling for its removal from the streaming channel.
“The First Temptation of Christ” Angers Millions
There are reportedly two main reasons Christians are angry about the show.
One is that it depicts Jesus in a gay relationship. Specifically, there are reportedly scenes showing Jesus attending a party with another man. Additionally, there are songs that apparently have lyrics hinting at a gay relationship.
Secondly, the show also depicts Mary smoking weed. Both of these have led to the current controversy surrounding the show.
“As a member of the Christian community and follower of Christ, I join the rest of hundreds of thousands who have registered their protests calling for the Netflix Christmas Special depicting Jesus in a gay relationship to be axed immediately,” Abraham Mathai, president of the Indian Christian Voice, said according to News 18.
He added: “Even though freedom of expression is a fundamental and a constitutional right, using the same liberty to offend the sentiments of the members of a particular faith persuasion is highly abhorrent and totally unacceptable.”
To date, more than 1.1 million people have signed the petition. According to news sources, the petition is attracting signatures from people around the world.
Production Company Defends Its Show
In essence, Christians are arguing that the new 46-minute show goes too far and should be taken down. But the company behind the show is defending it.
“The First Temptation of Christ” was made by a company called Porta dos Fundos. Based in Brazil, the company’s name translates into Back Door.
In the wake of the new controversy, the production company issued its own statement.
“Porta dos Fundos values artistic freedom and humor through satire on the most diverse cultural themes of our society,” the company said in its statement.
It continued by saying that Porta dos Fundos “believes that freedom of expression is an essential construction for a democratic country.”
So far, it is unclear how Netflix will handle this situation. As of today, the show is still available. But it is not yet clear if Netflix will leave it online or not.
Along with the petition, many angry Christians are taking to social media to voice their displeasure.
In some cases, people are using social media to call on Netflix to remove the show. In other instances, people talk about or screenshot their canceled Netflix membership. And some people have started using the hashtag #BoycottNetflix.