(CNSNews.com) – A newly formed group of conservative and religious leaders announced Thursday that it is going to ask advertisers to refrain from spending any money on Comedy Central’s proposed show “J.C.” – an animated program that the network has said would depict Jesus Christ as wanting to “escape the shadow of his famous father and live life in New York City as a regular guy.”
In a Thursday news conference, the group, which calls itself Citizens Against Religious Bigotry (CARB), brought conservative Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox Jews together to serve notice on a show that they say gives every indication of being a “vile” portrayal of Christ.
L. Brent Bozell III, president of the Media Research Center said even though the show isn’t in production yet, Comedy Central has a long history of shows, such as “South Park,” that have mocked and ridiculed Christianity.
Bozell played a four-minute video clip of what he called “anti-Christian” bigotry on Comedy Central – a clip which is available on the organization’s Web site.
“This is an animated show that is designed to mock, and designed to ridicule and designed to be offensive to Christians,” Bozell said. “At this point, we say enough is enough. We know that they (the show's producers) are jumping up and down with glee, feeling that they are getting all sorts of publicity because of our efforts. On the other hand, we are not going to remain silent on this anymore.”
Radio talk-show host Michael Medved joined in the attack, criticizing Comedy Central for employing a double standard, saying that the network had stopped “South Park” from portraying the Prophet Mohammed in a bear suit because upset Muslims threatened action.
“The point being that Comedy Central pulled back,” Medved said. “And you could say, ‘Well, yes, they pulled back because of threats of violence.’ Does that indicate that Christians, then, get punished because they aren’t crazy? That they get punished because their religion doesn’t encourage people to commit acts of violence? That we’re (Comedy Central) only going to respond affirmatively to the concerns of religious groups that threaten the most appalling kinds of reactions?”
Medved said Comedy Central would never allow a program to be aired based on the premise of anti-Semitic or anti-Muslim stereotypes.
"Let’s say that someone was preparing a cartoon show called ‘The Greedy Goldberg;’ and it sort of recycled all the ancient and disgusting anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jews – hook-nosed, and phonily religious and greedy bankers and worshipping a cruel, funny, stupid religion," Medved said.
"First of all, Comedy Central wouldn’t do it. Secondly, if they did do it, people would scoff at the argument, ‘If you don’t like it, you can just turn it off. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.’ Because part of the problem, particularly with a cartoon show is for kids, your children may not watch it, they may not be allowed to, but other people’s kids will. It spreads hatred toward other people,” he added.
CARB is not calling for an immediate boycott of the program, which Bill Donahue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, called a "trial balloon." But Donahue indicated that his group might conduct one on its own.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, served notice to the producers of “J.C.,” whom he said have engaged in a “shocking” double-standard.
“When Christians attempt a serious discussion over our theological or political concerns over the spread of Islam, we’re called ‘intolerant,’” Perkins said. “Well, why does Comedy Central give such deference to Islam, while mocking Christianity? Is it because they confuse the civility of Christianity with weakness? And I think that if that is the case they may be shocked, because I do believe they have gone too far in this, and I believe that as the word spreads, the advertisers will be concerned.”
Rabbi Daniel Lapin of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians specifically called for Jewish Americans to join in protest over the program, which he said goes beyond satire.
“Among all industrial nations of the world, America is unique in the religious fervor of her people. And maybe now is the time for all far-seeing citizens, who with some cultural pride – particularly, may I say, Jewish Americans -- to step forward and stand shoulder to shoulder, protesting an appalling attack of ridicule and mockery against Christianity. It just isn’t funny.”
Tim Winter, the president of the Los Angeles-based Parents Television Council, blasted the FCC, which he said forces consumers who want basic cable TV service to take channels like Comedy Central, “whether they want it or not.”
CARB plans to release the names of corporate sponsors at a later date.
(Editor's Note: CNSNews.com is a division of the Media Research Center.)