AMC’s show Preacher has set a new record for irreverence, making Jesus Christ out to be an adulterer and mentally handicapped. Yet on Sunday, the show managed to become even more offensive. In one episode, the character portraying Jesus smokes a joint and imagines himself robbing a bank. Next episode, he will negotiate with Adolf Hitler regarding the apocalypse.
Early in the episode, Tyson Ritter — whose character is listed as “Humperdoo, Jesus Christ, Jesus” on IMDB — smokes a joint with Ruth Negga, playing Tulip O’Hare. He reminisces about having sex with a married woman in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before his crucifixion — originally shown in an episode in 2017, as Newsbusters reported. In that original episode, Jesus was introduced as “Humperdoo” and portrayed as an inbred simpleton.
Yet later in his conversation with O’Hare, Jesus imagines himself robbing a bank, and the scene concludes with him shooting an innocent man. Here’s the video, courtesy of NewsBusters:
In the teaser for the next episode, Jesus negotiates with Hitler. The Nazi leader disagrees with the Christian notion of salvation being open to all believers, saying, “So, by your logic, one could start a World War, try to exterminate an entire people, level Danzig, and still go to heaven if they repent at the last second.”
“If they repent, yes,” Jesus replies.
“Well, that is going to change,” Hitler counters.
“No, it isn’t.”
“Yes, it is, or I am taking back the homosexuals,” the Nazi dictator says.
The apocalypse is coming, and Jesus and Hitler have to decide who goes to heaven and who goes to hell.
AMC is insulting Christians the world over by showing their Messiah as an inbred halfwit adulterer who negotiates with Hitler.
According to the Bible, Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The Gospels portray a cunning man who uses expert repartee to send the Pharisees and Sadducees packing. Seriously, go read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and marvel at Jesus’ skill in argument. It’s almost like He has a superhuman intelligence…
Ironically, the episode did capture the Christian teaching on salvation and repentance. Christians believe that all people have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, so a savior is needed. That Messiah was sinless, and He died on the cross to reconcile sinful humans to a perfect God. Salvation is a free gift, not something human beings can earn (Ephesians 2:8-10). This means it is logically possible for Hitler to have been saved — but he would have needed to repent and believe in Jesus, and that seems extremely implausible.
Whatever happened with Hitler’s soul, the Nazi dictator would not sit at the table negotiating with the Son of God.
So what is going on? Preacher is mocking and demonizing Christianity. The show mocks Jesus as a simpleton and a sinner. It demonizes God the Father as evil, giving Hitler enough power to decide who can be saved. The jab about homosexuals is yet another reference to the common refrain that Christians hate LGBT people. In reality, Christians believe homosexual activity is a sin, but salvation is extended to all who repent, homosexuals emphatically included.
It is likely no one watches Preacher for its theological acuity, and Preacher is far from the only supernatural show out there. As a fan of the shows Lucifer and Good Omens, I appreciate religious satire. Both of those shows play with Christian themes without crossing the line into this kind of blasphemy. Preacher is something else entirely.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.