Entertainment

More Than A Million People Have Signed A Petition Demanding Netflix Take Down Show Depicting Jesus As A Gay Man

A new Brazilian comedy entitled The First Temptation of Christ debuted on Netflix last December. Now 1.8 million people have signed a petition to have the special removed. President Jair Bolsonaro’s son, the National Conference of Bishops in Brazil, and other religious affiliates have even chimed in to condemn the satire.

The 46-minute film portrays Jesus in a same-sex relationship with his friend Orlando. The movie was made by the International Emmy Award-winning YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos or Back Door. In the satire, Jesus must introduce Mary and Joseph to his boyfriend Orlando at his 30th birthday party. 

Viewers are furious that Jesus is depicted as gay in The First Temptation of Christ

“Good afternoon to everybody except Netflix for making a Christmas movie about a gay Jesus (yes, seriously),” an angry Twitter user wrote. 

Over 1.8 million people have signed a Change.org petition to have the film removed from Netflix. The special is Porta dos Fundos’ second satirical look at the life of Jesus and many viewers are fuming. The petition described the comedy troupe’s faith as “villainous.” 

“Horrible! Disappointed with Netflix and Porta dos Fundos!!! Now it’s on to Amazon Prime!!!” Someone commented on YouTube. “Whoever disrespects my God does not deserve my money,” another viewer said. 

A bishop from Pernambuco, Henrique Soares da Costa complained on Facebook that he was canceling his service and called the movie “blasphemous, vulgar, and disrespectful.” 

“In favor of banning the Christmas movie from the “Porta dos Fundos” (“Back Door”) which is titled “The First Temptation of Christ,” the petition description reads. “In favor of the removal of the film from the NETFLIX catalog and for the Porta Dos Fundos to be held responsible for the crime of villainous faith. We also want public retraction, as they have seriously offended Christians.”

However, while the Change.org petition is the largest, it wasn’t the only one. A CitizenGo petition garnered 240,000 signatures and claims The First Temptation of Christ is a “clear attack to Christianity.” 

“It is an absolutely unacceptable provocation,” the CitizenGo petition said. “No one has the right to attack the faith of millions of people around the world. This type of supposed ‘shows’ only cause one thing: numbing the population to attacks against Christians.”

Brazilian politicians and officials speak out against the film.

President Jair Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo lambasted the film on Twitter. Like most members of the right-wing, Eduardo somehow managed to connect the incident to Karl Marx. 

“We support freedom of expression, but is it worth attacking the belief of 86% of the population?” Eduardo wrote, later adding. “Not satisfied with interpreting Jesus Christ as gay and refusing to speak of God on Netflix, now @gduvivier went beyond. Wrote an article in @folha posing as Jesus, portraying the son of God again as gay and advocate of Karl Marx and having the reader ‘take it in the a**’.”

 If Porta dos Fundos were trying to create controversy, they certainly got their wish. Other members of the Brazilian right expressed their disapproval of the film on social media and in press releases.

“Christians and non-Christians have asked me to take action against the irresponsible members of Porta dos Fundo,” the far-right, anti-LGBTQ Brazilian pastor and congressman from São Paulo Marco Feliciano said on Twitter. “It’s time we took a collective action — churches and all good people — to put an end to this.” 

The National of Conference of Bishops in Brazil released a statement saying the special vilifies Christianity.  

“Nothing allows anyone the right to vilify people’s deeply held beliefs. The right to freedom of expression does not nullify respect for people and their values,” the statement read

Porta dos Fundos releases a statement amidst the controversy. 

“Enquanto tá rolando abaixo assinado contra, a gente comemora o sucesso de mais uma criação de Deus: nosso Especial de Natal @NetflixBrasil ‘A Primeira Tentação de Cristo’ continua cada vez mais poderosíssimo,” Porta dos Fundo said in Portuguese. 

The comedians have continued to mock the polarizing response on Twitter, even dropping a link to the petition against them to anyone who wants to join. 

“Porta dos Fundos values artistic freedom and humor through satire on the most diverse cultural themes of our society and believes that freedom of expression is an essential construction for a democratic country,” the comedy group said in a statement to the Daily News

The group snagged their first International Emmy Award for best comedy web television special for a different film making light of Christianity called The Last Hangover. The comedy portrays Jesus’ disciples looking for after a drunken Last Supper. The first film did not receive the same backlash despite its blasphemous imagery and themes, but Jesus wasn’t queer in that film. 

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Brazil Just Passed a Bill That Will Allow Rich Corporations to ‘Skip the Line’ for COVID-19 Vaccines

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Brazil Just Passed a Bill That Will Allow Rich Corporations to ‘Skip the Line’ for COVID-19 Vaccines

Photo via Getty Images

Currently, Brazil is one of the world’s epicenters of the coronavirus. In March 2021, Brazil saw 66,573 COVID-19-related deaths. That means 1 in every 3 COVID-related deaths worldwide are occuring in Brazil.

And it doesn’t appear that the numbers will be slowing down anytime soon. While the United States is making strides in their COVID-19 vaccine distribution, Brazil is lagging far behind. And things are about to get a lot more complicated.

On Tuesday, Brazil passed a bill that would allow corporations to buy up as many vaccines as they can get their hands on, and privately distribute them to their employees first.

Elected officials in Brazil are arguing that the country has become so desperate to vaccinate its citizens, that it doesn’t matter who gets the vaccines first at this point.

The country, once renowned for having one of the most robust and efficient public vaccine-distribution programs in the world, has failed to make strides towards getting their citizens vaccinated.

“We are at war,” said the leader of the chamber, Arthur Lira. “And in war, anything goes to save lives.” We don’t know about you, but usually when it comes to war, we’ve heard that soldiers prioritize the health and safety of young, the weak, and the elderly before their own? We digress…

Brazil’s plan to privatize the vaccine rollout has brought up moral and ethical questions.

From the beginning, the World Health Organization has asked countries to first prioritize essential health workers and then high-risk populations when distributing the vaccine.

Anything other than that would promote a pay-to-play schemes in which the rich could protect their lives before poor people could. And poor people are more likely to die from COVID-19 in the first place.

As Alison Buttenheim, behavioral scientist and expert on the equitable allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine said, vaccine distribution should not “exacerbate disparities and inequities in health care,” but instead address them. Brazil’s vaccine rollout plan would fail to do any of the above.

If countries begin to allow the rich to prioritize their own interests during the vaccine rollout, the consequences could be disastrous.

In a time when the world is stoked by fear and uncertainty, the worst thing that can happen is for rich companies to exacerbate inequalities by effectively choosing who lives or dies.

As the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization said at the beginning of the global vaccine rollout: “any distribution of vaccines should advance human well-being and honor global equity, national equity, reciprocity, and legitimacy.”

Poor Brazilians should not be left to fend for themselves against COVID-19 simply because they are poor.

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Gabriel Fernandez’s Mother, Pearl Fernandez, Is Trying to Have Her Murder Conviction Thrown Out

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Gabriel Fernandez’s Mother, Pearl Fernandez, Is Trying to Have Her Murder Conviction Thrown Out

Photos: State of California, Gabriel’s Justice/Facebook

Gabriel Fernandez’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, is trying to have her murder conviction thrown out. The 37-year-old woman has been in jail since 2018 for the murder and torture of her eight-year old son.

Pearl Fernandez is petitioning the court for resentencing, hoping to have her first-degree murder and/or second-degree murder charges thrown out.

Fernandez is hoping to have her sentence vacated based off of new changes to the California state penal code. “I think that she feels that somehow maybe, you know, the special circumstance will be dismissed or maybe she’ll have a chance that the D.A. will agree with the petition,” Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami said to CBSLA.

In June 2018, a judge sentenced Pearl Fernandez to life without parole. The judge charged Pearl Fernandez with the 2013 torture and killing of her eight-year-old son, Gabriel Fernandez.

On May 22, 2013, Gabriel Fernandez died after suffering a fatal beating from his mother. Pearl Fernandez was allegedly angry that he didn’t clean up his toys.

The details of Pearl and her boyfriend’s lengthy torture campaign against Gabriel Fernandez are both gruesome and numerous. Over the course of his eight-month stay with Isauro Aguirre, the couple broke his bones, burned him with cigarettes, pepper-sprayed him, and forced him to eat his own vomit as well as animal feces. And that is just a short-list of what they did.

The case came to national attention after the release of the 2020 Netflix documentary, “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez“. The documentary shone a spotlight on the insidious nature of child abuse. It also highlighted the systematic failures of the social services system that fails to protect children.

Elected officials have expressed their disgust at Pearl Fernandez for trying to escape justice by taking advantage of updated laws.

“The policies and directives from my office and these new laws created by the Legislature are emboldening murderers of children to apply to be re-sentenced,” said Deputy DA Hatami to City News Service. “This is completely unfair to the surviving families and their loved ones.”

He continued: “Families now have to relive all the horror that was perpetrated upon a small and helpless child. Based upon all the evidence presented at the grand jury, which was made public, and the jury trial, Pearl Fernandez was a major participant in the torture and murder of little Gabriel.”

It seems obvious by the fact that Pearl Fernandez is trying to get out of jail after torturing her son to death, that she isn’t remorseful about her actions.

Any other mother who killed her son would probably want to spend the rest of her life in jail instead of trying to find a way to get out of it.

If you believe someone you know is experiencing–or committing–child abuse, there are resources to help. Call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. Staying vigilant could help save a child like Gabriel Fernandez.

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