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Recent 'SNL' skit on religion: Funny or offensive?

Published: Thursday, March 6 2014 4:27 p.m. MST

A new SNL skit has caused critics, fans and media sites alike to weigh in on whether its offensive or funny to religious people. The fake promotional ad on SNL looked at how kids are reading the Bible.

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A “Saturday Night Live” skit aired March 1 has inspired much debate on whether it was offensive to religion, according to The Blaze.

The skit was a fake advertisement for the “Bird Bible,” which was being sold as a tool to help a boy find interest in biblical stories. In the fake promotion, a boy told his parents that the scripture within the Bible was “boring.”

This isn’t the first time in recent weeks that SNL included a religiously themed skit. In February, SNL had a graphical skit that showed “Jesus as a vengeful killer,” according to Christian Post.

And while some called the ad offensive and demeaning to religion, others were unperturbed.

“Mostly, I see this as a TV commercial parody, nothing sacrilegious, but even if it tweaks the nose of organized religion, so what?” said Ian Punnett, a radio host and Episcopalian minster to The Blaze. “As conservative, lay theologian G.K. Chesterton said, ‘It is the test of a good religion whether you can make a joke about it.’ The Bible can be boring, too, especially for kids.”

The Wire even ranked the “Bible Bird” skit as the “MVP” of the night. Similarly, digg.com said the “Bible Bird” advertisement was SNL’s best skit of the night.

Religious jokes have been going on for awhile, and experts seem to be split on whether they're offensive. Interpretation and intent is key, they say.

But The Blaze said some had issues with how the story and Christian families were portrayed in the skit. Rabbi Areyeh told The Blaze that the commercial was an insult to some Christian parents.

“More bothersome than the replacement of biblical characters with birds who, for example, gorily get their head cut off, is the deliberate portrayal of the Christian parents as plastic, phony, mean and indifferent, predictably simple-minded and against imagination,” Areyeh said to The Blaze. “This negative portrayal of believing Christians is part of the left’s on-going attempt to demonize Christians.”

Email: hscribner@deseretdigital.com

Twitter: @herbscribner

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