'Gay Jesus' Netflix special riles Christians online

The Brazilian Netflix special depicts Christ and an implied boyfriend. Photo: Netflix Brazil

A Christmas comedy special which implies Jesus was gay is no laughing matter for more than a million angry viewers, who have signed a petition demanding it is pulled from Netflix on the grounds that it is offensive to Christians.

The First Temptation of Christ from Brazil-based YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos is causing a stir with its irreverent take on the traditional Christmas story.

In addition to a weed-smoking Virgin Mary, the 46-minute special sees Jesus — accompanied by an implied boyfriend — coming home to a surprise birthday party in his honour.

Jesus appears to try to conceal his friend, who later joins the party and belts out an eyebrow-raising holiday ditty that includes the lyrics, “in the heat of the desert I saw the size of his huge ... power.”

The controversial series has prompted a backlash of, well, biblical proportions.

Millions sign petition

More than 1.1 million people have signed a petition calling for Netflix to stop streaming the special.

The petition is written in Portuguese, but translates to, “Ban the Christmas movie from ‘Back Door’(the comedy group), which is titled The First Temptation of Christ.

Comments left by critics have accused Porta dos Fundos (which translates to Back Door) of showing religious discrimination and “derision and disrespect for the faith of the Catholic Church and especially for God.”

“No one is obliged to believe in Jesus Christ, but we demand respect for our beliefs,” wrote a commenter who claimed to have cancelled his Netflix subscription in protest. “Whoever disrespects my God does not deserve my money.”

While Netflix did not have a comment on the matter, Porto dos Fundos is taking the charges of “blasphemy” in stride, even tweeting out a link to a second petition calling the special “tragic and sad.”

“Porta dos Fundos values artistic freedom and humour 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 group, which has produced religious satires for years, said in a statement.

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