Mockery on Saturday Night Live
opened the show by taking questions from regular cast members dressed as clergymen and clergywomen--and Jesus himself. Comedian Chris Parnell took on the guise of a cardinal and asked the actor, "I was wondering when you were making the film and you were meeting with the producers and writers and the director, in all that creative process, did you ever wonder what it would feel like to burn for eternity in hell?"Later in the segment, "another show regular, Jason Sudeikis, dressed up as a comedic Jesus. He quipped, 'Mr. Hanks, I saw your film and I just want you to know that I forgive you.'"
Offensive? Actually, yes, I think so. But the true shame of the situation is that the parody is not as much a parody as you might think. I've participated in media junkets with members of the Christian press who have treated directors and movie stars in just as condescending and judgmental fashion as Parnell's and Sudeikis' characters treated Hanks. Once again, reality can be just as ugly as fiction.
The behavior of many Christians is actually shameful; while that doesn't excuse shameful behavior on the part of others, it does call to mind a certain line from Jesus about throwing stones...
It'll be interesting to see what Hanks has to say on Sunday's new segment for Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio.