A panel of faith experts reacted in a diverse way to a "Saturday Night Live" skit that poked fun at the Bible over the weekend, with some calling the brief segment comical and others telling TheBlaze it was overtly anti-Christian.
In case you missed it, the SNL spoof opened with a child reading the Bible aloud to a friend. When his friend lost total interest in the text, the young boy sharing the scriptures told his parents that the Bible is "boring."
And that's when his mother and father introduced him to the "Bird Bible," a holy book that depicted birds as popular scriptural characters.
Image source: NBC/SNL
"This is that Bible that's got all your favorite stories portrayed by birds," the boy's father proclaimed, later adding, "The birds help make it seem more real."
A narrator can be heard heralding the new version of the Bible and stating that it offers a remedy for those who are tired of traditional scripture presentations.
"With the 'Bird Bible,' your family will never be bored with scripture again," the faux ad proclaims. "Each story accurately and lovely reenacted by yard birds."
While some deemed the SNL segment comical, others took issue with its contents. Take, for instance, Ian Punnett, a radio host, author and Episcopalian minister, who told TheBlaze that he actually found it quite "funny."
"Mostly, I see this as a TV commercial parody, nothing sacrilegious, but even if it tweaks the nose of organized religion, so what?" he said. "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."
He said that he wouldn't be surprised if a Bible filled with bird illustrations isn't already an option among the many Bible versions floating around.
Watch the segment below:
Pastor Phillip Dennis of New Hope Christian Church in Monsey, N.Y., agreed with this sentiment, noting that, though he doesn't watch SNL, he found the skit comical.
"I don't watch SNL, but I found the skit humorous when I watched it online. It's typically postmodern," Dennis said. "The humor lies in its absurdity, not unlike the pictures of men with cats that have been circulating on the Internet."
Author R.P. Nettelhorst added that he believes the Bible has some boring subject matter, calling the segment "amusing."
"The skit also makes fun of the odd publishing phenomenon of making versions of the Bible for every demographic imaginable in order to boost sales, ranging from The Student Bible to the Women’s Bible to the Recovery Bible," he said. "Perhaps there is some benefit to such things, but I suspect it has more to do with the bottom line of publishers than any genuine need."
Nettelhorst pointed to the first nine chapters of 1 Chronicles as one area of the Bible that provides intricate details that some would surely find daunting.
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Rabbi Aryeh Spero, author of “Push Back: Reclaiming Our American Judeo-Christian Spirit,” had a different take, though. Rather than seeing it as comical, Spero said that there were clearly some swipes being made at 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," he told TheBlaze. "This negative portrayal of believing Christians is part of the left's on-going attempt to demonize Christians."
Spero continued, "The Hollywood-Manhattan axis never stops from trying to poison Americans against believing Christians as a way of side-lining them, their morality and conservative politics."
And Dr. Darrell Bock, a New Testament expert and professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, said that the SNL skit "is another example of our culture trivializing the Bible."
Featured image via NBC/SNL