When a comedian makes a joke about God or Jesus, Christian conservatives have a go-to response aimed not at the gag’s sacrilege, but its hypocrisy.
Allow right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham, reacting to Louis CK’s opening monologue on this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live,” to demonstrate:
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) March 30, 2014
The comedian, hosting “SNL” for the second time, riffed on the afterlife and wondered about God’s significant other.
“He’s our father, and we’re his children. That’s it. ‘Our Father, who art in heaven,'” he said. “Where’s our mother? What happened to our mom? What did he do to our mom? Something happened. Somewhere in heaven there’s a porch with a dead lady under it. Somebody’s gotta check the trunk of God’s car for bleech and rope and fibers.”
Ingraham’s reaction to the bit followed a well-worn path paved by conservatives.
When Tim Tebow’s public demonstrations of faith became the subject of some jokes a couple years ago, it was the preferred retort on the right.
After two players for the Detroit Lions mimicked Tebow’s ritual of bowing on one knee to pray — a meme that became known as “Tebowing” — Jen Engel, a writer for FoxNews.com, cried charges of hypocrisy.
“You cannot mock Muslim faith, not in this country, not anywhere really,” Engel wrote in an article titled “What if Tim Tebow Were a Muslim?”
The “Tebow as a Muslim” hypothetical was a ubiquitous question back in late-2011 and early-2012, when Tebow’s relevance on the football field still matched his relevance as a cultural figure.
A Huffington Post blogger posed the question in December of 2011, wondering if America would still love the quarterback practiced Islam instead of Christianity. One month later, Sandra Fish at the Washington Post asked the same question.
“SNL” had some fun with Tebow’s religiosity around that time, too. You can pretty much guess how the gang on “The Five” reacted.
“You know, I like that skit but the one that I thought was much better was right before it, the one they did on the Muslim Brotherhood. Did you see that?” Fox News Channel’s wannabe-comedian Greg Gutfeld said as he feigned excitement at a sketch that never happened.
But Gutfeld wasn’t actually offended by the Tebow skit. His liberal co-host Bob Beckel, on the other hand, said it was “despicable” for “SNL” to portray Jesus in such a manner and that there was “nothing funny” about mocking Tebow’s faith.
This post has been updated.