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Adult Swim's 'Black Jesus' Premieres With Mixed Reactions From Religious, Cultural Commentators

“Black Jesus” made his debut on Adult Swim Thursday night with mixed reviews.

Plenty of Christian groups around the country criticized the show for disrespecting the Bible narrative, and some conservative groups even petitioned Cartoon Network, which owns Adult Swim, to cancel the show.

Cultural and religious commentators weighed in on Twitter — and not all the reactions were wholly negative.

Pastor Delman Coates first urged viewers to watch first, judge later:

Let’s watch @aaronmcgruder23‘s #BlackJesus first & critique it later. I plan to!

— Delman Coates, Ph.D. (@delmancoates) August 8, 2014

Talib Kweli, a rapper known for his socially conscious lyrics, tweeted:

Y’all mad at #BlackJesus but quiet about Exodus. Yea OK

— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) August 8, 2014

Brittney Cooper, a Rutgers professor and black public intellectual, was torn:

Still deciding what I think of #BlackJesus. But I do know all the haters w/ their rules, dogma, & cries of blasphemy sound like Pharisees.

— Brittney Cooper (@ProfessorCrunk) August 8, 2014

Cooper continued:

The best test of whether you’ve become a Pharisee is where u place your outrage. You mad abt breaking religious rules? #Pharisee #BlackJesus

— Brittney Cooper (@ProfessorCrunk) August 8, 2014

Religion News Service writer Kimberly Winston said she (regrettably) found the show hilarious:

“Now Jesus, you’re the only one I trust with my money and my car.” I shouldn’t laugh, but Diet Coke is squirting out my nose. #BlackJesus

— Kimberly Winston (@kjwinston11) August 8, 2014

Talk show host Charlamagne Tha God accused those criticizing the show of hypocrisy:

You don’t live, how Jesus want you to live but you upset because Jesus living just like you on #BlackJesus the irony of it all.

— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) August 8, 2014

Christian post reporter Nicola Menzie didn’t write the show off entirely:

Say what you will but this is a pretty nice mural of #BlackJesus (pic via @AudraTheRapper)

— Nicola_A_Menzie (@namenzie) August 7, 2014

Union Seminary student and blogger Timothy Rotwing criticized what he called a “domestication of the Bible” in the show’s attackers:

If you’re offended at #BlackJesus, you have domesticated the Bible and Christianity too much with ideology. #theologyisfun

— timothy wotring (@brothertimothie) August 8, 2014

NPR spoke with Yolanda Pierce of the Princeton Theological Seminary about the show before it premiered, discussing the real theological question of who Jesus would be if he returned and how he would act. Listen to their chat here.