- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 2, 2020

Michael Jackson’s daughter, Paris Jackson, has a starring role in an upcoming movie, “Habit,” as the character of Jesus — as a lesbian.

Could the assault on Christianity grow more ridiculous?

That the film also stars a former Disney actress, Bella Thorne, 22, who gave up a more pristine screen image to take on director roles for porn flicks shows the caliber of what’s involved here — namely, the Internet’s version of clickbait but for the big screen. It’s all about the shock and awe; and in this case, it’s shock, awe and a whole lot of anti-Christian sentiment thrown in, to boot.

It’s hard to imagine Hollywood producing a movie that portrays the Muslim world’s god in the same manner, with the same level of disrespect.

Jackson, according to The Jasmine Brand, plays a girl “with a Jesus fetish who gets mixed up in a drug deal gone bad — and escapes by dressing up as a nun.”

And for Jackson, the Hollywood score is a sort of rebound; she spent some time in a mental health treatment facility last year to reportedly “realign” — which is as much of a commentary on the sad and sorry undercurrents of this planned film as the porn ties of its other named actress, Thorne. In a strange sort of twist, the movie exploits the very ones who most need Jesus and compassion.

But surely, someone of Jackson’s name recognition doesn’t have to shoot so low on the movie-making scale. Surely, someone of Jackson’s DNA stock doesn’t have to reach for the mud.

If it’s not a purposeful attack on Christianity, it sure does seem like it.

“A new blasphemous Hollywood film is predicted to come out soon depicting Jesus as a lesbian woman,” a petition titled, “Prevent the Distribution of the Film ‘Habit’ ” at Change.org reads. “Distributors haven’t picked it up as of yet, so let’s please spread awareness and wake people up to the Christianophobic garbage that is spread nowadays, but is somehow accepted and praised by society.”

Yes, that’s the real problem with the film.

It’s not that Jackson doesn’t have the free speech and expression rights to cut it.

It’s not that Hollywood doesn’t have a free market right to produce and market it.

It’s not that entertainment consumers don’t have the right to buy tickets and watch.

It’s that in today’s society, there are scores of consumers who will want to watch.

They’ll want to watch and mock and rub hands in delighted glee at the oh-so-modern and oh-so-sophisticated take on Jesus, and then praise its brave actors and talented producers for offering up such a cultured view of an ancient figure.

They’ll revel in the lie. They’ll try to normalize the lie. And that’s the real problem.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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