Australian Comic Cancels Festival Gig for Fear That His Gay Jesus Jokes Could Turn the Christian Right Violent
Australian comic and cabaret performer Reuben Kaye was already accustomed to the hate messages that some loving Christians send gay people who dare to exist on the internet before his recent appearance on the popular talk show The Project has Kaye fearing real-life retaliation. Last month, Kaye addressed the Christians in his comment sections, saying, “I think it’s hilarious when someone messages me and says you have to accept Jesus’s love or you will burn in hell — because I love Jesus. I love any man who can get nailed for three days straight and come back for more!”
The joke sparked outrage among conservative media outlets, with a representative from Christian Lives Matter, a real organization that somehow exists, declaring of the Project episode, “We have all had enough, and this show last night crossed the line with the mocking of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone needs to stand united and we need to put a stop to all this.”
The ominous messaging from Christian Lives Matter comes with some unsettling context. Last month, the virulently anti-gay group hosted an event where pro-LGBTQ protesters were attacked by what they described as “hundreds of far-right thugs,” a clash that resulted in the arrest of two men. Though Christian Lives Matter spokespersons fell decidedly silent following the incident, the denouncement of Kaye and reports of planned protests at his future shows has the comic canceling gigs for fear of his and his crew’s safety.
Kaye postponed a show at Enmore Theatre scheduled for tomorrow night, and has even pulled out of the Sydney Comedy Festival following the backlash from the Christian right. Kaye posted an apology and an explanation to fans on his Facebook page following the postponement, with a number of Australian comedians voicing their support for Kaye in the comments.
The Project, on the other hand, has distanced itself from Kaye following his appearance, with host Waleed Aly issuing the following apology: “We want to acknowledge the particular offense that caused our Muslim viewers but especially our Christian viewers. Obviously I understand just how profound that offense was. It’s fair to say we weren’t expecting a comment like that to be made. We wouldn’t normally broadcast a comment like that. We acknowledge the offense it caused and more than that we’re sorry.”