HOLLYWOOD (Christian Examiner) – Chances are few of the young people watching Saturday Night Live remember Pat Boone's run in Hollywood as a wholesome male actor from the late 1950s through the 1980s, but the steadily working actor and singer has never retired.
Boone has a role in the new film, God's Not Dead 2, in which a Christian teacher is hauled before a court for openly discussing the Bible in her classroom.
Now, the actor is speaking out against SNL's parody of the film, which focused April 16 on Christian's heightened sensitivity to persecution, obsession with a heterosexual God, and their supposed oppression of the LGBT community.
The spoof trailer for the non-existent movie called God is a Boob Man features a young woman who feels persecuted when she is asked to make a cake for a gay male couple. When she refuses, the couple sues her through the use of a Jewish ACLU lawyer. The lawyer offers the Christian baker a way out of the lawsuit – she only has to admit that "God is gay."
Something can be devilishly funny, but this skit is diabolical. God has only one real enemy — Satan. Satan ridicules faith, and they're taking Satan's side. They're also ridiculing me and the film, telling impressionable young people not to see it because it's ridiculous. Then they throw in that the lawyer is Jewish to make the Christian look even worse, but it's just anti-Semitic.
Boone told the Hollywood Reporter April 18 that the skit was not a parody, but outright sacrilege.
"God has a sense of humor. Why else would he invent the porcupine and the giraffe?" Boone said. "Something can be devilishly funny, but this skit is diabolical. God has only one real enemy — Satan. Satan ridicules faith, and they're taking Satan's side. They're also ridiculing me and the film, telling impressionable young people not to see it because it's ridiculous. Then they throw in that the lawyer is Jewish to make the Christian look even worse, but it's just anti-Semitic."
Boone said he believed the iconic Saturday-night show wouldn't have dared attack Muslims in the same way. If they did, he said, the actors would have to go into hiding.
SNL asked Boone to host an episode at the height of his career. He said he asked the show not to make light of his family or his faith. When they refused to abide by his suggested ground rules, he declined.
"I know they would have treated me like a complete sap," Boone told the entertainment news site. "I used to love SNL. I'd record it every week. It's gotten filthy, though, so no more."
Today, Boone said he doesn't expect SNL to issue an apology for the skit, and he won't wait for one, he said.
"They don't answer to me. They answer to the one they defame, and there are consequences," the actor and singer said.
The producers of God's Not Dead 2 have also weighed in on the parody, calling the faux trailer a vilification of Christians.
"There is some irony, though, when they attack the movie for telling a true-to-life story about the Christian faith being under attack like never before in our country," the statement from the producers said. "And then there is their 'understanding' of how God is represented by Christians. It's enough to make you want to do something."
The God's Not Dead 2 team suggested Christians avoid writing letters or publicly boycotting SNL. They also should not "cower in the corner."
Instead, they suggested inviting "a friend (or fifteen)" to see the film.
"Be encouraged and inspired to stand firmly for and with the God of love, the God of hope, the God of grace and mercy—the God of the Bible," the producer's statement said.