Archbishop Makarios of Australia responds to The Project’s Jesus joke

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Archbishop Makarios of Australia issued a statement on Saturday, March 4 in response to a joke about Jesus Christ made during a television segment on Channel Ten’s program The Project.

The Project has faced backlash for a joke made on-air by comedian Reuben Kaye on Tuesday, February 28.

After speaking about the abuse he receives from the Christian community about his sexuality, Kaye made the joke: “I love Jesus. I love any man who can get nailed for three days straight and come back for more.”

In a statement, Archbishop Makarios denounced the joke as “extremely distasteful and rather deplorable content,” and said it was “inappropriate” such “suggestive and disparaging remarks of a sexual nature” were aired in the early evening “when children were more likely to be viewing.”

“Everyone is free to believe in Christ or not, but no one has the right to disparage the Christian God, Christian teachings, and sacred symbols — or in fact those of any other religious faith,” the Archbishop said in his statement.

“Rather, it is incumbent upon all of us to foster a culture of peace and solidarity, creating bridges and opportunities for dialogue; promoting ways in which all people can have the right to exercise their religious beliefs in a spirit of amity and fraternity without fear of violence or ridicule.”

This statement comes after The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) revealed on Saturday it had received over 200 complaints about the program since it aired.

In response to the backlash, The Project’s co-hosts Waleed Aly and Sarah Harris issued an apology last Wednesday.

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