An Australian TV promotion for a film promoting organ donation, Dying to Live has cast Jesus as an evangelist for organ donation. But it’s not just Jesus. Stealing a scene from The Life of Brian, the ad features Jesus on the cross, with two Roman centurions persuading him to donate his organs by tapping a smartphone, and then pose for a selfie with them. ‘Nailed it!’ they conclude.
The film’s website says: ‘There’s really never a good time to talk about organ donation. That’s the insight that inspired writer/director Richard Bullock to go all in and cast Jesus Christ as the lead for his latest short film. No doubt this will create some heated discussion. And that’s exactly the point of it all. To get people to talk about organ donation.’
The ad has definitely got people talking, but a good percentage of it is about blasphemy, rather than organ donation. ‘As a practising committed Christian, I do not find this funny. Even without the Christ on the cross the narrative is not funny. Organ donation is vital for so many people,’ said one Facebook commenter.
Others on social media offered their own ideas of how the video could have gone:
@theprojecttv As an organ transplant recipient, I know just how important #OrganDonation is. But I'm not sure using JESUS is a good idea to spread the message! He had 12 disciples, maybe go through them first?
— Iris Sara (@IrisAssist) October 15, 2018
The constant Christian refrain of ‘This would never have happened to Islam’ surfaced in many comments and tweets:
— John Mc (@McFlySpotter) October 15, 2018
Meanwhile, a surgical nurse has started an online petition asking Australia’s Advertising Standards Board to have the TV ad removed, because ‘it is disrespectful and undermines the power of the cross that we place our hope in.’ Currently, over 15,500 have signed.