What Would Jesus Donate?
The organ donation campaign that’s left some cross
According to Christian belief, Jesus gave his life to save ours.
But would he give his organs?
That’s the premise behind a controversial new ad campaign designed to increase organ donation registration in Australia.
And unsurprisingly, it’s received a mixed reaction, though not necessarily from the quarters you’d expect.
The short film features a pair of guards asking Jesus if he’ll register as an organ donor, before offering him a phone with the form filled out so he can offer his consent.
The guards also bring Mary and Joseph along to underline the importance of letting your next of kin know about your wishes to be an organ donor.
The guards wrap up by taking a selfie with Christ, who offers up “#blessed” as a hashtag suggestion.
Which leads one of the guards to give a classic awkward response that we won’t spoil here. Why not just check it out yourself?
The Daily Telegraph reported that Founder of Islamic Friendship Association of Australia Keysar Trad said the campaign “showed irreverence towards venerated figures”, and “will cause offence to some Muslims and some Christians”.
But generally the response was positive, even within religious circles.
Anglican Bishop of South Sydney Michael Stead said that some people “might be offended by the Monty Python-esque humour” but “it uses the self-sacrificial example of Jesus to communicate an important message”.
The writer and director of the ad, Richard Bullock, said that he was inspired to get people talking about organ donation.
“I wanted to deliberately provoke a conversation in homes around the subject. This is really difficult as nobody wants to bring up issues around death and organ donation over the dinner table.”
While 80 per cent of Australians say they will donate, only 34 per cent are on the organ donor registry. And even then, families who are not made aware of their loved one’s wishes will often so no to donations.
The short film is available in a variety of lengths, up to two and a half minutes, and is also helping to promote a feature length documentary called Dying to Live.
“I thought it would be amusing and relevant to find that the nicest and kindest man who ever lived – Jesus - wasn’t aware that his organ donor status was no longer on his license,” Mr Bullock said. “Once I started writing I realised that the complexity of the Australian Organ donation could be explained. In the end Jesus donating his organs is exactly what I think Jesus WOULD do.”
Although there is one big problem: donating his organs would probably make resurrection tricky.
If you want to see the Dying To Live documentary, you can find session times at https://au.demand.film/dying-to-live/
(Featured Image: Dying To Live)