January 6, 2006

Two? Why Not Two Hundred?

Hatched by Dafydd

Rachell Zoll, religion writer for the Associated Press, reports that two stations are refusing to air a new NBC series, the Book of Daniel, about an evidently delusional, apostate priest and his irreligious family:

Two television stations are refusing to broadcast a new NBC series about an Episcopal priest who abuses painkillers, has a gay son, a promiscuous straight son, a daughter who deals marijuana, and a wife who drinks too much.

I should note that I am not a Christian; I am a very secularized, agnostic Jew. But even I have become appalled over the past ten or twelve years at the increasingly disreputable and slimy attacks on Christianity on television. My own recent example is the show Seventh Heaven on the Dubya-Bee, which I started watching from the first episode. At first, I was quite happy, as the Camden family was portrayed as actually religious and not hypocritical -- good heavens, what a concept: a minister who actually believes what he preaches! Liberal but sincere in their faith.

Within short order, however, the WB corrected this oversight. They started giving the family one liberal crisis after another: drugs, sex, slutty attire for the girls, a sudden attack of Vagina-Monologue feminism in the mother, Catherine Hicks, and various crises of doubt for the minister father, Stephen Collins, that began to rack up like Jan Brady's schizopheric attacks of identity crisis on the Brady Bunch.

Finally, when the gal who played the eldest daughter, Jessica Biel, posed naked for Gen-Next nudie magazine Maxim and denounced everyone on the show for being insufficiently New Leftist, and when the young male sibling (Simon, played by David Gallagher, I think) was made over into a Menudo-aged teen stud, I just tuned out. I'd had my fill; my hypocrisy meter was pegged.

Except for those few shows actually executive-produced by sincerely religious people (Highway to Heaven, for example), religion on the tube has become so grindingly tendentious that it's unwatchable, at least by me.

Here is an exchange reported by Ms. Zoll about the new NBC show, all emphasis added by me:

In a statement Thursday, NBC said, "We're confident that once audiences view this quality drama themselves, they'll appreciate this thought-provoking examination of one American family."

But the American Family Association said the series was another sign of NBC's "anti-Christian bigotry." Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, an anti-defamation group, called the series the "work of an embittered ex-Catholic homosexual."

The show's creator and executive producer, Jack Kenny, said he drew on the emotionally guarded family of his male partner for the series. He said his goal was to depict how "humor and grace" help a flawed man struggle with his faith and family. He said the writers never meant to mock religion or Jesus.

However, Bob Waliszewski, of Focus on the Family's teen ministries, said the show portrayed Christ as a "namby-pamby frat boy who basically winks at every sin and perversity under the sun."

(Note that Zoll herself does not come to this issue with clean hands; she wrote a very dismissive piece about Mel Gibson's the Passion of the Christ that quoted several Jewish and Christian groups denouncing the film but did not quote any supporting it, not even Gibson... she only paraphrased their responses, a favorite trick for biasing a story.)

Considering that most Americans are religious and very large percentages already believe that Christianity in particular, and religion in general, are under attack, one would think that somebody at NBC might have raised a few questions about why the television world needed yet one more show depicting a priest as a hypocrite who has "regular chats with a robe-wearing, bearded Jesus" who essentially says that sin is no big deal.

And one would think even if no one at the network even thought about it, that more than two affilliates would refuse to carry such a show, assuming they're not masochists who actually enjoy hemorrhaging viewiers. But one would be wrong, wouldn't one?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 6, 2006, at the time of 11:22 AM

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The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael

I recieved an e-mail asking me to call my local NBC Affiliate and request them (politely) to refuse the airing of this show. You know, I just can't get worked up over this... I EXPECT television shows to denegrate religion, all of them, not just Christianity. (Anybody think New Age followers were happy to see thier beliefs demeaned on Dharma and Gregg?!?) So what if Television depicts religion badly... decide to get your religion elsewhere.

Like in Church. Pick one, attend, live the lifestyle. Tell your friends. But really, leave the television to the children, and don't expect from it what it cannot provide.

Mr. Michael

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 6, 2006 12:33 PM

The following hissed in response by: Mr. Davis

Mr. Michael,

I no longer watch television. I don't expect much from it but I am concerned about what children whose viewing habits are not as supervised as mine are learning from what is on television.

You expect television to denegrate all religions. I am curious, does Islam get denigrated frequently on TV?

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Davis [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 6, 2006 6:35 PM

The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist

Sachi and Dafydd,

First...i am a Son of God.

Am i wrong, or correct in sensing that most others here don’t want me here??? Hey, i didn’t really want to be in Prison, so made the Inmates there pay for my presence. Yes, i was guilty. Fact is, i turned myself in, and pled guilty. Most Lawbreakers don’t do such, and all humans break ‘Da Law.

i am an ex-con, and stopped asking for forgiveness many moons ago.

Two television stations are refusing to broadcast a new NBC series about an Episcopal priest who abuses painkillers, has a gay son, a promiscuous straight son, a daughter who deals marijuana, and a wife who drinks too much.

Durn!!! i had always been taught that Daniel was a faithful servant of God, and ended up in some “Lion’s Den”. i pay over $100 a month for DIRECTV, so i can change the channel at anytime. Before that/this satellite technology, i used aluminum foil, and hundreds of feet of electrical scrap wire in order to pick up a few stations.

Second...i am a Son of God, so Jesus, Mohammed, and Moses mean little to me.

OK...to the ‘new’ leftwing movement with “a modern incarnation of Jesus”. i never heard many complaints about Archie Bunker and “All in the Family”, even though it sought to put the American Male into the idiot and racist category. That was back in 1971, and it is now 2006. Some thirty-five years latter, the left attempts to give a new version of Daniel and Jesus...so what. i don’t watch ABC, CNN, NBC, CBS, PBS, or any Jimmy “The Mullah” Carter “Special” unless they are showing football. BTW, i get the “Sunday Ticket”. i don’t buy newspapers either. i do pay, but not for Left-Wing brainwashing.

Third...i am a “God waiting to be Born”, and thusly understand why America’s Left is so desperate that they need to portray cowboys as being gay, and Daniel as some male with problems. There was a Moses, a Jesus, and a Mohammed...trust me, for they were my younger ‘Earthly Brothers’.

America’s Founders were *BLESSED* with great wisdom...simple as that. Centuries latter, we are still wondering about most everything. Mother Nature is “God” on Earth, so humans are unable to destroy “Her”!!! Global warming is a joke...

Archie Bunker was a joke. This new Daniel movie is crap. Those whom have used the Internet for a few years, will understand what the “Ignore Button” is about. Religion and State/Government should never merge here in America. America’s Founders understood a lot more than they are credit for, but they clearly understood what Freedom was about!!! Communism is not Freedom. Socialism is not Freedom. Islamism is not Freedom. Christianity is not Freedom. Fascism is not Freedom. Etc.

If MSM wishes to play Leftist games, make them pay where it hurts. If Hollywood wants to become political instead of just acting, then make them pay where it hurts. i started Voting in 2002...against the Democrat Party, and will not stop Voting until they mean no more than the crap that they are.

Freedom gives the Individual a chance to help others. - KårmiÇømmünîs†

The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 6, 2006 9:32 PM

The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael

"You expect television to denegrate all religions. I am curious, does Islam get denigrated frequently on TV?"

I have no idea, Mr. Davis. I assume so... perhaps unfairly. It wouldn't bother me if it did. And to be fair, if it is, and if somebody DOES get offended by that... Then they should be offended by this Daniel show as well. I just can't see getting upset about the correct portrayal of ANY religion on television...

To me, it's like getting worked up that the Chef at your favorite restaurant doesn't support your favorite football team. It's just inappropriate for anyone to base thier religious happiness on the actions of some sitcom producer's actions...

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 6, 2006 10:50 PM

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