Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Group protests NBC's dysfunctional 'Christians'

'Book of Daniel' by homosexual writer features drug-dependent minister
A pro-family group has launched a protest campaign against a new NBC drama featuring a troubled, pill-popping Episcopal priest who is the father of a dysfunctional family.

"The Book of Daniel," written by a homosexual, is being promoted as the only show on television in which Jesus appears as a recurring character and the only network prime-time drama series with a regular male "gay" character, a 23-year-old Republican son, says the American Family Association, which has an online petition.

In Hollywood, I am sure it is very edgy to have a regular character who is a Republican.

Touted as the riskiest show of the year, it includes a wife who relies on mid-day martinis, a 16-year-old daughter who is a drug dealer and a 16-year-old adopted son who is having sex with the bishop's daughter. At the office, the priest's lesbian secretary is sleeping with his sister-in-law.

At least the adopted son isn’t having sex with the bishop. Maybe they’re saving that for next season.

As WND reported earlier this month, the series debuts Jan. 6 with back-to-back episodes and will air regularly Friday nights at 9 p.m. The cast also includes Ellen Burstyn and Susanna Thompson. Comedienne Phyllis Diller plays a member of the congregation.

The priest, Daniel Webster, played by veteran actor Aidan Quinn, regularly talks with a manifestation of Jesus, played by Garret Dillahunt.

The American Family Association says the people at NBC responsible for the program "consider it a good, religiously oriented show typical of Christian families."
"Network hype" and mainstream media, AFA says, have called it "edgy," "challenging" and "courageous."

The typical Christian family must not live around here, as far as I can tell.

Last summer, the show's writer, Jack Kenny, said at the Television Critics Association's press tour he recognized "there are going to be people who have an issue with a gay man writing about Jesus."

"I'm not making fun of Jesus," he said. "I never want to poke fun at religion or at Jesus. These characters are very spiritual people. They believe in God, they believe in Christ as their savior, and I think that's wonderful."

Kenny described himself as being "in Catholic recovery," with an interest in Buddhist teachings about reincarnation.

Perhaps he should consider studying for the Episcopal priesthood – he would fit right in at the seminary.

"I'm a spiritual person," he said. "I don't know specifically what's going on up there. I think there must be something going on, whether it's an energy we're all connected to or an old white man with a beard and a robe.

Kenny said he does believe in Jesus, but explained, "I don't necessarily know that all the myth surrounding him is true, but I read his teachings, and I think he was a great teacher and a wonderful philosopher. I think he had a great idea: 'Love thy neighbor.' There's nothing wrong with that."

Our spiritual, recovering-Catholic, semi-Buddhist seems to think that Jesus came up with this idea. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” is from Leviticus 19. Believing in Jesus on your own terms is not believing at all, at least in any Christian sense.

Forget the Hollywood hype; forget whether the creators are being deliberately offensive, or they actually see the world the way they present it. Can you imagine what would happen if the main character of this show was a Rabbi or an Imam? One of the reasons I came to believe that Christianity is true is the astonishing level of hatred, animosity, and mockery it generates. No one would go this far out of his way to diss Hindus or Buddhists – only Christians are considered both fair game and worth the effort.

I wonder if any of the people on this show have read the Book of Daniel? "but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand... (Dan 12:10, NASB)