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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Me and NBC's "The Book of Daniel"

In the last couple days, I have received several forwarded emails originating from David Wildmon of the American Family Association. The email is titled: NBC Demeans Christian Faith. It goes on to say that NBC is doing this through its release of the show "The Book of Daniel"

I happen to like some NBC shows, so I've seen the commercials for "Daniel" more than once. The issues of offense appear to be:

the father is a drug addicted episcopal priest.
his wife loves her mid-day martini
their 23 year old son is gay
their daughter sells drugs
their youngest son is having sex with the bishop's daughter
the father speaks face to face with a white robed-bearded Jesus

David Wildmon wants me to write the executives at NBC. Before I would, I need to sort through some emotions:

1. Apathy. I just don't see this show lasting long. Lost, 24, and Prison Break work with complex characters. It doesn't seem that comedies do. Comedic characters need to be kept simple and easy to follow. I had to check the email three times to make sure I got the details to the show. (And this doesn't cover it all. For example, the priest's secretary is also sleeping with his sister-in-law.) It seems the show will be so abstract that it just won't connect with people.
2. Confusion. I'm not sure what this says. Is this supposed to be an accurate portrayal of "Christian life," or, since this is a comedy, is the humor supposed to be found in the fact that it is ridiculous. I've wondered the same about Ned Flanders. Is he supposed to be a representative of how the world sees Christians, or is he supposed to make you laugh because no Christian is truly that absurd? I honestly don't know if I should be offended or not.
3. Sorrow. It may be a comedy, and there may not be a person that is dealing with all these issues in reality, but there are people all over the place that are dealing with at least one or two of these issues...Christians included. Who isn't disfunctional? The show may be a comedy and will have fun with these issues, but these problems severely damage people all around us. My heart should break.
4. Expectation. Aslan isn't the only thing decaffeinated. It's representative of the direction culture has seen Jesus. He is now weak, clueless and insecure in the world's eyes. We are probably at least partly to blame for that.
5. Relief. This is not Christianity as I know it. They seem to be talking about something of religion, rather than a relationship with Christ. Their Jesus is weak. They are dependant on Jesus speaking to them in a garden, rather than through His Word. They don't seem to have their life and their faith intersect. I really don't know that it is stepping on my toes too much.

At this point, I don't think I know a lot about the show. Commericials and a few soundbytes don't often represent accurately. At this point, I don't know how people will react to the show. At this point, I don't know if boycotts, petitions and letters to the network are only going to bring them more attention.

Maybe I'll end up joining your effort, Mr. Wildmon, but I'm not sure I can just yet.


  • At 12:58 AM, Anonymous brian said…

    yeah, some things you just have to wait and see if it's worth the effort. And, I'm with you on the Flanders thing. He's funny, but I always think, "Should I be laughing?" At least, that hard.

    Be praying for your family and your moms tests.


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