Friday, January 06, 2006

And Another Thing...

There is a new NBC show that airs tonight that is causing an uproar. The Book of Daniel has been criticized by conservative religious groups who are asking their local NBC affiliates to not air the show. Our local NBC station announced yesterday that they would air the show. You can read their statement by clicking the previous sentence, but I am including it here also:

WBIR-TV's statement on NBC program, "The Book of Daniel"

A statement from WBIR-TV General Manager, Jeff Lee

Thank you for your expression of concern and interest in the program, "The Book of Daniel." We have heard from many of you.

We at WBIR find ourselves in a no-win situation. Regardless of our decision, some of our viewers will be upset. We don't like upsetting even one viewer.

"The Book of Daniel" is a TV program: that's all.

We think you should make up your own mind as to whether or not to watch any TV program.

We know that you have many choices of what you can watch, and that decision should be yours alone. You know best what's right for your household.

We are not debating whether "The Book of Daniel" is a good or bad program; that is for you to decide.

WBIR will air "The Book of Daniel." We will air warnings that the program is not for everyone.

The decision to watch it or not to watch it is entirely yours.

Thank you for listening, and we hope you understand WBIR's decision.

I completely agree with their decision. It really irks me that some of the same people who bitch and moan about Christ being taken out of Christmas are the same ones who attack the freedom of speech and expression of a show like this. Sorry, but they are being hypocrites. And that hypocrisy is one of the things that hampers their cause. It makes them look really dumb and selfish in wanting to censor this show. I'm not talking about all Christians here, just the ones who get all worked up over a TV show. This show is NOT an attack on Christianity. It's a fictional story of a priest's challenges and how his faith works, or doesn't work, in helping him. I will be better able to decide if it ridicules religion after I've watched. But I suspect that it does not ridicule religion as much as it is a story of human failures and challenges and triumphs.

And I do plan to watch the show because I enjoy TV shows and movies with religious themes, even if they aren't exactly theologically or biblically 'correct'. I loved the show Joan of Arcadia and hated to see it cancelled.

To echo the sentiments of Jeff Lee, if you don't like it don't watch it. But please, don't try to take away the choices of those who might want to watch it.


Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Just checked our local station and they will be airing it...not surprising here in this part of the STATES. (extremely liberal) The ads have been on, so I should have assumed anyway. They did not even post a letter like the one yours did, just a poll question.

I most likely will not watch it. I do like some of the classics with religious themes (movies) and a few of the shows from the past. Nowadays though I feel many young people and some others desperately want to believe in something and when fiction is twisted and distorted in most instances, it is interpreted unfortunately as truth. I feel anything that comes out of Hollywood should be viewed as just a made up movie w/their own spin. Unfortunately, some do not take it that way and believe it whole-heartedly.

Glad to see you back...(smiling)

Rae Ann said...

suzie, thanks for your always thoughtful comments. I see a show like this as a good catalyst for discussion about what is true and not true about Jesus and Christianity. Fictional explorations of religious themes can be very instructive, like CS Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. I've heard some fundamentalists say very critical things about those books and now movie. That, to me, seems like their faith just isn't very strong if it can be threatened by a book, movie, or tv show.

This is a pretty conservative area so the station's decision to air the show despite lots of protest was a brave and admirable one.

Kat said...

I saw him make that statement. I agreed to. It was like the station was saying, "You are grown people. Make your own decisions."

DHammett said...

I won't be watching it, but not because I'm offended. Just too busy. I'd rather spend time here. I really appreciate the statement (I only read it) that WBIR made. I think it was really well done.

I don't have a problem with Christians putting out a warning. Everybody should go into controversy with their eyes open. But trying to get the station not to show it is going too far.

Christians would be better off working from the inside. If you/we/they don't like what's on movie and TV screens, then go and make a better product. It can be done. It's happening in the music industry now, what with Christian musicians having success on both Christian and secular labels.

Oh, and Lewis was one of the most devoted and eloquent defenders of the faith. For any Christian to denigrate what he has said, written and/or done is calling attention to their own ignorance.

Rae Ann said...

kat, yeah, I was pretty impressed with his statement.

dh, thanks! I did watch it last night and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I saw nothing offensive about it. It just shows that the clergy is just like any other profession in the challenges and problems that people have. Priests, ministers, etc. and their families are human like all the rest of us. And isn't it well known that preachers' kids are the biggest trouble-makers? lol And the Jesus character was great.

There are lots of ignorant fundamentalists here in the Bible Belt.

DHammett said...

So, Rae Ann, you're telling us your the daughter of a preacher man (with apologies to Dusty Springfield)?

Rae Ann said...

dh, oh, no, I come by my trouble-makerness from another way... LOL

Kristi said...

I liked the show as well. I thought it had a lot of potential to actually turn some people "on" to religion by showing that no one is perfect. I happened to attend an Episcopalian service this last Sunday and the Priest spoke very ill of the show. Not surprisingly, many of his flock, (read: sheep) shook their head in disapproval whenever he mentioned the show. It is too bad that many churches overlook these opportunities to reach out to religiously curious people. It feels almost like an exclusive club, where if you stray or differ in any direction, you are made to not feel welcome. JMHO.

Rae Ann said...

Kristi, Oh, you said that SO well! I think the exact same way. Thank you!