Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Book of Daniel

Have you heard about The Book of Daniel, a new TV show that's getting a lot of attention? The lead character is an Episcopalian priest who has a gay son (no problem for him with that), an adopted son who is fooling around with girls, and a daughter who gets arrested (shoplifting, I think). The mother is an alcoholic, while the father/priest has a Vicodin addiction, and talks to a friendly Jesus (shades of Don Camillo?). Christian organizations have been very upset by the show, and some have urged boycotts. That boycott got me thinking about my earlier post, commenting on Lefties who are trying to shut down Kate O'Beirne's book, so as to make it unavailable to all. I'm a little concerned about the apparent attempt to shut down the Book of Daniel (although I don't have much information on the subject). Basically, I can divide my thoughts into things I think you can do in a market economy, and things I think you shouldn't do. Things I think you can legitimately do in a market economy: Tell people why you think they shouldn't watch the show, don't watch the show yourself, provide information challenging the show, and stop buying products made by those who mark the market decision to advertise on the show. Things I think you shouldn't do, because it stifles the free flow of ideas (even bad ones): Try to bully or threaten the shows producers into pulling the show off the air, and threaten advertizers (although I think it's legitimate to warn them that you intend to suggest to like-minded people that they may want to refrain from buying products advertised on the show). My second point about the show is entirely unrelated to my first. If you go here, you can hear Terry Gross, of Fresh Air interviewing Jack Kenny, the show's writer. Kenny says that just as Six Feet Under had a mortuary backdrop, this show just has a Christian family backdrop. He doesn't mean to be disrespectful, and he steers clear of doctrinal issues. He says he's baffled by the hostility the show stirred up, and I believe him. What Kenny reveals is the difference between nominal religious beliefs (yeah, there's a God; yeah, Jesus died for me) and true belief, which must, by definition, permeate your life. True believers would actually be troubled at a spiritual level by alcoholism, drug abuse, premarital sex, crime, a beloved child's homosexuality,* etc. These issues couldn't exist outside of the confines of religious belief, no matter how the believer ultimately responds to these issues. It seems to me, therefore, that what's wrong with this show is that it has a completely nonreligious priest as its central character. It says, essentially, that you can be Godly -- that you can be God's intermediary -- without being troubled by prickly ethical, religious, doctrinal and moral questions. ------- *I want to say here that I'm truly not a homophobe. I do have problems, though, with gay marriage, which I think is a leap into the dark a society shouldn't take without much deeper analysis than that provided by a Massachusetts Supreme Court judge or a San Francisco mayor. As a parent -- and a married one -- I'm an strong believer in the traditional family unit which has served well those societies that embrace it. I'm therefore suspicious of headlong leaps into destroying that dynamic. I'll also say that there is no doubt that the Bible is not friendly towards homosexuality, so it's unlikely that a truly religious person would be unfazed by a child's homosexuality. This legitimate concern in the mind of a truly religious person is entirely separate from the MSM image of a fire-breathing Christian stoning his child. Talking to Technorati: , , , ,