Tonight on NBC will debut the much-publicized series “The Book of Daniel.”
The series is a typical network examination of “religious” Americans. The series focuses on a dysfunctional family led by Episcopal priest Daniel Webster (Aidan Quinn), who is hooked on painkillers and is frequently visited by “God.”
In the previews I’ve seen of the series, God is portrayed as a kind of inane wise guy, maybe not quite as dopey as the “Jesus” of “South Park” who hosts a cable access show in Colorado.
Daniel’s daughter is a pot dealer, his wife is a martini guzzler and his son is homosexual. Further, Daniel’s bishop, who isn’t too pleased with his offbeat sermons that encourage parishioners to give in to temptation, is having an affair.
Daniel’s is a church that only Howard Stern and Larry Flynt could love.
In other words, the series is a typically skewed Hollywood presentation of people of faith.
Think with me for a moment.
When is the last time you turned on your television and saw an attempt by the networks to offer an honest look at a Christian character?
It’s been a while.
This week on NBC’s “E.R.,” the character of Dr. Kovac, who is described as a “Christian,” abandons his pro-life principles and assists a 15-year-old girl (a rape victim from a Christian home) in having an abortion.
“Is it a sin?” the young girl pensively asks the doctor prior to the procedure.
“It’s just a medical way of giving God a second chance to reconsider,” the doctor replies.
It’s such a phony portrayal of a so-called Christian doctor.
But it’s what we’ve come to expect from the networks.
Kovac is presented as heroic for abandoning his religious beliefs and jumping on the situational ethics bandwagon in defining God for himself.
The message? There is no right and wrong.
I guess since the networks long ago deemed that morality is an ever-changing mood, it was determined that Christian characters would also need to reflect a sense of moral imbalance and fundamental corruption.
So, if Christians aren’t portrayed as complete lunatics, they are shown as being just as confused about life as network executives.
These depictions of “Christians” are wholly dishonest.
I guarantee that if you walk into any hospital in this nation, you will discover a handful of Christian doctors and nurses and staffers who productively live out their faith on a daily basis. They fully function in the real world without discarding the principles of their faith.
But have you ever seen a positive portrayal of a Christian doctor on a network show? How about a police officer or a teacher?
“The Book of Daniel” is just another example in a tired old format.
Series creator Jack Kenny describes himself as a “recovering Catholic” whose gay partner is Episcopalian.
If the shoe were on the other foot and he was a recovering homosexual (as millions of Americans are), Mr. Kenny wouldn’t be given the time of day by the networks.
I’m not saying that Hollywood needs to have Billy Graham or James Dobson starring in a new sitcom. But I do wish the movers and shakers in Tinseltown would take a moment to consider how unfair this plot against Christians has become.
I’m praying that this Daniel ends up in the lion’s den of swift cancellation.
To date, two NBC affiliates have announced they will not carry the premiere of this series. If you would like to considerately express your opinion to your local NBC station, click this link to discover a website for that station.
Further, if you’d like to send a thoughtful comment to NBC about the series, you may send an e-mail.