At last, after weeks of flirting with the idea of broadcasting a portion of a Madonna concert in which she appears on a giant cross wearing a crown of thorns, NBC reportedly has decided not to broadcast that portion of the song “Live to Tell.”
While I’m pleased that NBC ultimately made the right decision not to offend millions of Christians by editing out the offensive footage in “Madonna: The Confessions Tour ? Live From London”, scheduled to air Nov. 22, this is really a small victory.
You see, the broadcast and cable networks continue to assault the character of Jesus Christ on a regular basis.
Why? Because evangelical Christians and conservative Catholics are seen as pariahs. Therefore, the subject of our faith ? Jesus Christ ? should be mocked.
Maybe you think I’m overstating the problem.
Well, take a look.
On Comedy Central’s “South Park,” Jesus is a goofy cable access talk show host. In one recent episode, the network permitted the series to depict Jesus defecating on President Bush and the American flag, while an image of Mohammed was edited out.
After feeling the heat of criticism, Comedy Central said it would continue to “push” their content “right to the edge.” But apparently only if the religious mockery is not about Mohammed.
Last year, NBC’s “The Book of Daniel” presented Jesus as a zoned-out hippie who periodically showed up to banter with a pill-popping minister.
Further, the networks fawned all over “The Da Vinci Code” novel and film ? which portray Jesus in ways that totally counter the Bible ? while routinely touting Islam as a religion of peace.
A couple of years ago, then-host of ABC’s “Nightline” Ted Koppel described as “awesome, beautiful, and harmonizing annual gathering” the Islamic pilgrimage known as the Hajj.
In a November 2003 column, L. Brent Bozell III, president of the Media Research Center, noting how ABC’s “Search for Jesus” was far less complimentary of Christianity, stated: “To ABC, Islam is holy. But Christianity is easily pierced as a fraud, an oppressive faith, a creed so repulsive that a ‘news’ division doesn’t require any evidence before it rubs salt in the wounds of our Savior.”
This is how most in the so-called mainstream media look at conservative people of faith today ? with derision and contempt.
So it is when NBC plans to air the Madonna segment where she appears on the cross in a crown of thorns, the network’s Entertainment President Kevin Reilly tells TVGuide.com, “We viewed it and, although Madonna is known for being provocative, we didn’t see it as being ultimately inappropriate.”
Of course not. In the networks’ world of “tolerance,” officials attempt to accept and understand virtually everything, except for Christianity.
Madonna ? an icon of sexual openness ? mocking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is not inappropriate.
As for those of us who embrace Christ in our hearts and lives, we are essentially told that if we don’t like it to turn the channel.
Imagine that same rejoinder to the gay-rights community or to the African American community if they were offended by a planned broadcast.
Only Christians are treated this way.
The only way we win in these situations is when we contact the networks en masse to let them know that we will not tolerate their anti-Christian actions.
We should do this routinely and confidently because we have more power than even we realize. I hope we make the Madonna broadcast the first of many in which we ? Christians working together ? turn back the tide of anti-Christian bigotry that is standard operating procedure at the networks.
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