Thursday night on NBC’s “ER,” the character of Hope Bobeck, who is defined as a Christian, abruptly decides that she should enter a sexual relationship with an atheist character.

“Chastity has always been overrated,” she states as she tells Dr. Archie Morris that they should meet for dinner and drinks and then “see what happens.” The doctor did determine not to join her for this tryst, but who knows what will happen in future episodes? The point here is that the portrayal is of a Christian young lady who suddenly determines that the Bible’s plan for sexuality is wrong.

Earlier this year, when NBC announced that “ER” would incorporate a Christian character into the series, many Christians held out hope that maybe just once we would see an honest depiction of someone who chooses to walk with Christ.

Instead, we get an often-bungling character whose Christian faith is easily challenged and defeated.

This is typical of the so-called mainstream media.

The storyline reminds me of a “Will and Grace” episode a few years ago in which a gathering of ex-gays (people who have walked away from homosexuality) suddenly run off with each other, overcome by their sexual urges.

The message here is clear: Christianity is a feeble crutch that cannot – and should not – stand against reckless sexuality.

Christians who turn from homosexuality are depicted as jokes, even though multiple thousands of these individuals are wonderfully living out their faith today. And Christian singles who determine that they will remain chaste until marriage are similarly mocked.

I continue to insist that Christians are the only group in America that is routinely demeaned in the media. Strikingly, the major networks do not see a double standard.

Earlier this year on “ER,” a homosexual female impersonator was in the series’ hospital caring for his “partner.” So moved by their love was one of the attending doctors, he states, “You make me wish I was a drag queen.”

Imagine one of the “ER” doctors making that statement to a Christian character.

Exactly. There’s no way.

So passionate is the sentiment on these shows, they might as well hang a sign for viewers to see on their TV screens: “Gay is good. Christianity is bad.”

I believe these negative media portrayals of Christians and Christianity go hand-in-hand with the accelerating effort to purge our nation of its Judeo-Christian symbols.

It’s a one-two punch: The media depict Christians as either mean-spirited ogres or easily influenced simpletons, while civil libertarians attempt to convince our fellow citizens that America should be free of religious symbols, specifically Christian ones.

This is why I believe our current battle to protect Christmas in the public square is so important. If representations of Christmas are outlawed, even informally, it is another nail in the coffin of public religious expression.

Working closely with Liberty Counsel, which this year launched its fourth annual “Friend or Foe Campaign,” we have convinced many retailers to return to utilizing expressions of Christmas in their advertising, store displays and employee conversations. (Readers can visit the Liberty Counsel website to see this year’s “Naughty and Nice” list, which shows which retailers have Christmas-friendly (and unfriendly) policies.

We have also worked with pastors and churches across the country in placing local newspaper ads that inform readers on the legalities of public Christmas expressions.

I believe this is an important campaign. It is just one of the ways we must work together to preserve our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage against those whose deceptive campaign seeks to ignore and defy our history. It is fully apparent that Christianity is in the crosshairs, so we must work harder than ever to preserve our religious freedoms.

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