Kathryn Morris stars as Lilly Rush in the CBS crime drama ‘Cold Case’ (Courtesy CBS)
The latest episode of the CBS crime show “Cold Case” depicted presumably devout Christian teens in an abstinence club as sexually active hypocrites who literally stone a member to keep their sins secret.
The Culture and Media Institute, a defender of traditional values, calls the episode broadcast Sunday “a ham-handed attempt to influence this fall’s congressional debate on abstinence education programs. The show also depicts abstinence-only education as useless, if not actively harmful.”
“Hollywood likes to claim their programming simply reflects reality, but the latest episode of ‘Cold Case’ was an exercise in bigoted, Christophobic fantasy,” wrote the institute’s Colleen Raezler.
The episode, which focuses on the unsolved murder of a promiscuous 15-year-old, also has a youth pastor encouraging a girl to “confess” her impure dreams to him as he masturbates.
The Culture and Media Institute is a division of the Media Research Center.
With new clues, a Philadelphia homicide unit reopens the 1998 murder of Carrie Swett, who had joined the abstinence club, Hearts Wait, just before her death.
Carrie eventually learns the club members aren’t who they claim to be. Tina, the outspoken president, apparently is carrying on a sexual relationship with the youth pastor, Nathan, who oversees the club.
In a flashback scene, Carrie confronts Tina and encourages her to stop meeting alone with the youth pastor.
Tina replies, “You’re just some slut with a whore for a mother.”
Carrie also tells a young man who fears he’s homosexual and two teens who are sleeping together that there is nothing wrong with their feelings or actions.
The members of the club respond to Carrie by calling her “dirty,” “whore,” “slut” and “b****” before stoning her to death.
Tina justifies the murder by paraphrasing the King James Version of Deuteronomy 22:21: “The whore should be stoned so thou shalt put evil away among you.”
CMI’s Raelzer points to how the episode speaks directly to Congress’ current debate over abstinence funding.
In the opening scene, a high school health teacher tells her class, “Now if school policy allowed me to do so, I would tell you how these methods of birth control can be used and what they do. But I cannot. I would be fired.”
Another scene has Laurie, a product of abstinence education, asking Carrie how to determine whether she is pregnant, implying abstinence programs leave teens ignorant.