January 6, 2006

Daniel in the lion's den

Yes, technically I'm still not blogging until I've got the new design up and running. But I can't resist weighing in on the controversy over The Book of Daniel, the TV show that debuts tonight. If you haven't heard, the religious right, led by the so-called American Family Association, has condemned this show about a priest with a troubled (in that soap opera way) family. The key thing to note is that the AFA campaign gives the lie to the claim that the religous right just want to promote "faith" or "religious values." You see, The Book of Daniel has in fact been embraced by the Episcopal Church, which is the religion it portrays. What conservative evangelicals actually have a problem with in this case is not secular Hollywood pop culture, but progressive Episcopalianism. They're not defending religion, they're attacking a religion they don't like. If you doubt me, check the official Blog of Daniel, maintained by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, where antagonists have to repeatedly be reminded that "Comments like 'Episcopalians stink,' and 'Burn in hell,' while admirably concise, are not going to make the cut."

I have no intention of actually watching the show, which looks idiotic (though I did love Jesus when he played two different crazy dudes on Deadwood), but I kind of hope people do so that they can see that there is a religious left out there -- or at the very least, a religion which embraces gay folks. Again, exposure to that truth will make it harder for groups like the AFA to pass off gay-bashing as "Christian values."

As for whether this show can do that, I'm counting on my pal the Salty Vicar to watch tonight and give his opinion.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Yeah, if I lived in Terre Haute, I'd be lobbying for NBC to add Jesus to the rest of their shows so I wouldn't run across them by accident. I wonder how he'd do on the Apprentice?

P.S. Also, He was pretty good on Rescue Me last year.

Well, I did it, my first attempt at liveblogging. RLP has the best analysis. About 30% of my congregation enjoyed it; 60% thought it was OK, and about 10% really hated it. Which is about the ratio of what was good about the show.

There are lots of better things to do on Friday night. Next time, I'm getting loaded.

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