Even though a Christian, I fancy myself as a somewhat open-minded individual who doesn't just take other's words for controversial issues that come up in the Christian community. So, when the Pastor of my church gave a brief synopsis of the characters in the new and upcoming television series, "The Book of Daniel," to be broadcast on NBC, without telling us what to say but encouraging us to contact NBC with comments, I didn't jump the gun.
To quote Beliefnet.com:
"In Kenny's "The Book of Daniel," which NBC just picked up for midseason, Aidan Quinn plays Connecticut-bred Daniel Webster. Daniel is a good minister and a good man, but that's not always enough to deal with his life. He's addicted to Vicodin. His wife, Judith, has frozen inside since one of their sons died of leukemia. His son, Peter, is gay. His daughter, Grace, is dealing marijuana to raise extra cash...."
In an article found at Christianpost.com, Vince Manze, president and creative director of The NBC Agency is quoted:
""Due to the popularity of such books as 'The Da Vinci Code' and the box office success of such movies as 'The Passion of the Christ,' there's no denying the general public's interest in the supernatural and the spiritual realms.""
From the same article NBC Entertainment President, Kevin Reilly "says (the Book of Daniel) is exemplary of his new watchword in program development – “fresh.”":
"I like that it's slightly provocative," Reilly told Reuters. "We did realize that we're in uncharted waters. ... It certainly stirs people's passions and stirs opinions, and if we do it right, with quality, I think there's millions and millions of people who would say, 'Hey, that's what I've been looking for on television."'
Now, while this statement, made by Ed Vitagliano, director of research for the American Family Association, found at AgapePress news , is true:
""... we certainly recognize that Christians do have problems, and they have problems in their families...""
a statement with which I totally agree, does the Christian community really want a man who Beliefnet.com describes as one ""in Catholic recovery," (who) is interested in Buddhist teachings about reincarnation, and isn't sure exactly how he defines God and/or Jesus....," himself, to be the voice of Christianity for us?
Yes, NBC, "The Passion of Christ" was a box office smash. Yes, NBC, the Christian community would welcome more broadcasting on a religious theme which explores Christianity and the Christian's daily walk with Christ, but please, would it be too much to ask that the writer of such programs have more in common with the average Christian in America???
Further, Beliefnet.com quotes Kenny, a homosexual, as saying:
""I pull from my own life, but I don't have a gay agenda. Peter is not me, to use an example. He's a conservative, middle-of-the-road Republican gay man, and that's not me."
Mr. Kenny may not be a "conservative, middle-of-the-road Republican gay man," but I cannot accept that any writer, not just Mr. Kenny, can write a fictional screen play without, however unintentionally, expressing his own views and opinions of Christianity and the gay lifestyle, including its agenda. I believe this program is rightfully viewed by Christians as an attack on their faith, why? Because, here we have an Episcopal Priest who is addicted to prescription pain killers, an Episcopal Priest's wife who drinks daily martinis to medicate her emotional pain, an Episcopal Priest's son who is gay, and Republican, mind you, (not that Republican gays don't exist, they certainly do but why this particular choice for the show, if not politically motivated?) an Episcopal Priest's daughter who sells drugs for extra money...we are to believe that this is a common family among the Episcopal faith? Even if it were a common family description of Episcopal Priest's families it still would not set well with the Christian community in America because such a portrayal will be viewed by citizens who have little exposure to church or Christian beliefs as what it is like to be a Christian. Yes, we do have problems in our lives, but the average Christian looks to Jesus to help them with the sin in their lives, they do not look to prescription pain killers and martinis nor are the majority of Christians gay Republicans or selling marijuana as a source of extra income. How can this program be taken as anything less than an attack on Christianity, an effort to portray them not as the unusual people who God calls on them to be, people in the world but not of the world?
Mr. Kenny will be giving an imaginary, fictional view of Christ in his program, of the Christian God in this program. I do not wish the Christian Godhead to be defined by someone who "isn't sure exactly how he defines God and/or Jesus," in the first place. Is that portraying the Christian lifestyle " right, with quality," Mr. Reilly? I don't think so.