The Book of Hypocrisy

The oh-so-self-righteous religious right wing has their sensible panties in a bunch again – this time over an irreverent NBC television series called The Book of Daniel.

In their usual spirit of trying to force their archaic values on the rest of us, these Bible-thumping whack jobs are petitioning NBC affiliates to drop the show, threatening advertisers with boycotts and demanding Congress step in and, essentially, censor the network for daring take a jaundiced look at religion and everyday life.

The protests, of course, started long before any of these nutcases had actually seen an episode of the show. They object, loudly, about the show’s premise – a pain-killer addicted Episcopalian minister with an alcoholic wife, a gay son (who is, God-forbid, a Republican), a drug-dealing daughter, a horny adopted son who is sleeping with the Bishop’s daughter and a lesbian secretary who’s sleeping with his sister-in-law.

Granted, that’s a lot of dysfunction for one family but what the hell, the show is only an hour long and the screenwriter just didn’t have time to spread all this fun and frivolity around to others in the neighborhood.

To make matters, when the Rev. Daniel Webster is zoning out on pain pills, he talks with Jesus about is problems, at least when Christ is not reminding him that he’s tailgating or stressing out.

As expected, the homophobic American Family Association is urging its bigoted, repressive membership to protest the show and boycott all advertisers. So far, six NBC affiliates have refused to carry future episodes of the series.  In Little Rock, Arkansas, KARK-TV dropped the show but the local Warner Brothers affiliate, WD-42, picked it up. So all these God-fearing, love thy neighbor Christians started sending nasty emails and making threats by phone so the station had to hire extra security.

The threatened ad boycott is also limiting the number of companies willing to take a chance. NBC sold only about half its ad time for the two-hour premiere of the series last week.

This kind of hypocritical crap is all too typical of the right-wing demagogues who represent a minority of Americans but still manage to control our government and culture today. These two-faced clowns who decry a series that shows a minister talking to Christ are the same ones who rally around an insane President who claims to talk to God and orders Americans to fight and die in wars he proclaims are “God’s will.”

These same kind of hypocrites in the fringe groups of the right-to-ife movements decry abortion as killing but think nothing of clinics that perform the legal operations and killing innocents to further their cause.

In Roanoke, Virginia, WSLS Channel 10 opened a phone bank to take calls from listeners during the premiere of the Book of Daniel last week. This is the same Channel 10 that, every morning, airs an hour of phony religious crap call Pat Robertson’s 700 Club – yes, the same Pat Robertson who said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke was the will of God and told a town it deserved to be destroyed by hurricanes and floods from God because the voters ousted a school board that promoting the teaching of so-called “intelligent design.”

Channel 10’s anchors seemed shocked after the show aired Friday night to report that public reaction to The Book of Daniel ran about 50/50 support/oppose. They were hoping for a huge public outcry to give them a reason to can the show and the viewers turned out to be more enlightened than the station’s management.

In Lexington, KY, another place where the Bible-belt tries to keep a stranglehold on the populace, WLEX TV got about 700 phone calls and emails before the show aired demanding it be pulled.  Then the show ran and the protests stopped.

“I haven’t heard anything since the show aired,” WLEX president and general manager Timothy Gilbert said this week.

“The biggest outcries about the show are that the depiction is of a minister’s family, showing ministers with worldly problems, and showing a sweet-faced Jesus with a sense of humor about life on earth,” says TV critic Bill Warren of the CBS affiliate in El Paso, TX. “We should all be so lucky.”

We aren’t so lucky. Such things are lost causes with religious fruitcakes. To them, God cannot possibly have a sense of humor and reality can never, ever, be allowed to intrude into their secular world where all people are white, all sex is missionary position routines practiced only for the procreation of children between heterosexuals married to each other and any thought of humanity is forbidden fruit.

And, if that’s their idea of heaven, they can have it. I’d rather party with the horny guy down South.