Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Will WLEX, WAVE Attack Christians With "Book Of Daniel" Show?

If you have not heard about an idiotic television show starting in January purportedly about Christians and Christianity, hold on to your hats.

"The Book of Daniel" is to begin airing January 6 on NBC affiliates and, according to the American Family Association, it is a particularly offensive depiction of "Christians" who engage in drug abuse (and drug dealing), illicit sex, and a wise-cracking "Jesus" character. And all this happens in the home of the Episcopal priest around whom the story revolves.

According to sources at WLEX in Lexington, the station has received about 200 emails and 200 phone calls today about this program. They have not seen any of the episodes, but given the fast outpouring of viewer opinion, are considering the possibility of making a change.

"I'm taking this seriously," said station manager Tim Gilbert.

There is precedent for WLEX pulling offensive programming on a limited basis. This fall, the station received an advance copy of an episode of "The Office" and found it to be objectionable so they didn't air it at the normal time. They later aired it very late one evening.

But completely pulling a show from the network in advance of its premiere would be a big step, one Gilbert isn't ready to commit to.

"We could ask for (an advance copy of the show) and be told 'no,'" he said. "I haven't seen it yet. I'm kind of rocking back on my heels (because of the public response)."

The AFA has issued, via email, the following description of the show:

While the public has not seen the program, NBC is promoting "The Book of Daniel" as a serious drama about Christian people and the Christian faith. The main character is Daniel Webster, a drug-addicted Episcopal priest whose wife depends heavily on her mid-day martinis. Webster regularly sees and talks with a very unconventional white-robed, bearded Jesus. The Webster family is rounded out by a 23-year-old homosexual Republican son, a 16-year-old daughter who is a drug dealer, and a 16-year-old adopted son who is having sex with the bishop's daughter. At the office, his lesbian secretary is sleeping with his sister-in-law.

This story is not going away until NBC relents and pulls the television show. Major social shifts have started on less of a platform than this. We will be watching this very closely.