There's an email going around, calling for a boycott of the new NBC show, "The Book of Daniel."
Despite receiving nearly a half-million emails, NBC still intends to
begin their new series The Book of Daniel next Friday. While NBC
refuses to release the sponsors of the program, AFA has identified 10
potential sponsors. Send them an email asking them not to sponsor the
show. Ask local advertisers on your NBC affiliate to pull their
advertising from the local station if they carry The Book of Daniel.
The network is promoting "The Book of Daniel" as a serious drama about
Christian people and the Christian faith. The characters include:
Daniel Webster, a drug-addicted Episcopal priest; his alcoholic wife;
his son, a 23-year-old homosexual Republican; his daughter, a
16-year-old drug dealing daughter; a 16-year-old adopted son who is
having sex with the bishop's daughter; his lesbian secretary who is
sleeping with his sister-in-law; and a very unconventional
white-robed, bearded Jesus who talks to the priest.
I don't know. This actually sounds kind of funny. But wait, it's a drama. Let's get a different take:
"I honestly don't think it's going to be nearly as controversial as some people may now be afraid of," he declares. "It just has the courage to deal with some of the real issues that go in on people's lives."
Like, for instance? Quinn laughs as he recites a litany.
"Well, I'm an Episcopalian priest who struggles with a little self-medication problem, and I have a 23-year-old son who's gay, and a 16-year-old daughter who's caught dealing pot, and another son who's jumping on every high school girl he sees, and a wife who's very loving but also likes her martinis.
"I can't tell you how many people have said to me, `Hey, that sounds like my family.'"
Don't forget the Rev. Daniel Webster's recent cruel loss of another son to leukemia. Or the kookie extended family that, among other things, is about to put Daniel's priesthood (and parish) in jeopardy by forcing him into business with the Mob.
Or the fact that he has regular visions of, and frequent conversations with, a flesh-and-blood Jesus Christ.
Let's see if we can figure out just what's offensive. That the father of a gay son might have a personal relationship with Jesus? Or that a priest might be fallible? (Hey, it's only pills. The real world offers worse.) Or that homosexuality exists? (So many people fighting shame.)
Back to what makes Wildmon wild with outrage.
The writer for the program is Jack Kenny, a practicing homosexual who
describes himself as being "in Catholic recovery," and is interested
in Buddhist teachings about reincarnation and isn't sure exactly how
he defines God and/or Jesus. "I don't necessarily know that all the
myth surrounding him (Jesus) is true," he said.
Aidan Quinn, who plays Rev. Webster, said if the show offends some
Catholics, "I don't really care..."
Take Action Now! Time is Short!
Well it's not on for a week, so aside from noting your calendar or programming your Tivo, there's not much to do but wait.
Of course, if this kind of thing offends you....
What can you do:
Print out the AFA pass along sheet and distribute it in your
Sunday School class and at your church this Sunday. Ask your pastor to
urge members to call their local NBC affiliate asking the station
not to air the program.
Contact local advertisers on your NBC affiliate and ask them to
pull their advertising from the local affiliate if it carries the
show. (By Federal Law, NBC cannot force the local affiliate to air the show.
local affiliate has the option not to air the program. Federal Law -
47 C.F.R. 73.658(e))
Send an email to ten potential sponsors asking them not to sponsor
The Book of Daniel.
Forward this information to your family and friends.
Finally, would you consider a small financial gift to help AFA
continue this battle? Click here to help.
Outrage doesn't come cheap, you know.
Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman
American Family Association
P.S. Please forward this e-mail message to your family and friends!
Consider it forwarded. Now if you're the impatient type, you can go right now to RateItAll and join in on the trolling of the show. All the good Christians are there.
I wonder how the gay community would respond if this was a story about homosexual characters being cast in such an unfavorable light. My, how the tide changes when it's an "unpopular" segment of society (we Christians) who are being offended. The show's writer sees his work as creative and "edgy" ... I find it discriminatory and oppressive. I am respectful of the gay community ... I'd appreciate their being respectful of the Christian community.
Yes, because we all know that gays have never ever been stereotyped in our popular culture. And we know how Christians are such an oppressed majority.
Anybody of real faith knows that this is not the case and one of the real struggles of faith is that Christ has the Sovereign right to say "no" to our pleas and prayers, and that He does not pop up out fo the blue when we want Him to.
One might think one's faith could not be shaken by a tv show, either.
Once again it's open season on Christians and Jesus Christ! They're the drug-addicted, perverted hypocrites. And the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is dethroned and belittled in portrayals of His appearances to a clueless cleric! Have you noticed the networks never serve up programs about hypocritical Muslim or Jewish clerics? Think about that.
I think about how few Muslims and Jews there are in the American television market.
Still, I wonder at all this todo about a television show.
Does this demean a man of God?
Not a bit, says the 46-year-old Quinn, who, Chicago-born and of Irish descent, has taken the vows for his first series after a diverse career in made-for TV movies, theater and feature films (including "Legends of the Fall" and "Michael Collins"). Diverse? He may be the only actor whose credits include Paul McCartney, Benedict Arnold AND Robinson Crusoe.
Now Quinn plays a priest who must be taken on his own human terms â€“ a good man who wants to do right by his family and flock, keep up necessary appearances, and cleanse his soul.
"He is caught up in the modern malady of extreme busyness and stress," Quinn says. "But he can have moments of great lucidity and humor, and he cherishes his moments of quiet in the church, and in prayer."
Communing with his inner self takes the form of those tete-a-tetes with Jesus â€“ a loving, good-humored comrade whose robes-and-beard style stands apart in the starchy, posh suburb just outside New York City where "Book of Daniel" is set.
Jesus is demonstrably there for Daniel _ but delivers no easy answers even when, in a frequent state of befuddlement, he seeks them.
"You know it doesn't work that way," Jesus reminds him.
"Yeah," Daniel sighs. "I just don't know why."
This doesn't sound all that outrageous. But then I'm one whose childhood was tainted by reruns of The Flying Nun, so you can't trust me.
Aidan Quinn, the star of the show, discovered some differences between Episcopalian and Catholic approaches:
Quinn, who calls himself a non- observant Irish Catholic, went miles to understand his character, an Episcopalian. After attending Episcopal services in New York, New Jersey and California, he came away impressed. (The pilot was shot in L.A.; the series, in New York.)
"The ministers all had sermons that dealt with social issues relevant to the local community, and they dealt with them in a brave way, with a sense of humor."
Not so with the Roman Catholic church, according to Quinn.
"There are exceptions, but for the most part the sermons are pretty dry and boring. Basically, they're more focused on what you're doing wrong and what a sinner you are."
So there you have it. If you're offended by the premise, or have no sense of humor when it comes to religion, are just too shaky in your faith, or just don't care for network dramas, stay away.
As for me, I don't normally watch much network television any more, but I just may have to tune in next Friday and see what all the fuss is about.