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How about a TV series treating Christians* with dignity?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:27 pm - March 13, 2012.
Filed under: Movies/Film & TV,War on Christians

On Saturday, reports Tina Korbe, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich “called out the double standard of the mainstream media” referencing “ABC’s new TV show, ‘GCB,’ based on the novel ‘Good Christian Bitches.'”  She cites this Politico report:

“Here’s to show you the biases of the elite media, look at the new show that’s on that has the word ‘Christian’ in it and I want you to take the exact name, drop out Christian and put in Muslim,” Gingrich said. “And ask yourself, is there any network that would have dared to run a show like that and you know the answer is not a one because anti-Christian bigotry is just fine in the entertainment industry but they have to be very protective of Islam.”

Just watch Sergeant York, the 1941 film the earned Gary Cooper his first Oscar.  The very versatile Walter Brennan snagged his fourth Oscar nod for his portrayal of Pastor Rosier Pile, an honorable clergyman who helps Cooper find a path to God and stands by him as he wrestles with the merits of taking up arms for his nation.  Or the 1954 Oscar winner, On the Waterfront where another versatile actor secured an Academy nomination for playing a priest, the strong moral center of an incredibly powerful film.

Why do we no longer see any TV shows with similar upstanding ministers — and members of their flock who live by the teachings of their faith and treat their fellows with dignity?

How about even bringing in gays, you know, like a gay man who moves out on his boyfriend when he finds that that latter had been cheating on him.   He has to move in with his brother who, once a wastrel, saw the light when he fell for a fetching Evangelical (or Mormon?) woman.  The brother initially refuses to put him up in their guest house because of  his “lifestyle,” but his wife presses him to show some Christian compassion.

Their pastor (or Bishop, if they’re Mormon) acknowledges that he is wrestling with church doctrine on sexuality and encourages the (straight) couple to treat the gay relative decently, to encourage him to come to church.  (And, heck, maybe the gay guy “at sea” since his relationship falls apart, talks to said minister who, through the young man, realizes that one man can truly, romantically love another.)

And we’ll add in a happy gay couple who can’t put our hero up because they’re taking care of the mother of one of the men–and trying to adopt.  So, we’ll balance the happy religious couple with the happy gay couple.

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Political liberals “far less tolerant of opposing views than regular Americans”?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:46 pm - March 13, 2012.
Filed under: Liberal Hypocrisy,Liberal Intolerance

Conventional wisdom notwithstanding, it does seem that conservatives are more tolerant of their friends with opposing political points of view than liberals.  We may have anecdotal evidence for that notion, but can’t regularly confirm that hypothesis with actual scientific data.  Well, today, we have some data to work with.

The “Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project posed a series of questions about people’s general use of SNS [Social networking sites] for politics and about the ways in which they interact with friends on the sites over political material. One goal of the survey was to see if people are using the sites in a way that suggests they live in social network “echo chambers” of like-minded friends.”  And what they found confirmed our hypothesis:

Liberals are the most likely to have taken each of these steps to block, unfriend, or hide. In all, 28% of liberals have blocked, unfriended, or hidden someone on SNS because of one of these reasons, compared with 16% of conservatives and 14% of moderates.

Introducing the study, Ed Morrissey (to whom I tip my hat for this story), quipped “Superior liberal tolerance is such a fact that they will scream at you if you dare to disagree or debate them, demand that your advertisers bail on you, and pressure the FCC to get you banned from the airwaves.”  The 2010 CPAC blogger of the year also quotes Andrew Malcolm who, as Ed puts it, “has some fun with the implications:”

Not exactly shocking news for those exposed to them for years, but the respected Pew Research Center has determined that political liberals are far less tolerant of opposing views than regular Americans. (more…)

Kirk Cameron in Context

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:52 am - March 13, 2012.
Filed under: Gays / Homosexuality (general),Movies/Film & TV

Perhaps, it’s because Kirk Cameron is not an elected official that I didn’t make much of his comments earlier this month, calling homosexuality “unnatural“, even, as he put it, “detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”  He has a right to his opinions. And we have a right to challenge him on them.

The fact that so many have raised such a ruckus over his remarks shows how far we’ve come since he was at the peak of his celebrity.  His hit TV series Growing Pains ended its run in 1992, five years before Ellen DeGeneres’s coming out made the cover of Time magazine.  Today, homosexuality has become so mainstream that we barely bat an eyelid when a celebrity comes out.

Had he made offered similar comments at that time, his notions would have generated far less controversy.

Not just that, most of us are secure enough in our sexuality that we don’t feel threatened by a one-time teen hearth throb’s contrary opinions.

Something else to bear in mind:  the night Mr. Cameron offered his opinions on homosexuality, fewer than half a million Americans tuned into Mr. Morgan’s show.  More than twice that number were watching the openly lesbian Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.  Ellen De Generes’s daytime talk show draws nearly three million viewers.

And that’s the real change.  These “out” lesbians anchor television programs and continue to flourish in the open market.  So, let Mr. Cameron speak his mind; his opinions won’t undo the social changes of the past twenty years.