Friday, January 06, 2006

Culture Wars

Something which has long puzzled me is what exactly the religious right wants when it asks for more religious-themed television programming. Sure I understand what they don't want - gay people and unmarried people having sex - but what is it that they want?

All I can ever get is that they want a show about a good family that goes to church and is very happy. Maybe little Theodore is tempted to steal a gumball from the candy store one day but then his minister shows him how wrong that would be, and then Wallace is tempted by the bad girl in the miniskirt but after praying for guidance he realizes it's best to take his long skirt-wearing Bible school partner "good girl" Mary Catherine to the prom instead.

In other words, Leave it to Beaver with a lot more church in it. But that's boring, and more than that not particularly inspiring. What could actually show religion in a positive light without being totally boring is a show which in not entirely simple ways demonstrated how religion played a role for people with complicated and even rather shitty lives. A bit of drama AND some religion.

So I'm a bit puzzled by the reaction to this Book of Daniel show. Sure it sounds like it'll be a little light on the "hate the gay" message they demand and maybe a bit heavy on the tolerance messsage for Republican Jesus, but it certainly doesn't sound like a show which is going to show religion in a negative light.

Though, I'll be watching Battlestar Galactica. After I go see that gay cowboy movie.