Friday, January 13, 2006

Wake County anti-gay group targets "Book of Daniel"

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The Rev. Jim Melnyk, rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Raleigh... said he found it entertaining... He said he couldn't understand why people think shows on religion can't broach difficult social issues that clergy struggle with as well. "It's pretty tame when you consider some of the trash on TV," he said. "I find the furor over it amusing."
According to an article published by the Raleigh News & Observer, an anti-gay group in Wake County is now placing its aim on the new NBC show "The Book of Daniel". Called2Action, an "activist group that supports traditional Christian values in Wake County", sent out an "action gram" asking its supporters to contact the local NBC affiliate and urging the station to drop the show. This attack follows numerous attacks made by other anti-gay groups including the American Family Association (which again threatened a boycott of Ford on Wednesday). According to the article:
"If an individual wanted to completely disparage the church, this is the way you would go about it," said Steve Henion, vice chairman of Called2Action. Henion said he has not watched the show. "It's just distasteful." In the two back-to-back episodes that aired last week, Aidan Quinn plays Daniel Webster, an Episcopal priest who lives in suburban New York with a gay son, a daughter who sells marijuana, and an adopted son who has sex with the bishop's daughter. Webster discusses his problems with a white-robed, bearded Jesus, who is a regular character... A spokeswoman for NBC-17 said the show has drawn both positive and negative responses. "It's been a 50-50 split," said Maryann Balbo, director of marketing and community connections at the Raleigh station. Balbo said that in the week since the show has premiered, the station has received roughly 50 calls and about 100 e-mail messages.
Only five out of NBC's more than 230 affiliates have pulled the show from the air (sounds to me like the anti-gay groups did a horrible job on their "action grams"). NBC 17 says it has no plans to take the show off the air and will continue to run the "limited-run series" which ends on February 3. Although Called2Action has made a public statement on the issue, the largest of North Carolina's anti-gay groups, the Family Policy Council has not; John Rustin, the council's director of government affiars, has said that the show is another television network attempt at "push the envelope further and further." The North Carolina Family Policy Council was partly responsible for the State Board of Education's vote to remove enumerated categories including sexual orienation from school counselor standards late last year. Although numerous LGBT groups across the state, including Equality NC, SafeSchools NC and even UNCG PRIDE!, heavily lobbied the Board or wrote letters in support of the policy, the categories were still taken out and gay youth were again left without government support and protection against harassment and discrimination. ======= Why must the radical Right control everyone's lives? If they don't want to watch the show, then don't watch it... that is how capitalism works: you buy what you want, you get what you want, you watch what you want. If you don't want something, you don't have to get it. If the radical, religious Right ever manages to get their way by working themselves into the government completely, America will very quickly take a drastic turn toward either being a heavily restricted (and bigoted) theocratic state or a fascist one. Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,


It's not exactly the 1984 scenerio we all fear, but I think if you take a look at the culture ten years ago and compare it to what we're living in now you'd have to come to the conclusion that it's a lot more restrictive now -- which I think is a direct result of these elements having worked their way into a number of positions of power and responsibility and our allowing them to dictate this sort of thing to us.

Also - I saw "The Book of Daniel" the other night and thought it was much better than most of what's on network television right now - both in quality and message.