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TVRage.Com Forums => TV Talk => the "The Book of Daniel" controversy
Blae

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Message Posted On Sunday, January 15th 2006 at 12:27 pm
I was browsing around a bit, and stumbled upon an article about The Book of Daniel.

Some quotes:
Quote:
American Family Association (AFA) president Tim Wildmon, whose organization has spearheaded protest efforts against “Daniel,” says that the show is an, “extremely offensive program to Christians…very sacrilegious,” and that it, “depicts Jesus in a very cartoonish manner.”

“Our objective at American Family Association is to kill the show ‘The Book of Daniel,’” says Wildmon. “Whether it’s getting NBC affiliates not to air it or having it to lose all its advertisers – we’re working in both directions.”

According to the Agape Press, Wildmon is hopeful NBC will “pull the plug” on the show, which is scheduled to run through Feb. 3, before it airs all eight episodes


I kinda want to leave it in the middle how controversial this show really is. I personally think it's way blown out of proportion, and most of the hateful criticism appears to come from people who haven't even seen as much as a preview for the show. People have already been making trouble about the show weeks before it premiered - before anyone had even seen it. I've seen alot of other tv shows and movies that have been alot more "controversial" towards Christianity, and by far didn't stir up as much controversy as this show. Granted, those didn't air in primetime on a broadcast network, but still.

The main thing I don't get is.. how do all those people dare to make so much trouble out of this?

I'm not religious myself, but (up to a certain level) I respect people who are. If you want to spend half of your life watching religious TV programs, praying, sitting in church, or having to wonder "what would God think about this?" for every step you make in your life, that's your decision, your life.. and I'm in no position to judge about that. As long as it doesn't harm the rest of the world, people should be free to live their lives as they please.

And, that's the case here. It is just a TV show. If you don't like the show, or think it is wrong, you can grab the remote, switch channels, and poof: it's gone. If everyone turns out to think this way, the show would get horrible ratings and be cancelled within weeks.

Every night on primetime television the most horrible things happen. People get raped, cut open and brutally murdered; people get abducted, tortured, then buried alive; people set others on fire. No matter how brutal - name it, and it's been done, but you hardly hear anybody complain. They throw a "PG-14" rating on it, and in extreme cases a "this program contains explicit content" warning in the beginning, and all is good. Or take a look at other random shows such as "Desperate Housewives", with more than enough happenings which God probably wouldn't approve of.

Then the book of daniel. The only reason the American Family association cares to name is that the show "Mocks Christianity". Excuse me? Their only damn excuse for all this trouble is that they can't stand being mocked? Another news item reports the following: "Bosses at an Indiana TV station posted security outside their studios on Friday night after receiving death threats for airing controversial new religious drama Book Of Daniel." Now I'm not an expert, but I'm fairly certain that somewhere in the bible it mentions that "thou shall not kill."

Anyways, this post has turned out way longer than I'd intended it to be, but.. it's the year 2006, and the right to free speech is defined in the constitution almost everywhere. In my opinion, if people would like to enjoy this show, they should be able to.. without getting ran over by a bunch of crazy christians. If anyone's even still reading, I wonder about your opinions.
evadrad

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Message Posted On Sunday, January 15th 2006 at 4:11 pm
agreed.
tikidawg

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Message Posted On Sunday, January 15th 2006 at 4:29 pm
There's always a group that's against something. NBC has freedom of speech and can air what they please, as long as the FCC doesn't intervene.

If you don't like the show, then don't watch it.
Blae

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Message Posted On Sunday, January 15th 2006 at 5:25 pm
Well, maybe I have a better question. I believe there are now 8 affiliates which have decided not to transmit Daniel.

Even if they get 500 angry calls and emails, that still means that 99.9% of their market either enjoys the program or doesn't mind.

So.. Why do they give in?
KingOrin

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Message Posted On Sunday, January 15th 2006 at 5:42 pm
I haven't watched it yet. I'm kind of curious though, especially since Jesus is played by Garret Dillahunt of DEADWOOD.
tikidawg

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Message Posted On Sunday, January 15th 2006 at 7:19 pm
On Sunday, January 15th 2006 5:25 pm, Blae wrote:
Well, maybe I have a better question. I believe there are now 8 affiliates which have decided not to transmit Daniel.

So.. Why do they give in?


Who knows. Fear of being bashed by religious groups, fear of negitive publicity. It's anybody's guess.

There are worse shows on than Book of Daniel. It's surprising that they don't have problems with Housewives.
2pac

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Message Posted On Thursday, January 19th 2006 at 4:24 pm
if you are trying to say that there are tv shows that are worse then i agree
Jess

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Message Posted On Thursday, January 19th 2006 at 4:43 pm
On Thursday, January 19th 2006 4:24 pm, 2pac wrote:
if you are trying to say that there are tv shows that are worse then i agree


tikidawg Wrote:
There are worse shows on than Book of Daniel.


Umm, yeah, I think that what she meant.


Sparty_Rocks

Level 1 (45%)
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Since: 02/Dec/05
Message Posted On Friday, January 27th 2006 at 1:50 pm
The Book Of Daniel got cancelled this week by NBC. I didn't watch it and I agree if you don't want watch then don't watch the show and watch something else or flip the channel.
barbie0843

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Since: 29/Jan/06
Message Posted On Sunday, January 29th 2006 at 9:13 pm
Really enjoyed "Daniel" and sorry that it was removed from the lineup this week in Phoenix. I agree that if you don't like it, don't watch it. It's a free country (??). Jeers to NBC for cancelling.
FourWalls

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Message Posted On Sunday, January 29th 2006 at 10:01 pm
On Sunday, January 29th 2006 9:13 pm, barbie0843 wrote:
Really enjoyed "Daniel" and sorry that it was removed from the lineup this week in Phoenix. I agree that if you don't like it, don't watch it. It's a free country (??). Jeers to NBC for cancelling.


Dear Barbie,

It's interesting to note that there are a lot of "special interest groups" that work "behind the scenes" and in effect keep things off television, yet no one hears about them. The most notable case in point is GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). They protest programs where homosexuals are presented stereotypically; they review scripts and make certain nothing negative is ever said against homosexuality; and, I'd like to point out, they have had people fired for speaking their mind. GLAAD pressured MSNBC to fire Michael Savage for "homophobic comments." CBS was also pressured into withdrawing a job offer to retired football star, the late Reggie White, because White, as an ordained minister, said in a sermon in his church that the Bible says homosexuality is wrong.

And yet, we don't hear about these actions; and, if we DO, they are presented as "standing up for rights" instead of "promoting censorship." These people violated Reggie White's First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion. But no one called them on it.

Interesting, indeed.
Floorgasm

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Message Posted On Monday, January 30th 2006 at 12:29 am
On Sunday, January 29th 2006 10:01 pm, FourWalls wrote:

Dear Barbie,

It's interesting to note that there are a lot of "special interest groups" that work "behind the scenes" and in effect keep things off television, yet no one hears about them. The most notable case in point is GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). They protest programs where homosexuals are presented stereotypically; they review scripts and make certain nothing negative is ever said against homosexuality; and, I'd like to point out, they have had people fired for speaking their mind. GLAAD pressured MSNBC to fire Michael Savage for "homophobic comments." CBS was also pressured into withdrawing a job offer to retired football star, the late Reggie White, because White, as an ordained minister, said in a sermon in his church that the Bible says homosexuality is wrong.

And yet, we don't hear about these actions; and, if we DO, they are presented as "standing up for rights" instead of "promoting censorship." These people violated Reggie White's First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion. But no one called them on it.

Interesting, indeed.

So how did you hear about them?
Blae

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Message Posted On Monday, January 30th 2006 at 7:57 am
On Sunday, January 29th 2006 10:01 pm, FourWalls wrote:

Dear Barbie,

It's interesting to note that there are a lot of(...)

Interesting, indeed.


I had never heard of the GLAAD before just now, so I took it upon me to do a few minutes of googling. The result? I do think there's a very big difference between the actions of the GLAAD and the AFA. For example, quoting a news article about the Michael Savage case:
Quote:
The popular radio talk show host who did a weekend TV show for the cable channel referred to an unidentified caller to his show Saturday as a "sodomite" and said he should "get AIDS and die."


I really don't think you can compare something like that to a mildly edgy show like Daniel. Also, an article on their website reviewing the way Gay & Lesbian people are represented in television, has quite a different tone to it than the statements I've read from the AFA. I don't see them threatning/blackmailing anyone into forcing their opinions through.

I couldn't find any decent information on the Reggie White case.

But, anyways, atleast for me the tolerance goes both ways. I don't mind religous-focussed programming on TV, or episodes portraying characters that are outspoken against gays/lesbians/whatever. (Take the Nip/Tuck season 3 finale. Loved it.)
FourWalls

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Message Posted On Monday, January 30th 2006 at 10:25 am
On Monday, January 30th 2006 7:57 am, Blae wrote:
On Sunday, January 29th 2006 10:01 pm, FourWalls wrote:


I had never heard of the GLAAD before just now, so I took it upon me to do a few minutes of googling. The result? I do think there's a very big difference between the actions of the GLAAD and the AFA. For example, quoting a news article about the Michael Savage case:[quote]The popular radio talk show host who did a weekend TV show for the cable channel referred to an unidentified caller to his show Saturday as a "sodomite" and said he should "get AIDS and die."


I really don't think you can compare something like that to a mildly edgy show like Daniel. Also, an article on their website reviewing the way Gay & Lesbian people are represented in television, has quite a different tone to it than the statements I've read from the AFA. I don't see them threatening/blackmailing anyone into forcing their opinions through.



The issue here is that homosexuals (who, until about 20 years ago were universally referred to as "Sodomites" because that's what the Bible called them -- it's not like Savage made that term up on his own) CAN complain and boycott (two words: Anita Bryant -- hope you're old enough to remember that little incident), and it's acceptable. Christians, on the other hand, are considered "censors" when a Christian is portrayed in a negative light and someone like Don Wildmon or Phyllis Schaffer complains. That is hypocrisy to allow -- even encourage -- one group to protest and tell another group to shut up. Both groups have First Amendment rights to scream as loud as they want.

I said this on the other site when this show first started, and I'll say it here, because it's the truth: If The Book of Daniel's main character was a pill-popping rabbi that show would've never seen the light of day. Do you know why? The ADL and B'nai B'rith and the Simon Wiesenthal Center would have screamed -- to their credit. A person should be allowed to worship as he/she pleases without being presented as a stereotypical brainless boob on television or in the movies. Thankfully, we don't let people insult Jews or Muslims that way. I just wish the same courtesy was applied to Christians.
FourWalls

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Message Posted On Monday, January 30th 2006 at 11:07 am
On Sunday, January 15th 2006 12:27 pm, Blae wrote:


I kinda want to leave it in the middle how controversial this show really is. I personally think it's way blown out of proportion...

The main thing I don't get is.. how do all those people dare to make so much trouble out of this?


Dear Blae,

Have you heard what happened in Denmark? A paper published a comic book-type depiction of the life of Muhammad, the central prophet of Islam. In response:
    Saudi Arabia has recalled its ambassador to Demnark
    The paper (the Jyllands-Posten) has received countless death threats, including pictures sent of burned bodies
    The Danish flag has been burned in places
    Some Muslims have hinted at the overthrow of the government by saying "this type of democracy doesn't work for us"


Do you understand that? I don't. Muslims consider it "blasphemy" and "idolatry" to have a picture representation of their chief prophet. That is, however, their belief. They didn't just make this up in September when the paper published those drawings. (If you'll recall, in March 2001 when the Taliban was in power in Afghanistan they destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan statues despite pleas and protests and offers to move the statues out of the country. Why? What some consider "art" they, according to their religion, consider "idols" and therefore prohibited.)

By the same token, there are levels of "practice" of a person's faith. In Judaism the spectrum runs from "atheistic Jews" (people who are ethnically Jews but do not practice or acknowledge the religion of Judaism) to the Malchut Israel faction in Israel (they claim to have put a "death curse" (Pulsa diNura) on Ariel Sharon and told Israelis not to pray for Sharon's recovery -- a far cry from Pat Robertson's remarks, wouldn't you say?). Because the atheistic Jew doesn't care about Rosh Chodesh doesn't mean that ALL Jews don't care.

That brings us to Christianity. There's an old Jewish statement -- "Two Jews, three opinions" -- that can also be applied to Christendom. I remember, when I was in the Navy, a co-worker complaining about the difference between two priests in the same church. One apparently was theologically rigid, the other was more lax. Now, that's happening under the same roof of one church. Multiply that by the various numbers of denominations and sub-divisions of denominations and you'll see that you have a large mess on your hands (which explains why so many people hate math :} )

Having bored you :z with all that, the point is this: many Christians take their faith very seriously and very deeply. Because Joe Baptist across the street from you cusses and drinks doesn't mean that every Baptist cusses or drinks or approves of such things. (No offense to Baptists -- just used that because there's a Baptist church down the street from me -- full of nice folks, I might add!) They consider the mocking of their Savior and King to be an insult. Unlike the Taliban, they aren't going to blow any statues up or threaten to kill newspapermen, but they DO write letters to protest, for two reasons. First, they want someone to know that it's NOT okay to portray religious figures that way; and two, they have a First Amendment right to do so.

I'm not trying to persuade you, but I hope this helps you understand why they react the way they do. And, as I said in another post, consider that other faiths have groups that protest very loudly and very quickly when their faith is mocked -- and people listen. Since Christianity (I'm using that as a blanket term) is the predominent religion in terms of numbers in the U.S., I feel the networks should be "more sensitive" to their feelings.

Sorry to bore you. You can wake up now. :}

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