Another station cans Book of Daniel
Controversial new television show The Book of Daniel has been removed from the lineup of Nashville's NBC affiliate after the show drew thousands of complaints from irate viewers, incuding letters faxed in on church letterhead. The show has now been pulled from seven network affiliates, mostly in the South. The Book of Daniel, which features Aidan Quinn as a pill-popping Episcopalian priest with a gay son, has drawn the fire of conservative Christian groups, most notably the American Family Association, which is encouraging members through its website to protest the show and threaten boycotts of advertisers.
Not surprisingly, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is up in arms about the AFA's campaign to stop the show. GLAAD and the AFA aren't exactly bosom buddies; the AFA even has a whole section of their website devoted to the "homosexual agenda". GLAAD notes on their website that most stations have overwhelmingly decided to air the program, telling viewers to "vote with their remote" and not watch the show if they find it offensive. Well, amen to that. Look, I can see how fundamentalist Christian groups might have issues with the show. I imagine if they made a show about a priest struggling with pedophilia, the Catholic Church would urge its membership to protest. But the issues The Book of Daniel deals with - drug use, homosexual family members , are issues real families - even Christian ones - deal with every day. And what's up with people having an issue with Jesus appearing to a priest and chatting with him? Shouldn't a religious person - a priest even - be talking to Jesus? Why is that an issue?
I haven't even watched The Book of Daniel, so it's not like I'm a rabid fan of the show or anything. Heck, our own writer didn't think the premiere was that great. What I am a big fan of is the First Amendment - the right of people to say and think what they want, and the right of people not to have things censored from their viewing or reading just because one group of people doesn't like them. If I want to watch The Book of Daniel, by golly, even if it sucks, I want to be able to - and not have it censored just because one group of people disagrees with its views. We aren't living in a theocracy in America - at least not yet - but when one group's religious views are allowed to dictate the programming other people can see, we're taking a step in that direction.
I'm not a Christian, and neither are a lot of other people living in this country. I don't watch televangelism programs. In fact, I consider some televangelists, like Pat Robertson, to be downright dangerous. But Pat Robertson has a First Amendment right to say whatever idiotic things he likes, and people who like him have a right to tune in and listen and nod their heads fervently in agreement, if that's their choice. If you don't like the way The Book of Daniel treats the issues of drug use and homosexuality, then don't watch. If enough people don't watch it, it'll get cancelled eventually. That's the way it works. Vote. With. Your. Remote. It's not that hard.