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September 2, 2015

Another station cans Book of Daniel

by Kim Voynar, posted Jan 13th 2006 9:09PM

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.

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Funny God-people think they can stifle the free flow of data in Internet Age. I understand their fear though. Just like the Romans began by persecuting Christians, and ended up Christians themselves, perhaps they are afraid that Christians, the current persecutors of homosexuals, will end up converting to homosexuality as well.

Quelle horreur!

January 17 2006 at 11:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Is it wrong that I'm making a point to promote and protect a show that I don't even like? It's like I always say, "hate the sin, not the religion".

January 17 2006 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Semi-regular reader

It's quite embarrassing how little the American public actually knows about the 1st Amendment... Especially those who claim it protects everything they say from everyone else in the world.

This might help... http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

January 16 2006 at 7:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The religious fanatics were organizing their campaign before the show ever aired. In the churches no less. Too bad they can't come into my home and tell me how to run it. But I'm sure they are working on it.

Email Nashville's NBC affiliate: news@wsmv.com

There's more contact info at the bottom of my rant here:

January 14 2006 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
just some dude

Brad: Ok, generally speaking, neo-conservatism doesn't have a one-to-one correlation with the religious right. There's some overlap, of course, but there are a lot of agnostic and athiestic neo-cons, probably more the case than is the case with paleo-conservatism (e.g. Pat Buchanon). And quite a few people of other faiths, including the neo-con movement's founding thinkers. So if you're so inclined, Brad, blame the neo-cons for the war in Iraq, just not the war on the Book of Daniel. That's a religious right thing.

And, no, Brad, it's NOT a 1st Amemendment issue (at least not primarily). It's a marketplace thing. At the end of the day, the NBC affiliates care most about delivering value to their shareholders. On the issue of whether or not to air any controversial show, it's an editorial decision that the station managers make on behalf of their shareholders. The only first amendment rights involved are those of the shareholders. Nothing in the first ammendment forces them to pay to broadcast anything the object to (especially in a post-fairness-doctrine broadcasting environment).

January 14 2006 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The problem is that the Neo-con religious nuts can't stand to see their beloved religion ridiculed a bit.

If only the would laugh at it. I've known hardcore religious nuts who have laughed at Jesus jokes because of that reason, they're jokes.

This show is supposed to be funny. If the nuts would just laugh and understand, it would be better. They need to understand that the more they complain about crap like this, they more people think they're totally crazy and out of their minds. Even some non-religious conservatives are beginning to push away since they know the hardcores are dragging them down.

And to Semi-Regular Reader, this is a first amendment issue. Regardless of whether or not the government is involved, the amendment (which is law) stretches out to the views the show has and if it's being limited by some nutcases, then it's an infraction of the first amendment.

And it's even better that the neo-con groups can spread their hate speech about homosexuals and whatnot, but they still claim that they're protected. It's hate speech. Hate speech isn't protected under any law, that's why it's ridiculous.

January 14 2006 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

But then, Mr. Semi-Regular reader,
If the cancellers believe it's their right to not show this show, then they are restricting the shows rights to be shown, and are hypocritical.

January 14 2006 at 9:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Semi-regular reader

So, wait a second...
We support the first amendment rights of show makers.
But not the rights of those who want to effectively protest?


Why should one large segment of society be limited to "vote with their remote" when they seem to be making effective use of their voice this way?

And, just to straighten things out... the first amendment has nothing to do with this... the government isn't even involved. It might be a weak sort of censorship... perhaps, but more accurately this is an example of free market forces in action. No one has a constitutional right to every single TV show and government isn't even an actor in this situation.

This simply isn't a first amendment issue. Sorry.

If any group dislikes the decisions of these privately owned stations, perhaps they could stage their own protests and convince the stations that cutting off this show was a bad financial decision... they have every right.

January 13 2006 at 11:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This link should work:


January 13 2006 at 10:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Personally I love this show. The right-wings are making such a debacle over the show that it's getting attention. LOTS OF IT! Everyone I know wants to see this show now and they will be tuning in tonight to see what all the fuss is about.

Over at TVGuide.com, Jack Kenny, the series creator, has a nice response:


Anyway, I don't like a lot of things on TV, what can I do about that? Change the channel! Yay!! Ok...bye. :o)

January 13 2006 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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