Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Closing the "Book of Daniel"

We haven't seen the controversial television program Book of Daniel, and it looks like we probably won't get the chance. NBC stopped short of saying the show had been cancelled, but said it has been "removed from the schedule."

You'd think Christians would be happy to have a show about churches and ministers and Jesus and how they all deal with life's ups and downs on network TV each week. It's sort of, uh, a free commercial for Christianity. We don't understand why the American Family Association and Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family and other Christian conservatives have made such a ruckus over it. But a ruckus they made. At their websites they're high-fiving each other over their success.

Unless... wait... maybe NBC was concerned about copyright issues with the Vatican! Yeah, that's it.

Regarding the show's "cancellation," American Family Association founder Donald Wildmon said, "This shows the average American that he doesn't have to simply sit back and take the trash being offered on TV, but he can get involved and fight back with his pocketbook." Hey... whatever happened to just turning off the bloody TV if you don't like what's on?!

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Addendum, three minutes later: We just looked up the American Family Association's URL to provide the link above, and discovered that on our own, without any influence from them whatsoever, we used almost the same headline as they did in their boasting about how they'd rallied to have the show pulled. Rut-roh! Hope they don't come after us for copyright infringement!

On a lark, we typed in "freemasonry" on Dr. James Dobson's website to see what he thought of us. After a disclaimer saying that Dr. Dobson isn't a real pastor and has no formal training in the ministry and that he refuses to answer theological questions, we saw the link to a review of National Treasure, the Nicolas Cage adventure film in which Freemasonry plays a pivotal role. The Dobson group doesn't come right and say it — there were no other Masonic references on his sites — but reading between the lines would get you to thinking, well, just maybe, we're a bunch of bloody-oathed occult ritualists walking on shaky spiritual ground. Hey... didn't the Pope say that about us, too?

Their movie-review section dissects films for postive elements, spiritual content, sexual content, violent content, crude or profane language, drug and alcohol content (Warning! Party guests sip champagne in National Treasure), other negative elemeents, and then presents their "conclusion" on whether you should let your family see the film.

Here follows their review:
Foundational to the back-story of this treasure-hunting adventure is The Knights Templar (further popularized in Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code), a group that inspired the influential fraternity known as Freemasonry. Much is made of the fact that America’s Founding Fathers were Freemasons, and the story supposes that they hid a vast fortune in a subterranean vault so that it wouldn’t corrupt their new nation or its leaders. Freemasonry is portrayed as a noble sect full of mystery and intrigue. Most modern members claim that the organization is not a “faith” in itself, but merely a club committed to good works and a moral code that make it a natural complement to Christianity. Others disagree on that last note, pointing to blood oaths, secret rituals, curses, and writings by early leaders that contain occult philosophy and unsound doctrine.

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  1. So...When the Pope quotes scripture, does that mean that it will then become the sole intellectual property of the Church? Hmmmmmmm....Brings new meaning to those bracelets that say "What Would Jesus Do?"

  2. I don't know if I can agree with you on this post. I personally am glad that they decided not to air the show.

    Come on there's enough bad publicity going around for the "church" in general. Taking all of that and ridiculing any faith for that matter isn't right.

  3. My Brothers,

    Thank you for your comments.

    Brother Arod, especially, thank you for your disagreement. It's good that we can disagree and still remain brothers. That's part of being a Freemason. Unfortunatly, it's not the case all the time.

    I really don't see where I ridiculed any faith. I simply don't put a lot of stock in any particular faith. Chalk it up to my being a recovering Baptist. I grew up among the kind of people who go out of their way to censor things they don't personally like, and who are ever-ready to tell you that you're gonna burn in Hell if you don't do it THEIR way. I find that extremely un-kind, un-charitable, and un-Christlike.

    Again, if Drs. Wildmon and Dobson don't like the program, or any program on television, they can use their OFF switches. It's not their job to act as self-appointed "parents" to the rest of us, telling us what we can and cannot watch.

    As was noted in the original post, I haven't seen the "Book of Daniel" and so am not defending it. But I AM defending its right to exist, to be aired, and to succeed or fail in the marketplace on its merits and its ratings.

    Yes, the American Family Association has the right to protest and to speak their mind about it -- just as you and I have the right to speak ours. I just don't like that they claim -- through the name of their organization as well as through their actions -- to speak for American famililies... they certainly don't speak for MINE.

    As for all the bad publicity the "church" is getting these days... well, they brought it on themselves. What's the public seen from their church leaders the past 25 years? Jimmy Swaggert, the Bakkers, fake faith healers on TV, and you don't even want me to start telling you about what went on in the church I grew up in or about how Baptist Masons in my lodge speak about Jews, Indians, Muslims, Blacks and Presbyterians. Plus, the Catholic church is filled with child-abusing priests and now, there's a Pope who wants payment for interpreting Christ's teachings, who spent his life working for the Inquisition....


    the Widow's Son

  4. I see your point, thanks for clarifying.




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