Does Fox News think Christians should be thin-skinned and sensitive to everything that isn't exactly how Fox thinks it should be?
That's what I find myself asking after reading an opinion piece by Todd Starnes, titled "NBC Declares War on Christians." In his opinion piece, Starnes takes umbrage at the Saturday Night Live sketch "Djesus Uncrossed."
from the Saturday Night Live sketch, NBC's offenses include sports
blogger Rick Chandler's recent post about Tim Tebow's plans to speak at
First Baptist Dallas. Starnes calls this post a "scathing smear." I just
read it, and it seems like a fairly accurate description of the
controversies centered on the church and the teachings of its head
pastor. Don't take my word for it, though; decide for yourself.
that, the litany of NBC's supposed offenses includes editing the phrase
"under God" out from the Pledge of Allegiance during the U.S. Open a
year-and-a-half ago, NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman expressing
her personal mislike of religion on the "Today" show during a
back-and-forth discussion, and of course shows like "Good Christian
Bitches" and "The Book of Daniel." Plus there was a piece by Bart
Ehrman, published in Newsweek, called "The Myths of Jesus," that lightly details the historical difficulties with the gospel accounts of Jesus' infancy.
this point in his column, Starnes has got himself worked up pretty well
over NBC's supposed war on Christians, and it's obvious he believes
that the rest of us feel this way too. I'm sorry to disappoint him, but I
just can't muster the outrage. I just don't see it.
starters, Starnes has done a good job of stacking the deck. He neglects
to mention other things that could put NBC in a more favorable light:
the annual Christmas-tree lighting, for instance; Christmas specials
like "It's a Wonderful Life," which NBC aired this past November. NBC
also has aired shows like "VeggieTales" and "3-2-1 Penguins," which
couldn't be more overtly Christian if they tried.
On "The Book of
Daniel," Starnes notes that Donald Wildmon of the American Family
Association hated it and called it anti-Christian bigotry. I should
point out that Wildmon also was offended by "All in the Family" and
"Charlie's Angels," and worried that Mighty Mouse would encourage kids
to snort cocaine. More sensibly, the Rev. Gordon Atkinson said the main
offense of "The Book of Daniel" was chiefly that it was a bad show.
means everything to me. I've been a Christian for 25 years, even served
God on the missions field in Haiti for a while. Perhaps I should be
offended by "Djesus Unchained," but I just can't see it. It's Quentin
Tarantino's over-the-top violence they're mocking, not Christ. If
anything, the piece shows respect for Jesus. Its goal is to make
us laugh by teaming jarringly graphic violence with the man best known
in the United States for nonviolence. If anyone should be offended, it's
Fox loves to play the persecution card. The
message they've been hammering for years is pretty simple: Be afraid.
There's a war on Christmas. Liberals are attacking God. Our culture, our
heritage, our legacy, are all under attack.
Simple truth is,
we're not. If it sometimes feels like Christianity is being singled out
for ridicule, there are two things to remember. One is that it's easy to
overlook the negative portrayals of minority faiths like Islam, because
they're not ours and we often don't understand them as well as we think
we do. And the second is that because Christianity has provided the
dominant underpinning framework for Western thought for as long as it
has, it's only natural to use the language and the symbols of
Christianity to communicate and to critique Western thought,
civilization and art.
I'll also add this: Faith should lead us to
reach out to other people and to forge connections with them. If the
most it inspires someone to do, is to tell you to be afraid, do yourself
Change the channel.
Copyright © 2013 by David Learn. Used with permission.