Monday, January 09, 2006

Guess the show

What's to dislike about -------?:
There's so much to dislike in ---------- that it's hard to know where to begin.

But one could start in the first 10 minutes of this [NBC or FOX] series, which aired -day night. A/An [profession] is seen downing Vicodin painkillers in his car, then preaching … on the merits of temptation [in his official capacity].
Regular readers know that this demonic stew, this anti-Christian message of hate, this show written as if "David Duke had written a sitcom, and the NAACP had objected" (as the American Family Association put it) is called "The Book of Daniel."

People who enjoy a good medical detective story with morally ambiguous heroes and smart, solid writing might have thought we were discussing the anti-doctor hate-fest known as "House" née "House, M.D." This would be the show in which the title character had massive infarction in his leg, causing massive muscle death and constant pain, which causes him to regularly take Vicodin. Along the way he preaches the merits of temptation to various people, especially patients and fellow doctors.

Cuddy: You can’t go a week without your drugs.

House: No, I don’t want to go a week without the drugs, it’ll hurt.

Cuddy: You love the pills. …

House: Pills don’t make me high. They make me neutral.
It may be that the AMA has decried "House," I don't really know. But I enjoy the show, and don't find that Dr. House's character flaws detract from the basic message, nor my respect for doctors.

I occasionally wonder if the Christians who are so desperate to protect the image of priests have some deep-seated lack of confidence in their own faith. Perhaps they fear that if people see that priests are human beings, flawed like all the rest of humanity, that they would reject religion.

I personally doubt it. I also doubt that "House," or the trite, breathless "drama" of "ER" has turned people away from medicine. And for the same reason.

People go to doctors for help because it works. Not always, of course, but often enough. The personal failings of doctors are fun, and I'd rather have a doctor who I think knows about the world than one who spent college whining about how irrelevant literature would be their medical career.

Ditto for religion. If people find that religion works as advertised, they'll go to church. If not, they won't. And most people would rather have a priest they can relate to, one who struggled with demons (cf. St. Jerome, St. Augustine).

I didn't watch "TBoD" so all I know is the first 10 minutes, described above. The question is: what happened in the last 10 minutes? Did people find deep answers to troubling questions with the help of this troubled and human priest? If so, it will encourage religious belief. If not, it won't. But the moralists don't seem interested in that question.

The Bible teaches us to hate the sin and love the sinner. The AFA and its allies tend to prefer the contrapositive strategy.