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The American Family Association Questions The Book Of Daniel

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The American Family Association is tele-thumping on The Book Of Daniel, the new show on NBC. It wants the show to be cancelled as it ‘mocks Christianity’.

The story is of an Episcopalian priest with an alcoholic wife, a homosexual son, a daughter who is a pusher and a lesbian sister-in-law. To make matters worse, the priest’s church is missing large sums of money and Jesus decides to mentor him like a magnanimous big brother. The AFA’s feathers were ruffled not only by the storyline but by the scriptwriter’s sexuality and disenchantment with the Catholic faith.

NBC and the mainstream media call it “edgy,” “challenging” and “courageous.” The series is written by Jack Kenny, a practicing homosexual who describes himself as being “in Catholic recovery,” and is interested in Buddhist teachings about reincarnation and isn’t sure exactly how he defines God and/or Jesus. “I don’t necessarily know that all the myth surrounding him (Jesus) is true,” he said.

The AFA is cutting off its nose to spite its face. The more the controversy over the show, the greater will be the ratings at the premiere. People will obviously want to know what the uproar is all about.

With shows like Will and Grace and South Park being part of mainstream television, why would the Book Of Daniel be treated any differently by the public?

The AFA has jumped the gun. It should have waited for the airing of the first episode and then launched the attack. It is wise to know one’s enemy’s weaknesses before declaring war and this is one battle these prickly so-called Christians are sure to lose. The show might well turn out to be a damp squib, like many sitcoms these days. Its potential failure would likely have little to do with its irreligous themes.

What’s even more amusing is the statement that Jack Kenny, the scriptwriter, is a practicing homosexual, as if one’s sexuality is a matter of choice or a disease that can be easily avoided.

For the AFA, The Book of Daniel seems to be the anti-thesis of Seventh Heaven, a show so boring that it meets its approval in all respects.

NBC has called the show challenging and courageous because it is a reflection on current problems faced by families with a slight twist that the ‘head of the family is a priest and talks to the son of God’.

Would the AFA be offended if there was a show on a priest molesting small boys on Church retreats? Would telling the truth then mock Christianity?

The Book Of Daniel, featuring Emmy nominee Aidan Quinn, airs on Friday at 9 PM EST on NBC.

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About Deepti Lamba

  • I’m looking forward to this show. I knew it would draw criticism from the “watchdogs”, but the promos are delightfully quirky and, of course, there’s that whole Aidan Quinn thing.

    The network won’t bow to pressure to not air it, but they may change the timeslot.

  • Believe in Jesus – we’ll pay you $75

    That’s a Google Ad showing here.

    You Bastards! You Killed Kenny!

    Innovative story-making – can’t wait to record it onto the fickle DVR!

    Great post, SP

  • If this show takes off then NBC will be at par with HBO, me thinks.

    Thanks for reading Joanie and Aaman

  • The funny thing of course is that groups like the AFA and the PTC were trumpeting The Book Of Daniel as a “sign” that the networks were going to be more family oriented (by which of course they meant Christian family oriented) because of the pressure the American public (or their self-appointed guardians the AFA and the PTC) were bringing to bear.

    Boy were they wrong.

  • I hope the show is of high quality and turns out to be a big hit.

    Anyone remember another controversial TV show about a priest? It was called “nothing Sacred” and ran on ABC nearly a decade ago. Lasted less than a season. VERY high-quality, but the Catholic League and other fundie windbags started in on the show even before it aired and scare viewers away. I hope the AFA bid fails. And maybe someone will find the cojones to release NS on DVD…

  • Oops, scared.

  • Sacred sounded far more scandalous;)

  • The Daniel Wars have begun – an NBC affiliate, WTWO in Indiana has rejected the show

    Apparently sponsorship is also an issue

  • Mr./Ms. Swingingpuss, the show *was* called “Nothing Sacred. I was correcting “scare,” which should have been in past tense. My computer is a piece of crap, so sometimes I will hit a key and the requested letter won’t register.

  • Ms Davis, thanks for explaining your correction.

    I know how frustrating computers can be. At some point we tend to think of them as extensions of ourselves and get mad when they act like machines.:)

    BTW please call me SP

  • Good post – too bad the AFA gets any publicity at all, but I hope it will generate more interest in Daniel, anyway. It’s not a good sign that NBC has already cut the episode order, but I’ve got high hopes for a good show, and that enough people will tune in to bring back their faith in it.

  • Let the AFA rant away. Those of us in the Episcopal Church don’t mind the free publicity!

    The product placement in the show isn’t a bad deal either.

  • I’m glad to see that only an affiliate has bowed to pressure from the AFA so far. Again, I predict that the network will stand strong.

  • I’m thinking of doing a live post on the show but then I feel that it might be unfair to those following the Pacific Time.

  • SP, your attention to reporting etiquette is stunningly perspicacious

  • tom

    homosexuality is a sin (romans 1:24-32; 1 corinthians 6:9-10). if i didn’t love the souls of these people, i wouldn’t say anything. this behavior can and must be overcome (1 corinthians 10:13) if these people want to go to heaven. “have i therefore become your enemy because i tell you the truth?” (galatians 4:16) that is what i believe the bible says about this matter. the Lord has made us as free moral agents, free to choose which paths we will take. that being said, i believe the bible says if we choose the wrong path, there will be consequences. i speak because my Lord would not have me sit by and listen and watch such debauchery without saying something. thank you.

  • gonzo marx

    well now…here is a very interesting conundrum…

    tom sez…
    *i speak because my Lord would not have me sit by and listen and watch such debauchery without saying something.*

    instead of being harsh on folks because of what some HUMAN wrote a long time ago…why not heed smoething quoted from the Teacher you proclaim to follow in a more direct manner?

    to wit :“Judge not, lest ye be Judged”

    just a Thought


  • Yeah! Much better response than what I was thinking.

  • gonzo marx

    my Pleasure Ms Davis….and to the infamous swingingpuss…nice Post, thanks for bringing it to my attention…as a fan of HBO series ( Deadwood, Rome, Carnivale) i will be certain to check this out due to your reccomendation

    as for folks like tom above…i just get irked with the Hubris of some who spout off as if they Know what their “Lord” wants but can’t seem to grasp the simplicity of what he is Quoted as actually stating, but woudl rather live dogmatically based on the writings of Men who lived long after Yeshua’s death and claimed to be “Inspired”

    but i digress…


  • I rather believe in the compassionate Jojo – he loves us all- homosexuals and pagans alike 😉

  • Do you suppose those that are against this type of programming realise that their screaming against it only makes A-holes like me want to watch it?

    I only went to see Wholly Moses back in the day because there were protestors outside the theater! It’s free advertising for the show! SAme thing for The Passion, I only went to see it to find out what all the commotion was about…although, I have never seen a Michael Moore movie…so…I guess it doesn’t always work!

    Thanks swingingpuss…nice article!

  • gonzo marx

    to swingingpuss….

    it’s JuJu…but he Forgives ya the typo

    however, an elephant never forgets…


  • Gonzo, the disciple begs forgiveness from the sublime JuJu.

    Andy, the show would probably have escaped my radar if it hadn’t been for the AFA.

  • swingingpuss – it is ironic, but as my german friends would tell me, I MUST watch this program! if only because the AFA tells me I shouldn’t!

  • tom

    matthew 7:31 – “Judge not, that you be not judged” – i believe this scripture means that we cannot be hypocritical – if we use a standard to judge by, we better be ready to be judged by that same standard – i believe that standard to be the bible and i believe that is what Christ will use to judge us all in the judgement day -Christ also says in John 7:24 to “judge with righteous judgement.”.

    Christ loves us all, homosexuals, pagans, etc. but He expects us to do what He says. He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

    Repentance is defined as the act of repenting; the state of being penitent, contrition for sin; such sorrow for past conduct as produces a new life.

    We are all sinners (Romans 3:23) – we must all come to repentance – because 2 Peter 3:10 says the day of the Lord is coming as a thief in the night.

    And if we love the Lord, we will do His commandments (John 14:15).

    And I do believe the bible to be the inspired Word of God. I Peter 1:20-21 says “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” And 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    i appreciate your responses – good give and take


  • Aren’t you being hypocritical in condemning other people’s preferences and lifestyles? How do you know Jesus wasn’t gay or bi?

    Why repress creativity like that displayed in a television show? How is that different from the fatwa issued by the mullahs?

  • gonzo marx

    well tom..can i help you get that “plank” out of your eye?

    what you “think” is the “interpetation” of the Quote is interesting…but quite the bit of mental gymnastics…

    might i suggest you just look at the Quote itself?

    might i suggest it is directly INstructing folks to “judge not” ?

    which would suggest that “sin” is NOT for any Man to Judge…and that it is definately NOT the place of Man to do so…by it’s very Definition?

    tom sez…(quoting “Peter”)
    *”knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

    might i also suggest that this is EXACTLY what ANY con man or snake oil salesman would tell you when he is trying to sell you the “word of god” or a patent medicine?

    and hence my difficulties with any self proclaimed “prophet” of ANY “Faith” throughout history

    we only have their say so and assertations, once those are “accepted” by Men who seek to enjoy a comfortable living not by “the sweat of their brow” but by leeching off of those who DO toil…

    then you have raised a “priest” class who stands between not only whatever Scripture is held dear, but between the very “Deity” and the Individual

    with all that in mind, i say again, that it flies in the very face of what Lessons there are to be learned from the ACTUAL teaching of he who is called “the Annointed” (Christ) to attempt to stand in Judgement of ANY other person existing in this very mortal coil

    your mileage may vary


  • RogerMDillon

    Tom, what’s your point? It’s a post about a TV show and you feel that the Bible gives you insights on how to judge it without seeing it? What does the Bible say about the deadly combination of ignorance and arrogance?

  • gonzo – I think I love you man!

  • I love the show! I feel like I’m watching the best of HBO and the best of Showtime, all in one, with the ads – next time, DVR-style

  • gonzo marx

    damn..i missed the show?

    and Andy…it’s ok..i’m sure i’ll say something soon that will piss ya off


    glad my ramblings made some Sense to ya


  • jimi


  • Updates about the show are here

  • gonzo – you make me think, but I don’t think you’ve ever really pissed me off…there may have been a time or two that I would have got up from the bar and went and shot a game of pool, but I’ll always come back to see what you have to say next…

  • Bored to tears with wimpy depictions of Jesus as a laid back human. NOthing ‘courageous’ about it, it’s completely fashionable and done to death already. What would be cool would be a truly P.I. show ( and by that I mean, NOT liberal ) that was truly funny, and dramatic, and slid a Christ in there more in keeping with the one we read about in the Bible, when we actually open the bible, that is. They’ve already done this type of Christ character on ‘Rescue Me” and similarly on South Park. To me it’s nothing new, or inspired.
    And, even though I think that censorship is not the right way to go, I do think that Hollywood would never really get behind a series of a rabbi and his family who drove in the car with God, and God was a simple minded, 17 year old pimp or something ( but who was nice ). Jews might get a little rubbed the wrong way about that. As would muslims if Mohammed ( sorry spelling )was portrayed as a birthday cake. Sure, it’s “creative, dramatic, funny, cutting edge yada yada ” but my main point is that I don’t blame Christians for disliking this show. It’s just more of the same!

  • Loved the show. Kudos to all local NBC affiliates who allowe dtheir viewers to judge for themselves. We’re not the Christian United States. It’s bad enough we have the Mormon Republic of Utah and the Catholic Republic of Rhode Island. The Book of Daniel is cutting edge, fun and a real look behind the scenes of a pastor and his family. Believe it or not, mah bruthas and sistahs, those who are our ministers are as human as we lowly sinners. Go figure.

  • Look for your article in the Ed Picks, dear! Good job!

  • Joanie, thanks a bunch. I’m tickled pink!

  • This piece has been chosen for Blogcritics Editors’ Picks of the Week (Jan. 4 – Jan. 10): The Best Shiny Digital Big Tent Freedom Can Buy, congrats!

    Celebrate, call the neighbors, get down with yourself, you deserve it…

    You also have the honor and opportunity to choose your favorite BC story for the period of 1/11 – 1/17. Please use the comments area at the link above and provide the following by the night of the 17th:

    * Name of story
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  • Marilynn Anderson

    “The Book of Daniel” has been cancelled by NBC because there were no sponsors and NBC could not afford to lose millions of dollars every Friday night. Plain and simple math on their part….plain and simple smash the TV giant on the part of the public. Jesus should not be crucified twice.

  • Marilynn, if anything else Jesus was shown to be compassionate, forgiving, patient and wise in the show.

    Its sad that the show was dropped- it was building up to be quite popular.

    Thank God the zealots have not been able to take my cable away.

    Cable TV is our only savior …all hail Showtime series for Queer as Folks; HBO for Six Feet Under and Cinemax for late night porn

  • The broadcast networks wonder why there’s no brand loyalty any longer. They’ve shoved dozens of commercials per hour down our throats to the point where Americans have an attention span that lasts less than 3 minutes. We’re a television remote society.

    Along comes a quality show like The Book of Daniel and sponsors flee in fear of the “family friendly” folk. Give me a break. We’ve got members of Congress who would love nothing more than to have the ability to regulate what is broadcast on subscription cable channels. That would be the last straw for me.

    I’m in full support of a campaign to bring “Daniel” to HBO or another cable network. It’s quality television. It made Fridays a must see TV night. Congratulations to the cast and crew of “Daniel” for giving us a handful of awesome episodic television. And shame on NBC and its parent, General Electric, for taking the cowardly way out. I think I’ll buy LG appliances the next time around and tell G.E. to kiss my butt.

  • I hear you Silas!

  • James Mitchell

    “The Book of Daniel” had such a shallow plot and poor characterization it will be the program cited for comparison of future losers. Nothing happened in this show except the cast displaying how low they could go. By the third episode, even the African American domestic was sinking in the mire. NBC must have no clever writers left.

  • Lara Morrison

    Oh, my gosh! “The Book of Daniel” did so have a plot. I was about a minister who wanted to build a school. How exciting is that? He and his wife want to borrow money against their house and then they find out that the house they thought was a gift from the wife’s mom is not their’s after all! They’ve just been living in it at no cost all their married life and now they’re mad because they don’t actually own it. In the meantime, there’s the whole family bouncing off each other’s problems of drug addiction, sex addiction, alcoholism, illegal drug sales, boob fascination, gay dilemma, dementia, and pot smoking. Jesus pops in and out to talk to the druggy minister. I figured out that it isn’t Jesus at all. It’s Satan in disguise, which is why he condones sin. This was a very deep show, which is why nobody much understood it. Deep as in deep doo-doo. If you have read this message and are bored, that’s a clue as to why the show was cancelled.

  • Ben Logan

    Yes, and the characters were all so lovable, with problems mainstream American could so readily identify with and take right to their bossoms. The guy who wrote this program needs to go to therapy.

  • Damned if we do and damned if we don’t. It was too scandalous no wait it wasn’t too scandalous.

    Make up yer minds!

  • Tyler Lewison

    NBC can now fill the hour where “The Book of Daniel” was spewing forth with another NBC offering of another dead body show. “NBC” must stand for “New Body Count.”