Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Must Not-See TV

And following ABC's unnecessary and insulting piece on Matthew Shepard's murder, follows CBS and NBC with their own particular pandering to the Religious Right.

These bozos are refusing to run an add by the United Church of Christ (not to be confused with the fundamentalist protestant denomination Church of Christ) that shows gays, a black woman, a hispanic man and other minority groups being turned away by two bouncers at church doors while a white traditional family is let through. The add then continues "Jesus didn't turn away people. Neither do we." You can view the video here.

NBC refuses to air based on no airing controversial ads. Suggesting that some churches don't include some populations is apparently a dangerous and radical message.

CBS allegedly told the UCC that "[b]ecause this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples...and the fact that the executive branch has recently proposed a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast." CBS now refuses to comment on whether they actual said this or not, although they confirm the ad banned. Perhaps that is for the best given that the ad says nothing even remotely related to same-sex marriage. Clearly CBS has picked up on the message the the FMA (or now the Marriage Protection Amendment) isn't truly about protecting marriage, but further marginalizing gays and lesbians as something other than an American citizen and certainly not as a person of worth.

I like what Rev. John Thomas, UCC general minister and president, has to say about all of this: "It is ironic that after a political season awash in commercials based on fear and deception by both parties seen on all major networks, an ad with a message of welcome and inclusion would be deemed too controversial. We find it disturbing that the networks in question seem to have no problem exploiting gay persons through mindless comedies or titillating dramas, but when it comes to the church's loving welcome of committed gay couples, that's where they draw the line."

Other stations airing it include AMC, BET, Discovery, Fox, Hallmark, History, Nick@Nite, TBS, TNT, Travel and TV Land. Of particular interest is that ABC Family will air it (and did - I saw it while watching old Rankin Bass animation Christmas specials).

Looks like I'm going to have to quit watching all the mainstream channels...and I was so enjoying the Apprentice this season. Survivor has been fun too and decidedly lestastic (although it seems like some creative editing omitted a kiss between one couple during a surprise visit to the island).

Sooner or later I'm going to get around to posting my recant of the role that moral values (specificially religious fundamentalist values) played in this election. Although seemingly significant, further analysis suggests that the Relgious Right, while still dangerous, and obviously with a firm grip on the testicles of CBS and NBC, didn't play quite as significant a role as perhaps they (and we) think they did.

It's a travesity that for all the crap and dreck these networks spend money to push the receding intellect of America even further that they can't be bothered to accept revenue from somebody with a positive, affirming message. However, the problem isn't that UCC is too controversial or advocating any stance. The problem is they are challenging the status quo. They dared to send a message that might cause Mr. or Mrs. America to think they aren't as tolerant, broad-minded, or fair as they care to think they are. UCC had the audacity to confront the modern-day pharisees and tell them that they are not practicing the love and inclusion that Christ lived and taught. It's not a feel-good namby pamby "boy I could have figured that out for myself if I had half a brain" The More You Know segment. It hits people where it matters. For some that feels good, for others it hurts. And when you tackle the bully, the bully tries to shut you down.

Info from 356gay.com and beliefnet for resources on this story

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