Brent Bozell: God Takes a Beating on Television

By L. Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham | September 13, 2019 | 8:49am EDT
(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

It's a fallacy to suggest that in the news media, business trumps politics. CNN's and MSNBC's dismal ratings are in direct proportion to their deliberate decision to embrace far-left anti-Trumpism.

The same holds true for commercialized Hollywood, except in this case, it's not just anti-Trumpism that excites. The hatred is deeper. Hollywood is committed to levels of anti-Christian bigotry never before seen in its industry. There's no discernible market demand for it, but it believes Christianity must be insulted at every opportunity.

Consider these examples in the past month alone:

1. On Sept. 9, HBO began a new season of "The Deuce," a series about the porn industry in the 1970s and 1980s. In one scene, a sleazy director starts coaching an actress and says, "Now, Melissa, just talk to him a little bit. You know, like you're prayin'." Melissa clumsily turns to a bungled version of the Lord's Prayer during sex and says, "Oh, Father who is in heaven, forgive me for my sins ..." The director makes a face and says he just wants her to scream things like, "Oh, God!" She apologizes and says, "Oops, sorry. Lapsed Catholic."

2. HBO is also airing a new series called "The Righteous Gemstones" about a family led by megachurch preacher Eli Gemstone. This Christian family lives to fight while launching obscenities. As HBO believes is typical in these kinds of families, in the first episode on Aug. 18, the F-word was dropped 41 times, and the Lord's name was taken in vain 28 times, according to the Media Research Center. Gemstone's eldest son, Jesse Gemstone, also a pastor — well, he has another dilemma. He is being blackmailed after being caught on camera at a scandalous party featuring lots of cocaine and nudity. He was attending the Prayer Power Convention. Because that's what one does at prayer gatherings.

3. Hulu, the streaming service that routinely trashes Christian theocrats in its hit show "The Handmaid's Tale," also offers a show called "Into the Dark." In the Sept. 6 episode, teenage girls are dragged by their Christian fathers to a purity retreat to focus on the need to keep their virginity.

So what's wrong with that, especially if you're a traditionalist? Nothing, except these Christian men are complete hypocrites. They fiercely advocate female purity while expressing no concern for male promiscuity. One father, who (naturally) is a pastor, insists men "don't need to be monitored the same way women do. ... They are not as easily fooled." These nightmarish dads even lock their daughters in cages for daring to meet with boys.

A rebellious daughter named Jo insists the girls need to pray to Lilith, a feminist legend who, in medieval times, was said to be the first wife of Adam and become a demon after rebelling. When another girl at the retreat protests that Lilith isn't in the Bible, Jo shoots back and says, "The Bible is male revisionist history."

4. Then there's "Preacher" on AMC. Why stick to man when you can portray the Lord Himself as an evil buffoon? In the Sept. 8 episode, God the Father plots to destroy all of humanity with the help of Jesus and Adolf Hitler (yes, you read that right). An Irish vampire named Cassidy is looking to foil God's plan, and during his search for the Almighty, he tells a story to a room full of observant Jews. It's about a Catholic mother of six sons. Five died in war, and one died in a car accident. "(S)he still loved God, because she was an idiot," he says. "She was a sucker, as are all of you!"

AMC recently ran an ad for "Preacher" featuring outraged reviews from conservative websites. The channel delights in being called "utter garbage" (Red State), "offensive" (LifeSite News), "infamous" (Fox News), "blasphemous" (The Daily Caller) and, finally, "a show that disrespects everything" (NewsBusters).

That's Hollywood. It's never prouder than when conservatives call it infamous garbage. If the shoe fits, Hollywood proudly wears it.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog


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