Self-Sufficiency Series

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hollywood vs. Real America

There is a television series that's just hit the prime time called (pardon my language) Good Christian Bitches (later modified to Good Christian Belles after the understandable outcry). It's made by the creators of "Sex and the City," so I guess that tells you something. We don't have television reception so I've never seen this latest example of Hollywood art, but I gather the basic premise is to show how Christian women are nothing but a bunch of biblical hypocrites. Ha ha -- it's so amusing, don't you think, to watch women be catty? And placing them in a church environment just seals the deal, in the opinion of Hollywood.

(Just as an aside, imagine a Hollywood brainchild called "Good Jewish Bitches" or "Good Muslim Bitches" and see how quickly the producers would get flayed. But hey, it's open season on Christians.)

This show is apparently full of splendid advice, such as "cleavage lets your cross hang straight" and other useful suggestions.


As I see it, this is just the latest example of Hollywood's absolute disdain for Middle America and its values. I was going to link to a trailer to demonstrate my point, but after watching it I didn't want my girls to see the shocking content, so I found another, slightly less racy trailer (here). And keep that in mind: the first trailer I found was so shocking I didn't want my girls to see it... yet this show is now on prime time television, where young people all over America can hear the catty language and watch the degrading situations played out in this sitcom.


As with any television show, the actors and actresses involved are drop-dead beautiful. But what good is all that beauty if its purpose is to ridicule and scorn an enormous segment of our nation? Its whole essence is the mockery of values, particularly Christian values. Such ideals as modesty and chastity are held in contempt as unattainable and unrealistic (and unnecessary) goals. The nuclear family is shown as dysfunctional (of course) and a source of oppression for women (of course). It's considered "empowering" for women to dress like skanks and seduce men away from their marriage vows. It's sole purpose, apparently, is to illustrate (with the help of lots of cleavage) how religion is bad.

But no one ever talks about how religion is good -- how many lives have been turned around, how many overwhelmed people have found solace, how many challenges have been overcome because of faith (and this doesn't even examine how many souls are saved).

What it comes down to is Hollywood's persistent ambition to demonstrate how secular life is vastly superior to religious life. The pious are hypocrites and idiots. All devout church-goers are in reality closet deviants bent on fulfilling their animal urges. And somehow, in some way, Christian values are to blame for it all.

Now this petty and superficial television show is moving into the prime time, where countless numbers of young people, whose faith may still be fragile, will fall under its outwardly-beautiful and glamorous sway.

So anyway, this morning I was writing this blog piece and getting on my high horse when I got bumped down to earth by a sobering piece written by columnist Dennis Prager. It seems he and his wife, who are traveling in Australia, met a young waitress from Iran who was raised Muslim. Due to the violence she saw around her while growing up, she now considers herself an atheist.

"Nothing produces atheists like despicable religious people," writes Prager. "They do far more harm to religious faith than all the atheist writers and activists in the world put together."

This statement made me wince because there are far too many times when Christians are seen in a similar light. While I can't go into details, let's just say I'm in a position to see a LOT of chatter back and forth between the political left and the political right, between atheists and Christians, between progressives and conservatives. Many people will claim that conservatives are more verbally restrained than the name-calling and vitriol that marks the left; but I'm here to tell you it ain't necessarily so. There is just as much mud-slinging, name-calling, and nasty language coming from so-called Christians; and it serves to reinforce every bad opinion atheists could ever hold of us.

As a Christian I am held to high standards, standards I continuously fail to meet (which is where forgiveness of my sins is so comforting). Nonetheless those standards are there, and I must strive toward them. I must guard my tongue and my (typing) fingers from falling into the classic human failings of gossip, name-calling, and hypocrisy. In other words, I -- and every other person who calls him or herself a Christian -- must be ambassadors for our faith. We must represent the goodness and mercy of Jesus, not the gossip and slander that GCB illustrates.

I'll fail, of course. But at least I have a Higher Authority to whom I can lift my fallen eyes and beg forgiveness.

But you still won't catch me watching Good Christian "Belles" any time soon.

43 comments:

  1. It amazes me how many people don't realize it's just a movie/tv show, and bears little, if any relation to reality.

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    1. Oh really? Ever studied history?

      Desensitizing the masses and labeling an entire population as safe to persecute and conditioning both groups to accept it as normal is a time-tested method of tyranny and brutality throughout the ages.

      Failure to grasp the implications of this will lead to very bad things happening to many people...real people...in their very real lives...and their very real deaths.

      I guess you can go back to being amazed now.

      A. McSp

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    2. Might be just a movie or a TV show, but it's the steady diet of garbage being offered that is the problem. Much like the phrase, 'You are what you eat,' a society soon becomes what they see... as in all the time. Prime Time is filth. What a shame.

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    3. Anon @ 9:10,

      What is amazing is that my almost 13 year old can see how society desensitizes us to issues but you can not.

      Also interesting is you posted your comment at 9:10. I was just reading about Isaiah 9:10 and how God judges those who stand proud against Him.

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  2. The Catholics are founded in heresy! The Mormons are a cult! The Lutheran's are just plain crazy! And don't even get me started about the Jews!

    Your post is an outstanding one, albeit, discouraging. I have fist hand experience and many times seen and even been a participant in the vitriol you describe. Too many religious people haggling over one particular doctrine over another, each claiming to have the righteous high ground. In reality, while we consume ourselves over our petty disagreements, the real enemy takes advantage and hacks away at our bonds. So instead of using our more very common objectives to further the our cause......you get the idea.

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    1. Founded in heresy? Plain crazy?

      Please, spare us.

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    2. Patty, it's called *sarcasm*, and it's sometimes hard to recognize it unless you take in the context of the entire post.

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    3. Sorry, Miles. I did take in the entire post, but my mind must have been in a stew over your opening. Mea Culpa.

      Then again, haggling over doctrine is often part of what is needed to clearly define an issue. As in believing America needing to clearly define the issue of our being attacked and robbed of religious liberty... Thanks for your post.

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    4. There is a good time and place to haggle over interpretation of scripture. But when you are on the front lines of battle against trash like GCB, child porn, etal, does it really matter if the ones in the foxhole with you eat stale crackers in their church services or if they wear funny underwear? REALLY?!?

      I am NOT a religious person, but I do know who my true enemies are. And if I am receiving fire from someone who is supposed to be on my side, where does that leave them?

      BTW: I am the orig poster in this thread. Thanks Miles, for pointing out the obvious.

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    5. Dear Anonymous,

      The fact that you are a non-religious person may be the issue here as you have not defined which you prefer -- crackers or odd underwear.

      And while it is true that discussions in the foxhole can muddy up who the enemy is, disagreements in the foxhole can and do cause issues.

      Some of these issues are critical and lead to others that we all have to battle. i.e. Embracing a contraception mentality some could argue has led to the objectification of women as viewed in GCB. Many in this supposed foxhole embrace that mentality, many don't, and for good reason.

      These are the differences of which I speak, Anonymous. I'm sorry if that point wasn't obvious. And again, I thank, Miles, for having pointed out the ambiguity of my initial post.

      And I thank you, too, Anonymous, and give thanks for your gift. It is a particular grace you have found to espouse knowledge of the enemy.

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    6. Each and every time you open your mouth (keypad), you prove my point.

      My work here is done.

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    7. OBTW: I like Cheez-its - in my boxers - watching UFC. Thanks for your concern.

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    8. Clever. Good to know you're on the right side, Cheez-it, and with such dashing armor for the coming fight.

      Have a good one.

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  3. I don't watch T.V.

    Do they still have sitcoms where the parents are complete fools, and everything the child says is brilliant?

    Neal Bortz, who is in my opinion often not a very nice person himself, said that by far the greatest amount of hate was generated againts him when he crossed swords with Christians.

    For that matter, I have heared a number of people say in my line of work (construction) that when they see one of those "Fish" on a persons business card, they want to turn and run away. What they thought would be the sign of honest dealing apparently is often very much the opposite. My own experience has been that it tends to signal an extreme, either very honest or very dishonest. And from what I can tell the people don't seem to be faking their (otherwise) dedication to Christ.

    I wonder about Christians who feel compelled to use Christianity as a sword and shield with which to smite all their foes. As I understand the various churchs doctrines, none of them actually say that Christians are better than anyone else.

    I do think that the general public holds Chrisians to a higher standerd than secular folks- but why would you complain about being held to a higher standerd?

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  4. hollywood has constantly mocked Christians, this is just the latest installment. it's a sign of our country's continued moral decay and corruption. to those that think it's "just a tv show" should review the response to rush limbaugh's "just a radio show" and see the outcry liberals give when they are offended by TRUTH. i personally believe this country has rotted as long and as much as it has because there aren't enough folks like us that will actually say and do something about it. silent disapproval is no longer enough. if we do not take action now, this country is lost, it will turn into either another europe or a banana republic.

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    1. what was the TRUTH that liberals were offended by in what Limbaugh said? The specific example Ms Fluke talked about had to do with someone who needed BC pills so she would not have an ovary explode and he made up a story about how Ms Fluke and all her friends must be having sex 22 times a day. Seriously, his actions were disgusting.

      L

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  5. @ Russel1200: yes, who would complain about a grossly obvious DOUBLE standard, not a higher standard, there is a very big difference. but then, do you actually care about differences when you've already judged a person based on if they have a fish symbol on their car or not? it sounds like you have a problem with Christians and it is no shock that you would so easily dismiss a show bashing them.

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    1. Card not car, as in business cards. The use of a business card with the sign of the cross/fish on it implies (along with other things) that you will behave in an honest forthright manner in your business dealings.

      I would hope that I would be able to judge someone who has a fish on their card (or car) in a higher regard. That I cannot is disappointing to me.

      I did not entirely understand your last sentence. Let me clarify: The show sounds idiotic. I have no problem with Christians, only a concern with some fellow Christians behavior.

      I appologize, it was not my intent to confuse.

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    2. I don't use the sign of a cross or fish as a standard. I wanted to support local business and found a Christian mechanic who has the fish symbol on his advertising. I was not upset that they opened late (we all have off days) but I was deeply offended by the half dressed pictures of women in various poses in his waiting room. I went back to Meineke where I trusted the owner - even if I didn't know if he was a Christian. I think people use the fish or cross to draw people in to their business. I find it disappointing to be honest. People would think they are trustworthy when they may not be.

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  6. By their deeds you know them. It is not what goes into your mouths that defile you, but what comes out of them.

    Yes, we are not perfect. But Christians strive to improve. We don't sink into the sludge and wallow in it.

    And that program sounds like sewer sludge to me. Ick. I don't watch network or cable anymore, precisely because of this kind of dreck. And the network suits wring their hands and wonder why they are losing market share?!

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  7. So THAT is what GCB stands for! lol! I wondered when I say the previews. I couldn't figure out the "B".

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  8. Patrice I don't watch the garbage that passes for entertainment on TV anymore. I have never watched a single episode of Lost, Survivor, American Idol, The Bachelor OR Bachelorette, Fear Factor, Amazing Race, America's got Talent, The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, Big Brother, The Biggest Loser and I'm sure there's more but I can't think of them just now. G.C.B is another I'll add to my ever growing list.
    I sure do miss my Gilligan's Island re-runs...

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    1. Ginger or Maryanne?

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    2. Oh, well Maryanne of course. If not for her the castaways would have all starved to death. Maryanne was a survivalist...

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  9. The show you have mentioned and many others in a similar fashion are why after the news, I tuck in with a good book. I cannot for the life of me see what people get out of this trash. It just isn't worth my time.

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  10. if a person is not brain dead now, then they will be after watching years of the garbage on television. what a waste of time and energy. even the news programs are getting weird. i have gotten to where i depend only on the evening or morning weather report and what price hogs, cattle and corn or cotton are selling for.no wonder ten year old girls and boys are getting into drugs, prostitution, and other bad and illegal activities...it is all they see and what they see is what they think they want.

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    1. I dad used to call people who watched too much television "vidiots."

      Just Me

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  11. Hollywood is total fantasy. all they show is trash because that is what the "people" want. their reality TV is so far from real that it is sickening. true christians will have a hard time getting on TV because "moral goodness" does not sell. America is getting more sick by the day. Shadowfaxhound

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    1. Actually, moral goodness DOES sell. They have absolutely proved that in the movie industry. The more wholesome, family-oriented movies have been FAR outdrawing the sleazy, foul-mouthed, over-sexed and over-kill movies. But immoral, low-class Hollywood producers who could care less about their souls and the souls of their viewers keep right on producing filth. If you want it to stop, join a Christian organization like AFA (American Family Association) and your voice WILL be heard! --Fred in AZ

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  12. Patrice: I was wondering how long it would take you to get down to business on GCB.....

    Just Me

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  13. Anyone have a list of sponsors for us to 'educate?'

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    1. http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/2012/20120305FB.asp
      They have the sponsors on the right side of the page under "Take Action".

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  14. Whats even worse, they thought it was okay to stick to the original title at first, which was based on a book of the same name. :( What is the world coming to?

    Its bad enough I get blamed for things that happened centuries ago or thousands of miles on another continent. I know I'm not perfect either, but this is just going too far. Didn't anyone tell the people who came up with this trash that its not religion that's screws things up, its human nature? Next time someone tries to accuse me of anything, even if its just by association, I guess I'll just have to remind them that just because I decided to follow Christ, doesn't mean I'm immune to the dark side of human nature, it just means I decided to do something about it. It may not be what they would've chosen, but then, its not their choice to make for me.

    My sis had joined a Facebook group created by her friends to discuss religion, and it turned into an atheist pity party. It drove her nuts trying to reason with these people, and she knew how to construct her arguments far beyond name-calling (she said it was like taking her philosophy classes all over again which drove her nuts at times too). The people in the group knew it too. Most of them were really just jumping on the atheist bandwagon, many of them the same ones in junior high who went around asking if you were "saved." Now, its cool to be an atheist, and truth be told, their just doing it because they don't want any rules hindering them.

    I can only imagine the consequences of this gross lack of self-discipline. Poor sis is kinda going through a crisis of faith because of this experience. I wish there was more I can do and help her just let it go, but she's awfully stubborn. I had a similar thing happen when I was her age, and that's when I started looking to the older members of my church. Saved my sanity, especially since it happened around the time my mother passed away.

    Seriously, I don't get how these Hollywood types get the idea that these wonderful people I know at church are anything like what this new TV show will portray.

    I doubt this show will make it through a full season, but if it does, then we'll know how far down the hole we are.

    ~Lily~

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    1. I am concerned about your sister. She sounds like a good soul, who is bewildered by those that are not good souls.

      Tell her to try just loving them. Just love them. When they get mean or rude or question her faith, the answer is simply, "I love you." Say it and mean it. Pity them. Love them. Breathe God's love on them. Let God love them through you. The lost will scream obscenities at her, the cruel will make fun of her - but the ones that really are seeking, will then talk to her. It's human nature. Jesus suffered physically and died. She just has to suffer some written barbs. She can't argue someone into believing. They have to come to God on their own.

      I hope this helps, if you think it is worth passing on to her.

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    2. For your sister,
      Proverbs 1:22
      How long, you simple ones, will love simplicity?
      For scorners delight in their scorning,
      And fools hate knowledge.

      These people are the scorners and the fools. It does no good to waste your time arguing with them. Spend your time with the "simple", those who just do not know God and Jesus. They are the ones who will respond rightly.
      Also, Answer not a fool according to his folly
      and lastly, she needs to be careful because as Proverbs 12:26 says,
      The righteous should choose his friends carefully,
      For the way of the wicked leads them astray..

      Paintedmoose

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    3. John 3:19-20

      19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

      20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

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    4. I do tell her to not let it get to her, but she's someone who hates backing down from an argument (the civil type, not yelling or insulting). She's the kind who does a lot of research on certain points that always seem to come up in these discussions, much of it relating to history.

      I don't think she necessarily doubts more than a regular person of faith would doubt, but she seems a little bewildered at how ignorant many of her friends are about the Bible and Christian history in general, despite most of them growing up in supposedly Christian homes themselves (it was the same kind of ignorance that I kept running into when I was younger). She feels like she has to set them straight and is just mentally exhausted from it. Then there's that nagging little monster that creeps in and makes you think that maybe you were wrong yourself. I know that monster very well. She's a strong person, and I do believe she'll manage to put in its place.

      I only know that two of her friends have good reason not to believe because they grew up in actual cults. I don't blame them. Funnily enough, they're less hostile than the rest of them. My sis found herself taking more of an agnostic approach in her arguments and even that didn't seem to appease them. I remember here saying one day that she actually liked their stance because they seem the least interested in the theist/atheist argument and basically call both sides idiots because nobody really KNOWS. I think that too sometimes. I understand no one knows for sure, but its a good thing to believe and keep searching for the truth.

      I think one of the things that's starting to scare her is the fact that she's very much alone in her age group. Its going to be a while before some of her friends hopefully come to their senses when the coolness wears off. I'm only a few years ahead of her, and already I've ran into a lot more believers, people who've actually done some growing up. I hope it'll be the same for her, but at the rate everything's going, I'm not so sure.

      In the meantime, I'll make sure she doesn't keep banging her head against the wall too much. I'll remember those verses, thanks.

      ~Lily~

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  15. Gosh, I got rid of cable and soon may have to get rid of the whole TV. I wondered what GCB meant to begin with. Guess I have been living in the hole of my Christian religion. On the same topic with a different spin, Tim Tebow was asked about being on "The Bachelor". They won't cast him though even if he says yes. Can you imagine prime time TV with no half-naked women and on screen sexual stuff? Won't ever happen, even if he did agree, because he would only agree on his terms, Christian terms, and those won't fly!

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  16. Patrice, you've said before that "There is just as much mud-slinging, name-calling, and nasty language coming from so-called Christians." Evidently your mind is made up on this, but my wife and I have read hundreds of articles and columns, as well as listened to what even the liberal media say about conservatives, and we've yet to see conservatives commit even a FRACTION of the amount of hate and name-calling that liberal progressives do. Liberals CLAIM that conservatives are just as bad, or even worse. If that's so, they have yet to prove it to us. Can you?

    Liberals claimed black politicians were called the "N" word as they walked through a Tea Party group. That was a lie. Never happened. People have accused Rush Limbaugh and others of his ilk of lies and name-calling, such as the recent incident where Rush apologized to a woman he called a "slut" and a "prostitute." If she IS a slut and a prostitute, then it's not lies OR name-calling! And from all appearances, his description fit.

    Jesus many times called women "harlots" who fit that descripton. He also said "You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good?" and He called the people "An evil and adulterous generation." (Matthew 12:34&39) Does that mean Jesus was just as bad as those he called those things?

    Please, give your readers some examples of how conservatives and TRUE Christians are just as bad at name-calling and mud-slinging as liberals, if you can. Anyone can SAY they're a Christian, but are they really? Have they accepted Jesus as their Savior and been born again? Being splashed with water as a baby doesn't do it, according to the Bible. A born again Christian who truly loves the Lord and is following His Word doesn't call people nasty, untrue names and use foul language. --Fred in AZ

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    1. Fred, unfortunately I'm not at liberty to reveal my sources. But I didn't say conservative MEDIA was mud-slinging (in that respect you're correct -- conservative media tend to be MUCH more polite) -- it's individual people. The stuff I see is often shocking and vile... and it comes straight from the lips (or fingers, as in typing) of folks who would call themselves conservative and even Christian.

      - Patrice

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  17. I haven't watched TV since the days Gilligan's Island and that talking house show were new. Lost in Space was great -- I'd have trouble sleeping after the appalling terrors of that show. (I saw a clip of an episode a few years ago and laughed my head off at the comedic 'terror'.) Every couple of years I'd glance at something that people were raving about. The last time was that Roseanne Barr show -- and I was disgusted by no more than five minutes of the triviality, and cheap cruelty of the dialogue. I've literally not seen anything since. This show sounds even more disgusting. No one forces anyone to buy a TV, or to turn it to these shows.

    On the other hand, my grandfather was a pillar of his Lutheran church and raped me repeatedly before I was five years old. The only other raping grandfather of whom I have personal knowledge was a Baptist deacon. A companion show for the oh-so-discerning viewing public? -- Good Christian Bastards?

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  18. I've encountered many decent Christians, but judging by the content of your blog I wouldn't say you were one of them. I used to be a devoted Christian and would never condemn anyone based on their religion, but religion and good morality are independent of each other. I'm much better off with morals formed from experience and thought than blindly following the instructions of scripture.

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