This past Sunday the television industry felt the ground shake when the first installment of the History Channel’s five-part miniseries, The Bible, drew a whopping 14.3 million viewers. To put that in perspective, those are higher ratings than American Idol drew on Fox in the same week. Higher ratings than the premiere of Celebrity Apprentice on NBC. And it officially made The Bible the number one scripted cable broadcast of the year.Now, this is actually unsurprising, for as Basham goes on to note:
The news was apparently so astonishing it prompted Business Week to investigate exactly how the basic cable network pulled it off and inspired Time magazine’s resident T.V. critic, James Poniewozik, to ponder whether The Bible’s success will lead to further mainstream forays into religious-themed entertainment.
First, of course, came The Passion of the Christ. The highest-earning R-rated movie of all time was expected to issue a wake-up call to the industry about the potential for films based on Scripture. When it didn’t, a series of indie movies from Sherwood Baptist Church reaped so much cash from their fairly meager showing, the Hollywood Reporter called them, “some of the most profitable films in modern history.” Then early last year the New York Times noted the success of the pro-Catholic, pro-life film, October Baby. And late last year American Bible Challenge debuted as the number one show ever to run on the Game Show Network.Why, then, is it that entertainment media big wigs keep on insisting on bashing Christians in their productions, even through it is obviously leaving a lot of money on the table?
All of this should have sent a clear message to network and studio executives long before last Sunday—if you build something of even middling quality (and, unfortunately, middling is generous in The Bible’s case) that is even remotely respectful of Christian faith, Christians of all stripes will tune in or buy tickets to see it. But it didn’t. Or at least, it didn’t if Time’s Poniewozik is any indication of what other industry insiders are saying to one another.
Simple, they have ideologically motivated patterns of thinking, deciding and acting that have a deep seated underlying hostility to Christians. In short, by and large they obviously view us as the enemy to be defeated through a long term propaganda campaign of stereotyping, strawmannising and scapegoating, not as valid customers to be taken seriously and treated with basic civility and respect.
Multiply that by the recent observation mentioned in international news, that -- again -- Christians are the most persecuted global group. (We would, of course, not learn that from the news or entertainment media. For the same drearily familiar reason.)
So, it is time for us to wake up and realise that we are in the midst of a civilisation-wide culture war, and that the media are in the lists against us. So, we should determine not to help pay (or vote for) those who seek to smear and marginalise us, the better to then proceed to enforce that marginalisation in law.
As, is plainly already happening.
We should not be feeding our hearts and minds from the same trough that those who are hoping to smear and marginalise then restrict or worse, do.
And maybe, when advertisers find that they cannot sell products because Christians in numbers will not support such media and products (e.g. I for one will never purchase another Apple product until some serious changes occur in Apple's corporate behaviour, and will only purchase Hewlett Packard equipment if there is no credible alternative and I strongly recommend going open source . . . ), there will be the beginning of change. END