Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

April 6, 2013

In the House of Wood

Useless TV

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Knoxville —  

I’d like to take a minute to offer my condolences to the family of Doris Edwards. Doris was my buddy, and one of my biggest supporters. I was always grateful for that and she knew that. 

Whenever we had a candidate forum or some Republican was in town to campaign, I knew I would  see Doris and Bob. Seeing them was never a disappointment. 

I didn’t even realize until this year’s Coaches vs. Cancer event that she had fought off cancer so many times. That strength just endeared her more to me. 

Doris, my buddy, you are missed. 

•••

I got home around 8:30 Tuesday night after the Recreation Center meeting. As usual, when I got home, I wanted to stop thinking and flip the television on. 

At first, my over-the-air selection was NBC and a show called “The New Normal.” I’ve seen episodes of this show before, and I’m not a fan. It was on a few minutes, however, while I prepared my dinner.

I happened to catch a scene in which a man of the cloth was talking to a gay male couple. The couple asked him if he would marry them. 

The character’s ensuing answer was something to the effect that he would love to, but the church would not allow that. I really didn’t want to be lectured about how bad my religion is or have any agenda shoved down my throat, so I changed the channel. 

By the way, I’m going to reiterate that I, personally, have nothing against homosexual unions. I have a very dear childhood friend who is in such a union and I’m convinced that, whether other people of my faith believe it or not, homosexuality is a part of someone and certainly not a “choice.” Nevertheless, I respect their beliefs. I just disagree.

When I changed channels, I landed on Fox, a show called “The Mindy Project.”

Apparently Mindy, who portrayed Kelly Kapoor on a much, MUCH better show, “The Office,” was interested in dating a minister. Like most characters on television, she has no true belief in God, but went to church to try to get close to the minister. Of course, her friend is actually religious, and from what I saw of the episode, also appeared to be stupid.

Big surprise there, that the network would have the character of faith also be stupid. 

Anyway, during the church service, the minister comes in to the chapel, to some kind of techno beat and acts more like a rock star than a man of God. I attend a more traditional church, so if this is indicative of some houses of worship today, I mean no offense. 

Moments into the sermon, he gets the congregation into a chorus of “I hate God.” In the script, it seemed like he did so to prove a point, that even though we can be angry at God, He still loves us, but I cannot imagine any minister ever encouraging his flock to repeat that phrase. 

The issue I have with these shows is that this is how Christianity is perceived and portrayed to those who know nothing of the faith, or of Jesus Christ. It always seems to be Christianity or Mormonism, too, though occasionally those of the Jewish faith take hits. But certainly not Muslims, Hindus or any others. Mocking them would be offensive, but we’re fair game. 

On “The New Normal” the message seemed to be that individual preachers may be cool, but they’re bound to an antiquated, oppressive church too stubborn and ignorant to get with the program and the new way of thinking. I realize this is true, to an extent, but nevertheless, do these people deserve to have their devout, deeply held spiritual beliefs mocked in such a manner by people who probably know next to nothing about their faith?

I will defend freedom of speech and I realize I can choose not to watch different things. But in this age of, if I may borrow a phrase, the “low information voter,” I think Christians should do more to get the truth out about our faith, and of Jesus, to combat this kind of nonsense. 

Take care of yourself and thank you for reading.