TBS premiered their new sitcom The Guest Book on Thursday night and, in Story Two, portrayed two Christian characters as people willing to assault an atheist in order to force an unwanted baptism upon her.
The Guest Book is an unusual show, as it centers around Froggy Cottage rental cabin and, each episode, the story will be about the people staying there. A few cast members will be the same (the man at the front desk, the neighbor and his son, and Tickles, a local stripper, to name a few) but, largely, every episode features guest stars in their own contained story.
In Story One, which was also on Thursday night, we had a man and his wife getting their first weekend away after having a new baby in an episode that was over-the-top crass. In Story Two, we met Jill (Stockard Channing) and Jeff, two supposed Christians with faux southern accents (of course) who have taken their son Ethan (Henry Zebrowski) and his fiance to the weekend cottage with a plan to prevent him from marrying the atheist Lynn (Mary Lynn Rajskub).
We don't know at first what the plan is, except that Jeff says it could land them both in jail. Jill is willing to risk it, telling him, "Don't get soft on me now, Jeff. We've got some heavy lifting for the Lord to do. Our son is not marrying an atheist."
When everyone is asleep, they sneak into Lynn's room and inject her with the sedative Propofol. After a lengthy conversation about her skimpy sleepwear of a tank top and shorts in which Jeff is portrayed as a henpecked Christian hypocrite sneaking glances at his son's fiance's breasts, they take her out to the hot tub and "baptize" her.
Jill's voiceover: Jeff and I had already prepared the hot tub area for Lynn's baptism. We had lit some candles we had brought from the church... ...And I changed Lynn into a more tasteful outfit as Jeff averted his eyes. The whole ceremony only takes about 10 minutes. Jeff dunked her under water about four times, holding her nose to make sure she didn't drown. I dried her off the best I could and put her back into her nightgown... If you can call it that.
In the morning, they mistake Lynn's kindness for proof that the baptism worked, but are concerned that there is a mark on her leg from the syringe. In a mockery of prayer, Jill and Jeff demand that God heal the mark before Lynn realizes it is anything more than an insect bite. However, it becomes clear that the injection site is infected, and she has to be hospitalized.
Faced with a horrible infection, Lynn actually does turn to Jesus and, after being healed, comes to believe in Him. Rather than being pleased by this, Jill is offended that God would answer Lynn's prayer and not her own. She curses the Lord, telling her priest:
That son of a bitch up there has put me through the goddamn ringer. Did He take the mark off her leg when I asked Him to? No, He made it bigger. But when she asked Him to heal her, a goddamn atheist, and suddenly, He's all ears... I gave 63 years of my life to that dude, and this is how He treats me? I don't have time for this bullshit. I'm out.
This portrays Christians and Christianity wrong at every turn, from baptism and prayer to the way a Christian would react if an atheist were to become a believer. I don't think any person of faith, or any person who respects faith, was sad to see this family check out of Froggy Cottage.