Holy Week is upon us and Easter, the holiest day of the Christian year, is Sunday. NewsBusters readers won’t be surprised to hear that popular culture isn’t kind to Christians, but you may not have seen some of the worst examples to have polluted our television screens in the last year.
Well, readers, we watched so you wouldn’t have to. (You're welcome.) Here are the TV shows that have been the most hostile to Christians and Christianity since last Easter.
Showtime’s SMILF (you know the crass term “MILF?” Put “single” in front of it to get this show’s title acronym) is one of the worst offenders. It features Rosie O’Donnell as the voice of reason if that gives you any indication of how far left it is. In the first episode, the main character Bridget “catches” her son’s father praying with their young child and promptly freaks out. "Knock it off," she tells him, "Come on, there's no praying in this house." That was just three minutes into the first episode, and the hits kept on coming.
In the second episode, Bridget recites her very own version of the Lord's Prayer, starting with "our mother, who art in heaven," and ending it with a resounding "a-women" instead of "amen." In a later episode, a priest kisses a man who comes in for confession.
But the worst was a November episode in which Bridget posits that the Apostles raped the Virgin Mary, and that's how Jesus Christ was conceived.
Bridgette: I'm not gonna pray. I'm not gonna pray to God. I'm sorry.
Tutu: Yeah, well, you know what? You tell that to God, because he carried that guy across the sand, and there was one set of footprints, Bridgette. Remember that.
Bridgette: That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
Tutu: Then, here, how 'about this? You pray to the Virgin Mother. She's my favorite.
Woman: Mine, too.
Bridgette: Mothers cannot be virgins.
Woman: Well, Mary can--she was blessed by the Holy Spirit.
Bridgette: Mary was forced to have that baby.
Bridgette: I'm sorry, but Matthew and Luke and whoever did some stuff to her...
Tutu: I don't wanna hear it, Bridgette.
Bridgette: And then called it an angel baby.
Tutu: Okay, listen to me. That is the mother of God you're talking' about.
Bridgette: Now we're all stuck praying to this "Angel baby."
Tutu: What are you talkin' about?
Bridgette: I am on Mary's side. I am Team Mary.
Tutu: There are no teams. There are no teams in the Bible.
Bridgette: There are teams. You are helping them get away with it.
Tutu: Bridgette, it's just blasphemous, that's what it is, and I don't really like it.
This is so far beyond the pale and makes no Biblical sense, not that SMILF is at all interested in things like accuracy or facts. They just want to offend Christians and people with traditional values. It's honestly tedious to watch them try that hard.
Shameless, another Showtime offering, lives up to its name, especially with one particular storyline they had this year. Gay character Ian (Cameron Monaghan) starts showing up to churches that are holding "gay conversion" services and causing a scene. He goes to one of these services with his former boyfriend (who he gets back together with later) who is a transgender character played by a transgender actor (Elliott Fletcher). First, Ian tells Elliott he is going to "beat the f-ck" out of the pastor, and then he gets into a shouting match with him. Finally, Ian leaves, shouting to the participants, "Fags, this way!"
A video of this altercation goes viral, getting Ian a lot of popularity on social media and with the local gay community. After hearing Ian referred to as "a hot gay Jesus," his dad, Frank (William H. Macy), decides to cash in, selling merchandise of his son's image with the words "Church of Gay Jesus" emblazoned on it.
Worst of all, at a protest outside of one church, Ian leads an angry gay mob in chanting vulgar things at a priest in the name of Jesus.
Crowd: Butt bumping is Jesus' love!
Ian: Dry humping is Jesus' love!
Crowd: Dry humping is Jesus' love! Dry humping is Jesus' love! Dry humping is Jesus' love!
Woman: Carpet munching is Jesus' love! Carpet munching is Jesus' love! Carpet munching
Woman and Ian: Is Jesus' love!
Crowd: Carpet munching is Jesus' love!
Priest: That's enough. That's enough!
Ian: We have the right to demonstrate. You are blaspheming the Lord!
Ian: Preaching hate is blasphemy.
Priest: I will not allow you to drag down the good morals of this church...
Ian: Carpet munching is Jesus' love!
Priest: ...for your own sick beliefs.
Crowd: Carpet munching is Jesus' love! Carpet munching is Jesus' love!
Priest: I'm telling you to leave.
Crowd: Carpet munching is Jesus' love! Butt bumping is Jesus' love!
Priest: Leave the premises now!
Priest: Please, leave the-
Crowd: Dry humping is Jesus' love! Dry humping is Jesus' love! Nipple licking is Jesus' love! Nipple licking is Jesus' love! Nipple licking is Jesus' love! Nipple licking is Jesus' love...
Ian: Hey, stand back. Everybody, stand back. Hey, look at me. Stay with me. Hey! Come on! Come on. Come on, come on. Wake up. Wake up. Oh, my God. Thank God.
Can you imagine this kind of vulgarity against any other religion? Can you imagine them risking that level of offense with Muslims who oppose even the depiction of Mohammed? But against Christians, it's no big deal, it's even considered cool and transgressive.
Will & Grace
If you liked NBC's Will & Grace back in the '90s, please don't watch it today. Just trust me. All it is now is an anti-conservative, anti-traditional screed, and they work in a plot and maybe some jokes when they can. For example, in this episode, they seem to have Jack (Sean Hayes) go to church just so he can make some gross jokes.
Jack: I'm just gonna say it. I had a terrific morning at church. I learned a lot. Did you know that back in the day, gay best friends were called apostles? And, Grace, you'll be interested to know Mary Magdalene is a derivative of the Latin word "Hag-dalene."
Grace: You're gonna hate Leviticus.
Seriously? First the apostles raped Mary, now they're gay.
Will & Grace also pulled out the old "gay conversion therapy" trope and had this supposedly Christian camp displaying a photo of Mike Pence. The male and females leaders of the camp are a married couple who are both clearly gay, and they sing a song to the tune of "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands" that goes:
He's got boys being boys in his hand
He's got girls being girls in his hand
He's got boys-only-marryin'-girls in his hand
He's got the whole-natural-order-of-things where-people-act- like-the-lord-intended in his hands.
He's got suits and dresses on the right person
He's got boys chasing girls appropriately
He's got boys...
Just this month, an entire episode was devoted to mocking the Christian baker whose business was ruined when she refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding. The episode said that conservatives are "terrible people" with "horrible" and "hateful beliefs." You mean the people fighting for your right to go on television and mock the religion of millions? Those people? Terrible!
TNT's Major Crimes had an entire storyline spanning several episodes which was dedicated to assaulting the Catholic Church. In the first episode of the five episode arc we find out that three boys have gone missing from a Catholic school trip and the police immediately suspect that a priest with whom the boys are close is involved and a pedophile.
The anti-Christian sentiment is palpable when a detective looking at an image of the crucifixion says, "Thanks for nothing," and it doesn't get better from there. Snide remarks about the Catholic Church's "tried-and-true tactics to cover up sexual abuse" and "self-righteousness" are also peppered throughout and when they aren't calling the priest a pedophile, they're calling him an adulterer.
But the show's anti-Catholic attacks completely jump the shark when religion, race, and immigration are all brought together into this terrible scene where the priest is revealed as a lying, cheating, birth control-using, adulterous, self-loathing racist.
Father Jonas: Shifting immigration policies have demanded extraordinary measures on those of us working to keep families united during crisis. And when it comes to my travels to and from Mexico, my responsibility to Christ-
Flynn: Let me stop you right there, okay, Father? Because when you talk about your responsibilities to Christ, the defense will interrupt and ask if that included refusing to use birth control while having sex with the single moms of some of your students.
Nolan: Yeah. Sorry, Father, but by not answering our questions today, you'll be on the stand explaining whether or not you used a condom when having sex with Ms. Garza.
Father Jonas: I deserve this accusation. But I didn't have sex with any of the boys' mothers. Including Sara Garza. That was not me.
Nolan: Okay then, Father, if it wasn't you, who was it?
Father Jonas: Lucas only spoke about this subject during confession. I can't --
Flynn: Lucas is dead. And the privileged nature of his confession died with him.
Priest: No. No. The Seal of Confession is never broken.
Nolan: Well, we just need to know it wasn't you, Father.
Father Jonas: Do you really believe Lucas would confess to me anything regarding his mother if he thought that I slept with her?
Flynn: Hey, look, Padre. You have a pattern of behavior the defense will use to build up reasonable doubt. You don't like the way I'm questioning you now? Wait until you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Nolan: So help you God.
Father Jonas: Okay. You want proof? Yeah. Here it is. I'm not physically, uh...tempted by Latinas.
Nolan: Excuse me?
Father Jonas: I'll identify all of the women with whom I... I broke my vows. And you'll find every one of them was white. I'm not proud of it. But Latinas just aren't my type.
Flynn: But you're a Latino yourself.
Father Jonas: That's all the explanation you get.
That is one of the most ridiculous scenes in recent history. Kudos, TNT!
The VH1 summer series Daytime Divas follows the world of fictional daytime talk shows, and they're as anti-Christian as the real ones. In the pilot episode, Christian character Heather (Fiona Gubelmann) is painted as a hateful, hypocritical woman with a transgender son who she lets dress as a girl and be referred to as Ella at home, which she justifies as being "God's will."
Heather: Can you try to act happy? I got Junior into a shirt and a tie.
Brad Sr: He's wearing girl's underpants.
Heather: Well, then you should be proud that your child can compromise.
Brad Sr: Giving in to him, turning him into a girl.
Heather: She said she's a girl since the day she understood the word. It's God's will and God doesn't make mistakes.
Reporter: Heather, any updates on Maxine?
Heather: Her condition is grave. I ask that everyone, please, pray for her recovery. You've gotta start accepting her as Ella. You know, we can't keep it a secret forever.
We find out that's not this Christian family's only secret. At first it is implied that Heather's husband is abusive, but then it turns out they're into S&M where he spanks her with a cross-decorated paddle while she reads the Bible, leaving a cross-shaped bruise on her body. A coworker describes it as "weird Christian, S&M role-play shit" or a "kinky three-way with God."
Later in the season, Heather's marriage is on the rocks and she finds herself attracted to a lesbian co-host and fantasizing about kissing her. To add insult to injury, she goes to her priest to try to figure out her feelings and ends up making out with him, too.
Beat up (pun intended!) on the Christian character - a classic television move, right? At least this show was canceled.
Young Sheldon is a prequel to the CBS sitcom Big Bang Theory and follows one of its main characters, Sheldon Cooper, as a young child. The adult Sheldon on Big Bang Theory loves to slam Christianity and his "Bible-thumpin' bumpkin" mother and we soon learn that young Sheldon (Iain Armitage) shows similar disdain for the religion.
But it was more than a little disturbing that after a real-life shooting in a small town Texas church that left 26 people dead, including more than a dozen children, they saw fit to air an episode in which Sheldon argues with his small town Texas church pastor about the existence of God then stalks angrily down the church aisle vowing to "destroy" the pastor. Of course, the pastor is played as hokey and rather dimwitted, too.
In another episode, Sheldon wants to learn about other religions. He is told Judaism is about being punished by God and following "ancient, pointless rules" and that Catholicism is designed to make people feel bad - "That's how you know it's working."
Sheldon: Tam, you're Catholic, right?
Sheldon: Explain it to me.
Tam: Explain what?
Sheldon: Well, for starters, who do you pray to?
Tam: I guess, Jesus, God and Mary.
Sheldon: Jesus isn't God?
Tam: No, He's his Son. But you do eat Him, and drink His blood. Oh, there's also a Ghost, but not the scary kind.
Sheldon: Like Casper?
Sheldon: And how does the Pope work?
Tam: Well, the Pope lives in Italy. He has a special car, and a big pointy hat. It's a wonderful hat.
Sheldon: And is there anything else I should know about?
Tam: Every once in a while, you have to confess your sins to a priest.
Sheldon: Not me, I don't have any sins.
Tam: Then you have the sin of pride.
Sheldon: Your religion is making me feel bad.
Tam: That's how you know it's working.
Christianity is about making people feel good. It's about redemption through Christ, and His love for us when we don't deserve it (which, let's face it, is usually). Not that we'd expect a Hollywood show to portray that.
NBC's new show Rise has only aired three episodes so far, but it's already earned a spot on our list. One of the numerous bleeding heart storylines about the noble struggle of a teacher and his students to put on a high school play about abortion, homosexuality, masturbation, incest, teen suicide, “sexually repressed teenagers,” rape and other violence against the wishes of intolerant parents and administrators involves a Roman Catholic boy and his parents.
Simon Saunders (Ted Sutherland) initially doesn't want to play the role of a gay character because he feels it would embarrass his devout family but after talking with his teacher Mr. Mazzu, he tells his parents, "I've thought about it, and I prayed about it, and I decided that this is something that I should bring to the world." His parents read the play and decide, reasonably, that it is "absolutely inappropriate," but Simon refuses to quit.
In just one episode, Simon went from wanting to honor his family and being uncomfortable with acting out a homosexual love scene to now openly defying his parents. By the second episode there are hints that Simon is finding himself attracted to the boy who plays his gay lover.
In the third episode, his parents decide to send him to - horror of horrors - a Catholic school and Mr. Mazzu tries to convince them to let Simon stay. The father is resolute that the play goes against everything the family believes in, but there are indications the mother is struggling with the decision and will rebel against her husband in future episodes.
The entire show is so nauseating with its agenda-driven liberal idealism, but what takes the cake is this scene where the Saunders meet with their rather effeminate priest to discuss Simon's participation in it and the priest "appreciates" the play.
Robert: I’ll make this simple. We don’t think this material is appropriate.
Mother: Stanton Drama has always been about families. Young children attend these performances. Please, Father. We know he listens to you.
Priest: Well, Simon and I have always talked about ways that he can give back to his community in his works.
Robert: This is not his works, Father, this is trash.
Robert: If this Lou Mazzuchelli wants to direct some kind of radical theater, let him go to New York City. This is Stanton Drama. These are our kids onstage acting this stuff out. Have you read this?
Priest: I have, yes, and I appreciate its message of the perils of living in a repressed society. But it is quite provocative. I suppose it comes down to trust. Do you trust this director?
How does one even begin to cover AMC's blasphemous drama Preacher? We could talk about the pastor who ministers to women by locking them in cages or how the main characters tear pages from the Bible to roll joints. Maybe the Dan Brown-style revelation that Jesus fathered a child and The Grail protected his lineage all this time. Or how the Messiah descendant of Jesus is a mentally handicapped result of inbreeding.
As if that all weren't bad enough, the absolute worst is that Preacher features an extended graphic and gratuitous sex scene portraying Jesus losing his virginity with a married woman the night he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. We'll spare you that part of the outrageously disgusting scene and begin this clip immediately after, as Jesus gets dressed, saying he already had his last "supper" and has to go "do something for his dad."
Jesus: I gotta go.
Woman: You won't stay for supper?
Jesus: I already ate.
Woman: Oh. Okay.
Jesus: Oh, no, it's... it's not like that. I just -- I have to do something... for my dad.
Woman: In the middle of the night?
Jesus: I made him a promise. Tonight meant a lot to me. And no matter what happens, I want you to remember one thing. I love you.
Jesus: You -- And also... you can never, ever tell anyone about this. Cool?
Disciple: Jesus! Jesus, are you in there?!
Jesus: Stay right there. What's up, guys?
Disciple: Where the hell have you been? We've been worried sick. You said you were going to the garden to pray.
Jesus: Yeah. I was in the garden. You guys were passed out, so I came here... to bless this ailing woman.
Disciple: The Chief Priests are on the warpath. We gotta move.
Jesus: Chill, bro.
Disciple: No, I will not chill. They wanna kill you, man.
Jesus: Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
Disciple: The hell does that even mean, man?
Jesus: You'll understand... someday.
Disciple: Come on. Judas is meeting us at midnight with the getaway donkeys.
Jesus: It's been real.
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
That all is tough to stomach during this holiest of weeks as we approach Good Friday and Easter and think about Jesus' sacrifice for us all. Jesus died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven. Let us all pray that the people involved in these heinous scenes will come to know God and experience His love and forgiveness.