Last week’s episode of TBS’s The Detour might have poked fun at liberals, but this week the joke is on us. And it was far from funny.
April 4’s episode, “The Job,” was filled with utter contempt and intolerance towards Christianity. The first hint of trouble came when main characters Nate (Jason Jones) and Robin (Natalie Zea) Parker are having difficulty hailing a taxi and Nate turns to silently pray about it.
Robin: Hey! Hey! Hey, then turn your light off if somebody's in there! God. I'm gonna be late for SoulCycle.
Nate: It's gonna be okay.
Robin: It's Amanda K. She's the only one who plays the trop deep house I like.
Nate: Then take Amanda J.'s class. -Amanda J.? Amanda J. Just plays regular deep house. Okay.
Robin: What are you doing? Are you praying? Hey.
Robin: Are you praying?
Nate: No. It looked…
Robin: It looked like you were praying.
Nate: Why would I do that?
Robin: I don't know. But if you weren't doing that, what were you doing?
Nate: I was just having a little faith that a cab will come along and, uh, you know, putting some good vibes out there.
Robin: To whom?
Nate: To anyone who's listening. I don't know. The universe.
Robin: Nobody's listening.
Nate: Okay. Sure. Ah.
Robin: What? Oh, 'cause you … That was luck.
Nate: All right. Call it what you want.
Robin: I'm gonna call it luck.
Nate: Faith, luck -- same thing.
Robin: Oh, is it the same thing? Hold on just a second. Last I checked, wars aren't fought in the name of luck.
Robin: Children aren't abused because of luck. And I'm quite certain there's no such thing as organized luck.
Nate: Okay. Have fun in Amanda J.'s class.
Robin: Yeah, it's Amanda K.
Nate: Okay. Hey, can't you just be appreciative of how great our life is right now? Three months ago, we were living in a trailer. You know what I did?
Robin: You got a job.
Nate: Yes, I know. But before that I…
Robin: Don't you say it.
Nate: I prayed. I prayed, and someone answered that prayer. Someone's listening.
Robin: Did God set you up on Linkedin?
Nate: No, but I'm pretty sure I'm the first person who's ever been hired by it. Okay? That's a miracle.
Robin: That's probably true. Bye.
Nate: I'm praying for you.
Robin: Please don't.
Wow! Is your jaw on the ground like mine was? Just wait. It’ll drop even more as the show progresses.
“Please don’t?” Why not, Robin? If you really believe there’s no God, what is prayer going to do to you? And why would it be the end of your world if your husband were a believer? Because of all the hatred you harbor towards religion?
Sure, wars have been fought over religion. They’ve also been fought over other many things. War is an unfortunate part of life. It doesn’t mean God doesn’t, or shouldn’t, exist.
And children being abused because of religion? Wow. Talk about a low blow. There are certainly sick people in the world who abuse their power in every walk of life. But to claim child abuse happens because of religion? That’s not even close to the truth.
But the show gets even worse. So much worse.
When Nate arrives at work to find the business has gone bankrupt, he begins to pray. His boss asks, “What the hell are you doing, Son? Hm? You're not praying, are you? I thought I hired a thinking man, not some child who still believes in fairy tales. Come on, grow up.”
Nate decides to approach a “very promising lead” who is the head of a Christian church to get him to save the company. It’s a very, very odd Christian church. One like I have never seen in my more than 40 years of being a Christian.
Nate brings Robin and their two kids to the church, run by Australians Levi and Laura, and begs them “not to judge.” Laura greets Nate with a long, inappropriate kiss on the lips when they arrive. Levi tries to do the same with Robin but she pushes him away.
Meanwhile, the Parker’s kids are actually enjoying interacting with the church’s youth group while the adults talk business, but it’s made clear that they’re being brainwashed by “tricks” the church is using to lure them in.
Robin asks Laura how she and Levi met, and Laura answers, “Believe it or not, it was actually an arranged marriage.” Robin replies, “I do believe it,” then jokes, “How else do you preserve the master race?”
Of course, the show has Laura answer with an enthusiastic, “Exactly!” Because of course Christians are all for white supremacy!
When Laura and Levi’s five girls, all beautiful, young blondes who appear to be the same age and sing for the church, ask Robin and Nate’s children if they’ve ever been baptized, Nate and Robin’s son answers, “My mom said heaven's a lie so people don't get scared.”
Bet you thought I was finally done there. Nope. Not even close. Check out this lovely performance by Laura, Levi and their daughters for their congregation:
Yes. That just happened. And apparently, even though Robin is rabidly liberal, she couldn’t even be moved by the pro-abortion, pro-gay, and yes, even anti-Christian (oddly enough) message in the rap song.
I’d like to say it ends there, but there are more awkward, long kisses on the mouth from the five daughters to Nate, more strange “tricks” that we Christians apparently play on others to woo them, accusations that Christians are pedophiles, and … well, you get the idea by now.
There’s one other moment in the show that felt like a knife in my heart, though. It was so quick that if you blinked, you would have missed it, but it needs to be called out.
When Robin was talking alone with Laura, she gestured to Nate in a suicide by gun motion, complete with her finger in her mouth, pulling the trigger and then hands behind her head flowing out to signify brains being blown out.
This past weekend, my son lost his best friend to suicide by gun. So I’m not laughing.
His parents and sister will have to bury their young son and brother (he was only 21-years-old) and deal with the aftermath of this tragedy for the rest of their lives. But I suppose a show that can so coldly bash good, honest people who believe in God, can just as easily make light of suicide too, not bothering to care if families touched by such a tragedy might be watching.
I pray to God, yes God, that they weren’t watching.
My youngest daughter also struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts and had to be admitted to a mental hospital for a week a couple of years ago. Guess what finally transformed her? It wasn’t the hospital. It wasn’t even the medication, though that does help.
It was our church and going to summer camp with our youth group that completely changed my child and put the light back into her eyes. She came back from camp a completely renewed person, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. She now sees a counselor from our church bi-weekly as well who helps to keep that light shining in her eyes.
But yes, The Detour. By all means. Carry on with your warped sense of humor and contempt towards Christians, all while pretending to be tolerant as liberals do. You can stay inside of your close-minded, hateful Hollywood bubble, convinced that Christianity is all bad and hurts people, while ignoring the reality of how many lives it has saved, literally and spiritually.
The rest of us who know better will keep praying to Jesus and celebrating our faith unashamedly, despite how you try to portray us. And we’ll also never mock something as serious and tragic as suicide. Because true Christians, who aren’t weird or out to molest children, actually care about and respect the lives of people other than themselves.
Too bad the same can’t be said for The Detour.