Jeremy Stein - Journal

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Christians Depicted in the Media

I am outraged. Completely outraged. There is really no other word to describe it.

How long will we put up with the entertainment industry portraying Christians as hypocritical bigoted buffoons? How long will we stand by as our good name is mocked and taunted?

A series of Christian-bashing articles just premiered in Playboy magazine. While disguised as a look at life in the Midwest, it portrays Christians as duplicitous and insincere. I encourage Christians from all walks of life to inform the management of the magazine that this type of misrepresentation is unacceptable.


The above was satire. If my point is too obtuse (it wouldn’t be the first time), keep reading…

What was your reaction when you read about my outrage? Hopefully it was something like, “Hey! You shouldn’t be reading Playboy!” Or perhaps, “Huh? I think their depiction of Christians is the least of the reasons not to read that magazine.”

Here’s what inspired this post: I was listening to Christian radio on the commute home and a I heard a call to action. It was in response to a new television show that depicts Christians uncharitably. The show was then identified as a new reality TV show from ABC called “Welcome to the Neighborhood”. (Previous ABC reality shows include “Wife Swap” and “The Bachelor”. I assume the same moral foundation will guide this show.)

So, uh, if they talked nicely about Christians, then it would be OK? Am I missing something?

June 6, 2005 6 Comments.


  1. David replied:

    Very convincing point, Jeremy. I am so confused why there is such an evangelical push today to:

    1) Make the world more “moral,” and
    2) Get people to respect or think highly of us,

    when indeed the “darkness hates the light.” The world is corrupt and needs more than “morals” to bring about reform. It needs Christ…

    “If you were of this world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of this world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you” (John 15:19).

    June 6th, 2005 at 6:11 pm. Permalink.

  2. Elizabeth replied:

    Yup, you’re both right, about the tv shows, and about how we are to be in the world but not of it. As a proud member of the vast right-wing conspiracy, I have all but stopped watching most network tv, and when I do watch something (NOTHING in the “Reality” genre) I’m not surprized when I feel the need to just turn the thing off. I may be a little disappointed, if it was something that seemed to hold a promise of something intelligent and interesting, but not surprized.

    What gets me is the contemptuous, “You couldn’t possibly know more than I do, you intolerant fool,” attitude. I’m so amazed that they don’t see the irony of their prejudice against us even as they accuse us of that very thing! They claim to have such open minds, such sensitivity, such inclusive thoughts, ideas, and practices…

    I find it very telling that back in — I don’t even remember —the 80s, maybe? Cat Stevens (popular singer/songwriter) was essentially blackballed from popular radio stations because he converted to Islam. The big problem was Islam’s teaching on the treatment of women. Everyone was so outraged they threw out all their Cat Stevens music and for at least a decade and a half one simply did not hear his music on the radio. So now that Muslims are part of the “persecuted” in America, the very same people who were so outraged a while back are now saying that “Islam has just as much right to be a religion and think what they want as Christianity. It’s been a religion as long as Christianity, or even longer, so who are Christians to say that they’re wrong???” Actual words from my very own sister, who never liked Cat Stevens anyway, so she’s able to conveniently side-step that particular issue.

    I started reading a book a while back that I found I couldn’t stomach, but I’m thinking that I may give it another try soon. It’s called The Death of Right and Wrong by Tammy Bruce, former president of NOW and lesbian political activist, I heard part of a conversation with her on “Concerned Women of America” radio, and was intrigued. The book is about the agenda of the homosexual, liberal elite media, and their pals. The reason I couldn’t keep reading it is because she gives VERY graphic examples of “art” funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, and I’m not talking about things that are just inappropriate or wrong, but unthinkably disgusting acts done in front of an audience, or filmed, or whatever. Believe me, you don’t want more information here. I may try to read what she has to say without the examples; I haven’t decided if it would be worth it yet. Anyway, she says that having been included in the inner circle, if you will, of many liberal organizations, she finally had to draw the line and speak out. Their efforts to desensitize and influence the rest of society to such things as “adult on child sex” (note the non-judgemental wording) made her realize that she couldn’t just sit back and let them get away with it without at least trying to educate people. Naturally, instead of criticizing her book on its substance, the people she wrote about attacked her character and background. Not a big surprize. Never heard of her book? Not too surprizing either, huh?…

    June 11th, 2005 at 6:09 pm. Permalink.

  3. Shannon replied:

    Hi, Elizabeth!

    I watched edited excerpts of a movie, “Saved” the other day…it spends its time mocking Christianity. My purpose in watching was mostly to remind myself of how non-Christians sometimes see Christians. However, in spite of the editing I did pick up on some language issues which I have since struggled a bit not to dwell on.

    Would it be possible to find another book on the same topic that wasn’t quite so graphic?

    By the way, I am not saying I should not have watched those excerpts, nor am I saying you shouldn’t read the book…just keep in mind that it is possible to expose oneself to more than one can handle.

    It’s funny how much one’s purpose for reading can influence that sort of thing. I am opposed to casually reading the major books of other religions, for example, but I was skimming the book of Mormon the other day looking for examples to support a point I wanted to make about the differences between the LDS and the Christian church, and I think that was a good thing to do.

    I see I’m off topic as usual.

    Incidentally, I think it would be very nice if more Christians would just turn off the tv, like you were saying, Elizabeth. It would be such a powerful statement. I’m sure lots of Christians help to give lots of those shows the high ratings they get.

    One more comment about the world’s attitude towards us…the nature of the gospel is so uncompromising it is no wonder it brings out such negative responses in non-believers. If you are faced with what Christianity really teaches about our need for salvation, doesn’t it seem like you have to either embrace it or hate it?

    June 19th, 2005 at 1:11 pm. Permalink.

  4. Josef replied:

    I know this is long past the date of the original post, however I must comment in the hopes it may be seen someday.

    The fact is Christians are “hypocritical bigoted buffoons”. At least those in America. From what I can see. If you’re going to be a Christian, follow ALL the Bibles teachings, not just those you agree with. This is not hyperbole, I honestly believe that this is the case.

    I am shamed to have to call myself a Christian (well, I always refer to myself as a Roman Catholic, as I am) when people like this exist. You would be hard put to find anyone like this in my own country.

    Do Christians like yourself just like to bandy about that word to make yourself feel good?

    November 21st, 2005 at 1:54 pm. Permalink.

  5. Jeremy replied:

    Josef, thanks so much for stopping by and adding your comments. I always enjoy having new visitors, even when they’re from Ireland. [Attempting to provoke a comment from Ezra.]

    It sounds like what you’re saying is that American Christians are hypocrites because we criticize other’s for their immorality, but we ourselves fail to completely follow the Bible.

    I agree. That’s roughly why I was upset about the message on Christian radio.

    December 5th, 2005 at 3:47 pm. Permalink.

  6. Tara replied:

    On the other hand, I would be extremely surprised to find that all ‘Christians’ in Ireland (or anywhere else) always follow all the teachings of the Bible. There is, after all, the issue of sin. (“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”)

    December 6th, 2005 at 12:35 am. Permalink.

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