Friday, March 16, 2007

God on Nightline

Yawn. Stayed up late last night to watch "Nightline" for the first time ever because our dear PeaceBang of "PeaceBang's Beauty Tips for Ministers" was featured as a Sign of the Times. Not that she knows that she is "Our Dear PB" in my mind because I am a total lurker on her blog, but there you are. She's special to me. She made me get rid of all my jumpers--now that's love. And that's power because I loved my comfy jumpers.

(She's also the one who inspired me to start this blog--that and blogger's tempting little "create a blog" link in the upper right hand corner. Who knew it was so easy to spout ignorant opinions in a public forum?)

Of course PB's segment was on last, requiring me to stay up until midnight, if you can believe it. The first segment was on a project called "The GodMen," trying to reclaim the masculinity of Christianity. The announcer kept referring to "muscular Christianity," which has historical resonances thta I don't think he quite understood.

And so in a 30-minute program, we saw two segments on two extremely different slices of Christianity, and I've got to tell you, I think both of them made people of faith look a little ridiculous to people outside the charmed circle. They fed into stereotypes I suspect people already hold about Christianity in this country.

The Godmen seminar was meeting in a mall in Tennessee. The part of the presentation we saw was very conservative in flavor and suggestively patriarchal, meeting in a dark room, high tech, multimedia, drums. They particularly focused on a presentation about pornography, because of course those conservatives are totally obsessed with sex. And then, on the other hand, you've got the UU minister in Massachusetts, and they showed a large whitewalled church that was largely empty, I was so sorry to see. Stodgy mainline is what it projected. And the suggestion that all PB is interested in is how she looks, which is not what she's about at all.

I suspect the non-religious watching either one of those would see them and say, "Thank God I'm not like these people." And settle back into the couch, congratulating themselves on their wisdom.

The comments on PB's blog today included a couple of people saying, "Godmen--creepy." Well, guess what? The Godmen folk were watching the segment on PB and criticizing her, which makes me sad. Hellooo people! Let's not cast stones. Neither one of you appeared as you truly are because hellooo! the Nightline people decided how you would look. Pray that God will use this for good and move on.

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