Actually, He wants us to stop calling ourselves Christian. Mostly because, He says, we're giving him a bad name.
Case in point: The American Family Association (AFA) has just gotten wind of the fact that the American Broadcasting Association (ABC), one of three major television networks, is planning to run a series on the book, "Good Christian Bitches".
Or, as the AFA demures, "Good Christian B-tches".
That's about the only thing they are demurring. Mostly, they are in a hot sweaty lather about the proposed TV series, saying,
It's a Christian-bashing version of ABC's current "Desperate Housewives." The show centers on a recently divorced mother of two who moves back to the affluent neighborhood where she grew up to find herself in the whirling midst of gossip, Botox and fraud.You can always depend on these folks for a good laugh. Except, they ain't jokin'. Indeed, if you head on over to their site, you can click on a link that will add your name to a petition to demand that ABC drop the show.
Disney-owned ABC has no reservations about creating hate speech against Christians, but you can be sure they would never consider a show called "Good Muslim B-tches" or "Good Jewish B-tches."
With a title like "Good Christian B-tches," you can imagine what kind of show it will be. Even if they change the title, the content will still mock people of faith.
I'm sure ABC is shocked - SHOCKED, I tell you! - that they would get this reaction from the folks at the AFA.
Now, I haven't heard that the AFA has come out, as it were, against the TV Program "Desperate Housewives" - the entertainment value of which is completely lost on me. I find that program generally insulting to women, even though I know that there are 'desperate housewives' - of all sorts of religious persuasion - living in affluent suburbs all over the country.
I just find that program an unbearably sad commentary on the soft underbelly of heterosexism and classism. It's not funny. Well, it's not my kind of humor.
Some of us, who actively work against these prejudices and their various forms of oppression, are not amused.
The folks at the Parents Television Council, have also issued a statement which at least begins to address that point. A little.
“ABC’s decision is not only an affront to women, it blatantly attacks the world’s largest faith," PTC President Tim Winter said in a statement Wednesday. "The ‘b-word’ is toxic and is used to degrade, abuse, harass, bully and humiliate women. And the ‘Christian’ element only adds insult to injury. Regardless of whether the title ultimately makes it to broadcast, ABC has publicly proclaimed its values and it has tarnished the Disney brand."Not only is is an affront to women . . . it blatantly attacks Christianity. One gets the message very quickly that the former is much more important to these folks than the latter.
Make no mistake. That's because, to these folks, it is.
If you rush too quickly by this whole embarrassing if not somewhat humorous kerfuffle, however, you'll miss a subtle point which Sarah Morice Brubaker raised in her essay for Religion Dispatches.
"Okay, this is fantastic. I mean, how lovely that the AFA now believes hate speech is worth taking seriously! And how lovely that its spokespeople can run mental scenarios in which hate speech is directed at Jews and Muslims. (Gosh, wonder if they’ve heard about that guy who said that Muslims, as a group, are inbred and have low IQs?).Before you all rise to meet the Lord in the air, it may be a good idea to get this all into perspective.
Clearly the eschaton is upon us. The American Family Association is worried about hate speech and an organization headed by Bozell is concerned about misogyny. The lion is laying down with the lamb. The messiah is due any minute. Best get right with God, folks, because it’s all Hicks paintings, angelic choirs and vegetarianism from here on out."
The conversation has been swirling in feminist circles for a few years now that we ought to take back the word and, "Say it loud, I'm a Bitch And I'm Proud."
It's sort of the way African Americans have taken back the word "Black" or some LGBT people have begun to call themselves "Queer".
The thinking goes that a woman who adopts the label of “bitch” for herself subverts the social stigma associated with women being forthright, assertive, and selfish.
As Tina Fey once said on Saturday Night Live in response to the shameful sexist attacks on then Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton, "Bitch is the new Black."
The important thing is that women can call themselves and each other "bitch" but no one else can. See?
Sorry, that doesn't work for me. It doesn't translate the way "Black" does. I don't think it's appropriate in any situation to use the word for a woman that is most appropriately applied to a female dog.
But, I digress. And, it's so easy to do with the folks on the Right who actually think they are "right". Where to begin? Oh, right. I'm back.
The point is - at least for me - that, once again, the hypocrisy of the so-called "Conservative Christian Right" is exposed publicly.
You might remember that these good Christian folk did this just recently when they slammed Rob Bell's new book, "Love Wins" before they even read it.
Actually, if these 'good Christian folk' were to be true to the Scripture they worship and adore ("Bibliolatry. The idolatry of the Bible. From which their Theolatry - The idolatry of their own theology - flows.) they would, in fact, see all women as bitches - and objects of disdain, insignificant chattel, manipulative, scheming seductresses and the cause of The Fall of MANkind.
That's pretty much the image of women throughout Holy Writ - save for a few passages like Ester and Ruth and Judith, or where Jesus is very clear about elevating the status of women in antiquity.
I don't think you're going to see a TV add with 'good Christian women, all neatly coiffured and doe-eyed, saying softly and demurely, "I'm not a b-itch". As I recall, that didn't work so well for Christine "I'm not a witch" O'Donnell.
Neither do I think we're going to see any adds on TV with discretely attired women wearing cross jewelry or choir robes saying, "I'm a feminist." You certainly won't get good Christian men in proper business suits and helmet-head hair saying that.
Oh, maybe in the eschaton but I don't think there'll be television in the eschaton.
The real reason these folks are in a hot sweat about this whole thing is because the very title of the proposed show exposes their hypocrisy. Indeed, I would suggest that ABC consider changing the title to "Good Christian Bitches and Bastards" - because many of these people (not all but many) display the very antithesis of good Christian behavior. Indeed, some of them are the most mean-spirited creatures on the face of God's green earth.
They consistently shoot themselves in the foot and then blame everyone else because they're limping. Being "persecuted" for one's religious beliefs is part of their whole gestalt. If they're not feeling persecuted, they create the situation to prove their point and satisfy their Theolatry.
Which is why Jesus wants his religion back.
I don't know. Maybe the show could work, if - IF - they add a segment at the end of each show with a group of real Christian women who would review the evening's offering, sigh, roll their eyes, and walk away in disgust.
Or, perhaps it could end, like the Vicar of Dibly (Talk about a good Christian bitch! Here's one of my favorite moments from that show) with a few "knock-knock" jokes.
Knock, knock. Who's there? Orange. Orange who? Orange you glad you're not THAT kind of Christian?
Or, maybe, like Jesus, the women would just move a stick around in the dirt for a while and then say, "Let the one who is without sin cast the first stone."
I'm betting that the folks from AFA and PTC would be the first to comment, "Now, those women - the ones at the end of the show - are the REAL B-itches."
And, God, sitting from Her Heavenly throne, would throw Her head back in laughter, slap Her ample thigh, turn and say to Jesus and all the angels and archangels, and the cherubim and seraphim and all the company of heaven, "Ain't that a b-itch!"