Thursday, December 22, 2005

A Devilish Daniel Webster!

According to this story from Beliefnet, NBC Television has a real treat in store for people interested in religion: their upcoming drama series, The Book of Daniel, is about a married Episcopal priest, Daniel Webster, who is addicted to Vicodin, who is married and has a gay Republican son and a drug-dealing 16-year-old daughter. The American Family Association notes that the priest's secretary is a lesbian who is sleeping with his sister-in-law. Did I mention he also has a 16-year-old adopted son who is sleeping with the bishop's daughter?

The writer for the series, Jack Kenny, who describes himself as a real "spiritual" person, is also a practicing homosexual "in recovery from Catholicism" and studying Buddhist beliefs.

His main character, Daniel Webster, talks to Jesus, who appears to him every now and then in times of great stress. Kenny does "believe in Jesus, but not necessarily all the myth surrounding him."

NBC purportedly is launching the series in an effort to recover from a fourth-place finish in recent ratings. It’s not that the Episcopalians haven’t had enough bias press. With friends like NBC who needs enemies. After all who says the media is not paying enough attention to religion?

It’s a drama with comedic aspects and is being kicked off Jan. 6 with back-to-back episodes. It is scheduled to air regularly Friday nights at 9 p.m. The troubled, pill-popping Episcopal priest is played by veteran actor Aidan Quinn, who talks with a hip manifestation of Jesus, played by Garret Dillahunt.

Of course, “The Book of Daniel” is being touted as the riskiest new show of the year. It is also billed as the only show on television in which Jesus appears as a recurring character.

As NBC itself explains the show, it focuses on “an Episcopalian minister and father. He finds himself conversing with Jesus - his mentor and friend - who helps navigate family problems, church politics and even his nagging reliance on prescription painkillers.”

Comedienne Phyllis Diller, as a member of Daniel Webster’s flock, will help to keep us laughing.

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked” (NIV, Galatians 6.7)

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