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by Dr. D ~

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-Bert and Ernie Are Just Friends?

by Dr. D ~


                      (Image Source: Wikipedia)

Over and over again Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie have been characterized as a gay couple by different people, magazines, and even other TV shows. Time and time again Sesame Street has officially denied that the two are anything more than friends, and besides that, they are just puppets.

The controversy was elevated to an entirely different level last week when, in an interview in a LGBT magazine, Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman said that he drew from his own personal experiences of being in a gay relationship when he wrote scripts for the puppet duo.

Then later in the week in an interview with the New York Times he claims that his statements were ‘taken out of context.’ Here’s the story from the Christian Post:

"As a writer, you just bring what you know into your work," explained Saltzman. "Somehow, in the uproar, that turned into Bert and Ernie being gay … There is a difference."

In a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind the long-running children’s television program, explained that the two puppets were not gay, but rather "best friends."

"As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves…"

"Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics … they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."

<Read the whole article>

Response: So there you have it, Bert and Ernie are officially just good friends, puppet friends. There has never been anything in the show that would indicate anything different than that but adults have read into their relationship something that was never part of the children’s program.

Fact is, designating the two as a gay couple would be needless and inappropriate for their target audience- pre-school children. If that did happen it would probably result in many parents (especially Christian parents) boycotting and abandoning what is an excellent learning and fun program for their children. No doubt that prospect lead Saltzman to do his ‘re-take’ in the New York Times last week.               *Top

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-‘The View’ Bleeps ‘Jesus’ Because It’s Offensive?

by Dr. D ~

Recently on the TV show- “The View” the hosts were discussing the idea that some of the 10 Commandments might be ‘obsolete.’ During the conversation that followed, the name of ‘Jesus’ was bleeped out twice. Hank Barrien of the Daily Wire lists 3 possible reasons for censoring the name of The Lord:

1. The producers on the show revere Jesus’ name. (Okay, okay, let me know when you’ve stopped laughing. As Brandon Morse of RedState has pointed out, “The View has mocked Christians in the past for not wanting to pay for people’s birth control. The View tried to also attack a coach for praying after the game on the 50-yard line.”)

2. They don’t like messing around with the name of God. (Nahh, watch the clip; they’ve got no problem mentioning God’s name.)

3. They might not want to offend those on the Left to whom Christianity is a dirty word. (Hmm.)

Response: Obviously it is number 3. The leftist producers of  ‘The View’ consider the name of ‘Jesus’ to be offensive and are concerned that the majority of their viewers might also be offended by merely mentioning his name. 

An increasing number of Americans now consider ‘Jesus’ and Christianity to be offensive. I remember when I was growing up in the 50’s nearly everyone considered themselves to be Christians, at least cultural Christians. We are now living in a far different time and culture.

Is this a ‘sign of the times’? When Jesus spoke about the ‘last days’ he predicted that many would be offended and persecuted over his name:

“… and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. –Matthew 24:9-13 (ESV)

“And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” Matthew 11:6 (ESV)

“For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38 (ESV)


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-God’s Not Dead 2: Farfetched or Reality?

by Dr. D ~

There are a number of different reactions to the recent release of the film “God’s Not Dead 2.” Religious liberty in America is front and center in the plot of the movie. Some atheists are complaining that the scenario presented in the film is farfetched while many Christians groups are noting how the script follows real life and reflects the current decline of freedom of Religion in the USA.

From the Blaze:

…   The plot of “God’s Not Dead 2? centers on fictional character Grace Wesley, a Christian high school teacher who is quiet and subdued, yet finds herself in the middle of a boisterous battle over the separation of church and state after she discusses the historical nature of Jesus Christ.  …

“When Brooke, a hurting student grieving the loss of her brother, reaches out to Grace, their coffee-shop conversation leads to Grace sharing the hope she finds in Christ,” reads an official synopsis. “However, when Brooke asks an honest question about Jesus in the classroom, Grace’s reasoned response lands her in big trouble — almost before she finishes giving her answer.”

<Read the whole article>

For a response from a lawyer who has defended Christians in similar religious liberty cases see Townhall:

…Erik Stanley, a lawyer for Alliance Defending Freedom, argues it’s not as farfetched as you may think.

“I think that what happened in the movie illustrates what has happened in classrooms across the country already,” Stanley told Townhall. “Students and people of faith, teachers included, are silenced simply because of their religious beliefs.”  …

The subplot in God’s Not Dead 2 is also one with which Stanley is all too familiar. A religious witch-hunt ensues after local officials subpoena pastors and demand to see their sermons. An almost similar scenario unfolded in Houston a couple of years ago, when the city, led by Mayor Annise Parker, demanded to see communications belonging to local pastors.

<Read the whole article>

And here is another response well worth reading Mark Ellis of PJ Media: “Art Imitates Life in God’s Not Dead 2

Response: I have not seen the movie yet so this is not a review.  Nevertheless I can speak to the plot and whether it is farfetched or not. All three of the articles above list real cases where religious liberty was or is under assault in America. In addition, there are literally over a hundred different articles that we have written on the main page of this website documenting different challenges to freedom of religion in America over the last 5 years or so.

The point is, the plot of this movie is not farfetched at all. In fact the film will be successful and have a large support base within the conservative Christian community mainly because real people of faith are actually facing discrimination daily in this country. Nearly every Christian has faced some form or another of prejudice, hostility, or ill-treatment for their faith or at least knows someone who has.                

I do not believe that what is happening in America rises to the level of persecution. But we are quickly going down a road where freedom of religion is in decline as the First Amendment is being re-interpreted and actually trumped in favor of competing civil rights. It is now common place for Christians, and particularly Christians business owners, to find themselves being discriminated against ironically in the name of anti-discrimination.                 *Top

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-ABC Cancels ‘Of Kings and Prophets’: When Bible Stories Are Rejected by Christians

by Dr. D ~

abc Kings and Prophets

When are Bible stories rejected by Christians? ABC executives are probably asking that question now since their TV ‘Bible’ series “of Kings and Prophets” was such a abject failure  that the network has cancelled it after only two episodes and doesn’t even plan to air any of the remaining episodes that are completed.

When a TV series is extremely popular on TV it results in the production of many more similar projects to tap into the same large audience. Over 100 million Americans viewed “The Bible” mini series in 2013. Subsequently many TV executives started to come up with ideas for projects that used the Bible and tapped into the large Christian audience that made “The Bible” such a success.

Along the line, somebody came up with the idea to try make a series that loosely used Bible stories as the background and source for presenting extreme violence, and sexual content like HBO’s  "Game of Thrones." The plan was to reflect elements from two different successful series and potentially create an even larger audience in the process.

Obviously no one at ABC/Disney bothered to bring aboard an actual Bible believing ‘Christian’ in the developmental stages of the project to get an idea of how it might play with the supposed target audience. Finally when Christians, like Parents Television Council, were allowed to preview the series it was too late to be redeemed and the Christian reviews nailed the coffin shut and the quintessential lady was already warming up for the finish before the first episode was even aired.

What is the lesson to be learned from this failure? ‘The Bible’ series was popular with a hundred million Christians or so because it took the Bible serious and reflected Biblical values. Even when it deviated slightly from the Biblical record it still respected the over all story and religious teaching of the book. The ABC series loosely used stories and characters from the Bible but reflected an entirely different morality and world view. Unfortunately, the lesson that most TV executives will probably take from this development will be to stay away from the Bible as a source for TV since it can engender such a passionate opposition and negative response.               *Top

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-ABC TV Series Shows ‘Real’ Contempt for Jesus and Christianity?

by Dr. D ~

The Real O'Neals

This is my second article this week about how TV programming is driving the American culture away from Biblical values. This example is far more serious. ABC’s  The Real O’Neals goes beyond just making fun of Christianity along with people of faith and Catholicism in particular, but actually involves offensive over-the-top supposed ‘appearances’ of Jesus in the process. Here’s the story from Charisma News:

It is almost impossible to describe the depth of depravity found in the sitcom The Real O’Neals. It is impossible to list them all, so here are a few scene descriptions from the show:

  • Jesus appears where only the gay son can see and talk to Him, and He is annoyed by the mom’s strict guidelines for her family.
  • The daughter steals money she is supposedly raising for charity.
  • The daughter "attempts to prove" that there is no God in a science fair project.
  • A statue of Mary is kept above the O’Neal’s toilet to remind the boys to put the seat down.
  • The first jab at Jesus comes only 52 seconds into the first episode.
  • The mother encourages her 16-year-old gay son to "try sex" with a girl.
  • Vulgar language 
  • The mom makes pancakes shaped like the face of Jesus to guilt trip her anorexic son into eating.

<Read the whole article>

Response: For years, people of faith were subtly made fun of on TV shows but lately the drum beat has been far more direct and in many cases down right offensive.  In this case the producer of the show, Dan Savage, is an open opponent of Christianity who has made a career out of encouraging hatred toward people of faith in the past and his current series reflects all of that and more.

For some of my more secular readers to more fully appreciate how offensive this show might be to Christians, change the ‘faith’ to Islam and have a segment where Muhammad appears to the gay son instead of Jesus and let Quranic teaching be made fun of instead of the Bible. It would be an unacceptable and outrageous example of Islamophobia in that case.

But it is open season on Christians and Christianity among many in the American intelligentsia today, especially in the media and in entertainment. When the show fails, the network will wonder why and probably never consider the possibility that a hundred or so million American Christians did not like the running anti-religious bias in the show and found it all rather offensive to their faith at the very least.               *Top

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-TV ‘Comedy’ Excuses Bestiality?

by Dr. D ~

Broad City

          (Broad City @Facebook)

We have been talking on this website for 10 years now about how the American culture and morality in general is in a sharp decline. Nothing demonstrates this like what is currently passing for entertainment and especially as comedy on television these days.

In a recent episode of Broad City, bestiality was comically passed on as no big deal. Here’s the story from Charisma News:

This leads us to Broad City going down a new avenue, bestiality. (What is up with the bestiality theme on TV this week?) In the episode, Ilana gets promoted to social media manager for her company. They are running a sale on colonics, so to promote the sale, she puts up a video of a guy having sex with a horse. Ilana argues that the video was not inappropriate because the horse was having sex with the man and not the man having sex with the horse.

<Read the whole article>

Response:  I can remember back in the 50’s when I was growing up that bedroom scenes were not even allowed on TV unless there were twin beds. That seems kind of laughable now since full nudity is common place on cable and partial exposure on regular network TV. Plus mature themes that most folks would have had a hard time even talking about a generation ago are the rule today and taken for granted.

If someone living in the 50’s was transported to the 21st century by a time machine they would be shocked and horrified about the graphic violence, sex, and immorality which is now common place and tolerated as entertainment on the boob tube. Also shocking would be the fact that TV was no longer a 10 inch black and white circle to be viewed but now a realistic 50 or more inches in living color taking up an entire wall in many home today.

Looking back, those of us who were born at the coming of TV following WWII and have seen it blossom into what it is today have been like the proverbial ‘frogs in the water’ and now it is boiling over with bestiality? Gone are the days when TV shows had real heroes that stood for what was right and reflected a Biblical standard of morality. Obviously times have changed and nobody knows it more than some of us who have lived through it all.               *Top

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-New TLC Series: ‘Answered Prayers’

by Dr. D ~

God still answers prayers. To prove the point, Roman Downey is involved with hosting and producing a new TV series on TLC called ‘Answered Prayers.’ Here’s the story from the  Christian Post:

Roma Downey’s riveting new six-part series "Answered Prayers," which features real-life stories of people in potentially life-threatening situations who experience divine intervention, says she’s "thankful" and "humbled" by fans’ support for the show.

"We are humbled by the support of so many national prayer leaders, and thankful for how this show is inspiring so many to pray again," said Downey about the series which has now moved to primetime at 8 p.m. ET Sundays on the TLC network.

As one of the show’s executive producers, Downey hosts each one-hour episode that incorporates actual footage and interviews paired with powerful reenactments.

<Read the whole article>

Response: A few years ago, Roma and her husband were able to convince TV executives to air their Bible series and that was a real demonstration of answered prayer. The success of that series has now led to this new one on TLC that shows God still working miracles and saving people today. A great uplifting series for family viewing.               *Top

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-On Hallmark: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered: From Paris With Love”

by Dr. D ~


Official Blurb:

Sometimes no matter how hard we try to keep our lives in order, the threads can start unraveling in an instant. That’s what happened to Oliver O’Toole the day his wife suddenly left him and ran off to Paris. His faith eventually glued the pieces of his heart back together. Hope anchored him. And now love will challenge him to do the right thing when she returns. . .Don’t miss the highly anticipated new movie from Martha Williamson SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED: FROM PARIS WITH LOVE, starring Eric Mabius (Ugly Betty), Kristin Booth (The Kennedys), Geoff Gustafson (The Interview) and Crystal Lowe (Smallville), with Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace).

<View Video Trailer>


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“Little Boy”

by Dr. D ~

Great family film now showing (Opens April 24, 2015).

About The Film

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