The 'New Normal' Christianity?
October 26, 2012 - 4:43 AM
As the plot unfolds, we're told Brian was raised Catholic, and as he sits in a pew and looks around at religious pictures, he cracks gay jokes in his mind. He sees the Apostles: "Twelve dudes sitting around gossiping and drinking wine. You call that the Last Supper? I call that a Tuesday night."
He sees a picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary: "Hey, Mary — I'm a virgin, too. I've also slept in a barn with three wise men." Then he turns to an image of Jesus on the cross, and says, "I'm sorry. I shouldn't be talking trash about your mother. But you know who judges me? Your father."
The priest asks Brian if he came for confession, so he enters the confessional. But he's really not there to confess, but to continue the wisecracks. "Commandment-wise, I've pretty much done them all, except kill someone and covet my neighbor's wife." That earns the Angry Birds line NBC liked so much.
Brian then says he wants to find godparents for his forthcoming baby from a surrogate mother, but he feels he doesn't have a religious foundation. (Ya think?) The priest insists "the church is not anti-gay," and to which predictably, Brian retorts, "Yet any chance he gets, the Pope treats gay marriage like (actress/reckless driver) Amanda Bynes treats pedestrians."
Then the priest himself turns on the Vicar of Christ as a crazy old loon: "Come on, haven't you ever had a lovable old uncle who popped off intolerant comments at a family barbecue?" Brian asks, "Can't you get fired for saying stuff like that?" The priest wisecracks, "I don't know if you've noticed, but it's pretty hard to get fired around here."
When the priest suggests there are churches "geared to your community," Brian shoots back "I don't want to be forced to use a separate water fountain. Why can't the church just accept all people? ... You toss Jesus' name around. You don't exactly practice what you preach.
Jesus wouldn't judge people on their sexuality because Jesus loved everyone."
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, "New Normal" creator Ryan Murphy admitted the show is based on his life. Surprise, surprise. He was raised Catholic, and Brian, the bitter, wise-cracking gay man, "is clearly me."
This priest not only bashes the Pope as an intolerant old fool, he's recruiting Brian to Fight the Power in earthy language. He says, "I never bought that Jesus-is-a-blissed-out-hippie crap. The man was pissed off." He was "the Chuck Norris of his day," and to turn the other cheek was "an act of defiance. It meant: I will see your insult and raise you a 'suck it!'" Jesus "saw hypocrisy and injustice and said 'Seriously? You guys are idiots. This has got to change!'"
Yup, that's what Jesus said in the Book of Tinseltown, Chapter 90210.
Brian replies, "So you're saying the church can change?" The priest then unspools a gay rights lecture, complete with soothing musical accompaniment: "Well it would. I've seen gay people battle discrimination and march for marriage equality. They demanded the right to fight for their country, but for their souls? Nope. They just give up and walk away. Jesus was a fighter, son. How about you?"
No one on this show expressed an authentically Christian opinion. There are only leftist lectures — predictable, boorish, amateurish. (Unsurprisingly, Murphy is a huge Obama backer who held a fundraiser at his house with the president because "I just can't imagine a world in which he does not win.")
You can also find the "cool, rebellious priest" model at the movies. A new film called "The Sessions" takes on the story of a 40-something disabled man who weighs about 70 pounds employing a "sexual surrogate" (a sort of therapeutic prostitute) so he can lose his virginity. People magazine reports he's supported in this quest by a priest, "who in hilarious chats about just how sinful this particular sin would be, gives his blessing." The movie is based on real life, where the disabled man consulted "Father Mike," a young, bearded priest from the neighborhood church who "told me Jesus was never big on rules, that he often broke the rules out of compassion."
Hollywood wants to remake God in its own image, full of its version of "compassion" and shattering every traditional value. This mission is too important to weigh down with authentically Christian characters instead of wise-cracking and cartoonish propagandist puppets.