(CNSNews.com) – A number of faith-based and conservative watchdog groups are panning Lucifer, a new Fox television series that will premiere on January 25 at 9 pm Eastern Standard Time, saying there’s “nothing redeeming” about a show that glamorizes Satan.
Fox’s website describes the series’ main character, Lucifer Morningstar, who is depicted as a “devilishly handsome” demon: “Bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, the original fallen angel, Lucifer Morningstar has abandoned his throne and retired to L.A. where he owns Lux, an upscale nightclub.”
Actor Tom Ellis, the son of a Baptist pastor who plays Lucifer, described his character in a recent interview: “He looks like James Bond- or perhaps a villain out of Jaguar’s ‘it’s good to be bad’ commercial – and has the morals of a debauched investment banker (albeit with a little more heart.)
“The show certainly is not a big theological debate,” Ellis added. “More than anything, I’d say this show is a story of redemption.”
But critics say the graphic murder and blasphemy in the official trailer prove that Lucifer is anything but redeeming.
The pilot was condemned by the American Family Association’s One Million Moms project not only for featuring violence and scantily-clad women, but also for its attempt to “glorify Satan as a caring, likeable person in human flesh.”
“We were not able to preview this show, but we know enough about to be concerned,” Melissa Henson, director of communications and public education at the Parents Television Council, told CNSNews.com.
“Besides the dark theme, we expect there will be high levels of violence and disturbing sexual content. Clearly it is inappropriate for kids and families even though it is airing in prime time,” she said. “From what I can see, there’s nothing redeeming about this show at all.”
“The very fact that it could be on a major network without serious questions being raised with regard to advertisers and the like tells you where the culture has gone, to a certain extent,” Fr. Robert Sirico, president of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, told CNSNews.com.
“I urge believers to be calm, because part of the marketing strategy of these companies is to incorporate the kind of opposition they can get from believers who would find this offensive and thus call more attention to the project.
“The second caution is that this show seems rather superficial with its constant use of one gag about the devil. It doesn’t seem like it’s a serious reflection on evil, on the capacity of human beings to betray their highest values.”
“I’m reminded of what C.S. Lewis puts in the words of his devil in the Screwtape Letters, that the real danger in confrontation with evil and the world is when people don’t believe that there is evil. So I don’t think we’ve hit the bottom quite yet, because at least they’re talking about things spiritual,” Sirico said.
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, told CNSNews.com that he’s not too concerned that Lucifer will do any serious damage to Christians’ faith.
“It strikes me as sci-fi. It’s theater of the absurd for me. It doesn’t look like something I’m going to get exorcised about,” he said. “You’d have to be a moron to look at this show and come to the conclusion that the Bible is wrong.
“I’m more worried about docu-dramas like the ones Oliver Stone does that confuse viewers,” Donohue added.
Noting that “believers and non-believers alike have questions about, and interest in, Satan and the demonic,” Dr. Alex McFarland, author of 17 books on Christian apologetics, told CNSNews.com in an email that “the Bible warns that as history moves toward the point of Christ’s return, demonic activity will persist and even increase (I Timothy 4:1, II Timothy 3:1-13). The Bible also warns that Satan’s intent is for the spiritual detriment of people.
“Satan is called 'the god of this age' (II Corinthians 4:4) and a spiritual deceiver of people (II Corinthians 4:4, and 11:14). Revelation 12:9 says that he 'led the whole world astray.'
“Jesus calls Satan 'the enemy,' and says that hell was made for him and the other demons (Matthew 13:39, Matthew 25:41). We know that Lucifer’s coup attempt in heaven failed, and that earth is caught in the crossfire as fallen angels still try to make war against God.”
But for Christians, the story has a happy ending, he pointed out.
“The panorama of Scripture is clear about Satan’s doom and destiny: God wins, Satan loses.”