Only the media are surprised

The rest of non-elite America understands allure of "The Bible"

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It’s a pretty good bet that if the Bible was a new book, the critics would pan it.

Not that the History channel’s Bible miniseries, which also was jeered by the intelligentsia, is any kind of stand-in for the good book.

But the series, which concludes fittingly enough on Easter Sunday, is sufficiently faithful to the Old and New Testaments – and so skillfully produced – that it has become a ratings blockbuster.

“The show’s debut episode attracted 13.1 million viewers,” notes the Deseret (Utah) News, “which was twice as many people as watched any show on NBC in the month of February.”

As the New York Times wrote last month, NBC’s ratings “have dissipated to numbers so small they have not been seen before by any broadcast network.”

Yet, such networks continue to look away condescendingly from programs such as The Bible.

Only the media are surprised when viewers do otherwise.

As the Deseret News noted, critics early on derided the Bible series as a “cheesefest,” as “flat and often tedious” and as “cardboard characters surrounded by (computer-generated) frippery.”

So, when people defied the critics and flocked to see it by the millions, that stunned the supposed experts in the media, who are now calling it a “surprise hit” – “which demonstrates that those who ignore the hunger for respectful religious entertainment can be surprised rather easily,” the Deseret paper opined.

It’s not just religious offerings, either, that are consistently undervalued in Hollywood; it’s wholesomeness in general – even though such movies and shows earn some of the best
ratings and profits.

Nor is this just an entertainment phenomenon: News and feature shows and news networks that consistently show disdain for traditional American and faith-based values are not trending well in ratings.

Cable networks may never be considered synonymous with wholesomeness, certainly. But in airing the Bible miniseries, the History channel has discovered what the big broadcast networks seem long ago to have forgotten: Virtue sells.

The original broadcast channels also have lost much of their dominance as the smaller cable networks exhibit more
agility and creativity in their programming. The big broadcast networks have been running a small number of prime-time themes into the ground – reality shows, talent shows and crime shows chief among them. With big budgets and large legacy costs, they don’t appear willing to take the risks their cable competitors do.

But isn’t it amazing that serving up a respectful retelling of the Bible – undoubtedly history’s runaway bestselling book – is considered one of those risks?

Perhaps only if you can’t see in front of you because you’re too busy looking down your nose at people.

Comments (65) Add comment
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KSL
134058
Points
KSL 03/30/13 - 03:35 pm
5
3
Note

I challenge you to find a bunch of religious comments in my posts. But the 2 of you totally annoy me with your comments.

KSL
134058
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KSL 03/30/13 - 03:39 pm
5
3
Don't treat people with

Don't treat people with arrogance and condescension.

scoopdedoop64
2423
Points
scoopdedoop64 03/30/13 - 04:17 pm
5
2
There are no amount of

There are no amount of hateful posts will cause me to abandon the one who loves me. His love is greater than the applause of the whole world. He loved us so much that He died for us and then on the third day arose again to show death had no power over Him or to any who would believe on His name. But even if there were no Bible, or the witness of 500 or more who saw Him after His resurrection, or if there was no empty tomb, I would still know He lives because He is in my heart and life listening to my prayers and directing my every step. I know He exists as much as I know oxygen is in the air even though I cannot see it. I love Him with all my heart, He is my Jesus and He is Jesus to all the world.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 03/30/13 - 04:26 pm
5
1
Heartfelt testimony

Heartfelt testimony Scoopdedoop64 and hope you have a Blessed Easter.

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 03/30/13 - 04:40 pm
3
4
God, no god, or many gods.
Unpublished

God, no god, or many gods. At least in then end, we will all have the chance to be reincarnated and maybe get it right in the next lifetime.

GiantsAllDay
9842
Points
GiantsAllDay 03/30/13 - 04:42 pm
2
5
Well, what bothers me is that

Well, what bothers me is that some of you know something to be true because you "feel" it in your heart. This really isn't a wise way to run your life. No attorney would ask you to testify under oath, something to be true because you feel it so, even though you hadn't heard or seen anything. The best of both worlds is when your heart and head agree. But if they don't, then GO WITH YOUR HEAD EVERYTIME! I can't believe I'm telling adults this. It's unfortunate that you look at some of my comments as insults, because then you automatically negate them without really considering them. All I am asking of you is to put on your big boy pants and exit the world of make believe. Just because a movie makes you feel good and makes you cry doesn't mean that the movie is true.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 03/30/13 - 05:29 pm
5
1
' No attorney would ask you

' No attorney would ask you to testify under oath, something to be true because you feel it so, even though you hadn't heard or seen anything"

Oh but that is where you are mistaken GAD, we hear and see things on a daily basis that reaffirm our FAITH that there is a God who has redeemed us. We don't need to put on our "big boy pants" because our heart and head tell us the same thing.

Sorry your heart says one thing and your head tells you something different. We don't automatically negate what you say,but when you make comments like exit the world of make believe, you negate ANYTHING you might say yourself. Just because we come up with a different view point than you, does not mean you are right and we are wrong. Give it some thought....you might be wrong and we are the ones who are right.

Can you prove that God did not create the world? Can you prove that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God? Can you prove Jesus did not rise from the dead? Can you prove Christ did not die for the remittance of our sins. If you can not prove these things did not happen, then why should we believe you......you don't believe when we say He did.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 03/30/13 - 05:34 pm
5
2
Ah, the wonderful thing about

Ah, the wonderful thing about it, is we don't have to get it right the next time. When we leave this sinful, troubled, world, we will enter into a place that is made perfect by our Father's love. We don't have to worry about do overs or back tracking our mistakes. He cleanses us whiter than snow and we are made perfect in his sight. Go ahead and be reincarnated. Wonder how many times you'll have to do-over before you make it right? Good Luck...you'll need it.

burninater
9680
Points
burninater 03/30/13 - 06:07 pm
1
6
"What I cannot understand Is

"What I cannot understand Is why those who profess to be atheists cannot tolerate believers or even agnostics."
------
In my experience, for most, it's the belief, not the believers, that is at issue.

It's the same as love the sinner, hate the sin. Most atheists and agnostics would love to see believers experience a conversion, seeing all-that-is as sacred in itself, not because of its role in folklore and superstition. They believe this would enrich the world and those in it, just as believers view the leading of others out of sin. Yes, some are unable to separate this hope from their feelings about believers themselves, but folk like the Westboro Baptists show that this human failing crosses the divide. Lumping all non-believers as hateful is no different as saying all Christians are like Westboro.

Also, not all non-believers are anti-faith. Many understand that non-belief contains the same uncertainty as belief. For many, it is the anti-science and anti-multiple value system (as it applies to civil law) behavior of some believers that is the problem.

GiantsAllDay
9842
Points
GiantsAllDay 03/30/13 - 06:06 pm
2
5
Can you prove that God did

Can you prove that God did not create the world? Can you prove that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God? Can you prove Jesus did not rise from the dead? Can you prove Christ did not die for the remittance of our sins. If you can not prove these things did not happen, then why should we believe you......you don't believe when we say He did.

I must now exit this conversation. You asked me to prove not one, but several negatives. Clearly you have never taken a logic or science class. The burden is upon the person making the positive assertions. Hitchens said that great claims require great evidence. And oh by the way, can you prove that there isn't a giant Flying Spaghetti Monster behind the planet Saturn?

Connor Threlkeld
881
Points
Connor Threlkeld 03/30/13 - 06:16 pm
6
0
We're getting a few reported

We're getting a few reported abusive comments, I won't say which side it's coming from. Let's keep it respectful folks. Believers don't need fixing, and non-believers don't need fixing. It's just a matter of respecting eachother's point of view and personal values. I don't think anyone is going to change anyone else's mind on the subject over the course of a day of online comments.

KSL
134058
Points
KSL 03/30/13 - 08:05 pm
5
3
I don't feel it in my heart.

I don't feel it in my heart. It is in my brain.

I am an Episcopalian. Don't like the direction the church took. My father was brought up in the church and he answered a question about Jesus being the son of God I asked about as a young child, was he really. I will never ever forget his answer.

Yesterday seenit posted IQ scores of famous people. Everyone of people in my family are up there, also the family I married into. You had better best believe I knew my husband to be's IQ before I married him. Tested by MIT. I took their word.

And no, I was not the cause behind the MIT testing. I just wanted him to go there because I was going to school up there.

Nope, nope. Danged near lost me to a Dartmouth football player and future lawyer.
Great athletes, as well.

GiantsAllDay
9842
Points
GiantsAllDay 03/30/13 - 06:38 pm
1
4
I agree with Conner, and I

I agree with Conner, and I have exited the discussion. BTW KSL, J. Shelby Spong is a personal hero of mine. I have sat in many seminaries, institutes and classrooms studying the bible. I believe the rev Spong's teaching to be among the most accurate.

KSL
134058
Points
KSL 03/30/13 - 08:09 pm
4
3
so sorry

I cannot post without my son's cat in my lap. I do much better with my kindle than my dell mini.

carcraft
26898
Points
carcraft 03/30/13 - 08:34 pm
5
1
GAD I believe Sponge was

GAD I believe Sponge was seriously misguided and subverted the Gospel.

Darby
26830
Points
Darby 03/30/13 - 08:50 pm
4
2
"Maybe at some point,..

Christians will grow up..."
.

That from the gospel according to St. Specsta.

For some folks, love is all they need. For others, hate fills the void nicely.

Darby
26830
Points
Darby 03/30/13 - 08:56 pm
3
3
"Can't even estimate how...

many times I have heard or read of gays and lesbians asking the very same thing of Christian fundamentalists...."

.
Yeah, I had an idea that math might be a problem for you in that arena.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 03/30/13 - 09:29 pm
2
1
carcraft, I must agree with

carcraft, I must agree with you. Mr. Spong is a very seriously misguided person.

Matthew 24:11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

carcraft
26898
Points
carcraft 03/30/13 - 09:41 pm
3
1
I find Sponge reperhendsible

I find Sponge reperhendsible because he dined and lived off of the offerings of Christians while denying the very tenets of the religion he had sworn to faithfully uphold. Should have left the Episcopal Church and become a uniterian but they probably didn't pay as well and I don't think they have Bishops. Nothing but a con man with an intellect but no morals!

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 03/30/13 - 09:58 pm
2
1
It's pathetic....

The same person writes "It's unfortunate that you look at some of my comments as insults" but just before that, he insulted us again by basically telling us we are like children; saying "I can't believe I'm telling adults this."

Then goes on to insult us several more times, in the same comment. Writing "All I am asking of you is to put on your big boy pants and exit the world of make believe." So, basically calling us children again by telling us to "put our big boy pants on" and then insulting our faith again by calling in make believe.

Yeah Giant's, your doing a wonderful job showing your superior intelligence and education. Keep up the good work, you're representing your side well. Your hate continues to show more everyday, in your comments. People can CLEARLY see who the true hate is coming from.

myfather15
55764
Points
myfather15 03/30/13 - 10:09 pm
2
1
BUT, the one thing you

BUT, the one thing you definatly do not have a problem with is SELF belief in your own greatness and superior intellect. Just as I said earlier, you have that in common with MANY past dictators; unfortunately history will not record them as being very good leaders. In reality, probably the worst.

GiantsAllDay
9842
Points
GiantsAllDay 03/30/13 - 10:33 pm
3
3
Once again, I have no comment

Once again, I have no comment because of Mr. Threlkeld's request. Any disrespectful comment made after 6:16 PM is very telling. Very telling indeed.

scoopdedoop64
2423
Points
scoopdedoop64 03/30/13 - 10:42 pm
4
2
ICL, I wish you happy Easter

ICL, I wish you happy Easter also. Thank you for standing so strong in the faith. This world will never understand the joy we have in the risen Savior but I guess they were never supposed to. Jesus said that my sheep hear my voice. He did not say that the devil's sheep hear his voice. Blessings to all!

GiantsAllDay
9842
Points
GiantsAllDay 03/30/13 - 10:50 pm
2
4
SMH, Mr.Threlkeld, I tried to

SMH,
Mr.Threlkeld, I tried to make them see. I really did.

dahreese
4743
Points
dahreese 03/30/13 - 10:51 pm
2
4
Quoting bible verses does not
Unpublished

Quoting bible verses does not prove anything. You cannot use the book to prove the book! If the book is to be proved it must be done with other sources outside of itself.

Darby
26830
Points
Darby 03/30/13 - 11:16 pm
3
2
"Quoting bible verses...

does not prove anything."

.
I believe most Christians would agree with you. The point being, they don't ask for proof; they rely on faith alone and that is enough for them.

Do you have a problem with that? Do you have a compelling need for proof? If you aren't contemplating a religious conversion, what's the point?

scoopdedoop64
2423
Points
scoopdedoop64 03/30/13 - 11:38 pm
4
1
Compelled

Christians are compelled due to the commands of Christ to tell His story of redemption. Jesus' last words to believers was to be His witnesses and to go forth and make disciples. Our only responsibility is share what we have experienced and what the scripture says about salvation. Beyond that we can't make someone believe, neither can we by nature of the intellect scientifically convince someone of the validity of Jesus' claims to be the Son of God, although I think the empty tomb and 500 witnesses plus millions who still follow Him is a pretty good place to start. Being a Christian is a matter of the heart. So for those of you who wish to deny Christ that is your decision alone. But what we do in sharing the good news of Christ we are compelled to do so please simply either listen, make a choice, or say Thanks but No Thanks and we will simply go about our business somewhere else.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 03/31/13 - 12:08 am
3
1
dahreese, since as far as I

dahreese, since as far as I can tell, I believe I have been the only one that has quoted a scripture in my comments, so I am assuming your 10:51pm comment was directed to me....if not, my apologies.

With that being said, please tell me what I was trying to prove by that scripture because I fail to understand your comment.

My comment wasn't made as proof to anything other than a statement about what the Lord's Word says about false prophets.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 03/31/13 - 12:13 am
2
1
GAD, I fail to see where

GAD, I fail to see where anyone addressed you or made comments in reference to you after your 10:33pm comment so why the need for your comment at 10:50pm. Is it eating you up that bad that someone could have a cordial, respectful, conversation with one another about Christ and wish them Happy Easter. Nice way of exiting the conversation.

GiantsAllDay
9842
Points
GiantsAllDay 03/31/13 - 12:30 am
1
1
"He did not say that the

"He did not say that the devil's sheep hear his voice. Blessings to all!"

You cherry pick the comments like you cherry pick the scriptures.

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