“Good Christian Bitches”: High Concept/Low Blow

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked on my Facebook page, I Don’t Get It, for my comments about a tv show on ABC’s fall line-up entitled, “Good Christian Bitches.”  So, Rick, here are my thoughts.

The tv show is based on the novel by Kim Gatlin.  The “dramedy project,” as it’s described, is about “a woman who moves back to her Dallas neighborhood after a divorce only to become the center of salacious gossip from the community’s churchgoing wives.”  Not a book I’m at all interested in reading.

Clearly, by pitching “Christian” against “Bs”, the story revolves around religious hypocrites.  No surprise there.  Christians are humans.  And humans are flawed.  I get it.  That’s why there’s Easter.

But, hey, the author of the book can call the book anything she likes if a publisher is willing to publish it.  I have no idea how many copies of the book have been sold but the audience, I’ll bet, is a lot smaller than the television audience.

My lawyer-turned-screenwriter friend, John, introduced me to the term “high concept” which is used to refer to an artistic work that can be easily described by its succinctly stated title.  The intent is to compel the broadest audience to watch after a pitch of only a few words.  “GCB” is a classic example of a high concept title, so it’s easy to see why the network would want to use it.  The problem is that the inherent insult is higher than the concept.

I’m not sure if ABC is planning to keep the title, but, if I had the opportunity, my first questions to ABC would be, “why is it ok to use “Christian” and the “B” word in the same title for a tv show?”  Who’s your target audience?  Don’t you think it’s insulting to the vast majority of Americans who consider themselves Christian?

My next question would be, “So, Mr. ABC executive, if you’re going ahead with this project, I think you should be fair and balanced and having some other shows on the fall line-up like, “Good Islamic Bs,”  “Good Muslin Bs”, “Good Jewish Bs,” and how about “Good Buddhist Bs.”

I can tell you his answer.  “It’ll never happen.”  Of course, it won’t.  Everyone knows you can’t say anything about Muslims or Islam.  Look what happened to Juan Williams over at NPR and actor and former Congressman, Fred Grandy, who lost his radio gig.

The bottom line for me is why are Christians always such an easy target?  I actually have to work for a living so I don’t have too much time or too much money, but if I did, I’d conduct a study why Christians are the objects of such religious animus and prejudice. (Perhaps I could get a government grant. Hmmm?)

Is it because we don’t have a centralized organization like the Anti-Defamation League or the Council on American-Islamic Relations to speak up against these affronts to our religious beliefs?  Does it have anything to do with the “turn the other cheek” Christian mentality?

Just look what happened with the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy or the Everybody Draw Mohammed Day brouhaha?

Yet, every few months I read about another anti-Christian “art” display like in Loveland Museum, Colorado, the Harvard Art Exhibit in Cambridge, MA,  the Sacramento County Public Law Library, and, of course, who can forget the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s “Yo Mama’s Last Supper” and “Holy Virgin Mary” smeared with elephant dung controversy.  The list goes on and on.

I don’t care whether the actual show gets on the air or not.  That’s why the remote control was invented.  But I do care about the title.

“Entertainment expert,” Jenn Hoffman says, “ABC’s core viewership is Christian, so the goal of the show won’t be to attack Christianity. Just like the book, this is a show by Christians, for (mostly) Christians, to enjoy a little prime-time self-deprecation.”  I wonder if Ms. Hoffman is a Christian.
Aside from the title being insulting to me as a Christian, I can’t imagine any parent wanting their child exposed to a commercial for “GCB” or to read about it in the TV Guide. Bottom line:  Isn’t it time for all religions to become sacrosanct again?

I don’t get it, but if you do, God bless you.

Author Bio:

For over twenty years, Leona has tried to heed her husband’s advice, “you don’t have to say everything you think.” She’s failed miserably. Licensed to practice law in California and Washington, she works exclusively in the area of child abuse and neglect. She considers herself a news junkie and writes about people and events on her website, “I Don’t Get It,” which she describes as the “musings of an almost 60-year old conservative woman on political, social and cultural life in America.” It’s not her intention to offend anyone who “gets it.” She just doesn’t. Originally from Brooklyn, and later Los Angeles, she now lives with her husband, Michael, on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest, which she describes as a bastion of liberalism.
Author website: http://www.idontgetit.us
  • Anna Belle

    Lighten up. It’s in the mold of and a replacement for Desperate Housewives. Does that title imply that all housewives are desperate? Did women rise up as a gender to protest that title? Of course not. Why? Because it was obvious it was a satirical show about a cartoonish “type” of woman that makes for a good camp soap opera. Ditto this show. Relax.

  • Bill Gates

    Its just another idiotic television show. The Westboro Baptist Church is more of an insult to Christianity than any of this.

    • Nicholas

      Actually Bill, they follow that Bible of yours a lot closer than most Christians. That’s why they’re so insane.

      • J.D.Carlson

        Apparantly, Nicholas, you have only read the same parts of the Old Testament as that twisted, hateful, nutcase in Topeka.

        • Nicholas

          No. I’ve read the whole thing 5 times in 4 different versions. And at what point did Christians decide that the Bible is the inerrant word of god and then decide to ignore the parts that make their god look like a bloodthirsty, bronze-age savage?

  • Shirl

    So far, Christians are not rioting in the street as others do for special treatment or making spectacles of themselves. This is all done for provocation because the antagonist are all so pea-green with envy of how tolerant Christians are; even though their evilness and vileness is not going un-noticed.

  • Ron

    I don’t think most people would consider the title an indictment of all Christians. Further, I don’t think Christianity is under attack in this country. I don’t know of one person who is being denied the ability to worship as they want. People criticize Muslims constantly on talk radio and on television. In Southern California we have had two protests in the last year about mosques being built. In New York there were protests about a mosque being built near ground zero. i used to listen to a Christian radio station from Orange County. They had no problem criticizing anyone who did not think like them and calling religions that they did not agree with, Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses, cults.

  • Alan

    Christians are an easy target because they are taught to turn the other cheek. Muslims are taught the exact opposite, and often respond to what they consider disrespect (i.e. drawing Mohammed) with death threats. To my knowledge, an artist in Washington is still under witness protection for planning to draw Mohammed. No one is under such a threat for drawing Jesus.

  • Konrad Lau

    Christians are the continued subject of derision because:
    A: They know Truth
    B: They have a book accessible to anyone and the Truth is there for the simple reading.
    C: The concept of forgiveness and Jesus’ sacrifice is too simple for the “educated” to believe.
    D: There truly is only one way to the presence of the Lord
    E: Satan roams freely in the world…for now.

    All of these may seem overly simplified or maybe even foolish but there it is.

    • Nicholas

      Christians are the continued subject of derision because:
      A. They believe in something without sufficient empirical evidence to back up their claims.
      B. The book you’re talking about also advocates slavery, human sacrifice, god-ordained child rape, and more contradictions than all the bodies of Congress assembled over the last two hundred years.
      C. No. Educated people require sufficient evidence before they believe in something. Morons are able to take something on faith because they don’t know any better.
      D: And there are three to six thousand Christian denominations that claim to have sole access to that toll road.
      E: Having an imaginary entity to throw the blame on your actions is called being delusion and denying responsibility.

  • Roger Ward

    I’d like to watch “Good Muslim Bitches” …. when’s it coming on? Wait a minute …. does this mean I’ll be the subject of a fatwah?

  • J. D. Carlson

    A “tweet” to Entertainment Weekly on this topic–one that was shared in a local “alternative” weekly–pretty much sums this up. I will paraphrase it here: Why don’t they run “Sassy Muslim Sluts” up the flagpole and see who salutes?

  • http://orbis@bellsouth.net Jan

    Ironic, I say that this is the ONLY religion this could happen to. As you said. what does that say for the American people and the majority of us, who like it or not ARE Christains?

    • Teddi

      I agree, there is a double standard, and this would not be tolerated of any other religion. Besides the religious reference, I am tired of the loosening of television parameters from many years back. I have an 8 year old son, and I don’t want him hearing or reading that title when he is watching tv. How much more inappropriate material do our children have to see when viewing prime time programs?

  • Jay Thompson

    Mrs. Salazar,

    I appreciate your column. Isn’t it disturbing that the thought-and-word police on the left throw political correctness into the ditch when discussing, displaying, or dramatizing Christianity? Yet, we ostensibly must walk on egg shells when it comes to Islam. Of course, this shouldn’t surprise us for Christians are part and parcel of the Western traditions which are being attacked full-bore at every turn.
    Funny, when Samuel Huntington of Harvard published his, The Clash of Civilizations, he was summarily dismissed out of hand by the left as simplistic, cantankerous, vitriolic. I submit that Huntington’s thesis is closer to the truth than leftist ideologues ever want to admit.
    ABC’s supposed self-deprecating look at Christians may be innocent enough, but you are right to point out the duplicitous nature with which this country characterizes religious faiths. I have no problem laughing at myself (over the years I have come to see it as almost virtuous); what I do have a problem with is the onslaught against Christianity under the guise of a comedic, self-deprecating and light-hearted take on its followers. When a culture cannot even be honest about that I wonder if there are even more serious problems underlying our hypocrisy.