Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Bad Christian B*tches? OneMillionMoms vs. GCB

Jason Cianciotto

March 16th, 2012

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of all contributors to Box Turtle Bulletin.

Update: OnMillionMoms has posted a new alert claiming that “most of last week’s sponsors…did not sponsor this week’s episode.” While the reasoning behind any change in advertising is unclear, GCB’s ratings did drop from 7 million to 6.33 million viewers and to a share of 5 in the 18-49 demographic. By comparison, the highest rated show last Sunday evening was “Once Upon a Time,” which attracted 8.6 million viewers and an 8 share of the coveted 18-49 demographic. Given the content of “Once Upon A Time,” which includes witchcraft, murder and adultery, I’m surprised OMM hasn’t targeted it as well. However, since the show does not poke fun at the hypocrisy of the religious right, maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised…

One million moms are on the march again. Well, not literally.

The conservative group OneMillionMoms (OMM) has abandoned its unsuccessful attempt to oust Ellen Degeneres as the spokesperson for JC Penny, targeting the advertisers for ABC’s new hit show, “GCB.”

According to the group, “OMM is disgusted with the new program…which is blasphemy at its worst! It is based on the book “Good Christian B*tches”…[and]…blasphemes God…”

Blasphemy is the act of speaking sacrilegiously. If the definition fit, OMM would have good reason to target GCB. Freedom of religion is a human right that should be protected from defamation, whether Christian- or any other faith-bashing.

However, the devil is in the details for the fundamentalists at OMM, who are missing a critical difference: GCB does not mock Christians. It mocks those who blaspheme Christianity, abusing it as a justification for hypocrisy.

This may be hitting too close to home for OMM, a subgroup of the American Family Association (AFA), an organization on the “frontlines [sic] of America’s culture wars.”

Labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the “sins” perpetrated by AFA’s spokespeople include calling Islam “the spirit of Satan,” claiming that “homosexuality gave us Adolf Hitler,” and stating in a recent Twitter post that efforts to mandate insurance coverage for contraception are “totalitarianism on hormones.”

Like the wealthy characters in GCB, the AFA ignores the commandment to “love thy neighbor” in exchange for a religion that not only justifies defamation, but also is very profitable. AFA reported over $19 million in revenue in 2010.

ABC is clearly luring its “Desperate Housewives” audience with a neighborhood populated by wealthier, Texas socialites. These ‘Christians’ are still angry about how they were treated in high school by Amanda, the protagonist, who returns home to live with her mother after her Ponzi-scheming, adulterous husband dies.

This “come to Jesus” experience converts Amanda to a life that honors real moral values like supporting her children through hard,  honest work—even if it’s in a Hooters-like restaurant called “Boobylicious.”

Despite Amanda’s genuine efforts to make amends, her neighbors respond with anything but forgiveness. Altered by plastic surgery and dressed in the finest stereotype of gold-plated, gun-wielding, Texas couture, these characters use Bible verses like bullets to rhetorically inflict vengeful wounds that, while not mortal, are always aimed at the heart.

The Lord saith “vengeance is mine,” but these Texans have selectively forgotten that verse, which is precisely the point.

Trading gun for Bible verse slinging, the ladies attempt to “out-Christian” each other, leading to outrageous displays of hypocrisy. For example, After Amanda revealed during ‘prayer’ before the congregation that Boobylicious is actually owned by Carlene, GCB’s villainess, Carlene is too bedridden with embarrassment to attend church the following Sunday.

Holding his Bible, her husband offers spiritual support. “There is nothing in this book that says you can’t own a boobie bar.”  Paraphrasing Proverbs 31, he continues, “You are a virtuous woman, priceless beyond rubies.”

After a friend offers to sing this week’s choir solo in her place, Carlene is far more motivated to go to church, jumping out of bed and yelling for her maid, “Carmelita get in here! The show must go on! Where are my rubies?”

While OMM is blind to its hypocrisy, the abuse of religion that occurs at the intersection of faith, money, and politics is obvious to many Americans and to GCB’s heroine. “God, she’s such a Pharisee,” laments Amanda, comparing Carlene to the legalistic religious leaders chastised by Jesus.

“Well, someone’s been reading her new testament,” replies her mother.

“No, I just googled ‘hypocrisy,’” quips Amanda.

As the series progresses, I think Amanda will continue to struggle with what it means to be a real Christian, while Carlene demeans salvation into an excuse for behavior that is anything but loving.

In the mean time, OMM continues to target the show’s advertisers. In a recent update, the group claimed “victory,” including a purported direct quote from Kraft foods. “Philadelphia [cream cheese] has decided to pull its advertising from GCB … We have received complaints from consumers and their opinions about our advertising are important to us.”

However, Kraft’s response to a GCB supporter was entirely different. “The brand has decided to redirect advertising to other programs with an established audience…. [T]his decision was not linked in any way to the content of this particular show.”

So much for the commandment to not bear false witness.

GCB puts religious hypocrisy on display before over 7 million viewers, according to the show’s latest ratings. Perhaps that’s the real reason OneMillionMoms is so upset. GCB lifts the proverbial choir robe worn by these modern-day Pharisees, and what’s underneath ain’t pretty.

Comments

POST COMMENT | COMMENT RSS 2.0

Samiimas
March 16th, 2012 | LINK

I’ve seriuously been wracking my head trying to figure out what was so offensive about this show. It seems like the typical ‘Housewives being bitchy at each other’ show that’s been done a thousand times before, except with the creators being honest about how most bitchy housewives also go to church.

This article made it obvious though, they’re mad because a show about people who claim to follow Jesus while ignoring everything he ever said that inconveniences them hits too close to home.

james
March 16th, 2012 | LINK

I haven’t watched it and don’t intend to, but could every one please calm down? It’s not a documentary about Christian women in suburban Dallas, any more that “Dallas” was a documentary about the oil industry. It’s presented as entertainment. From this description, it does not sound entertaining to me. It sounds tedious.

jpeckjr
March 16th, 2012 | LINK

Before we get all bitchy about Kraft’s decision, if Kraft had pulled its ads from a show that portrayed gay men in a bad light, we’d all be applauding their principled stand.

TampaZeke
March 16th, 2012 | LINK

“Blasphemy is the act of speaking sacrilegiously. If the definition fit, OMM would have good reason to target GCB. Freedom of religion is a human right that should be protected from defamation, whether Christian- or any other faith-bashing.”

Wait a minute. You’re kidding, RIGHT?

I can’t believe what I just read! Are you actually saying that blasphemy and sacrilege is religious defamation and that freedom of religion requires that religious people be protected from such? Sacrilege and blasphemy are acts of religious freedom. This isn’t the 16th Century. Religious people don’t have a right to not be offended, any more than gay people have a right to not be offended. Yes, if Christians are offended by blasphemy or sacrilege or whatever GCB is doing, they most certainly have a right to boycott or respond however they wish but NOT because their freedom of religion was in any way denied.

I get the main point of your commentary, but the whole thing went off the rails with that one statement.

Timothy Kincaid
March 16th, 2012 | LINK

Jason, good analysis.

Lucrece
March 17th, 2012 | LINK

People shouldn’t be protesting GCB because it’s sacrilegious.

They should be protesting it beause it’s really bad TV.

Rachel
March 17th, 2012 | LINK

Thank you, TampaZeke, for making that point. Freedom of speech demands that ideas – religious or otherwise – be open to mockery and criticism.

mike
March 21st, 2012 | LINK

actually no religions do not have the right to not be talked about in a negative manner nor can anyone tell anyone else not to say anything demeaning about the people who follow those religions. They just need to get over themselves and move on with lives, specifically their own, and stay out of the lives of everyone else. Where is it written in the Bible again that women should be nosey opinionated political pundits trying to further an agenda of hate against a people they seriously don’t understand?

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.