I’ve heard a lot of offensive names slung at women lately. It’s impossible to even glance at a newspaper without reading the names Sandra Fluke, Rush Limbaugh, and now, thanks to Concerned Women for America’s efforts, Bill Maher and his proclivity for everything profane. But these aren’t the only names stirring controversy. ABC’s newest sitcom, “GCB,” which stands for Good Christian B—ches, has many critics asking the question, “What’s in a name?”
“GCB” parodies Christian women living in America’s Bible Belt. I find the show to be a lackluster, big-haired version of “Desperate Housewives.” But others have taken a more drastic approach to rejecting the show. New York City Councilman Peter Vallone has called for an all-out boycott stating, “The title of the show alone is yet another outrageous attack on the Christian faith. Charlie Sheen will be back on Two and a Half Men before we see a similar title targeting another religion.” Kraft Cream Cheese has also jumped on the boycott bandwagon by barring its advertisements from running during “GCB’s” airtime.
While the show’s name is certainly offensive, the problems with “GCB” and other portrayals of Christians run much deeper. In an opinion piece I wrote for FoxNews.com, I explained that the main problem is that the writers, producers, and actors rarely take the time to get to know Christians before portraying us and, therefore, usually parody us based on lousy preconceived notions. And so, instead of poking good-natured fun at Christian eccentricities (and let’s face it, there is plenty of material), Hollywood usually misses clever and instead comes across as condescending and mean.
There is one positive aspect about poor depictions of Christians in Hollywood; it encourages believers to get involved in the media industry and set the record straight. Filmmaker Wilbur Bakke, who cleverly named his new documentary “Beware of Christians,” told Fox News that he was tired of seeing films painting an unrealistic picture of Christianity. Bakke stated, “We wanted to let our beliefs and faiths come behind and support a strong story line, story is the most important when communicating these ideas. That’s what people want.”
Recently we have seen an outbreak of Christian culture in the theaters. Movies like Fireproof, Courageous, and a soon-to-be Hollywood blockbuster, October Baby, reveal the very essence of who we are as Christians — broken people dependent on God’s grace and mercy despite our weaknesses. So we can take heart in knowing that shows like “GBC” don’t hurt Christians; they can actually help us by highlighting society’s innate attraction to our uniqueness and evoking us to utilize the grace and talent God gives to make funnier sitcoms and successful films.