Focus on the Family’s Esther Fleece was recently identified by CNN’s Belief Blog as one of the “Five Women to Watch in Religion.” Here she reflects on the television program, GCB:
ABC aired a new program last night, GCB, based on the book, Good Christian B*tches. Apparently ABC’s attempt at being relevant and cutting edge involves a not-so-subtle reference at an insulting profanity aimed at Christian women.
Well, gee, thanks, ABC.
I find that reference especially out of place given where we are at as a nation, though. Bullying has become a hot issue in schools across the U.S. because there are some students who are targeted for things like their weight, ethnicity, religion and homosexual behavior. Yet suddenly ABC finds it acceptable to insult Christian women, and to mock the deeply held faith beliefs of an entire group of women.
How is it funny to glibly mischaracterize entire tenets of the Christian faith?
So much for tolerance.
Because the thing is, GCB is intolerant. To help demonstrate the point, let’s try the name on another religion or people group and see how it works:
Good Muslim B*tches
Good Lesbian B*tches
Good Wheelchair-Bound B*tches
Tad more shocking in those contexts, isn’t it? Somehow I don’t think those show concepts would have gone very far over at ABC.
I can hear the rationale now: the title works in this particular instance because *everyone* knows Christians are hypocrites (what the “B” is really trying to refer to in “GCB”).
Well, I agree. But that doesn’t give anyone a license to mock.
Hypocrisy is defined as “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.”
So yes, Christians are hypocrites. We miss the mark all the time. (May I also state the obvious? It would be impossible to find a people or faith group in the world that *doesn’t* have hypocrites included in it. That’s because everyone who professes a high moral standard misses the mark at times.)
The principles Christians ascribe to are the ones found in the Bible, supernaturally compiled there by a perfect God. Living up to those standards of behavior, thoughts and deeds is impossible for us without the help and strength we receive through a personal relationship with God. The best part is when we fail — and fail we will — we find forgiveness and a chance to try again because Jesus paid the price for our sins.
And that’s the point. We reach for and stretch toward lofty standards, knowing we will fall short on occasion, but the alternative would be to wallow in our imperfection and depravity. Not a great option.
So is there some hypocrisy involved as Christians live out their faith? You bet. As we strive to become better Christ followers, we fall. We fail. We mess up. But we also get up, try again, and even get it right sometimes!
And that getting up and continuing toward the goal is the main point I want to send to the ABC executives, because GCB is not representative of the Christian women I know.
The Christian women in my life and those I meet during my travels may falter at times, but they get right back up again and do great, selfless things. They start nationally renowned organizations to combat the tragedy of child sex trafficking. They welcome children who are in the foster care system into their homes. They give a voice to the voiceless and speak for victims. They selflessly serve their families every day.
They might not have started that way. They may have their moments of not living up to the standards they strive to achieve. But the important thing is they try — and that is something to be admired, not mocked.
So I encourage our friends at major networks to meet some real Christian hypocrites. They’ll find a group of people, and a faith tradition, that welcome the hypocrites right in.
Note: Esther Fleece is assistant to the president for millennial relations at Focus on the Family.