Skip to comments.The Gospel according to "Glee"? (live-and-let-live attitude toward sexual politics & religion)
Posted on 02/26/2012 8:21:30 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Does high school musical sitcom "Glee" go out of its way to be hostile to Christianity? Some may think so, given the matter-of-fact treatment in so many episodes of teen drinking, drug use, sex, pregnancy, and its acceptance of same-gendered relationships. As a progressive Christian and fan of the show, even I wonder at times if they are pushing the envelope a bit too far. I've often commented that I'm not sure younger teens should be watching the show. It is, after all, an exaggerated, satirical look at how adults view adolescence. I'd be a little worried if some middle-schooler watching the series sits there thinking, "Oh, so that's what high school is going to be like!"
Several episodes have dealt with the issue of faith (most famously the season two episode "Grilled Cheezus"), but most often the Christian characters are depicted as either hypocrites or espousing a sort of "believe whatever you want but believe something" sort of attitude. In fact, the writers depict the few nominally Christian characters as perfect examples of moralistic therapeutic deisman understanding of the Christian faith that maintains that God is only important to life when we need something from "him" and faith is ultimately only necessary to the degree to which it helps us live happily and achieve our personal goals. All of this to say that "Glee's" depiction of Christianity up to now has been somewhat realistic perhaps, but definitely not flattering.
Then comes along the February 14 episode "Heart." It's Valentine's Day and the McKinley High Christian club, the God Squad, has decided to raise money by performing singing telegrams throughout the school. Meanwhile, girlfriends Brittany and Santana are called into the principal's office for a minor public display of affection in the hallway. When Santana argues that straight students kiss in the hallways all the time, the principal admits to the double standard but says he's responding to complaints from several conservative students. Unwilling to let this injustice stand, Santana pays The God Squad to perform a singing love letter to her girlfriend.
But will they do it? Everyone seems to be on board except the newest God Squad member, Joe Hart. He's just not sure it's the right thing to do. But by the end of the episode, Joe has prayed over the question and concludes they will sing for Santana because "Love is love." This turn of the plot came to me as a bit of a surprise. I'm used to seeing conservative and evangelical Christian values depicted on TV and in films. But for once here was someone espousing the inclusive justice-oriented values of progressive Christianity. I wonder if any of the teen audience that night figured this was just some pie-in-the-sky "Glee" plot twist or if they understood that there really are Christians who would agree with Joe's realization that compassionate love is more important than the constant debate over what people do in their bedrooms.
Recent polls would indicate that "Glee's" live-and-let-live attitude toward sexual politics and religion are in line with much of the population in the United States. Attitudes in this country continue to shift toward greater inclusion of those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered. Gallup polls in 2011 show that, for the first time, a majority of Americans favor legalizing gay marriage. The United States military has done away with its policy of "don't ask, don't tell," and the Defense of Marriage Act looks to be the next piece to fall in the wall that has long kept LGBT persons at arm's length in U.S. culture.
Additionally, polls of persons under the age of 30 show that the majority support greater inclusion of LGBT persons. These findings echo those indicating that many young people (including teens who identify as Christian) view the church negatively because of its seemingly hostile attitude toward persons of minority sexual orientations. Relatedly, recent studies by The Barna Group indicate that youth who had once been active in church but are no longer often point to the church's overly simplistic or judgmental view of sexuality as a main reason for their disconnect.
These changes suggest a cultural (if not theological) shift amongst youth that will represent a real and perhaps painful struggle for many in both mainline and conservative churches who do not believe that openness on the issue of sexuality is compatible with the Christian faith. However, it would seem clear that the church risks irrelevance if we fail to engage in honest and open dialogue with youth on these issues. In a way, the Gospel according to "Glee" simply mirrors the movement of Christian youth in this country away from seeing religion as a set of strict moral rules (do's and don'ts) that separate people and toward a dynamic faith centered in justice, inclusion, and a way of celebrating the dignity and worth of all God's people. If this is the wave of the future for Christianity in the United States, I imagine that more groups like "Glee's" God Squad will find themselves perfectly at home within our country's progressive congregations.
-- Rev. Brian Kirk is an ordained pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and currently serves an inner-city church in St. Louis, Missouri. He also teaches as adjunct faculty at Eden Theological Seminary, and co-writes the blog rethinkingyouthministry.com.
Ok. Forget the progressive Christian homosexualist garbage part for a second. Why is someone named “Brian” a fan of the show? It is just such an alien concept to me that an adult male would be into this thing, lib agenda or not. A show about a high school glee club with singing and dancing? Come on. That has to be pretty low on the all-time list of TV premises, at least for men to watch. I have a hard time imagining any man digging this thing, with or without any gayness going on (in the show, that is). It would be torture, just painfully boring. I mean holy cow, Brian. Switch it to one of those jewelry shopping shows, women’s soccer or something else that is slightly less awful already. Baby steps Brian, you have to ween yourself off this stuff.
No one was cruel back in the day because it was illegal to be homosexual. Kids in school were not having sex of any kind so there were no gays.
They intentionally target young kids to normalize the vile acts of sodomy. That is the only reason that there is a growing acceptance of such a dysfunctional, immature behavior. It is the Marxist brainwashing by the MSM and the hollywood sodomites (why aren’t the producers that were passing around the Corey boys in their homosexual orgies—arrested?????)’ Homosexuality is a learned behavior. Glorifying it is glorifying child abuse.
Jerry Brown__ARREST those homosexual producers raping boys!!!!!!! Why aren’t they in jail 6 months ago when Corey Feldman said they were still out there!!!
They have an agenda—it is to pervert and seduce young boys into homosexuality-—like in Afghanistan-—where the pretty boys can’t wait to have a harem. They want to recreate pagan Greece where men have access to young boys. This is where the movement is headed. Even APA is trying to remove the stigma of pedophilia and renaming it to intergenerational sex—good Marxist euphemism again.
This kicking out Natural Law and God’s Laws is an attack on the Constitution and Natural Family and Christianity———to destroy family and morality so that children are left vulnerable to predators and brainwashing. They want useful idiots.
Glee???? What is that?
What school did you go to? In mine, people joked about gays, and a guy who wore makeup and platform shoes was routinely beat up in the locker room and one of the coaches supported this action. People called people gay for dumb reasons, as an insult. There were two obese science teachers, women, who lived together. A lot of jokes were said about them.
It was better when I was in school. No pressure and kids were generally kind to each other. That’s what it was like before abortion and divorce changed our culture.
...and by "progressive" he means "non-Biblically based".
The show will never be canceled, because it is a public service anouncement. On the flip side, probably 1/2 of the high school students in my town don’t speak English at home (and that number is rising), and I don’t think they bother watching this garbage.
This nonsense targets the dwindling number of “Anglo-Americans” left in this country, so I don’t know that it will have long-term impact. I’d be much more concerned if they were broadcasting it in Hindi, Ordu, or Tagalog - then we’d still be dealing with the repercussions 20 years down the road.
No kidding. Especially in the "inner city," where this fool is a pastor and where hardly any children grow up in a real family anymore. But that is no problem for somebody who thinks his job is facilitating dialogue rather than setting moral standards.
Born gay, as gay as the wind blows
As gay as the grass grows
Born gay to follow your heart
Live gay and beauty surrounds you
The world still astounds you
Each time you look at a star
Stay gay, where no walls divide you
Youre gay as the roaring tide
So theres no need to hide
Born gay, and life is worth living
But only worth living
Cause youre born gay
(Stay gay, where no walls divide you)
Youre gay as the roaring tide
So theres no need to hide
Born gay, and life is worth living
But only worth living
Cause youre born gay
RE: Initially, there was only Kurt, the gay kid. Then, after several years, they brought in Blain to be Kurts boyfriend. Now, high schools most popular show had its first gay couple. Then, like rapidly falling dominoes, Britany and Santana suddenly became the firt lesbian couple to join the first gay couple and now, the former football player who was throwing the slurpees in the glee club members faces announces to Kurt that HES gay!!
And of course they just had “gay” Ricky Martin as guest instructor just a few episodes ago.
As I said in a previous post — There used to be a time when it was called : The love that dares not speak its name
Now, its the love that wont shut the F up.
They actually are cruel and dismissive to all sorts of people, including those like gays who think the show is their friend.
Last week, a gay guy (who in earlier seasons was THE antagonist against the gay lead character — which itself was hilarious, that the only “anti-gay” stuff on the show was from ANOTHER GAY GUY), was harrassed with someone painting “Fag” on his locker, and being harassed, and he tried to kill himself.
But not ONE student was punished in any way for what, in the real world, would result in expulsion. Of course, two weeks earlier an “evil gay” guy threw rocks at the Glee gay guy, and didn’t even get suspended from school, much less arrested and thrown in jail, even though they have a tape of him confessing.
That same “evil gay” guy was the real reason the gay guy this week tried to kill himself, because the evil gay guy told him he should give up because he was ugly, and should go back to the closet where he belonged.
The show has all these “gay” and “lesbian” people, and they are almost all either evil, or insensitive, or so naive as to be stupid. One is given the brain of a 5-year-old, and she had slept with the entire football team before the more evil female lesbian essentially took her as her prize.
I still like the music, and just ignore the rest of the show.
He only did the spanish thing because he wanted to get “teacher tenure” and he sucked as a teacher. If I were a teacher, and still had a brain anyway, I’d be pissed off at how teachers are portrayed. If I were gay, I’d hate how they portray gays. If I were a glee club singer, I’d hate how they portray glee folks. Same with the principle, the counselors, and the school system.
McKinley high is the only school left in the country where you are legally allowed to throw slurpies at people IN SCHOOL, and not be punished in any way, shape or form. All types of harrassment are in fact tolerated and encouraged, even by teachers themselves.
I stopped watching during the first season because of Kurt. The less than 1 percent gays took over 99 percent of the show content. I read that in real life, the kid that portrays Kurt was that lone gay kid in his high school in a small town, routinely mocked. So he took over the show to vent his gay-ness. Stupid perverted show.
Frankly, Charles, I DON’T CARE why the characters do/did what they did.
1) I’m tired of being made to feel like a foreigner in my own country.
2) I’m tired of the Hollyweird all-gay, all-sex, all-perversion, all-liberal agenda being shoved into my living room. This is why the number of watchable TV shows continues to shrink in my house - MOST are simply infantile liberal garbage!!
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