Having a Bad Hair Era
I have a friend who is a faithful viewer of religious television. Years after ``Pearlygate,'' he still longs for his Jim and Tammy Bakker fix.
But there are other stars to watch. He is especially fond of talk shows featuring evangelicals whose hair does not appear to be their own.
Week after week, this media professional turns on his TV and cracks up laughing. He says it would be impossible for secular pros to create satire as cutting-edge as the contents of most religious shows. He calls it ``unintentional comedy.'' In his opinion, the electric church is good precisely because it is so bad.
Yes, my friend was raised in a nominally Christian home and, today, he is part of the flock most researchers call the ``unchurched.'' He is the kind of person most religious broadcasters say they need to raise money in order to reach.
Well, he loves religious television. But I doubt many religious broadcasters would be cheered by this man's glowing, if somewhat twisted, review of their work.
Let's assume for a moment that there is truth in this secular point of view and that, as a rule, most religious broadcasts are technically inferior to their secular counterparts. And let's assume that what many Christians say is true: that much of what is aired on religious television is embarrassing and that they cringe when secular people laugh at it.
Note: We are not discussing the contents of religious and secular television, in terms of morality. This is a discussion of entertainment values.
So why is religious television so bad? I propose five theories.