Thursday, 27 January 2011

GLAAD Celebrates as Christian Values Diminish from TV and Movies

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Just in time for the Grammy and Academy Awards, America’s Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced its nominations for the TV shows, movies, and artists who have best helped to promote homosexuality in 2010.

According to GLAAD:

GLAAD works with media to insert "LGBT images and stories" into popular culture through every means possible. From movies to comics, blogs and newspaper columns, TV shows and artists, every year GLAAD acclaims the most "outstanding images of the LGBT community" in their Media Awards.

GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios states, “This year’s nominees represent some of the images and stories at the root of the growing acceptance of our community and support for our equality.”

Films accredited with promoting homosexuality include: The Kids Are Alright — a story about the “modern family,” consisting of two kids, conceived by way of in vitro fertilization, and two lesbian mothers; I love you Phillip Morris — which focuses on a cop whose dramatic car accident provokes him to admit to his homosexuality; Burlesque — a film that focuses on depravity and decadence; and The Girl Who Played With Fire — a film based on the novel written by communist Stieg Larsson about a publisher who seeks to expose a sex trafficking ring in Sweden.

Among the television dramas described as “outstanding” by GLAAD are DegrassiGrey’s Anatomy, and Pretty Little Liars. Shows like GleeModern Family, and Nurse Jackie have been nominated by GLAAD for best comedy series.

Lifesite News reminds us, “In September, a homosexual Glee character was highlighted experiencing his ‘first gay kiss’ and in October, Glee dedicated an episode to the issue of homosexual suicides.”

President Barrios remarks, “As GLAAD celebrates 25 years of working with the media, we are proud to recognize this year’s nominees, and we challenge the industry to share more stories that reflect the diversity of our community and the challenges that gay and transgender people face.”

The irony of Barrios’ statements of course is the double standard that television media seems to have when it comes to “reflecting” the community.

For example, according to a 2010  study conducted by the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, 7 percent of women and 8 percent of men identify themselves as homosexuals, both of which are relatively small figures.

However, according to a 2008 study conducted by the American Religious Identification Survey, 76 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians.

Yet despite the statistics, television of late has failed to meet the needs of its Christian audience and is increasingly becoming more oriented towards perceptions of the changing American family.

Once upon a time, shows like Touched by an Angel and Seventh Heaven served as viable choices to families interested in engaging in quality family television time.

Now, Christian-based, wholesome family shows are being replaced with items like ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which focused on a sexually active fifteen-year old girl who became pregnant, and MTV’s reality program No Easy Decision, which glamorizes a woman who decided to abort her unborn baby.  

Americans do not merely have to take these changes in strides, however. Those interested in the honoring of faith-based and values-driven television and cinema should tune in to the 19th Annual and Values Awards Gala on February 18th instead. Sponsored by the Christian Film & Television Commission ministry, those honored at the Gala “redeem the values of the entertainment industry by influencing industry executives and by informing and equipping the public about the influence of the entertainment media.”

Likewise, families interested in making good television and movie choices can visit Christian-based review sites like PluggedIn.com, where reviewers break down television shows and movies by their sexual content and misuse of religious terms or notions.

Despite the touted progress organizations like GLAAD have made in the television and movie industry, Christians should remain steadfast in their faith and in their ability to make moral choices in the people and media with which they are acquainted.

Above all, they should heed the words of George Washington, who said, “The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.”