“Christian character” added to Glee cast

USAToday wonders if the new so called “Christian character” added to the popular TV show, Glee, will assume that no one else in the cast is religious or perpetuate the stereotypical anti-gay Christian?

In a recent TV Guide interview, Glee’s Ryan Murphy says.

We’ve taken a couple jabs at the right wing this year, so what I want to do with this character is have someone who Christian kids and parents can recognize and say, ‘Oh, look — I’m represented there, too!’ If we’re trying to form a world of inclusiveness, we’ve got to include that point of view as well.”

Let’s examine the assumptions here.

Murphy equates adding a “Christian character” with appeasing the “right wing” — which must be a surprise to Christians of many denominations out there.

The assumption in his quote is that none of the current characters are Catholic or Methodist or Baptist or other expressions of Christian life, because, like many teens and their parents, they don’t display their faith in public.

Laura Leonard, at the Women’s blog, Her.meneutics, at Christianity Today thinks it might be a good thing:

In this sense, a stereotypical Christian character is a good thing—it demonstrates that there are real teens who desire first and foremost to pursue God with their whole lives. That’s a pretty radical idea for a teen show.

I anxiously await Glee’s interpretation of the American Christian teenager, having been one myself and knowing many who currently choose to identify themselves with Christ in the halls, and play fields, and choir rooms, of their schools. If she can demonstrate Christ’s love in her relationships with others without giving up the values and beliefs that form her identity, it will be a great success indeed—even if she hangs a Kirk Cameron poster in her locker or greets her fellow Glee Clubbers with a side hug.

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