Dr. Brett Younger: GCB: Good Christian Baptists?

GCB does not stand for "Good Christian Baptists."  ABC's new, unfunny, and uninteresting sitcom was named "Good Christian Bitches" just long enough to get attention for offending the easily offended.  The consistently irritating title became "Good Christian Belles," but then morphed into "GCB" which sounds vaguely like a disease.  The culture war deserves better weapons.

Like many reviewers I have not seen all three of the episodes, but what I have seen is irreverent (and not in a fun way), coarse, and petty.  GCB pushes all the buttons.  Many churchgoers-who have no reason to watch other than to be insulted-will be insulted.  This is "Desperate Housewives" goes to church.  The wives' ring tones are organ music-and not the stuff we like.  The good Christian women (who are stuck with names like Cricket) are more miserable than hypocritical.  They go to church services constantly, but you have to wonder if the creators of GCB have ever been to church.  The announcements are never this interesting.

The backstabbing mean girls are twenty years older but they have not grown up.  The cartoonish phonies have sex with way too many men.  They gossip about the sex they have had and the sex they want to have.  Their teenage daughters have surgery enlarging parts that were fine the size they were.  They throw mud-literally.  They quote more scripture than a Bible drill champion but like a bad TV preacher it never fits the context.  They wear amazingly short skirts.  Some of the hypocritical churchgoers work at BoobyLicious and some own the restaurant that makes Hooters look like four star dining.  The writing is worse than the duplicity-dialogue like "This is my gunfight at the not-OK Corral!"

GCB probably cannot be saved.  The people of Dallas who do not carry multiple guns should be as offended by the ridiculous stereotypes as the people who go to church.  The show aims to make fun of superficiality, but it does so superficially.  The minister continues the long tradition of feeble-minded, one-dimensional, insubstantial TV sitcom ministers.  (Father Mulcahy was the last good one.)

The writers think they are taking shots at hypocrisy, but they are not sharp or funny jabs.  We know that not everyone who goes to church actually leads a Christ-centered life.  We do not need a reminder that there are hypocrites, but if ABC is going to try they should be less shallow about it.  I am offended not because it is not funny, but because it is not true.  If you are going to portray hypocrisy do it honestly.

Our churches are hypocritical, but we are a lot more subtle than the GCBs.  We talk about everyone being welcome, but we hesitate to invite the poor, ex-prisoners, or the handicapped to church.  We ignore those whom Jesus said he came to bring good news.  We let hungry people go uninvited to church dinners where the leftovers look like Thanksgiving dinner.  We let church buildings go empty while people have no roof over their heads.  We build endowment funds while children are starving.  We give most of our attention to ourselves.  Our churches have lots of committees, but few of them deal with real issues like racism or justice.  We claim to follow the Prince of Peace, but we support politicians who rush to war.  Good Christian Baptists understand hypocrisy and we are a lot better at it than the people on television.

[Taken with permission fromBrett's blog, Peculiar Preacher.]