Law & Order SVU’s latest Christian-hate episode was just sad

Law & Order SVU has just been on the air too long. Most of the original characters have moved on, and they are running out of GOOD episode ideas. The BAD ideas, however, remain.

Last night’s episode featured a common motif: demonizing ‘evangelical’ Christians. Story featured an allegedly evangelical church from one of the ‘flyover’ states. Church taught that homosexual acts are a sin— which is part of what the Bible teaches. But this church taught that raping a gay person cured them.

They called that doctrine ‘reparative rape,’ as a way to demonize reparative therapy. Now, since I have same-sex attraction (gay tendencies) I know about REAL reparative therapy. Some of my friends in the Courage FB group have a high opinion of that therapy— which is voluntary, performed by a qualified therapist who may or may not be Christian, and does NOT involve rape.

If a church such as the fictional one in the episode existed, other evangelical churches would be fighting it as a cult such as Scientology or the Branch Davidians— both of which are cults which harmed their members.

In real Christian teaching, rape is a form of fornication (sex outside of legitimate man-woman marriage) and anyone who encouraged such a sin would be considered a heretic or a false teacher.

If it is wrong to hate people for being Black, Jewish, Muslim or Gay, why is this kind of hatred OK on broadcast TV? And wouldn’t it be better for TV shows NOT to insult the majority religion in this country if they want to build their viewership?

I still like Law & Order SVU. But I’d rather watch their good, entertaining, thoughtful episodes from the past— such as the foot-fetish-guy one, which I watch almost every time it’s on— rather than a new episode of this type.

What could Law & Order SVU have done to tell that story without being hateful? First, they should have researched what traditional Christians really believe— perhaps even talk to Gay & Lesbian Christians who sacrifice their sex lives for their Christian faith.

And a good technique would have been to include a character who was evangelical and believed that people with Gay tendencies are called to celibacy if they cannot enhance any opposite sex attractions enough for marriage, and have this character express the wrongness of the cult-church’s teaching. This technique is often used on TV— as when they have a good Muslim in an episode with a terrorist Muslim villain, or a socially responsible Gay person when a Gay guy turns out to be the killer.

They could have told their story without giving it that hate-y, propagandistic tone. And kept more viewers on board.

3 thoughts on “Law & Order SVU’s latest Christian-hate episode was just sad

  1. Yes. They could have done as you suggested, but hate-filled propaganda is what they are after. Unless you’re Harriett Beecher Stowe or Tolstoy or Charles Dickens, you should try to write fiction as art–not propaganda. My guess is the show suffered aesthetically due to the “straw men” characters and and constant sermonizing. (At least we Christians aren’t the only artists guilty of such crimes against literature.) 😉

  2. This is what’s wrong with hollywood. They have an agenda instead of just entertaining us. Alot of false notions snd false stereotypes come about because of what they produce. They refuse to accept the truth, so they have to twist reality to support their agenda. Hollywood will never be truthful. To do so they would have to confront the truth of who they are in God. It’s not pleasant to look God in the eye and see yoursrlf for who you really are. It comes with a big lingering dose of unpleasant tasting Humility. Much better to paint others in a shameful light in order to justify your own false notion of reality.

  3. I haven’t watch Law and Order for so many years and this storyline sounds revolting. Maybe shocking and gross is what they think they need to compete with things like The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, possibly?

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