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.