Last night, I was channel surfing on the television. I landed on a show that chronicled the last 24 hours of a death row inmate about to be executed. I couldn’t watch it to the end. The last hour was too graphic and the details of the execution were disturbing. I had to change channels.
Next, I found the TV show, House (a medical show). One of the main characters was taking an extreme chemotherapy treatment that could kill him or save his life. The physical agony of enduring chemotherapy was very well depicted. It was grueling to watch and I found myself praying for everyone I know going through chemotherapy. But in the face of death, there was no talk of God, forgiveness or eternity.
Next, I found one of the many cop shows. This story line was about rape, violence, infidelity and betrayal.
Finally, I just stopped watching. It was all so depressing. During all the horror and crises, there was never any talk about God, or faith as a solution or comfort. People faced death and trauma repeatedly on these shows and no one ever included faith. Yet, in my experience, it is during those times when even the weakest person, considers the possibility of God and turns to whatever faith he or she might know.
But we rarely see a story line that offers faith as part of the human experience. Instead, we watch the results of secular angst.
So I wonder, are the writers of these shows so completely disengaged from religious faith that they find it impossible to ever insert God into a story line?
Are they reluctant to show people turning to God or in relationship with God? If so, why?
It was depressing to watch people victimized, ill, facing death and suffering with no offer of hope, redemption or spiritual comfort.
It was like watching a grueling marathon –people were bruised and injured, but trying to endure to the end! I know the Christian life can feel this way but at least there is the hope of a better day!
More than depressed, I was sad to note that the peace and comfort offered by a relationship with God is missing in most media programming. Without the faith element, life can be very depressing and that is not a place I want to go.