Religious leaders get a preview of 'Daniel' - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Religious leaders get a preview of 'Daniel'

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January 5, 2006

Albany -- A lot of viewers are unhappy with the new show that premiers Friday night. It's a fictional story of an Episcopalian priest and his dysfunctional family.

After we aired a story last night in which a couple of folks watched clips of the show and gave their opinions, we were inundated with emails and phone calls. Those emails proved quickly that thousands of people, our viewers, already have strong feelings against this new TV show. Most of those who emailed asked WALB not to air The Book of Daniel.

Yet no one has actually seen an entire episode. So today, we showed the pilot to a panel a religious leaders to see what they thought. They represent various denomination, but one faith - Christianity.

Trumpet of God Ministries Pastor Charlene Glover, First Baptist Associate Pastor Keith Gaines, First United Methodist Associate Pastor Scott Hagan, and Porterfield United Methodist Pastor Nathan Godley, his wife and church secretary all agreed to watch and give us their opinions about the show.

First United Methodist's Scott Hagan said, "It does a very good job of portraying reality. We have families, in our churches and communities, that are dysfunctional."

Keith Gaines of Albany's First Baptist Church says, "But to caricature one family, and particularly one clergy family, with all of those ills coming at once is pure caricature."

Trumpet of God Ministries Pastor Charlene Glover said, "Unless there is something that is going to be constructive, and speak about reconciliation and what real salvation is, I think it's futile."

Nathan Godley of Porterfield Methodist "I don't think it's good television, not that I disagreed with it moral. I just think it's more than a story line can hope to resolve."

Hagan said, "It takes some things the church, and communities of faith hold dear to, the name of the book of the Hebrew scripture "Daniel, the person of Christ who appears in the car, the role of clergy person and it adds those to what is others an over dramatic story line."

Pastor Glover said, "He doesn't depict a man of real faith in his own heart. You never see him pray."

"Sometimes we need to look at ourselves, perhaps through secular eyes, to see if we're relating and be real to the world or rather we're just shooting religious language at people," said Godley.

"I think maybe realities need to be talked about and discussed in families. The way you go about doing that - some might see this as an opportunity to do that. My guess is the majority of the people who will watch it will be watching it for entertainment value and will loss the opportunity to learn from the negative examples."

"I think it's insulting, and it's intended to be mockery." Scott Hagan said, "We want to see this family get put back together because in one episode they've been taken apart."

"I just want to see what they are going to do with it. I'm curious. If it has some redemptive value it may be a great tool for as the church to talk about some of these issues and to find a way of addressing them," said Nathan Godley.

All but one of these religious leaders said they would watch another episode. But none said they would promote their congregations to watch The Book of Daniel, which debuts Friday night at 9:00.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=DanielThursday