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28 January 2006 @ 10:53 pm
My theory on The Book of Daniel’s negative backlash  
After reading through some of the recent threads on this site, one thing has become very clear to me: most of these whiney Christian brats only dislike this show because of it’s depiction of homosexuality.

Specifically, The Book of Daniel stars Christian Campbell as Peter, Daniel’s uniquely portrayed gay son. What’s interesting about Peter’s character is that, although he is gay, the show approaches his sexual orientation more from a matter-of-fact perspective rather than an in-your-face one. In fact, Peter himself at one point admits that he doesn’t want to parade his sexuality around, and, surprisingly, it seems everyone else is doing the parading for him. This not only defies most depictions of gay people on TV, but it actually shines a somewhat positive light on them.

In addition, Peter is arguably the most “moral” character on the show. He doesn’t appear to have a problem with drugs or alcohol like his parents, he isn’t sexually promiscuous like his brother or grandfather, he isn’t racist like his dad’s coworker, and, overall, he is possibly the most grounded person on the show.

Peter also is a Republican, or adheres to Republican philosophies. There is an obvious stereotype of gay people that implies they are flaming in every aspect, including their often “liberal” politics. Therefore, Peter is again seen as a countertype to the typical norm of what being gay really is.

Ultimately, Peter is a sensible, intelligent, attractive, down-to-earth guy who just happens to also be gay, and most Christian fundies despise him for that. They also hate him because he isn’t an obnoxious, limp-wristed slut who can’t keep his pants on. Interestingly, the only time Peter does have sex is when he is essentially trying to adhere to society’s strict and illogical “heterosexual” mores. (By "illogical" I refer to the idea of pushing a sexuality onto another--in this case, heterosexuality. Surely, the ultimate outcome of heterosexual SEX has its importance: baby-making! But there isn't a logic to telling people who they can or can not be attracted to, and heterosexual sex certainly does not produce children after each occurance.)

This is the perfect example illustrating that, in the eyes of most Christians, gay people are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. When the gay person dresses in drag and proclaims, “we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re fabulous,” the gay person is guilty of flaunting their sexuality too much. On the other hand, if a gay person is seen as a more conservative and serious person, Christians simply accuse his or her setting as being too promotional and accommodating of The Homosexual Agenda (thanks all you Pat Robertson types).

Would this show have received as vicious of an attack by Christian fundamentalists had it not had a positively-portrayed gay character on it? It’s difficult to say, but it’s certainly very plausible, especially considering all the discussion of that particular topic throughout this bulletin.

In the end, I believe these Christians have been caught red-handed. The fundies don’t care that homosexual characters play a pivotal role in a TV show, just as long as those roles adhere to what they want to believe: that being gay means that you’re BEING something specific; that to be attracted to your same-gender makes you almost a separate species from everyone else; that there is no such thing as a gay person with morals.

Once the “homosexual” becomes a person just like everyone else, Christians conduct elaborate battles to cover up what they fear most reasonable people will eventually come to realize: that *being* gay means nothing more than being straight.

originally posted in NBC's The Book of Daniel message board.