The Bible on History

Bible, on HistoryI said the same prayer for the History Channel’s presentation of the Bible that I did for GSN’s Great American Bible Challenge last summer: please Lord, don’t let it be stupid. For the sake of Christian’s everywhere, I hoped it would not be something I had to apologize for to non-Christians/ unbelievers.

The Bible premiered tonight on History. For the most part, I would have to say that I liked it. Getting the story of all scripture into ten hours is an ambitious undertaking. Some things must be left out, and other parts of the story condensed. But if that’s the case, then why add anything that is not included in scripture? For all the drama the Bible contains, why add anything for dramatic effect? The producers must have known that some of us would be watching that know the Bible well. For our sake, why not remain as true to the original as possible? Continue reading

The Bible on History

Bible, on HistoryMy degree is in history and political science.  I taught history for eight years, and if I’ve learned anything it’s this: take what you see on the History Channel with a grain of salt.

UPDATE: Read my review of episode 1 here.

I enjoyed America: the Story of Us so much that I bought the DVD set.  I watch Pawn Stars and American Pickers which are entertaining and quasi-historical.  But History is also the cable network home of reality series such Ax Men and Ice Road Truckers; and then there’s Ancient Aliens.  Everything on History (owned by A&E Networks) is not of equal historical value.  Let’s leave it at that.

Which brings me to The Bible.   Continue reading

Will the real RM-2493 Please Stand Up?

Have you ever seen (or signed) one of those petitions supporting public broadcast of religious programs?  I remember hearing as early as 1993 that Madalyn O’Hair, infamous for getting prayer removed from public schools, was engaged in petitioning the FCC to ban all religious programming from radio and television.  Resolution Number 2493 has generated heated dispute for over 35 years.

Today you might get an email or see a Facebook message claiming Dr. James Dobson (or some other Christian leader) is pleading with American Christians to sign a petition or write the FCC.  Dobson denies any involvement with such requests.  Other preachers or ministries are sometimes listed as being in danger, and some versions are geared toward Christmas.  2493 would supposedly ban all Christmas programs and carols from public schools.  Please don’t sign the petition, don’t forward it to anyone, and certainly DO NOT write a letter to the FCC.  They have been inundated with thousands of pieces of mail for over 35 years for no good reason whatsoever.

The real RM-2493 was presented to the FCC in 1974 and denied in 1975.  The real document was not sponsored nor endorsed by O’Hair in any way.  It requested the FCC not give religious organizations licences to broadcast on channels reserved for education.  Again, the resolution was denied by the FCC in 1975, but even at that time they responded to the thousands of letter received from misinformed citizens.  The FCC clearly understood their role as an agency of the federal government was to neither promote nor inhibit religion.

RM-2493 did not call for a ban on religious programming on the airwaves.  The resolution was denied in 1975.  The FCC does not have the authority to ban religious programming even if it wanted to.  Further, Madalyn O’Hair has been dead since 1995.  Yet the rumor lives on.  The FCC has received over 10 million letters, email and phone calls.

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