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In this essay I will strive to investigate how Christianity and
Christian issues are portrayed on the four main television channels.
There are many Christian issues and programmes on television,
nevertheless in this essay I will only discuss Ballykissangel, The
Vicar of Dibley, Songs Of Praise and Son of God
Ballykissangel is a drama with a religious issue weaved into the main
theme. The storyline is as follows. Father Clifford, an English
catholic priest comes to a small Irish village and falls in love with
local girl, Asumpta Fitzgerald who runs the local pub. The
relationship between them has been the main focus of the programme for
two series, with a main storyline of "will they or won't they get
together". Eventhough this is the case there are many twists and turns
in the tale.
Asumpta has always been against the Catholic Church and all it stands
for. She is unwillingly attracted to Father Clifford, but fights her
feelings, she goes as far as to go to England and marry an Irish man
from her youth.
The story ends when Father Clifford and Asumpta declare their love for
each other. Tragically on the night of this declaration, Asumpta dies
in a horrific accident and Father Clifford can not decide whether to
administer the last rights as Asumpta was not a practising catholic.
Ballykissangel is a popular drama and through the process of
entertainment, highlights important issues affecting priests of the
Catholic Church. Issues highlighted include, celibacy, marriage,
divorce, adultery and contraception.
I think the Catholic Church should try and synchronise with the 21st
century, if the church is left in the past it won't look very
appealing to join. The priest questioned his faith when Asumpta died
this means he saw his love for her more important than his faith. If
he had a choice he would have chosen love over faith.
Vicar Of Dibley
This program is a comedy set in Dibley, a rural English Village.
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village is expecting a new vicar to replace the old one who has died.
The new vicar arrives and everyone is astounded to see that she is a
female. David Horton, local leader of the parish counsel is not happy
about it, he comments that Jesus' disciples were all men not Tracy,
However the rest of the village is willing to give her a fair chance.
She is not only female, but she is funny, sassy, modern, and
approachable. On the first Sunday of her being vicar, the church is
full. The main religious issue in the programme is about vicars being
female. On this certain issue the Christian church separates. The
Catholic Church does not allow female priests. Some members of
churches where women are priests have left and joined churches that do
not allow woman priests because they believe it is not right. Although
the programme explores a very important Christian issue, it is a
successful comedy and makes the issue more comical.
Songs Of Praise
With hymns and Christian music, Songs of Praise is a much more
traditional programme. It has been transmitted on TV for a very long
time and is filmed in a place of Christian worship with a service
going on. The particular episode we watched was a fathers day special,
the programme raised modern day issues facing fathers such as,
adoption, step children and fathers who are not involved in their
children's upbringing. The programme has tried to update itself with
modern day issues of concern
Son of God
Son of God is a documentary which uses modern scientific techniques to
prove or disprove if important events in Jesus' life and if Jesus ever
existed. Using historic, scientific, forensic and archaeological
evidence, the commentator walks through Jesus life as it was said to
be lived. Evidence strongly suggested that a man called Jesus did
exist and was in fact, crucified. Other evidence proved that certain
events in Jesus' life could have happened. Such events include Jesus
sweating blood, and performing incredible miracles. However it was
emphasised that there could be scientific explanations for most of the
incidents that occurred in Jesus' life, some Christians believe that
some events e.g. Jesus rising from the dead had to be acts of faith
which could not be proved. These acts of faith decide whether you
believe Jesus was the Son of God or son of Man.
There is a wide range of religious programmes on television exploring
many issues. It seems strange to me that all the programmes explore
Christian issues and no other issues from other religions, I think
this is because Britain was originally a Christian country and had it
been a Hindu country there would be programmes on TV discussing Hindu
Issues. Nevertheless people of all religions live in Britain and I
think it biased of television that only Christian issues are explored
on television now that Britain is a multicultural country with people
of all religions.
Important Christian issues are portrayed differently on TV, "The Vicar
Of Dibley" makes the issue of women priests comical, "Ballykissangel"
makes the issues concerning priests questionable", "Songs Of Praise"
discusses modern day issues, and "Son Of God" uses evidence to prove
or disprove the foundation of Christianity!
I think that television Religion is made to seem stupid and religious
people are made to seem out of touch with the real world. A perfect
example of this is Dot Cotton out of "Eastenders", who is forever
quoting from the bible and getting funny looks from people. also Ned
Flanders and his family out of "The Simpsons" who are deeply religious
and attend church every Sunday, are made to look like fools by other
I don't think it is right to make it seem that following religion is
sensible, stupid, out of touch or even essential. Everyone should be
able to choose for themselves and television should not be biased on