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Panel of Notorious Homophobes Advised Mark Burnett on The History Channel's 'Bible' Mini-Series


While the Obama-esque image of Satan from Mark Burnett's History Channel mini-series The Bible is making headlines this morning, it's worth noting that the religious consultants on the project, at least the ones named in a TV Guide article on it, are a "Who's Who" of notorious evangelical homophobes:

Burnett and Downey approached History and struck a deal, which included a sizable CGI budget to bring state-of-the-art realism to the Great Flood, the parting of the Red Sea, God's destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and other Bible ­stories. The duo then formed an ­advisory board with some of America's top spiritual leaders.

"We weren't qualified to teach the Bible, but we knew plenty of people who were," says Burnett, whose interfaith panel included pastors Joel Osteen, Rick Warren and T.D. Jakes, Bishop Michael Sheridan, Focus on the Family president Jim Daly and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez.

These advisers were also supposed to appear on screen, since the original plan was to make The Bible a docudrama — reenactments peppered with lots of talking heads. But things went so well during the nearly six-month shoot in Morocco that the miniseries took a different course.

That's Osteen, who said "I don't believe homosexuality is God's best for a person's life" and called it "sin" many times, Prop 8 supporter Rick Warren who compared homosexuality to poison and compared acting on gay urges to assaulting someone, TD Jakes who has called homosexuality a "brokenness" despite his son getting arrested in a sex sting, Bishop Michael Sheridan who has called homosexuality "intrinsically evil" and told Catholics who vote for gay marriage that they can't receive communion, and Samuel Rodriguez, who teamed up with NY state senator Ruben Diaz to rally opponents of same-sex marriage, and Jim Daly, the head of virulently anti-gay Focus on the Family.

A reader to Towleroad writes:

It's worth noting that not only does every member of that panel have a distinctly anti-gay history, but that the panel is entirely conservative. Mark Burnett has made quite a bit of cash on the backs of gay contestants on his various shows, so I'm curious why any progressive or GLBT voices are suddenly lacking when he's looking for perspective this time around? It's 2013, and I thought the media was improving at least a little bit in thinking that the only religion that exists anywhere is right-wing religion, but apparently not in this case. And why--particularly- did Burnett seek out Focus on the Family for this, when FOF is not a church, last time I checked, but a thinly-veiled anti-gay organization?

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  1. The enemy is religion, period.

    Posted by: Manny Espinola | Mar 18, 2013 10:18:20 PM

  2. As I stated earlier today. Where's Santa?

    All religion is nonsense. You believe because your conditioning begins before potty training. It is reinforced through ritual pageantry, song, shame, guilt & the threat of ostracism from your family & friends. The same fears that keep so many in the closet.

    A magical savior is a nice thought but no more than that folks.

    Posted by: Dearcomrade | Mar 19, 2013 12:33:15 AM

  3. The History Channel is to history what the bag containing sports arena popcorn is to food.

    Posted by: EdA | Mar 19, 2013 8:57:57 AM

  4. I think they will ignore the catty comments and take their record ratings (ratings the vast majority of shows would kill for).

    Posted by: Paul | Mar 19, 2013 9:23:15 AM

  5. Burnett is a homophobic hack, and this miniseries is pathetic.

    Yes, Lot and his daughters. Why bother telling that asinine story without it's heartwarming "climax" where virtuous Lot ends up impregnating his two daughters in a cave?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 19, 2013 11:55:28 AM

  6. If I were going to do a documentary for the history channel, I wouldn't attempt to rewrite history, and I would definitely look for educated men AND women to participate in the writing and the research...Where are the academics on this advisory board? So disappointed in the History channel!

    Posted by: Doug | Mar 19, 2013 12:29:51 PM

  7. @cdubois: I confess. I, too, watched this program this past weekend. Your comments nailed it. When it was over, I immediately went on-line to the History Channel's site and blasted them for having the audacity to put such blatantly-biased and historically-inaccurate dross on their channel and passing it off as "History". I await their response, still.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Mar 19, 2013 1:02:29 PM

  8. Are you still waiting jama149 for a reply?
    I truly wouldn't hold my breath.you are not dealing with individuals who truly care about the real world, IT IS ABOUT $$$$$$$$$ n!

    Posted by: EJC | Mar 19, 2013 2:59:25 PM

  9. These guys are all just doing what has been going on for centuries, re-writing all of the 'god' nonsense to suit their needs, their Male needs. Abrahamic religions - harmful to humanity.

    Posted by: RexT | Mar 19, 2013 3:57:06 PM

  10. (1) Interfaith? It seemed all Christian to me.

    (2) Bryan Fischer - no surprise - thought it was too liberal.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Mar 22, 2013 5:06:50 PM

  11. I did not know Jesus had a Portuguese accent. That actor looks more like a Survivor contestant. Just lose the robes and give him one of those bandanas.

    Posted by: David | Mar 24, 2013 10:06:59 PM

  12. Why is it that when you call homosexuality a sin....you are a homophobe? On the contrary, I fear no one but God. I have no fear of homosexuals just because I agree with what the Bible says when it is called a sin. That doesnt make me afraid of the person practicing that sin, any more than I am an adulteraphobe or a thiefaphobe or a liaraphobe. Sin is sin, and the fact is, that our sinful, hardened human hearts desire to have our flesh satisfied. So, we sin! We sin when we commit any act against God's commands. We can pretend til the day we die that God's Word doesnt say what it says or mean what it means....but we are merely men! To think that we are in any position to alter, change, or rewrite God's Word is simply ridiculous! God looked upon our sinful and hopeless state and provided His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Trust in Him alone and OBEY what His Word says. Just read it and follow it. God said that those who love Him will obey Him.

    Posted by: Dana | Mar 24, 2013 10:18:06 PM

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