“Can’t wait for the stoning-of-adulteresses question,” Washington Post TV critic Lisa de Moraes snarked in a column back in March about The American Bible Challenge, an original game show in development for GSN (formerly the Game Show Network), to be hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy.
Fast forward to this morning’s Washington Post, and readers would find Hank Stuever’s scathing review on the front page of the Style section. Since GSN isn't listed in the Post’s daily TV listings grid – nor is it necessarily a highly-trafficked cable network – it seems obvious that the only reason for a review would be to malign it. And trash it he did.
In a classic case of 'damned if you do, damned if you don’t', Stuever seemed annoyed that the program doesn’t have a theological axe to grind.
He lamented that he wished it were “churchier” or “more piously righteous” for entertainment purposes, instead of making the Bible "seem like nothing more than a big catalogue of trivia.”
Does anyone honestly believe that if it were “churchier” that Stuever wouldn’t criticize the resulting product as being too niche for a secular audience, or too offensive for non-Christians?
GSN insisted the program was “designed to acknowledge and celebrate the Bible’s continuing importance in contemporary life and culture.” It’s not about making converts but rather having a little fun while raising money for religious charities –winners don’t even keep the earnings but donate them to a ministry of their choice.
Leave it to the Washington Post to find such a laudable venture worthy of ridicule.