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James Barham on atheists indulging the fantasy of murdering “bad” Christians

File:Dexter TV Series Title Card.jpg

Recently, we discussed Marcelo Gleiser on Dexter (police socio and freelance murderer … yeah) vs. the believers. Here’s James Barham’s take on the subject at Best Schools:

So, why is Professor Gleiser so enthusiastic about Dexter? The main story line of a recent episode revolves around a religious cult whose members are supposed to commit murder in an effort to fulfill the Book of Revelations and hasten the Second Coming. By opposing them, Dexter is not just pursuing his own vision of rough justice in the usual way. He is striking a blow for the Forces of Light—read, Reason and Science—against the Forces of Darkness—you guessed it, Christianity.

Thing is, Dexter’s a poisonous type of fantasy. Real police socios don’t conveniently happen to  victimize only Bad or Dangerous People. They  victimize people. Full stop. From Barham:

This is all very peculiar, to say the least. One might have supposed that a public intellectual would think twice before enlisting a demented butcher for his cause, whatever that cause might be. When the cause in question happens to be science-backed atheism—which already has a little problem with explaining how we are supposed to distinguish right from wrong in a pointless and meaningless universe—that public intellectual has some explaining to do.

Now, to be fair, Professor Gleiser does allow as maybe what Dexter does is not entirely praiseworthy, though he does not explain on what scientific grounds he holds such an old-fashioned opinion:

Well, Steve Pinker says Darwinian evolution explains how the world is becoming a less violent place, and maybe Dexter murdering Christians for the police is somehow a part of that? It’s a logical enough development, is all we can say here.

My, My, where to begin? Is there a problem with the "good Christian" being Protestant? I don't disagree with the conspiratorial view advanced by Robert Byers. It's just that we're always tempted to view our enemies as flesh and blood instead of the principalities and poweres arrayed under the chief conspirator. The show's writers, the "they" R. Byers accuse of being so determined to diminish Christians, are people created in the image of God whose primary motivation is to create a compelling and succesful series. It's also possible that they are not without integrity so far as they are able to understand the issues of the day. Now so far as discerning how God may triumph through man's fallenness the record of scripture continually reveals a kind of divine judo. That is, the attacks of the enemy result in his overthrow. This was the pattern of the cross; it was lived out in the OT with Joseph, David and many others. It continues in the book of Acts and on into the present in every missionary movement. The successful advance of God's kingdom depends upon the conversion of fallen people who finally respond to the aching void in their own hearts for the presence of God. May we always be those who facilitate such conversion by demonstrating grace to fallen sinners. There is certainly much evil in the world inviting the strongest prophetic denunciations, but spiritual discernment is necessary for picking the right battles. BTW, I am a young earth creationist, and a faithful attender for more than 20 years of a church which has lapsed into compromise regarding this issue. I understand the deception involved and don't expect a "fair shake," but believe that patience and consistent witness will eventually turn the tide. Robert
NAW. I saw the typical, and for any other identifiable group what would be called stirring up hatred, Hollywood portrayal of a man with christian, really protestant, motivations. If there was a GOOD Christian portrayed it was only to hide the deeper hostility and attempt to demonize the active influential christian opposition to a liberal establishment and others agenda. They are SO determined to diminish Christians before the audience they have. I see , have seen, and in retrospect see it has been a great agenda since WW11. Its part of a greater agenda against the American man by those who don't identify with him lock,stock, and barrel. Its more intense now because of historical forces once again converging. Saying its not a massive attack on cHristians is like saying Creationism(s) are being given a fair shake to put their ideas before interested or general audiences by those with the power to decide. NAW. Robert Byers
The current series features not only a pathological murderer who (ab)uses Christian themes, but a genuine Christian who is portrayed very sympathetically. This show is not for everyone, but it is a serious artistic endeavor exploring themes of justice and appropriate vengeance. Of course as Christians, we might say that vengeance is never appropriate, but that perspective is entirely dependent upon a Christian understanding of God's sovereignty and justice. It cannot thrive apart from it. So if we stand in judgement on a worldling's sincere grappling with the types of horror that cry out for vengeance, we are pushing away the very ones may be most receptive to the true gospel. I agree that the secular media's tendency to assign evil roles to Christian characters is usually prejudicial and ignorant, but the current example in Dexter is so off the charts bizarre that I don't believe the cause of Christ is harmed. On the contrary, the intensely religious nature of the current series is quite intriguing and perhaps unsettling for worldly people who might think they have it all figured out. By the way, the positive Christian character was martyred in Sunday night's episode. He clearly died for the cause of Christ and it will be very interesting to see how it plays out. Robert
I have friends who love Dexter. I once saw it and the story was about a bad Christian man, defined and motivated as such, who was going to get , I guess, murdered. Now this story I read here. YES they are saying what they always say. That cHristian values and identity are evil and the origin of evil in america and the world and the origin of resistance to the liberal agenda. The Christian right is a active opponent and influences VOTERS in opposing the liberal's greatest mopes for change or keeping what they have got. Then surely in our hearts and our words we are free to accuse right back. Is not Hollywood greatly ,or a lot, dominated by jews who are a tiny minority of the population!! How about Dexter? who are the producers/writers/Directors.??? I do believe there is more of a Jewish liberal hostility to the origin and essence of America as they do not in any way associate with that America. If a people would insist their out of proportion , way out, of control over this or that is normal and legitimate then they must submit to the rest paying attention to this and questioning if this changes things in open or secret presumptions about how the world should be and who are the good guys and the bad guys. Its not just liberal but is ethnic. Thats my conclusion and should be at least a suspicion of thinking observers. Christian bad they say. Well then your introducing identity concepts on morality. Monkey see, Monkey do, (if one is a honest , earnest, truth and justice motivated monkey) Robert Byers
I suppose that Christians are fair game for depicting as murderers. I'm not against that idea. There are in fact claimed Christians who have murdered. But if in a fictional account I portray such that Christianity is fair game because it is anti-science, then I would have to strongly object. Someone might say. "So you think Christians are sane? Then you haven't seen Dexter." It is unfortunate that shows like Dexter are probably more in the average TV consumer's recollection than say the life and works of Newton. Images like these are therefore anti something worse than having some skepticism about certain scientific claims. They are anti-history and extremely manipulative. But of course there is a lot of television that fits in that category. That's why I don't tend to watch much television anymore. CannuckianYankee

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