I want sensible religious leaders of other faiths to condemn the violent, radical, and just extreme actions and pronouncements of their fringe elements. This entails that I do the same thing with the Christian extremists. Which brings us to Don Wildmon, head of the American Family Association, and his latest silliness about television.
On the CBS show "Two and a Half Men," Charlie Sheen plays an irresponsible womanizer who writes and sings jingles. On a recent show Sheen's character altered familiar Christmas carols to celebrate what he hoped would be an imminent sexual encounter. To Wildmon and AFA, this means that Sheen, Hollywood, and CBS are mocking Christ, Christians, and Christmas.
Let us regain some perspective here. Charlie Sheen is an actor. He does not write the show. He did not invent the character. He did not create the premise of the show. Moreover, his character is not supposed to be admirable or a role model – the whole point is that he is a skunk. And the point of the songs was to celebrate the skunk's hope of sex. They were not about Christ, Christians, or even Christmas. Don, get a grip.
Wildmon recently slammed Rosie O'Donnell (and CBS again) for saying on "The View"'s 9/11 anniversary show, "Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have a separation of church and state. We're a democracy here." I say O'Donnell is mostly right, though the issue is more the violence of radicals than their connection to the state.
I am not saying that Don Wildmon and the American Family Association represent violent, extreme, or even very radical Christianity. I think Wildmon represents fusspot Christianity. And representing Christ, Christians, and Christmas as fusspots truly invites mockery.