Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bringing Religiosity to the Fuzzy Wuzzies

Sometimes, especially while we're watching Qubo, ads come on for those Worship music compilation albums, and Ro, she always dances. Because I am teaching her to be tolerant of all faiths, I let her dance. Heck, even I, seven years out of Christianity, still approve of and enjoy the musical talents of such groups as Jars of Clay and Delirious.

However, something is bugging me. How can I teach my child to be tolerant of all faiths if outside in the world, or inside in our home, the media only portrays Christianity? The other day on PBS I was thrilled to discover a program on Native American culture, which mentioned many things about spirituality. It was the closest thing to 'alternative' religion I'd seen on TV. Now with HD I get an entire sequence of Christian broadcasting, one for music, one for teens, one for children, one for sermons, one for Bible stories... On Sundays on Qubo, you can watch episodes of Veggie Tales and 3-2-1 Penguins even though Qubo is not an admittedly Christian network. I find myself worrying about tolerance and, perhaps eventually, persecution, in a nation being driven by fundamentalist Christianity.

So why don't we have Jewish broadcasting or Hindu broadcasting, Wiccan broadcasting or Buddhist broadcasting? Why don't we see any other faiths portrayed in the media? One of my favorite lines from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves is when Morgan Freeman tells a little girl that "Allah loves wondrous diversity." That is what I want my daughter to believe, but it doesn't seem to be what the television wants her to believe.

1 comment:

stephanie said...

I thought a lot about your question. I don't know why we don't have Jewish broadcasting, etc. Despite what is (or isn't) on tv, I think the most powerful tool you have is your example. Ro will see you treating people of all faiths with respect and grow up believing that that's how one *should* treat others. As she grows older and meets people that are different than her - whether it's religion or race or physical ability - you can talk about those differences and why they're not something to hate or fear.