NBC's "Law & Order" programs are long established and all over the schedule. But the sex-obsessed vice cops of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" are a breed apart. They exist to be socially provocative, which is to say, to rattle, to disturb. Viewers at home probably weren't ready for the plot that aired on NBC on March 3. These scriptwriters are so revolting that they become almost comical.
As you read what follows, you decided how closely this mirrors anything resembling the world of reality.
Someone was strangling prostitutes to death and leaving prayer cards behind. The first suspect was a perverted man whose wife proclaimed he had converted to Christianity and overcome his sinful ways. The cops quickly discovered the man dismissed his wife as a "prude," and he was cheating on her with a variety of young girls because "it's not a crime to want a little variety" in his sex life, including "toys, role play, and threesomes." Despite his ardor for sexual gunplay as well, this so-called Christian was not the strangler.
Unsurprisingly, the killer was a Bible-quoting minister. During an interrogation by the male lead detective on "SVU," he claimed, "There is a better life waiting for girls like her (a murdered prostitute) in Heaven," that "God put me on this earth to fight Satan's grip on these girls' souls!" And: "Sometimes dying is better than living."
This minister's religious creepiness was off the charts: "Whoever did this wasn't a murderer. Whoever did this sent these girls to Heaven out of love." When he was inserted into a line of suspects, he walked right up to the mirrored windows and yelled like a prophet from the Old Testament: "They shall fall by the sword, their infants dashed to pieces, and their women with child ripped open!"
The prostitute who was brought in to identify him ran down the hall and fell down a flight of stairs, damaging -- surprise -- her unborn baby. When she later identifies the killer and he is convicted in court, the Christian killer screams more Bible verses at the judge. "He who sitteth on high, upon the wicked, he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest: This shall be the portion of their cup!"
Now let's try to turn this around, or make it less upside-down. Instead of Christian minister villains and saintly prostitutes, reverse it. Let's say the innocent victims are nuns, and the vicious assailant is an atheist. How would this plot sound to Hollywood?
A string of nuns are being strangled to death, and left behind at the crime scene are tracts from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. One young nun narrowly escapes death, and is called into the station to identify her assailant.
The killer is a stark-raving atheist. When the cops bring him in, he's shown grisly pictures of strangled nuns, and he creepily proclaimed, "Someone needs to fight the noxious idea of God and its grip on these women!" and "Sometimes dying is better than living."
When the nun who escaped came back to see a police lineup, the creepy atheist walked right up to the mirrored window and yelled "Praise Darwin! Evolve beyond belief!" And: "Stop telling pious lies to trusting children! It's abuse, plain and simple!" The young nun was so frightened that she ran out into a stairwell and fell down a flight of steps.
Later, when the atheist goes on trial, the nun identifies him as her assailant. He responds by verbally attacking the judge: "Uphold the separation of Church and State. These two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death!"
This plot would create unholy havoc in Hollywood, which would reject this scenario as outrageous, defamatory and even immoral. But reverse the characters, and they're the actual outrageous, defamatory propaganda plots that NBC airs without a second thought.
Most Americans would vote for a plot where the nuns and the ministers were on the side of Good. That's the way it used to be, before the sexual revolution and the wholesale rejection of religion as a positive force in society. But in today's Hollywood, these characters are quite easily (and literally) demonized.
Many millions of Americans believe in a religious worldview and traditional moral values. They love their churches and hate their sins, and they don't see the Bible as a dangerous fiction book that inspires killers. The fact that NBC chose the tradition-bashing set of cultural talking points on "SVU" shows the vast moral disconnect between Hollywood and the rest of America.