Weeks after the premier of the controversial new series "The Book of Daniel," seven television stations have dropped the program from their schedule after receiving floods of complaints, and the show's creator is making an appeal to its viewers to bring a stop to them.
Jack Kenny, who created NBC's new show about an Episcopal priest and his dysfunctional family, is asking fans to show their support in contacting stations as opponents such as the American Family Association (AFA) protest the "offensive" program.
"You are in danger of never seeing their most brilliant work yet," writes Kenny on a weblog hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.
Many predict NBC will pull the plug on the show before it runs all eight episodes.
"NBC is losing between $2 (million) and $3 million each time they air The Book of Daniel," said Donald Wildmon, the association's chairman, according to Religion News Service. "With those kinds of losses, NBC may decide to cancel the show."
Advertisers along with affiliate networks have pulled their support for the program.
Appealing to the viewer audience to "speak up," Kenny calls for support through e-mails, calls and visits to local NBC affiliates as well as advertisers to continue running the show.
"I am trying to let the fans of the show know that they are in danger of losing the opportunity to watch and decide for themselves."
Kenny explained in the weblog that the show was not a deliberate attack on Christianity.
"Most everyone seems to understand that this is not any kind of attack or mocking of Christianity, but rather simply a fictional story in which the characters happen to be Christian," he said. "And also, very good people - despite being distilled down to their one or two flaws, something I don't think any real person would care to have done to them either."
In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, Kenny also claimed that the show contained so many scenes of love and support and tolerance and acceptance.
I'm just surprised those are not seen as Christian values," he said.
But where Kenny sees tolerance, Wildmon sees moral laxity. The AFA chairman cited an episode in which Webster counsels an unmarried couple and asks them about their sex life.
"The correct counsel from the pastor would not have been, How's your sex life since you're shacked up,'" Wildmon told the Tribune.
He is also troubled by the depiction of a long-haired, laid-back Jesus.
"The advice he gives is often not consistent with the same things he said in the Scriptures," Wildmon said. He's "kind of a hip Jesus . . . doing more flippant commentating than spiritual counsel, it seems to me."
Boy, sure didn't see that coming, says the Jesus character after one particular twist in Webster's life.
Other Christians have also maintained their strong opposition to the message presented by the show.
According to the Jackson Sun, the Rev. C.B. Harper, rector of All Saints Anglican Church in San Antonio said what he really objects to is the premise it proffers that Christians have no victory in life.
After all, a real relationship with Jesus doesn't give us a 'get out of jail free' card for life's troubles, he stated. It just empowers us to defy them - all in the Lord's Peace. 'Daniel' seems to deny all that while claiming it's a show about Christianity and Christians, when it's clearly not. What's the matter with presenting a reality-based drama that has a basis in truth?"
Kenny, meanwhile, stresses the importance of the upcoming episodes in the development of the characters as they will unravel how the Websters came to be who they are today.
"The Book of Daniel" airs Friday.