- (Photo: Reuters/File)
Some social commentators have voiced concern over the religious message of a recently announced series that "Law & Order" producer Dick Wolf will soon be making about a cult.
Presently titled "The Church," according to the Hollywood Reporter the series by Wolf Films would be about a family who discovers that an upstanding group they belong to is actually a cult.
Jeff Field, director of Communications for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, told The Christian Post that Wolf's television projects have a history of painting a negative picture of Christianity.
"We have had issues in the past of Wolf taking cheap shots at Christianity and Catholicism. So based on history, we wouldn't expect anything different in the new series," said Field. "Of course we will save final judgment until we see the final product."
Field added that he believed that these days primetime television "has become somewhat of a haven for Christian bashing."
"Simply look at the new series that begins on Wednesday on FX: 'American Horror Story: Asylum,'" said Field.
"The whole season takes place in a Catholic home for the criminally insane and features sadistic nuns, unethical clergy and demented doctors. Why the Catholic religion? When it comes to primetime TV, it is open season on Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular."
In the past, Wolf has garnered controversy for his portrayal of Christians in his television work, including in both the flagship "Law & Order" program as well as the successful spinoff "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."
Dan Gainor, VP of Business and Culture for the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog group, told The Christian Post that Law & Order is notably hostile towards religion and conservatives.
"Wolf's Law & Order franchise was one of the most notoriously anti-conservative on TV. Villains rarely were who they are in real life," said Gainor.
"Actual mobsters, terrorists and such were bypassed by businessmen, conservatives and people of faith. One 'Law & Order SVU' episode told of a murderous lay minister who left prayer cards on the bodies of the prostitutes he murdered."
Gainor also told CP that he felt primetime television was a place where religious faith was considered something "foreign" to the average human being.
"Networks treat religion as something entirely foreign, instead of something that is an essential part of the lives of the vast majority of Americans," said Gainor.
"Writers are always told to write what they know. In this case, liberal Hollywood spews endless attacks on faith, highlights non-traditional beliefs like Wicca and depicts people who actually try to live according to the Bible as knuckle-dragging hypocrites."
Co-writing the script for "The Church" is Howard Franklin, a writer and director whose work includes "The Name of the Rose," a 1986 film starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater.