Sunday, June 08, 2008

TV Religion

When I was a little kid I really loved watching television. I can recall sitting in front of what Grandma called the Idiot Box for hours and hours watching Uncle Al, Skipper Ryle, Captain Kangaroo, Howdy Doody, the Mickey Mouse Club and the McCarthy hearings. (Yeah, I really do remember the McCarthy hearings).

My Grandmother was afraid that someday I would worship TV.

In the early days of televsion it was only a logical progression that radio preachers would make the jump. Since then there has been an endless stream of persons from differing denominations and pursuasions beamed into the ether and to the antenna and cable of our TV.

At times the TV hosts can be very informative and at times the host seems only interested in money.

Imagine my surprise this week when an Egyptian TV cleric made the news. I had no idea these shows existed on the other side of the world. This got me to wondering if they were anything like US TV shows.

From the Daily News:
"CAIRO: Egypt’s productivity problems can be solved by praying less and working more, Egyptian-born Muslim cleric and television host Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi said in a fatwa (religious edict) on his website, “Praying is a good thing ... 10 minutes should be enough,” Al-Jazeera television celebrity Qaradawi says."

I assumed the United States was the only country in the world to experience the 700 Club, Paul and Jan Crouch's Trinity Broadcasting Network and other similar shows. But this is not true.

I have to wonder if the Sheikh begs for money and has a crying wife with pink hair. No, I suppose her hair would be covered.

Though I seldom watch these sort of shows I have to say back when I was a child, my all time favorite religious host was Bishop Fulton Sheen.

When I was about 5 or 6 years old and Bishop Sheen came on TV I turned the TV tuner to channel 12 so I could watch him. This was because the Bishop wore a cape and all my favorite superheroes wore capes. Superman, Zorro, Mighty Mouse and Batman all wore capes just like Bishop Sheen.

Imagine my disappointment when I later learned to read and discovered that Bishop Sheen never made it into The Justice League of America.

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