Some thoughts on the AFA’s boycott of ‘Lucifer’

This fall FOX will be debuting a new show called ‘Lucifer’ and the American Family Association has already called for a boycott of their portrayal of the ultimate bad guy as a “good guy.”

I think I’ll reserve judgement until I can see it for myself.

The show is based on a DC comic book by the same name which ran from 2000-2006. The main character is considered a villain, and hardly “a good guy” as the AFA suggests. The narrative arc of the comic raises some interesting theological/philosophical questions; mostly with regard to age old pre-destination vs. free-will debate. I’m interested to see how it’s adapted for television.

That this outcry is coming from the American Family Association (and their activism channel One MIllion Moms) gives me pause. They’re not a group I find myself in agreement with very often. There are lots of folks who consider them to be a hate group. In the past they’ve called for boycotts against Harry Potter (too witchy), Disney (anti-family), Home Depot (for not discriminating against the LGBT community), and PetSmart (for not having enough mention of Jesus in the dog food aisle during Christmas time).

They’ve also advocated for an “Underground Railroad” to be developed to kidnap children from same-sex households in order to “deliver” them from their gay parents. Their spokesman, Bryan Fischer, has even supported political efforts to make oral sex between consenting heterosexual adults illegal in Virginia.

So, whenever the AFA says anything, about anything, I tend to take a take a big step back. And then two more.

I’m also concerned about the precedent being set with the petition on FOX to cancel the show. It seems to me the sole reason for calling for the show’s cancellation is the perception that the portrayal of Lucifer is in conflict with one’s religious views. I think censorship in the name of religion is a very dangerous and slippery slope. We can’t criticize Muslims for banning cartoon portrayals of the most important figure of their faith (the prophet Muhammad) and then turn around and do the same thing when someone creates a fictitious narrative of one of the figures of our own religion. (The villain, no less.) The tactics may differ, but the principles are the same. Either we’re for protecting the 1st amendment or we’re not. And if we’re not when it comes to things that offend our religion, we’re not much different than those who would impose Sharia law in other cultures.

At the end of the day, for me anyway, it’s only fiction. There’s plenty else for me to be more concerned with.