Summarized by Kent Larsen
'God' Cartoon Cancelled By KSL Called Blasphemy
San Francisco Chronicle 11Mar00 B3
By Don Lattin: Chronicle Religion Writer
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- The prime-time NBC cartoon "God, the Devil and Bob" that LDS Church-owned NBC affiliate KSL-TV declined to carry has also been dumped by several other NBC affiliates. Now Tele-evangelist Jerry Falwell has
added to the controversy, saying that the show achieves, "a new
echelon of blasphemy'' for network television and "does nothing but
diminish the magnitude of almighty God in the minds of naive
Falwell made his statements in a "Falwell Confidential" memo to his
followers. But Falwell didn't mention in his memo a scene that digs
at tele-evangelists, portraying a fat, money-grubbing TV preacher
getting a massage from a female assistant.
KSL is just one of several NBC affiliates around the country that
have chosen not to air the show. It depicts a diety that looks like
Rock guitarist Jerry Garcia and who drinks light beer. The family of
"Bob," the main character of the show, is shown as dysfunctional,
similar to "The Simpsons." The show revolves around an on-going bet
between God and the devil over whether or not man is worth saving.
Bob is portrayed as a clueless but good-hearted father of two who
works in a factory an unwinds at a local strip club.
But other clergy, including the Rev. Ann Whiting, a United Methodist
minster, say that there is nothing wrong with the show. Rev. Whiting
says that the "image of God depicted is far healthier and true to
Jesus' image of God than that circulated in many religious circles.''
She liked a moment depicting that God -- who seems invisible to
everyone but Bob -- can also be seen by small children. "I often find
that children have a simple and profound sense of God's presence,''