Last week I wrote about the "openly Christian" character in the new NBC series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, one Harriet Hayes. (No, I'm not going to give you a link; just look upstream a couple of posts.) I opined that she is a symbol of irony, because one of the axes she grinds is that Hollywood doesn't get Christianity, but the very ways the script writers have her make that point only serve to demonstrate that they, in fact, do not get Christianity.
Anyway...I told you so. In last night's episode, while trying to achieve that elusive quality of clarity in her relationship with ex-boyfriend and current boss Matt, Harriet says something along the lines of, "Of course it would have never worked out between us. You're an east coast Jewish atheist and I'm a Southern Baptist who believes you're going to burn in hell." (I assume she meant Southern Baptist and not southern Baptist--there is a significant difference, but would Aaron Sorkin actually know that?) OK, even allowing for a certain element of hyperbole, that is more than a little over the top. Now, I will grant you, there are Christians who are inordinately fascinated by questions of who gets to burn in hell. I even know a couple. But I don't think there are nearly as many such Christians as there are non-Christians who are incensed that such Christians exist in any quantity whatsoever and who salve their indignation by projecting the offending attitude onto the entire class of Christians. Poor fictional Harriet Hayes is only the most recent victim of such religious profiling.
I'm tempted to conclude by saying something like, "If you don't agree with me you can just go burn in hell." But then someone might not get that I'm trying to be wry and ironic, and that would not be good.