Action Alert!

To boycott or remain silent?

By Domenico Bettinelli, Jr. ( articles - email ) | Mar 02, 2005

When should we speak up against public offenses against the Church and when should we remain silent to avoid giving them credibility they don't deserve? So-called shock entertainers thrive on making people mad so do we give them what they want? The old saw says there's no such thing as bad publicity and they're working to prove it.

This isn't merely a rhetorical question. There’s been a lot of words flying around recently about a particular sitcom whose latest episode made light of the Eucharist. People are outraged at the disrespect shown to Catholics, and more importantly to our Lord in His Real Presence. I’ve been asked why I haven’t joined the chorus of outrage. (By the way, I'm not mentioning the name of the show to avoid giving them undeserved publicity.)

To be honest, I’d never heard of the show before, and now with one script the producers and network have received all kinds of free publicity, courtesy of outraged Catholics (who I will admit are justifiably so). The show probably would have gone off the air due to low ratings and sunk into the cancelled-show abyss. I checked and they were ranked 13th out of 19 shows on their assigned night, and that's including the WB and UPN. But now everyone will be curious to see what the fuss is about and their viewership will undoubtedly rise. They’ve accomplished their goal.

In reacting to this slap in the face, I would give the same advice that I’d give concerning a "precocious" child: Don’t pay attention to his outrageous behavior, you’ll only encourage him.

The lesson the network and producers have learned? Blaspheme God and outrage Catholics and they’ll do your advertising for you.

(By the way, it’s interesting they chose Catholics to attack and not, say, Muslims. I don’t have to wonder why.)

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