Loving or hating Glee.

As the nights turn cold and the days grow short, I can’t help but think of one thing. As leaves burst with color and wood fire places light across the Tennessee hills I find myself in, there is one thought that I can’t shake. As the season and sunsets turn into a kind of Thomas Kinkade/Yankee Candle mashup worthy of Double Rainbow strength awe and wonder, one thought is bursting across the landscape of my heart and soul …

It’s almost time to break out Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas album.

Easily the greatest Christmas album of all time, Merry Christmas is a steady jam of the best holiday songs ever. From the ridiculously awesome “All I want for Christmas is you,” to the gospel choir backed, “Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child,” the whole album is a mistletoe flavored cotton candy explosion of perfection. And there’s a part two being released this year. (She should title it either, “Merry Christmas II, the revenge,” or “Son of Merry Christmas.” You can have those for free Mariah!)

But when I tweeted about the album recently I was surprised how the responses only came in two varieties.

Some people loved it.

Some people hated it.

There was absolutely no middle ground. No one “kind of liked” it. You either passionately recognized it as the gift to humanity it is or you blindly missed how wonderful it is.

And the same thing is happening with Christians and the show “Glee.”

If you’ve never seen it, heard about it, been shamed by a friend who is mad you’re not watching it or “Modern Family,” then let me quickly describe it. Glee is a comedy/drama/musical centered on a glee club at a high school. Despite leaning heavily on “theme episodes,” they often tackle tough social issues in some surprising ways. It’s blown up in the last year. So much so, that bands who initially refused to let them use their music have come around. When I tweeted that Coldplay said no to Glee, people told me that was because Coldplay had too much “integrity.” Then the ratings exploded and Coldplay apologized to Glee and asked them to use their music.

But what I keep noticing is that there are two popular Christian reactions to Glee:

1. You’ve got to watch it!

In church on Sunday a friend described to me some of the Christian undertones and discussion that often peppers the script of Glee. Then someone else tweeted me and implored me to not only watch it, but write about it. “It’s awesome! You would be crazy not to be watching it!” That’s what some people tell me.

2. I can only assume that satan is the executive producer of Glee.

Worst show ever. In addition to butchering Journey songs, they’re pushing a really horrible agenda on us. It’s garbage. I would sooner slow dance with the Golden Compass or share a sleeping bag with a bunch of Harry Potter books. I hate that show and all Christians should.

There’s no middle ground. You hate it or you love it. Or so it would appear. I’ve not watched a whole season and don’t have a firm opinion on Glee. (I don’t love it as much as I love the new music from Mumford and Sons for instance or Alpha Rev.)

How about you though?

Do you watch Glee?

What’s your take?

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  1. Jerry_R says

    Hey, this is maybe related. Sometimes when I am listening to pandora, i will be really enjoying a song, then I look to see who it is, and then I don't like it anymore. The first example that comes to mind is one day I was listening, really enjoying some song I hadn't heard before, then I looked and saw it was Green Day, and was like, "nope, sorry, don't like that. gonna skip this one." So sometimes I just don't look.

  2. lechroom says

    GLEE is a little like the iPad to me. I'm aware of its existence, and I know that many people have strong opinions about it, but it has yet to really make a difference in my life. What little TV time I have is usually spent watching old British comedies on Netflix.

  3. says

    Here's my confusion: A lot of Christians on this board are deeply offended by the homosexual content. Well, IMO, that's downright silly. The show, as far as I'm aware, wasn't designed by Christians. It's a worldly show.

    Why modern-day Christians keep expecting worldly things to adhere to Christian principles is absolutely beyond me. -_-;;;

    If you don't like the show, don't watch it. If you do, then just deal with the content. It's just a TV show, and shouldn't be THAT big of a deal.

    The Lady Speaks.

    • amandaleigh says

      THANK YOU. A wise man tagged me in a tweet today that said "we can't police morality. we have to rely on God to change people's hearts". Imposing Christian "principles" on people who don't understand the gospel is absurd.

  4. Melanie says

    I really enjoy Glee. I don't love it. I don't think every single episode is a good one. For example this week's kinda sucked. And though I do believe in the creator/producer using the show to teach acceptance and equality I also don't need to see certain things. (Like the girl on girl make out session in this past ep).

    I like the show for the music and the hope it may bring to people in high school who aren't the popular kids, but i also think as a Christian it's walking a very fine line for some of my sensibilities. That being said, I do watch it every week it see what those crazies are going to get up to and even though I can't stand Sue she's quite possibly the best character on TV right now.

  5. Bethany says

    I really wanted to like Glee when it came out, but I hate the agenda they're pushing. Every show is going to reflect the artists' worldviews, but they won't all serve as public service announcements. Glee, to me, feels like a lecture on why we should share the producers' values. I don't want to be lectured when I watch TV. That's not fun. And if I'm going to be lectured, then I at least want to support the lectures that promote a biblical worldview. Glee is just too over the top for me.

    But, the music is wonderful (hence my wanting to like it).

  6. Discussions says

    I love Glee, but it's soooo overtly sexual–especially the Britney Spears episode. I don't know about other people, but that's one of the things I really don't like. But dang, that girl who did the Slave for You (or whatever it's called) video can dance. :-)

  7. says

    You know what, I'm a liberal guy. I'm not a party-line guy (I do support the conservatives on unions and nuclear power), but I do lean liberal, particularly on social issues. I support gay rights. I support gay marriage. I support gay adoption.

    But I can't watch Glee, because it's the gayest thing I've seen since "300". A guy can support gay rights without actually being gay, or wanting to watch gay stuff.

  8. amandaleigh says

    Oh Glee. I think it's extremely silly on the surface, but underneath all of the satire and sarcasm, it deals with some extremely deep issues. It's like we are being given a tiny glimpse into the youth culture that teenagers work so hard to keep us out of. I don't watch it religiously, but I appreciate the talent of the cast, the glimpse into culture, and the tweet feast it provides. ; ) If you haven't given it a try, do. If you're too stubborn, you're missing out.

    • amandaleigh says

      LISTEN TO THEM. they're like the Avett Brothers but BRITISH! Their lyrics are thought provoking, their music is stimulating, and their talent is unrivaled. Some of their songs are extremly redemptive and may lead one to believe that they are Christians. I don't know whether that's the case or not, but if not, God is using them where they didn't intend to be used.

  9. Rachel B. says

    It is brilliant and horrific at the same time…I waffle back and forth between 1. and 2. It depends on the particular episode. The first season was awesome. This current season…not so much. Best analogy I can think of is The Matrix…they should have stopped after the first movie.

  10. Savedbygrace015 says

    I am a total gleek, but the episode about praying to a grilled cheese sandwich having the openly gay guy absolutely refusing prayer from his friends after his dad a major heart attack putting him in a coma ( his bff is a christian and goes to church) really disappointed me.
    Kurt (the openly gay guy) said to the glee club he didn't believe in God, how could he believe in someone who made him gay,and hate him for what he is,that just didn't seem right, and I hated that glee writers/producers put that in there. AND NOW, they are doing a rocky horror picture show themed episode, ugh, really why visit that at all!! I liked season one where it was alot cleaner. Glee is waaay out there now.

    • says

      Actually, I've seen gay people express those exact kinds of sentiments in real-life. Of all the reasons to dislike Glee, "portraying something that might realistically happen in real-life" is probably the weakest.

    • amandaleigh says

      although it may not be the ideal message, it is real. I don't know how many gay friends you have, but that's how many of them feel. Christians need to be aware of that. And I think that the way the Glee producers portrayed Kurt's emotions about life, faith, and friendship is such an accurate picture of modern teenage culture. "clean" tv shows are nice, but they're not real. Glee is digging deep, and sometimes that's messy. there's always the off button..

    • timothy says

      @Savedbygrace while I found Kurt’s ideas about God painful they were perhaps the most real thing the show has ever done. I have many nonChristian friends, both gay and straight who feel the same way. So that may be the best reason for Christians to watch Glee, to catch a glimpse of how nonChristians actually think. That and to learn that dolphins are gay sharks.

  11. says

    I am one of those "middle ground" people. I love the music (I would kill or maim or possibly dismember to get tickets for the front row of Phantom or Wicked or most musicals….but I digress), but I hate the agendas and the general message. I would never consider it to have Christian undertones. I watch it online when I get bored, but I don't HAVE TO see it. So, yep, middle ground here.

  12. Joey says

    As a gay, born again christian ( who believes honouring the Lord by staying out of relationship for life, i just want make this clear in case any of you want to lynch me for dare to put the word gay and christian in the same sentence, and NO, I DONT MAKE ANY APOLOGY FOR BEING GAY, AS I HAVE NO CHOICE IN THE MATTER, AND I SHOULD KNOW AS I AM THE ONE WHO IS EXPERIENCING IT), i have there are times when some of themes i glee makes me uncomfotable and i can see how they glamourise things like pre marital relationship etc, however, i just want to point out that i dont think that it will affect born agian christians, eg in season 1 there was an episode glamourise stealing, i cant imagine any christians, after watching that , would go , oh, that looks great, may be i’ll try it sometimes. also i believe as christian living in the real world, it’s up to us to filter out those things against scripture teaching, as it is not possible/realistic to insulate from it. as for the openly gay theme on the show, i think they portrays quite realisticly what a lot of gay people are going through, and personally i think alot christians would benefit from watcing it, esp those who dont have gay friends, i think it might help them ( or at least i hope so) to be a little bit less judgemental towards gay community, and start taking resp for their own homophobic behaviours that make the gay community hate us so much, instead constantly shift the entire blame to the gay community, and have this all might attitude along the lines of ” if they dont come to Christ, it because they are dirty sinners, we have always welcomed them with open arms.” REALLY? anyway, i do think despite some un christian themes on the show, the overall writing and music are exceptional, and in my opinion, either you see the show as a wonderful gift to humanity or you blindly missed how wonderful it is.

  13. Chris says

    This show should definitely not be loved by any Christians and here is why… I don’t like to touch upon the gay thing because it is now politically incorrect to say anything bad about gay lifestyles, but I will say this, God did say “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”, which means God is not against people loving each other. God is not against guys loving guys and girls loving girls. But Here is what Jesus says “Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
    See men can love men, and women can love women, but once they lust after one another, it is a sin.

    This show bashes the Christian way of life. There’s bitterness, hatred, drug abuse, adultery, not to mention religion is absent from all television shows these days, and this one is no exception. Theres even one episode when they sing Beatles – Imagine. If you look up the lyrics to the song, its anti-Christianity, the first line of the lyrics are “Imagine there’s no Heaven” and follows up with later “And no religion too”. Fellow Christians, we have to open up our eyes to whats happening in America, Christianity is being attacked because, KJV 2 Corinthians 4:4 “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.” Basically this passage means those who arnt Christians are being blinded by Satan who has control over this world. It can also be applied to Christians who do not take the influencing power of Satan. Satan is influencing our culture. Glee is a bad show, because what it stands for is bad, and if you think I am wrong, then consider this. Television is only going to get worse and attack Christianity more, so if you accept Glee, then you might accept another show that goes against the Christian faith, and another and another. If you think I am silly for thinking this way, google “Family Guy magic baby”. This is only the beginning, Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

  14. says

    I have watched a few episodes of Glee, and what’s funny is funny. I mean really funny. And while I don’t expect non-Christians to have an accurate view of the Christian faith, it still bothers me when they don’t, so the episodes where they dealt with belief were realistic but also annoying. I guess I just don’t get why they can’t have characters hold to the beliefs that they say they have.
    Less importantly, their musical numbers have no apparent purpose, and I think that hurts the show. They don’t perform in front of audiences very often, yet they have elaborate costumes and backdrops. Does this afterschool activity (not a class where students earn credit) have a bottomless budget for studio musicians and fake snow? It makes regular musicals seem more plausible.