The Right Not To Watch or Read

Ineffable: too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words. (Oxford English Dictionary)

Perhaps, because it’s Good Omens and I’ve been vocal about it being my favorite book.. this petition against the show by people who can’t even figure out which streaming series is offering the mini-series, has really annoyed me. I can easily think of a dozen TV shows the ultra-religious could request be banned. Why they picked Good Omens, is beyond me. It’s a work of fiction and regardless of anyone’s personal beliefs, getting the thing banned for everyone seems a little extreme. After all, you have the right to not watch or read it.

I’m not religious. Some of my books would probably fall in the category of blasphemous. And I’m okay with that. However, why someone else thinks they should be able to decide I can’t watch the mini-series of my favorite book (which was well done) is ridiculous.

I didn’t sign a petition to get the super conservative religious movie banned from my local theater or have it banned from any streaming services, just because I don’t agree with the message of it. Instead of signing petitions about how awful I thought it was, I, instead, did what I have a right to do… I didn’t watch it.

Because I’m a reasonable human being.

I know not everyone thinks or believes the same way I do. I don’t think they need to be protected from their beliefs by my intervention and attempted foisting of my beliefs on them. Now, more than ever, I feel this and struggle with it daily. I find myself becoming resentful of Christians, who believe I need to be saved from myself.

Not every Christian feels this way, but more and more often, I, as a non-Christian and non-religious person, feel that Christians who don’t feel this way need to stand up to their wayward “kinfolk,” because their silence is beginning to feel like complacency. And complacency, is a dangerous thing.

Which is ironically, one of the themes of Good Omens. The angels of Good Omens, blindly follow The Divine Plan and as such, act superior to everyone else in the book as well as the film. Yet, as Aziraphale points out, God’s plans are ineffable, are they sure they are actually adhering to God’s Plan? Since, by its very nature, neither humans nor angels can fully know and understand God’s Plan. They can only guess, because it is, well ineffable.

One of my philosophy classes discussed whether storytelling was a divine gift. It is how we learn. It is how we keep ourselves entertained and every religion relies upon storytelling. There were arguments for and against, with several stating that fiction which is entirely made up, can’t be divine. However, fables and morality tales are normally pure works of fiction. And despite the views of Puritans, entertainment can be godly and therefore, divine. So, is it not possible then that Good Omens, despite the thoughts of these Christians that it is blasphemous; is in fact, divine by its very nature?

Okay, enough philosophy. The point is, the religious opinions of 20,000+ people who know nearly nothing about the book Good Omens or the TV show, should not decide whether millions of Amazon Prime members get to watch the mini-series they created based on a book, that basically pokes fun at the end of the world. Why do they believe they have more rights to try to get the show removed, than me, to watch it? I mean, they could easily not watch it and thereby, not be offended by it. And they could just as easily set parental controls on Amazon so their kids don’t watch it or get rid of their Prime membership to also show their disapproval of it.

Which would be the thing normal, decent human beings would do. Why should other Christians with more liberal views stand against those that are so hard nosed about it? As I said, earlier, complacency is a dangerous thing. It allowed 10 million Jews to die in Europe and even more Russians to die in Russia at the same time. And as these views get impressed on non-Christians, they will grow to resent the entire religion, much like most Americans resent Muslims after 9-11. Not every Muslim is a terrorist, but as my Muslim friends have pointed out, others treat them as such. Eventually, this will be Christians. Eventually, the ones who spout intolerance, will become figure heads for all of them, resulting in a general opinion that all Christians must feel this way and therefore, are not worth knowing. And everyone who isn’t Christian will grow to hate all Christians. And while I know a few Christians who will say that’s not how it’s supposed to work… they’re right, it isn’t. But do unto others… Showing off intolerance will lead to a reaction of intolerance.

One thought on “The Right Not To Watch or Read

  1. The arrogance of a religious person to totally ignore one of the most profound and wildly known biblical tenants is the basic do not judge. I find Christians and particularly Catholics (family members included) to be the worst at actually adhering to any religious beliefs that do not suit them. They condemn abortions yet most use birth control. Against public funded welfare/healthcare/dreamers because these recipients are lazy, freeloaders, illegals, etc. We must stand for the pledge of allegiance and “under God” which was never in the pledge until 1954. That any Christian can in good conscience praise a bigot, sexiest, adulterer, lier, egomaniacal ignorant war monger is accepting those non-virtues onto themselves and rightly or wrongly gives the impression that being Christian is no longer a Faith of love but a cult of we are better elitists. I subscribe to the tenant of “Do unto others as you would have done to you.” End of rant.


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