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TV Series Review

Will & Grace features a gay man and a straight woman who live together. It unashamadly attempts to establish homosexuality as a cultural non-issue. Ellen screamed "Look at me, I'm gay!" Will & Grace calmly intones, "Of course I'm gay, why wouldn't I be?" The show isn't defensive or desperate. Nor is it vehement or venomous. Merely matter-of-fact--an attitude infinitely more damaging to traditional morality than any of Ellen's grandstanding.

A statement by Eric McCormack, who plays Will, underscores this concern. He says, "When old ladies out there say, 'Oh I hope he meets a nice man,' that's when we'll know the show has succeeded." Costar Debra Messing adds, "There are a lot of places around the country where they don't get it. . . . The world from years and years ago has been preserved for one reason or another. Thank God that's changing. . . . [Being gay is] not a big deal."

Not a big deal? The Scriptures strongly disagree. Maybe that's why Focus on the Family increasingly gets letters from teens confused about gender issues. A girl from Michigan recently wrote, "Ever since Ellen DeGeneres revealed her lesbian lifestyle in real life and on her TV show, my friends and I have been in disagreement about the homosexuality issue. It does say in the Bible that homosexuality is wrong, but that doesn't mean that God doesn't love gays and lesbians." So far, so good. Then she continued, "But I also feel that if that kind of lifestyle is what makes a person happy, then nothing can stand in their way. I don't condone homosexuality, but I don't condemn it either."

Will & Grace isn't teens' only mentor in this arena. The message of the hour is that homosexuality is emotionally healthy and culturally beneficial. It just receives glowing support from TV.

A word of temperance: Opposing the normalization of gay culture should never be synonymous with hatred or violence toward people caught up in sexual sin (John 8:3-11). Popular R&B singer Kirk Franklin models what the Christian response to this divisive issue must be. After being offered a role on a UPN comedy show, he learned he would have to endorse homosexuality on screen. Franklin flatly refused--a stand that cost him the job. "I am not homophobic," he explains. "I don't hate gay people, but I believe it is a choice, a wrong choice, and that Jesus has the power to repair the hurts in our hearts that lead to that kind of behavior." There's nothing confusing about that.

Episodes Reviewed: Fall 2001

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Steven Isaac

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