Music & Culture
Can Christian Programming Like “Mary Mary” Bring Some Class to Reality TV?
Written by T.M. Gaouette | May 3, 2012
Have you heard about the new reality show Mary Mary? The show centers around the gospel singing Atkins-Campbell sisters, Erica and Tina, and their Grammy-winning group Mary Mary.
In the following clip, the Atkins sisters are at a pole dancing aerobics workout. As you might imagine, the event is pretty controversial.
The majority of today’s reality shows offer immodest and immoral individuals, bad behavior and negative messages. Shows such as Jersey Shore and Teen Mom have such a negative effect. With that in mind, would it be safe to say that a Christian show like Mary Mary, with its Christian values, has a positive effect on viewers?
When a person announces she is a Christian, that proclamation comes with the assumption that her life will be founded upon Christian values and conservative beliefs. I believe that the same expectation will be put on any reality show that promotes a Christian agenda. Is that the wrong expectation to have?
This is not to say that these women and their lives will represent perfection. Far from it. As with any family, there has been and will continue to be dysfunction. As with any person, mistakes will be made. However, it is the manner in which the dysfunction and mistakes are handled that will make all the difference.
I feel that Christian programming like Mary Mary will be very beneficial for the following reasons:
- Reality is presented to the viewer with Christian values in place. Because of this, viewers won’t be bombarded with immoral attitudes and immodest behavior. Even in the case of disagreement, I would assume a Christian reality show would approach it with class and self-respect.
Immoral attitudes and immodest behavior are accepted and encouraged in non-Christian reality shows like Jersey Shore.
- Controversial issues will likely be confronted and held to higher principles, whether in or outside of the show. An example of this is in the clip above. Erica thinks it’s okay to take part in a pole dancing workout, while Tina thinks it’s immodest. Tina further states that her sister’s actions will be questioned via social media outlets. Therefore, she will be held accountable for any immodest actions.
Controversy is expected and promoted in non-Christian reality shows, and they’re rarely held to high standards.
- Conversations are introduced on and off the show, allowing viewers to learn from what they’re watching. Again, with the above clip as an example, the sisters bring up whether the pole dancing workout is sexual or not. The viewers also are witness to this question, and they too can determine whether such actions in their own lives are Christian or not.
Non-Christian reality shows like Teen Mom give viewers a warped idea of what’s real. You only see bad behavior and there’s no one holding anyone accountable because money and ratings are all that counts. No one strives to do or be good, because for shows like Jersey Shore, the worse the behavior, the better. Therefore, there is nothing to learn from that show–except how to behave badly.
With the show, we live out our faith as opposed to telling you. In church, you hear someone preaching and telling you how to live. On the show, you’ll see how it looks to live it out. The scripture says to forgive, but what happens when you are really mad? Those are things we will work through (Erica Atkins-Campbell).
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, Erica and Tina will be held to a higher standard. They have proclaimed that they are Christians, and so they must act like Christians. That doesn’t mean they’re always good, but that they strive to be good.
Don’t put me up higher than what I’m supposed to be because I’m going to let you down. I’m not perfect. I don’t have all the answers…it’s not always a storybook life. It’s OK to fall and get back up. It’s OK to get back up and repent. It’s OK to work hard and get it right (Tina Atkins-Campbell).
PI girls, do you think Christian programming can bring class to reality television?