Article by Joseph Lowery/EEW Magazine Staff
While One Million Moms is calling for a boycott of TV Land’s new hit sitcom, “Soul Man,” starring Cedric the Entertainer and Niecy Nash, accusing the show of mocking Christianity, Cedric, who plays Reverend Boyce “The Voice” Ballentine, doesn’t quite see it that way.
In his mind, the series places a comedic spin on the real-life struggles of imperfect Christians to live out their faith in this modern age.
"I grew up in the church. I believe in being good-willed to others, being fair to your fellow man and trying to live in truth and kindness, and helping your fellowman,” he says in an interview with the Huffington Post. “That's the kind of spirit and behavior that I would consider to be Christ-like."
The shows interpretation of Christian theology and biblical ideology are not overarching themes. Yet, the faith component is what compelled many viewers from the faith-based market to give it a try. Savvy marketing, with a special emphasis on the show’s religious angle, has been heavily geared toward African American audiences—statistically among the most religiously devout group.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, 74 percent of African American women state that living a religious life is of the utmost importance to them and 70 percent of black men feel the same.
Needless to say, issues of faith matter to the black community.
“For me the show is also about questioning people's ideas that because you go to church, you are always so right,” Cedric explains. “I want to show that real Christians are not about being sinless but sinning less. If I was ever to fall as a star I wouldn't want people to beat me down because I play a preacher on TV.”
His goal is to portray what "real" Christianity looks like, without hiding behind "religious" ideas and notions.
What do you think about the comedian’s take on Christianity? Does he have the right idea or it it inconsistent with the Bible’s encouragement to crucify the flesh and abstain from wrongdoing? Tell EEW what you think.