‘Breaking Bad’ sparks more Christian commentary

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 14 2013 9:26 a.m. MDT

This publicity image released by AMC shows Dean Norris as Hank Schrader, left, and Bryan Cranston as Walter White in "Breaking Bad." The series is returning for its eight final episodes starting Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT. The long-awaited showdown places Hank in direct conflict with the villainous hero, Walter White. (AP Photo/AMC, Frank Ockenfels)

Frank Ockenfels, ASSOCIATED PRESS

With popular cable show “Breaking Bad” airing its first new episode in nearly a year on Aug. 11 — and with only seven episodes remaining before AMC’s award-winning drama permanently ends — “Breaking Bad” presently occupies a prominent place in America’s cultural consciousness.

In fact, the elevated awareness of “Breaking Bad” even extends to Christian-centric media. Last month, the Deseret News reported about “The Christian case for ‘Breaking Bad,’ ” and within the past week a couple more Christian commentaries about “Breaking Bad” emerged.

First, David Zahl wrote, “The frightening — but biblical — moral logic of ‘Breaking Bad’ ” for Christianity Today.

“The show runs on a frightening moral logic: No one gets away with anything,” Zahl mused. “ ‘Breaking Bad’ revolves around the least fashionable concept imaginable: wrath. … We catch a glimpse of a man (Walter White) whose low station in life belies an enormous amount of pride. Soon, in an inversion of the Book of Job, Walt leverages his personal suffering to justify entering ‘the business.’ As the factors that ostensibly led him to ‘break bad’ disappear, each justification gives way to the next until he is completely convinced of the righteousness of his cause simply because it is his.”

On CNN’s Belief Blog, Christian author Rachel Held Evans penned the post “ ‘Breaking Bad’ and the evil within us all.”

Evans wrote, “I’ve been thinking a lot about sin lately because like many Americans I’ve gotten hooked on ‘Breaking Bad.’ … It traces teacher-turned-kingpin Walter White’s descent into total moral ignominy, one frighteningly relatable decision at a time. … Which brings me back to Christianity.

“In Christianity, evil isn’t something that simply exists ‘out there’ among thieves and murderers and meth makers. No, Christianity teaches the hard truth that the evil we observe in the world is also present within ourselves.”

“Breaking Bad” is rated TV-14. Common Sense Media’s recommendation deems the show unsuitable for viewers under the age of 17.

Email: jaskar@desnews.com

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