On the way back from lunch yesterday I’m listening to a short report on NPR about several red-state NBC affiliates refusing to air a new midseason replacement show called “The Book of Daniel” (which I’m just now recalling aired last night and thus I missed it, dammit), primarily because of its irreverent depiction of Jesus and the fact that the show’s lead, an Episcopalian minister named Daniel (played by Aidan Quinn) has an alcoholic wife, a gay son and a drug-dealing daughter.

What, no sibling serial killer on death row?

As my first marriage was officiated by Father Tom Vaughn, a friend of the family who was not only an off-the-path Episcopalian priest but also an accomplished jazz pianist who I’m sure was decently soused during the ceremony, “Daniel” sounds like a show right up my alley. But when you factor in the intrigue that’s created by calls for banishment from riled up religious groups I’m even more bound to tune it in.

I just don’t get why these watchdogs of the lord who so arrogantly insist they know what’s fit for public consumption don’t recognize that while they may succeed in getting a few stations to take the show off the air, the overall publicity from such demands generates more interest than if they’d kept their collective mouth closed and just not watched.

Instead of putting up they should just shut up. As it stands now, I pray they replay episode one and you can damn well bet I’ll be Tivo’ing next Friday’s show.