Burnett: God was on Set of ‘The Bible’


I haven’t watched a second of The Bible on the History Channel because, frankly, it can’t be anything but terrible. Silly me, but I don’t think the guy who brought us Survivor and Celebrity Apprentice is going to produce a scholarly and interesting show about the Bible. But that’s okay, because God helped him produce the show.

TV mogul Mark Burnett is convinced he felt the presence of God while filming new religious epic The Bible in the Moroccan desert after a timely gust of wind swept through the set after a speech by Jesus Christ…

He says, “The hand of god was on this. We were there for five months in the Moroccan desert. One night there’s a scene where Nicodemus steals away at night to talk to Jesus… and he asks and he says, ‘They say you can see the kingdom of heaven’. And Jesus says, ‘You too can see the kingdom of heaven. You’ve got to be born again.’ He says, ‘What do you mean, how can I be born again?’ He said of the Holy Spirit, ‘Spirit is like the wind’–and at that moment the wind came out of nowhere. A sustained wind for 30 seconds…”

Downey adds, “As if we turned on wind machines, it just blew through the village, it was extraordinary.”

Wind in the desert. How…”extraordinary.” The bar for what these people consider miraculous events is low.

Comments

  1. TxSkeptic says

    he felt the presence of God while filming … in the Moroccan desert

    Maybe it was heatstroke …

    after a timely gust of wind swept through the set

    or just gas.

  2. pianoman, Heathen & Torontophile says

    so the holy spirit can make the wind blow, still no luck on growing back limbs yet.

  3. Doug Little says

    I don’t believe that Burnett is being honest here for a second. Let’s face it, he is trying to maximize profit so throwing in something that will appeal to the religious morons can only be good for business. Shit look at how much money Mel Gibson made from Passion, if there is one given about the religious it is that they can be easily fleeced of their cash.

  4. mareap says

    I’ve seen a few episodes and it is as cheesy and bad as you an imagine. Not ad enough to be good-bad, just bad..

  5. cswella says

    Was just listening to Cognitive Dissonance podcast this morning, apparently there are more ‘miracles':

    -They lost an article of clothing, but some kid brought it back to them
    -A camera man swears he didn’t put his phone on vibrate, but it was on vibrate so the ringtone didn’t interrupt the shoot.
    -Some snake handler they hired found more snakes than usual.

    Yet again, they proclaim miracles as divine, but then have miracles indistinguishable from everyday occurances.

  6. Phillip IV says

    Well, at least it gives them another review to put on the back of the DVD case:

    “An accurate rendition of the most important book in history”
    -WND

    “Watching this DVD is the second-best thing you can do for your salvation, right after sending me money.”
    -Pat Robertson

    “Faaaaaaaart”
    -God

  7. Doug Little says

    To further my point, he is producing the show with his wife who is a devout Catholic. Yep I can see a continued increase in the miracles unfolding before my eyes.

  8. gopiballava says

    So, they spent 5 months in the desert talking about God. And only one single time did a natural event coincide with a line of dialog? That seems like it is rarer than expected.

    (I’ve seen analysis of miracles at Lourdes, making the argument that spontaneous remission rates are higher than the miraculous curing rates…lots of people go to Lourdes and there aren’t *that* many miracles reported…)

  9. Randomfactor says

    Has the devil ever been portrayed by a blue-eyed blonde? (I except George Burns.)

  10. footface says

    The bar for what god considers miraculous is pretty low, too. He could show us all kinds of stuff, open our eyes about so many important truths unknowable save through him, and he… makes some wind in the desert? appears on a piece of toast? It’s almost like he’s fucking with us. It’s even more almost like he’s not there.

  11. freemage says

    I haven’t been willing to watch this to find out if they included the bits I’m most curious about–like the ‘bash the infants on the rocks’ scene, or the one where God’s Own Hitman comes down and kills some peasant’s only son because the Pharaoh was being a d-bag about letting some group of slaves go. Ie, do they actually show the unmitigated evil the book ascribes to the entity the devout say they worship?

  12. says

    I have been watching this, I’m somewhat ashamed to say, and there’s this weird disconnect between the producers’ stated intent and some of what actually comes through on screen. It’s sanitized (no Lot and his daughters invest, for example), but not so much so that God doesn’t come off as a huge jerk to everyone. I have a lengthier breakdown here .

  13. Artor says

    Randomfactor: Lucifer is depicted as an elegant blonde man in Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel series of the same name, but it shows him to be a much more sympathetic character than God.

  14. Ben P says

    I have been watching this, I’m somewhat ashamed to say, and there’s this weird disconnect between the producers’ stated intent and some of what actually comes through on screen. It’s sanitized (no Lot and his daughters invest, for example), but not so much so that God doesn’t come off as a huge jerk to everyone. I have a lengthier breakdown here .

    I watched it because it was on before “Vikings” which I wanted to watch.

    I didn’t get “god is a dick” so much as I got “the biblical prophets were batshit crazy.” I halfway considered it might be a poe, when, well, any of the main characters got this crazy eyed look and says “GOD SAYS WE HAVE TO GO INTO THE DESERT!”

    Then the angels were ninjas.

  15. Randomfactor says

    Ah, yes. I knew about that Lucifer. I confess I wasn’t even thinking about graphic novels. The Devil turns out to be the good guy in Robert Heinlein’s “Job” too.

    Even in that “Bedazzled” movie wasn’t she a redhead?

  16. says

    @Ben P

    I watched it because it was on before “Vikings” which I wanted to watch.

    That is, to the letter, exactly the reason why I started watching.

  17. Ben P says

    I haven’t been willing to watch this to find out if they included the bits I’m most curious about–like the ‘bash the infants on the rocks’ scene, or the one where God’s Own Hitman comes down and kills some peasant’s only son because the Pharaoh was being a d-bag about letting some group of slaves go. Ie, do they actually show the unmitigated evil the book ascribes to the entity the devout say they worship?

    The series is very sanitized.

    Short version:

    Episode 1 – The genesis story is told in the voice of Noah, you see Noah on a boat with farm animals. Awkward jump cut to the time of Abraham. Abraham gets crazy eyes and says “we have to go into the desert,” and his family follows him. Lot whines about not enough land and tells Abraham he’s leaving. Abraham is sad he doesn’t have children so he has sex with a slave, his wife tells him passively aggressively it’s ok, but is then angry. Later angels (a black angel and an asian angel) come and tell Abraham to sleep with his wife and she gets pregnant. The angels go to see lot and are attacked by a mob, Lot helps them. Then the angels bust out ninja skills and fight their way out of the city with Lot&family and then meteors destroy the city. We get CGI of lots wife turning into salt.

    Jump cut 10 years, Abraham gets crazy eyed and tells his son that they have to go up on the mountain to give a sacrifice to god, the son asks “but where’s the lamb?” Abraham’s wife has a fit, and Abraham is about to stab his son when god shouts at him and he sees a lamb caught in a tree. Jump cut to egypt

    Episode 2 – opens with moses being raised by the Pharoh mummy style, passing reference to how moses isn’t actually an Egyptian. Passe scene of israelites as slaves. Moses kills an overseer and flees into the wilderness where he gets crazy eyed in a storm and sees a burning bush. Jump cut 10 years. Moses comes into the Iraelite city crazy eyed and says GOD HAS TOLD HIM HE WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE! The elders call him crazy but his brother shows up to vouch for him. Moses then goes to see the pharoh, where the pharoh is a douchebag and won’t let the iraelites go. Montage of the first however many plagues with pharoh shouting “NO!” Then the Isralites are disheartened and moses gets crazy eyed again, he said god will come to kill everyone’s children, and the Israelites say “not everyone!” and moses says “yes everyone, but there is a way he will pass over you.” Jump to montage of people painting blood on their door sills and hiding in their houses with windows shut while green mist comes and kills all the first borns. Pharoh tells them to go, then there’s an extended scene of CGI where moses parts the red sea. Short scene about 10 commandments, then jump cut 40 years and Joshua is planning to attack a city in Canaan.

  18. phrankeaufyl says

    I’d like to ask Burnett which setup God chose for this miracle. A dialogue scene would normally have at least three. And then for each setup, God would have had several takes to choose from.

  19. says

    Since Noah apparently lived for 900 years, I always wondered why there wasn’t a Book of Noah. You would think that if you lived that long, you would have a lot to write about.

  20. thebookofdave says

    So the Holy Spirit is like the warm southerly winds that follow a sumptuous chili cookoff.

    Downey adds, “As if we turned on wind machines, it just blew through the village, it was extraordinary.”

    Sure brings tears to my eyes.

  21. Cholmondely Haberdash says

    Of course we all remember Roma Downey, the angel from ‘Touched by an Angel’,
    which 59% of Americans thought was a documentary, until there was a salary
    dispute of some sort which caused the Chef to quit the cast. Something to do
    with Scientology, can’t recall the details.

  22. Michael Heath says

    On a related note, recently I read somewhere that since camcorders/smartphones have become ubiquitous, the number of UFO sightings have gone down. I think the rate will eventually soar once CGI effects are free features on our smartphones and intuitive enough for believers to use.

  23. Jorge Gouveia says

    @14 Randomfactor

    How could you forget this line:
    “I can lay you out and fill your mouth with your mother’s feces, or we can talk. ” said by one of the best Lucifers ever: Viggo Mortensen.

    Not blonde, but heh, close enough.

  24. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    On a related note, recently I read somewhere that since camcorders/smartphones have become ubiquitous, the number of UFO sightings have gone down. – Michael Heath

    Well of course! The aliens have dialled back their teaser activities because they don’t want to be caught on camera.

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