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Should Religion and Primetime TV Mix?

If it's a day ending in Y, there's probably an American Idol controversy a'brewing — and today's revolves around the subtle and not-so-subtle influence of religion on the show this year. It started with Dolly Parton's rendition of her single "Jesus and Gravity" last week, but it really kicked into high gear with this week's double performance of the song "Shout to the Lord."

On Idol Gives Back the finalists used the lyric "my shepherd, my savior" to start the song; then, on Thursday, they performed it again with the words "my Jesus, my savior." (Here's the shepherd version, and here's the Jesus version.) The song angered a good number of people: Some wondered why Jesus was cut out of the first version, while others (like several of you) questioned why Idol was dealing with matters of religion in the first place.

Spirituality isn't new in primetime, but it's rarely that direct. Eli Stone, for example, explores the idea that there is a higher purpose to life without directly mentioning a specific religion. Are you OK when religion is mixed in with your evening entertainment? Or would you prefer a separation of church and TV?

Photos courtesy of Fox

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