Is Lifetimes Preachers Daughters Denigrating Faith Leaders and Their Families    or Helping People See Their Struggles?

Photo Credit: Lifetime

There’s been no shortage of buzz surrounding “Preachers’ Daughters,” a new Lifetime television series that follows three young girls who come from strict, religious families.

In addition to chatter, the show has spawned intense debate, as some have worried that it will paint families of faith in a negative light.

“Teaching kids right from wrong may take a village…except when it takes a congregation!,” reads a description of the show. “Lifetime will premiere its provocative new family docuseries ‘Preachers’ Daughters,’ following the lives of three families for a behind-the-altar look at what happens at home after the sermon concludes.”

And here’s a breakdown of the main characters being depicted:

Eighteen-year-old Taylor is set on pushing boundaries established by her strict father, Ken, a pastor of City of Refuge Pentecostal Church, who, following the mistakes he made with his older children, wants nothing more than to keep Taylor as his little angel.

Kolby is a fun-loving, curious 16-year-old ready to start dating, but quickly discovers it won’t be as easy as she thinks since she has not one, but two preacher parents. Her father, Nikita, a former professional wrestler-turned traveling evangelist who often gives sermons to thousands of parishioners at a time, has his own struggles with Kolby’s adolescence.

Olivia is an 18-year-old teen mom who, after partying hard, using drugs and drinking in high school, dramatically changed her life after the birth of her daughter. While trying to balance life as a young single mom, Olivia relies heavily on both her family and her faith, especially when she questions the paternity of her baby.

Just considering these descriptions as well as select subject matter that was released before Tuesday’s premiere, it’s no wonder there are some qualms. Take, for instance, 18-year-old Olivia, a single-mother who, as her biography notes, gave birth to a baby girl last year after experimenting with drugs and sleeping around. She’s the daughter of Mark Perry, lead pastor at Everyday Church in Oceano, Calif.

In a preview for the “Preachers’ Daughters,” Olivia breaks the news to her family that she will need a paternity test to confirm the child’s biological father — something that shocks her sisters and parents, the Daily Mail reports. Of course, while some will see this situation as an attempt to paint families of faith negatively, others believe that the show could help the world see that religious leaders have their share of problems too.

Watch the shocking revelation about the paternity test, below:

“I think it’s good for people know it’s not this perfect little family unit,” Jocelyn Sandor, the daughter of a priest in the Church of Ireland, said in an interview with Fox 411. “It is important for people to know what the children have to go through because their parent is a pillar of the community.”

Another preacher’s daughter, Amanda Jean McNamara, also defended the show, telling Fox that it is, in many ways, accurate. While she said she decided to rebel by getting tattoos and piercings, her sister became a rebel and was promiscuous.

“It shows all of the different extremes that I have seen other pastor’s kids go through, even my own sister,” McNamara explained. “As a pastor’s kid you have so much more pressure. It’s so suffocating; you don’t know what to do.”

Consider another scene in which Taylor lies to her parents and is forced to face the consequences:

As for Pastor Mark Perry, he says the family’s motivation for appearing on the show isn’t to gain fame. Instead, he hopes they can help people see the difficulties preachers face in raising their families.

“We didn’t say yes to the show because we wanted to be on TV. We said yes because we wanted to tell our story,” he said in an interview with the San Luis Obispo Tribune. “We’ll be able to show our weaknesses and hopefully our strengths.”

Still, some critics believe that the show reinforces stereotypes about pastors and their families. And, as Fox notes, some preachers’ children who did not misbehave or act out are outraged that the show is making it look as though such behavior is the norm.

What do you think? Is the show a viable program showcasing life struggles or a negative reinforcement of stereotypes abou families of faith? Let us know in the comments section.

“Preachers’ Daughters” airs on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on Lifetime.

(H/T: Daily Mail)

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