The Gospel According to the Beverly Hillbillies”

(NOTE:  The Nevada Appeal refused to print the following letter because the author,
Steve Skelton of Antioch, Tennessee, was not a local area resident)

 

Email Received From:
Steve Skelton
The Entertainment Ministry
Antioch, Tennessee 

 

Written To: editor@nevadaappeal.com
Sent: Tue, 3 Jul 2007 10:53 am
Subject: Letter to the Editor

 

Letter to the Editor,

 

“The Gospel According to the Beverly Hillbillies” 

As the author of a Bible study based on The Beverly Hillbillies, I wanted to speak to the critics in the community who have called this classic television show “tasteless”, “classless” & “white trash.”   

Rather, I would suggest that the Beverly Hillbillies is actually one of a precious few TV shows featuring moral storytelling, in that the underlying theme of the show is, in fact, morality versus materialism. 

Think about it.  On the side of morality, we have the Clampetts, who never thought they were better than anyone else just because they had more money. 

And on the side of materialism, we have Mr. Drysdale, the banker who very definitely thought that, if you have more money, that is exactly what makes you a better person. 

Week after week, the comedy of the show was derived from the clash of those two worldviews, with the more moral way of the Clampetts always coming out on top.

In fact, after the series began, creator Paul Henning received tens of thousands of letters thanking him for making the Clampetts “clean, decent, God-fearing people.”

The Beverly Hillbillies is a show about a simply family, in a world obsessed with money, who stay true to their humble roots and values.  And that is the message we bring out through the Beverly Hillbillies Bible Study.

Far from being a perspective on the show appreciated by only a few, over the past seven years since we first published the study, The Beverly Hillbillies Bible Study has found wide acceptance across the country, having been done in over five thousand churches—including at least two in your own Carson City.

To the critics of The Beverly Hillbillies, I would say, you may not like slapstick-comedy performers—for example, you may not like Lucille Ball or Don Knotts as Barney Fife—but let’s not have any nonsense about The Beverly Hillbillies show being anything other than what it is: an Americana comedy classic from the Golden Age of television that, to this day, continues to delight entire families with its warmth, wit and wisdom. 

 

Steve Skelton   

The Entertainment Ministry
Antioch, Tennessee