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"Can't you see? You're not making Christianity better, you're just making rock n' roll worse."
Hank Hill, King of the Hill

Sometimes even Moral Guardians have to accept that The New Rock and Roll isn't going away. They can't stop people from watching/reading/playing/listening to it, and even if they succeed in instituting a Censorship Bureau, it's still not up to their standards.

Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. If those works aren't up to their standards, they will make works that are. And they can even throw in a message about their beliefs and views in these works. Thus they make The Moral Substitute. So now all those children can have their fun, while their responsible parents don't have to worry about that strange new music they didn't grow up on. Everybody wins and nobody loses right?

If everything works out, sure. However almost by definition creating the Moral Substitute means directly competing with what it is the substitute of, while explicitly targeting a more specific demographic. Imagine creating a competitor to Coke and Pepsi but targeting only middle-aged mothers at the expense of appeal to the general population. If that sounds like a troubling investment to you, then you see why production values tend to be lower. Adding to the complications of course is the need to produce absolutely nothing even mildly offensive to the specific demographic you are targeting. Put it all together and the Moral Substitute suffers from a reputation of being an overly bland case of Follow the Leader. And those that weren't offended by the original are very unlikely to embrace this product.

Of course if you are in the target demographic you just might appreciate something catering to you particular mindset. Cue possibly small but reliable following. Enough of this exists to keep the phenomena going as new media fads emerge.

As one might expect works may end up Totally Radical and/or Poor Man's Substitute.

In America the lead suspect for enacting this trope will be the devout (conservative) Christian demographic as the foremost Moral Guardians with substantial political pull. They are large enough to have created their own sub-culture out of this trope; nowadays one can find Christian-focused works for any medium. It must be noted though this trope can apply to absolutely any point of view in existence, with examples covering the whole social-political spectrum. For example, in Russia this trope was usually enforced by the Communist Party, which created Soviet boy scouts, Soviet pop bands, Soviet action movies, Soviet chewing gum, an entire film genre that was essentially The Western in Soviet Russia to stop people from admiring all that decadent stuff from the West (didn't work this way).

Can be a Super-Trope to Christian Rock, though that genre isn't nearly as deep into this trope as the label would suggest.

Examples of The Moral Substitute include:


Anime and Manga

  • Superbook was mean't purposedly teaching Japanese childern to Protestant Christianity.
  • Infamous example that their were Anime segments made by followers of Aum Shinrikyo to portayed their Founder in postive view alongside with Jesus for recuitment purposes. Here one of clips from Youtube.

Comics

  • The Eagle was launched by an Anglican vicar who saw local children reading adult-oriented American horror comics, and wanted them to read more wholesome material. Fortunately, he made sure to focus on quality, and brought out a very popular and fondly remembered comic which gave us Dan Dare.
    • Dan Dare was originally created as a sort of military chaplain In Space, but he was changed to a straightforward pilot to better appeal to children.
  • The Jewish Superman clone "Shaloman", who'll help anyone who shouts "Oy vey!". The fact that Superman himself was inspired by Judaism and was created by two Jewish people seems to have been overlooked.
    • Actually, Shaloman creator Al Wiesner noticed that the ethnicity of Superman was rarely brought up and that most fans thought Superman was a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (Alien). That's why he created the blatantly Jewish Shaloman.
  • Christian fundamentalist Jack Chick has spent decades writing "Chick Tracts" that lay out his vision of fundamentalist Protestant Christianity. He has explicitly stated that they were inspired by Chinese manhua.
    • The tract "Angels" actually denounces this trope. Its target? Christian rock music. All Rock 'n' Roll music is controlled by the Devil, and so-called "Christian" rock plays right into his hands.

Fan Works

Do you want your little ones to read books; and they want to read the Harry Potter Books; but you do not want them to turn into witches? Well-this is the story for you! This story has all the adventure of JKR's books; but will not lead your children astray.

  • There are many Sonic the Hedgehog Fan-Art with Christian themes, ranging from fanart with verses from the Bible to Sonic characters in Christian settings. This is highly unusual as a non-religious video game series doesn't go together with religion. In addition, many of the Christian Sonic Fanart are weird and poorly made.
  • There are loads of various Fan-art and Fan Fics that have Christian and non-Christian themes added to them, such as a character finding Jesus or joining a church. The quality varies a lot as they can range from saccharine to bizarre depending on the author's understanding of Christianity. In particularly bad examples, characters will often act Out of Character and may become nothing but mouthpieces for the authors in question.

Film

  • Bob Roberts parodies this idea by having the title character as the fanatically conservative child of hippies who uses the musical style of protest songs to express his ideology.
  • Gamera was originally intended as a comparatively mild example of this -- a more kid-friendly alternative to Godzilla, featuring a relatively non-threatening, Friend to All Children giant monster in a series that was lighter on the carnage and senseless death. The '90s reboot tried to move away from this origin, but Gamera the Brave whole-heartedly embraced it.
  • Some people have called Shooter a left-wing response to right-wing Eighties action movies. Ironically, the author of the book Shooter was (loosely) based on is a conservative.
  • High School Musical is a pretty tame movie series, but there is still a religious alternative: Sunday School Musical, released by The Asylum under their Faith Films imprint - although in this case, the reduced production values aren't due to this trope so much as due to the M.O. of The Asylum being reduced production values.
  • In order to counter the allegedly less-than-flattering portrayal that the 1996 film adaptation of Evita gave to Eva Perón, the Argentinean government commissioned Eva Perón: The True Story, a Dueling Movies released that same year.

Literature

  • There is a "Christian" Goosebumps-alike. Similar cover font and art design, but all the spooky stuff turns out to be faked (because Satan has no real power), and prayer works coincidental miracles.
  • There is a Christian Choose Your Own Adventure-type series. One was on the dangers of Satanists, New Agers, and-- for some reason-- environmentalists[1]. One of the endings for the latter plot involved starting a Christian environmental club.
  • The rise of cheesy Airport Fantasy and techno-thrillers from authors such as Tom Clancy and Dan Brown has led to the creation of the Left Behind series, where fundamentalist Christians try to stop the Antichrist with high-tech weaponry. Many books like this start out like normal "apocalypse" books (with the usual waking up one day to find something wrong, everybody in a frenzy), but slowly everything starts becoming Jesus-related.
  • The Narnia series wasn't written as this, although CS Lewis was very conscious of and open about his inclusion of Christian themes in the books. However, these days (especially after The Film of the Book), it seems to be treated as such against secular kid-lit fantasy lines like Harry Potter. Still, the Narnia fanbase isn't entirely composed of Christians.
    • And, of course, His Dark Materials was written as a substitute for the Narnia books -- from an antitheist viewpoint.[2]
  • The inspirational romance genre serves as the moral substitute for steamy, bodice-ripping romances. While the above link to the Other Wiki doesn't note it, leading publisher Harlequin has a successful imprint (Steeple Hill) that only turns out books of this kind using the parent company's Strictly Formula approach.
    • Taking this methodology a step farther, there exists Christian spanking porn. Of course, the makers deny that it's porn at all and prefer the term "Christian domestic discipline romance fiction". They claim it was created for Christian couples to explore what God intended for marriage (i.e. According to the makers, He wants husbands to spank their wives) without having to look at anything icky.
  • The Twelve Candles Club was a Christian -- specifically, conservative evangelical -- alternative to what the author saw as filth and immorality found in secular preteen novel series like The Baby Sitters Club. The approach was... odd. Basically, each book would start with a fairly standard BSC-style plotline; the characters would make it to the second-to-last chapter without mentioning religion in any way, but then, when all hope seemed lost, one of them would suggest that the group pray about their problem. They would do so, and the problem would suddenly be solved by some miraculous coincidence.
  • Some reviewers consider Twilight to be the moral substitute for other vampire and romance novels, which are generally less pro-abstinence. More than that, this series of Livejournal posts makes a pretty solid argument that it's the Mormon Alternative.
  • Frank Peretti wrote a number of novels, many of which could be considered Moral Substitutes for the paranormal/occult detective and action and adventure genres.
  • Erik, the titular phantom of The Phantom of the Opera original book is Don Giovanni done right: Don Giovanni (and all versions of the Don Juan legend) plays Don Giovanni as The Casanova who doesn’t care if he hurts the women he claims to love and is sent to hell at the final of the opera only to please the Moral Guardians that insists Don Giovanni must be punished so the audience Do Not Do This Cool Thing, Erik (who is a Don Giovanni Fanboy) also is a similar Bastard Boyfriend who abuses Christine while claiming to love her, but after breaking Christine’s spirit and successfully blackmailing her into being her wife, let her go with Raoul by his own will after Christine gives Erik his first True Love's Kiss, showing that Love Redeems even a Psychopathic Manchild.
  • The New Basic Readers were a series of grade school primers published in the 1930's through the 1960's, featuring, among other characters, Dick and Jane. They were published for the public school market. A division of this company, the New Cathedral Basic Readers, were the Catholic School equivalent. They kept all the secular stories of the original, but would add a few religious-themed stories (ie, the kids read a Bible story, or buy a Blessed Mother necklace for their mom, or have a nun for their teacher).


Live Action TV

  • The Half Hour News Hour, a Fox News show that aimed to be the conservative version of the left-leaning Daily Show. Most of its humor was based around taking cheap potshots at Democrats and liberals to canned laughter, not to mention had a bad timeslot. It only got a half-season's worth of episodes.
    • Red Eye With Greg Gutfeld worked out better thanks to it having better time slots, and being more of an imitation of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn (which wasn't a left leaning show anyway) than the Daily Show.
    • Fox News in general explicitly styles itself as the moral substitute to allegedly left-leaning news sources.
  • Arguably, all TV channels owned by the Venezuelan government. All of them try, with various grades of success, to promote an "alternative" view to the "imperialist" (read: American) channels, who means that most shows are devoted to how wonderful the government is and how evil the oppressors are. One of the channels was deliberately built as an "socialist" alternative to commercial channels, and even is trying to do "social" Soap Operas. It seems that the effort is not working, though; the combined ratings of all government channels are inferior to the least popular of the commercial channels, and even the directors of some of those channels admit that they are not attracting enough viewers.
  • Arguably, the requirements various countries have of a mandated amount of locally produced TV and film.
    • This was how the ultra-Canadian stereotypes of Bob & Doug Mackenzie originated. SCTV had to fill Canadian TV's extra two minutes per half-hour with "Required Canadian Content", miffed at the fact that a Canadian production, with all-Canadian writers, actors and producers was not enough in and of itself to meet requirements.
  • The PAX television network was intended to be a family-friendly alternative to the major broadcast networks, but ended up being mostly infomercials and reruns, along with Billy Ray Cyrus as Doc. It's since changed its name to ION and its programming now consists entirely of infomercials and reruns, with the occasional movie during prime time hours (including, oddly enough, Hogfather during the Christmas season). It later consisted of reruns from CBS primetime shows, including Ghost Whisperer, NCIS, and Criminal Minds, indicators of some definite Network Decay.
  • Like the Narnia example above, many of the children's shows aired by the American network PBS (Sesame Street, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Arthur) weren't intended as Moral Substitutes. However, once Saturday mornings (and, later, cable networks like Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and the Disney Channel) became increasingly filled with half-hour toy commercials and shows that certain parents and Media Watchdogs considered to glamorize consumerism and materialism, PBS Kids started to be treated as this by a number of parents who wanted their children watching more educational fare.
    • Ironically, Sesame Street itself is now under fire from some quarters for allegedly being subversive and immoral.
  • Dooley and Pals is considered to be a religious alternative to Barney and Friends. The shows' plots are very similar (kids hang out with a fantasy creature, while singing songs about various topics), despite Barney being secular in comparison.
  • Bibleman is a moral substitute for superheros/superhero shows in general. Unlike some alternatives however, it is aware of how silly and campy it can get.
  • Evangelist Ty Adams has created an alternative to The Real Housewives series, called The Real Housewives of the Bible, which is supposed to profile 12 women from The Bible. It apparently emphasizes the solution instead of the problem.


Music

The entire genre of White Power and neo-Nazi music, which includes rock, metal, ska and, amusingly enough, rap. Whether it can be called a moral substitute...

  • The entire skinhead movement can trace its roots back to ska. Also, keep in mind that calling skinheads racist is a great way to find out what the bottom of a pair of Doc Martens looks like -- most skinheads are explicitly anti-racist, primarily because of the minority of neo-Nazis that has tarnished the scene.
  • There's also Saga, the Neo-Nazis' answer to Madonna. (Silly, but necessary, given Madonna's conversion to Jewish mysticism.)
  • National Alliance leader (and secret author of The Turner Diaries) William Pierce was well aware of the irony. He despised rock music and preferred that young people listen to classical music or opera, but was pragmatic enough to decide that if white youths were immature enough to be into the rock scene, that was what his label Resistance Records was going to give them (provided it could impart a "white power" message, of course).
  • Pat Boone made his career out of taking somewhat-racy popular music (especially Rock and Roll) and defanging it, going back to the 1950s when he released a tamer version of Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" (which had itself been bowdlerized from Little Richard's original version, so in effect Boone defanged something already largely toothless). He rode this to become the second highest-selling artist of The Fifties, with several of his covers, including "Tutti Frutti" and Fats Domino's "Ain't That a Shame", reaching higher positions on the charts than the original recordings (though the originals are today recognized as the First and Foremost versions). He's still doing it to this day; In A Metal Mood, an album of Boone converting such songs as Metallica's Enter Sandman and Ronnie James Dio's Holy Diver, has earned a So Bad It's Good cult following (amusingly, Boone has since claimed his church threw him out for even touching metal music).
  • Little Richard recorded "Long Tall Sally" in an effort to produce a song that Pat Boone couldn't cover. Boone gamely tried, but Richard's version ended up beating his out on the charts.
  • In a curious inversion of the usual order, atheist activist Michael Newdow (best known for his challenges to the Pledge of Allegiance) released a CD of "solstice" carols with the religious elements removed for the enjoyment of his fellow atheists. Lyrics here. It's odd.
  • During the latter years of the Cold War, the Soviet government promoted the career of Dean Reed, an American expatriate living in East Germany, as an alternative to decadent "rohk" music, which had replaced decadent "jast" music on their hit-list.
  • Chris Rice parodied the concept of moral substitutes in his "Cartoon Song." He stopped playing it live in 2004 because too many people were missing the point that God wants His believers to do the praising themselves, not through their choices of entertainment.
  • Five Iron Frenzy averts the trope; they were a rock band, and they were Christians, and occasionally that would creep into their music, but they were interested in making good music first and Christian music second.
    • Surprisingly, many Christian Rock bands are subversions of this: P.O.D., Underoath, and Norma Jean, to name a few examples, are popular among Christians and non-Christians alike because their music is awesome (not that that stops Moral Guardians from harping on said bands as "safe alternatives" to secular rock). This makes it frustrating for some when people claim that all Christian Rock is Stryper.
    • However, the band ApologetiX makes blatant use of this trope, as all of their songs are based off of popular secular songs, like a Christian version of "Weird Al" Yankovic.
  • The Black Eyed Peas started out as a less violent, socially conscious alternative to the Gangsta Rap artists that dominated rap music in The Nineties. This changed once Fergie joined, with their hit albums Elephunk and Monkey Business turning them in a more party-pop-oriented direction.
  • The entire Straight Edge music scene and subculture emerged as a backlash against what was perceived as out-of-control violence and drug use within the Hardcore Punk scene in The Eighties. Ironically, the militancy of some straight edge adherents led to the perception that the movement was a gang.
    • The "gang" mentality, by the way, was lampshaded clear into the stratosphere by WWE's CM Punk between 2009 and 2011. His "hardcore straight-edge" gimmick, originally heroic, took on a diabolical "cult" flavor, with Punk's followers essentially a group of skinheaded thugs and Punk himself looking disturbingly like Charles Manson (until Rey Mysterio shaved him bald).
  • "White Metal" or "Unblack Metal" is this to Black Metal.
  • In The Eighties, Televisa, then (and still) the most powerful Mexican TV network, was faced with a dilemma. As one of Mexico's self-appointed Moral Guardians, they had to ostracize any music that plays harder than 2 on the Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness to prevent the "family values" crowd from viewing them as traitors, but doing so meant losing those profitable demographics that enjoyed rock music. So they decided to Bowdlerise rock music, playing children's bands like Timbiriche.
  • Christian Vocaloid songs do indeed exist. (As vocaloid is just an instrument anyway) It’s just hard to find them and most of them are all in Japanese.

New Media

  • Conservapedia, the conservative Christian version of The Other Wiki. Its editors started the Conservative Bible Project, an attempt to produce a Bible translation free from "liberal bias." Yes, the people behind Conservapedia are producing a Moral Substitute for The Bible.
    • The worst part is that today's young American conservatives are more hawkish and Objectivist than "Christian," and in fact are often socially liberal or at least socially moderate. Conservapedia does its best to pander to this type of conservative, too, but for the most part it's a Christian right site.
      • There are plenty of young social conservatives too. The thing is that the 'conservative movement' as such is actually two or three different groups, with different agendas, unified primarily by opposition to the reigning social and political and economic paradigm dominated by the post-McGovern (post-1972) Democratic Party (which is itself a patchwork of New Deal/Great Society liberals and the New Left). Libertarians and conservatives are two different things, but they both dislike the current incarnation of the welfare state, for example.
    • And then there's Liberapedia, which is one part the liberal alternative to Conservapedia, and many parts over-the-top satire.
  • There's message boards for Christian Furries.
    • And for "confurvatives".


Radio

  • Air America Radio was created as the left-wing alternative to conservative talk radio, and managed to pick up such hosts as Jerry Springer and former Saturday Night Live stars Janeane Garofalo and Al Franken (a future senator). It sputtered on for several years on corporate life support (Even Neal Boortz, noted for his opposing views, donated money!) before it shut down.


Tabletop Games

  • "Christian Power Cards", a Moral Substitute for Pokémon cards, featuring characters from The Bible.
  • After a number of Christian fundamentalist extremists got it into their heads that tabletop RPGs (particularly Dungeons and Dragons) were Satanic, someone came up with Dragon Raid. Ironically, the game was criticized by the same extremists despite its Christian viewpoint; they figured any fantastic roleplaying was evil.
    • Meanwhile, RPGnet actually gave it a favorable review, with some interesting commentary on the overall "watered-down substitute" phenomenon.
    • There were several attempts at Christian (TM) Games during that period, including a Chutes-and-Ladders knockoff called "Revelations", marketed to "mothers worried that your children are into games with Dungeons and Demons and The Occult".
  • The board game Kosherland, which is Candyland, but with all the candy imagery (and candy-themed cartoon characters) replaced with imagery and cartoon characters about food that orthodox Jews can eat.
    • "Uh-oh, you landed in cholent swamp; you lose a turn!"
  • Among certain circles that decried standard playing cards as featuring Satanic imagery, the card game Rook became popular as it had no imagery whatsoever... aside from the titular crow-like bird.
  • One notable immoral Moral Substitute would be the white power RPG Racial Holy War, which you can find a thorough mocking of here.


Toys

  • After the American Girl doll brand was involved in controversies over claims that the company's charitable contributions supported pro-abortion and pro-gay rights groups, several alternate doll brands popped up intending to be more moral alternatives. In some cases, they all but called out American Girl by name when criticizing "other" companies in their publicity. American Girl remained the leader in brand recognition, marketing and quality, and for the most part the imitators have since fallen by the wayside and folded with little fanfare.
  • Dara and Sara, the officially-sanctioned Iranian Barbie doll substitute.


Video Games

  • The game developer Color Dreams changed its name to Wisdom Tree, and rereleased their old games with new titles and Christian themes slapped on. Some notable games that they made included Bible Adventures, Sunday Funday (a rebadged version of the old Color Dreams game Menace Beach), and Spiritual Warfare (a thinly disguised Zelda clone -- not half bad, but mostly by virtue of picking a good game to rip off). These games did not carry the Official Nintendo Seal of Quality, and came with special cartridges that were designed to get around the lockout chips in Nintendo's consoles.

    It is widely believed that the reason Color Dreams turned into Wisdom Tree was not out of piety, but so that they could get around Nintendo's licensing. Nintendo's primary pressure tactic was refusing to sell their games to retailers that sold unlicensed games. Christian bookstores were immune to this, as they didn't stock video games in the first place. Seeing an opportunity, the newly-renamed Wisdom Tree convinced the bookstores that their games would bring kids to God, and started selling their games to them. Another theory is that Color Dreams changed their modus operandi after Nintendo sued them for selling unlicensed games -- after all, what sort of evil company (and a Japanese one, at that) would hate on a Christian game developer anyway?
    • One Wisdom Tree game, Super 3D Noah's Ark for the Super NES, is particularly famous among hardcore gamers for being the only unlicensed SNES cartridge released in the US. The game was essentially Wolfenstein 3D with the guns replaced with food and the Nazis replaced with goats. (Apparently, gathering different animals was too much trouble for Noah.) An urban legend claims that id Software actually gave Wisdom Tree the Wolfenstein 3D code and SNES lockout codes just to spite Nintendo after the SNES port of Wolfenstein 3D was Bowdlerised. id Software denies this, claiming that Wisdom Tree was just another Id Tech 0 engine licensee.
  • Seanbaby reviewed a Christian version of Dance Dance Revolution (entitled Dance Praise) in one issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, concluding with an offensive but somewhat pertinent quote: "[What I learned was that] Christian anything sucks more than regular anything."
    • He also reviewed Bible Adventures and Sunday Funday. After comparing Sunday Funday's gimmick of quoting scripture versus Menace Beach's gimmick of having your girlfriend's clothes disappear between levels, he concluded that "If you suck at making things but want people to buy them anyway, crap with Jesus sells better than crap with tits."
  • A Christian Guitar Hero clone, entitled Guitar Praise, which includes a lot of groups listed on Christian Rock (and one song from a Not Christian Rock group, Flyleaf).
  • There's a Catholic-themed clone of DopeWars called, yes, Pope Wars. It's somewhat tongue-in-cheek.
  • There was a PC game spawned by the Bibleman video series by a company called Covenant Studios. It played sort of like Diablo with jerky controls, sprites that moved at a snail's pace and weapons of a purely defensive nature -- even the character who had a laser gun at the time. Instead, there's a clunky system to destroy enemies with random Bible passages. To top it all off, Bibleman, the character the series is named after, has to be unlocked before players can take control of him. Oddly, despite this winning combination, the purported Play Station 2 and Game Boy Advance versions never materialized. At last check, the developers' site had disappeared off the face of the internet.
  • Parodied mercilessly in a viral campaign for Dante's Inferno, which offered a game at the complete opposite end called Mass: We Pray. And naturally, it was presented as a game using Wii-like technology. The punchline was that, whenever you clicked any link on the fake website for the game (which is now dead), you got a message more in the style of the real game informing you that performing mass without a real Catholic priest falls under the sin of Heresy.
  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has made a number of animal rights-themed Flash parodies of popular games.
  • Word of God claims that Ultima IV (the Trope Codifier for the Karma Meter) was intended to be this to the first 3 games, after hearing the complaints of Moral Guardians. A prime example of Tropes Are Not Bad since said game revolutionized the RPG genre.


Western Animation

  • Veggie Tales is a Christian Moral Substitute to (often Merchandise-Driven) Saturday morning cartoons. Unlike most examples here (and indeed, contrary to the expectations of those who haven't watched it), it's actually high quality for its genre and is often enjoyed beyond the Animation Age Ghetto and even beyond its Christian target audience (to wit, the jokes are actually funny and the references are actually clever, and it's wholly independent of the show's religious angle), in addition to having pioneered the use of 3D in children's animation. Just goes to show that Tropes Are Not Bad.
    • At least until it was syndicated for national broadcast, meaning all references to Christianity were removed. However, after a Creator Backlash and protests from Moral Guardians, the references were restored.
  • The Kingdom Chums, a Christian equivalent to the Care Bears and other similar cartoons (but featuring only three toys). Judging by the videos on YouTube, there was a series, although it was obviously too obscure for IMDB and Wikipedia.
  • Davey and Goliath, a stop-motion cartoon from the maker of Gumby...
    • ...only to have this trope inverted with Moral Orel, its very immoral substitute.
  • American culture, in general, was spoofed on The Simpsons in sometimes.
    • The episode "I'm Goin' to Praiseland" has Ned Flanders opening a theme park called Praiseland, a parody of Christian theme parks like Heritage USA and the Holy Land Experience. The park quickly becomes a dud, with visitors finding it too focused on Sunday School-style evangelism at the expense of entertainment, until an apparent miracle at the park (actually the result of a dangerous gas leak) causes attendance to skyrocket.
    • In "Alone Again, Natura-Diddily", Rod and Todd Flanders are seen playing Billy Graham's Bible Blaster, a parody of Christian video games.

 Rod Flanders: "No, you just winged him and turned him into a Unitarian!"

    • In "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy", Lisa, disgusted by the questionable messages that the Malibu Stacy doll (a parody of Barbie) sends to young girls, creates the Lisa Lionheart doll as a more positive role model. She even gets help in designing the doll from Stacy Lovell, the original designer of Malibu Stacy who was kicked out of the company she created. Unfortunately, Lisa Lionheart flops despite a ton of hype, with everybody distracted by the new Malibu Stacy doll (with new hat!) that came out on the same day.
    • In "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", Ned was offering trading cards similar to baseball cards but based on religious figures. Bart, Milhouse, and Nelson were actually a little intrigued and almost fell for it until Ned told them that "learning about religion can be fun", the boys run away.
    • In "Sex, Pies, and Idiot Scrapes", Ned mentions "BC/AD": A Christian cover band of AC/DC. One of their hits being "Kindly Deeds Done for Free".
  • The first King of the Hill Halloween episode had a Moral Guardian do her best to destroy the holiday out of her belief that it's Satanic. Instead, she offered up a "Hallelujah House", which served mainly to beat children over the head with Fundamentalist Christian aesops (like "Premarital sex kills instantly").
    • The page quote comes from an episode where Bobby gets interested in Christianity due to a group of devout skateboarders. Hank spends most of the episode looking kind of bad (since he started off wanting Bobby to care more about their faith, but hates the direction he's taking), but in the end he explains that he just doesn't want Bobby to treat something that important as a mere fad, like his long-forgotten Troll Dolls and Tamagochi.


Webcomics

  • Filthy Figments, the "positive" alternative to Slipshine, for those who object to eroticism with men holding the strings. It's just as smutty as regular porn but it's drawn by women.


Web Original

  • Stuff Christians Like, compared to Stuff White People Like, though it leans more in the Affectionate Parody direction. This is lampshaded by its first post and in the book article: "Stuff Christians Like: Ignoring all Copyright Laws".
  • Spoofed in a YouTube video starring a troupe of rapping kids promoting the "Christian Side Hug," which avoids the "sinful" crotch contact of the traditional hug. No, as much as it might seem to be par for the course, and as much as you might want it to be, it's not even the tiniest bit real.
    • It seems like the video may not be a parody, and those guys were dead serious. It's supposed to be a parody, yet Word of God states that they were serious about keeping physical contact to a minimum.
    • And, of course, the "side hug" is a real thing which is suggested for anyone working with children, in secular or sacred settings, in hopes to avoid anyone suggesting that there's intentional "crotch contact".


Other

  • Branson, Missouri, in the words of The Simpsons, is "Vegas if it were run by Ned Flanders." [3] To explain: the city offers elaborate hotels, shopping, and tons of live shows, but there's no gambling or "party scene". The shows focus on G-rated entertainment, especially musical revues -- oldies, country, and Broadway are the most frequently appearing genres. Other shows include grand-scale musical adaptations of Bible stories, and such headliners as Andy Williams (Nelson Muntz's favorite!), Yakov Smirnoff, the Oak Ridge Boys, Tony Orlando, and Jim Stafford.
  • There have been "alternatives" to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts from every direction. The Soviet Union, for instance, had the Pioneers, and Nazi Germany had the infamous Hitler Youth. A number of churches have also created their own "scouting" organizations, such as the Pathfinders (Seventh Day Adventists), the Royal Rangers for boys and Missionettes for girls (Assemblies of God), and Awana (Southern Baptists). More recently, due to the increasingly conservative bent of the Boy Scouts of America (not surprising, since Lord Baden-Powell came up with the idea during one of Britain's imperial wars of conquest, and "scouts" throughout history have traditionally been connected to the military), there are also a few scouting organizations that have sprung up with the aim of being more accepting of gays, lesbians, and non-Christians.
    • The Boy Scouts themselves were partly inspired by an organization called the Boys' Brigade, which was (and is) an explicitly Christian youth organization. Therefore, the Boy Scouts were the "less moral" substitute (which is pretty funny when you consider the controversy over their views on religion and homosexuality). Also, as the name suggests, the Boys' Brigade has even stronger military overtones than the Boy Scouts: humorist Clive James, who was a member of both groups in his youth, commented that the Scouts emphasize "woodsy lore" and the Brigade prefers "parade ground drill." For example, the adult organizers of the Brigade are called Officers (with the ranks of Lieutenant and Captain), and younger members can become Non-Commissioned Officers, with ranks running from Private through Staff Sergeant.
      • Also important was the increasingly close links between the Boy Scouts of America and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, i.e. the Mormons. Although the BSA is hardly run by the LDS Church, a large proportion of its senior leadership is LDS, which explains why the BSA has been holding so closely to conservative interpretations of Scouting's founding documents (neither the European nor the Canadian Scouts, for instance, have any problem with atheist, gay, or lesbian scouts, and scouters). All this before becoming Subverted this year as Boy Scouts of America have become more politically moving leftward by allowing Girls to Boy Scouts caused Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints cut ties with them and proposing creating their own version in future.
    • In Norway, there were two Scout groups, the KFUM/KFUK scouts (Christian), and the NSF (mostly Christian). However, the NSF was the one to operate on a semi-official basis, because unlike the KFUM/KFUK, it was not sex-segregated when whoever it was made the pick. The KFUM/KFUK scouts has since stopped their segregation and the NSF and KM (their new name) co-operate on nearly everything.
  • Several churches, appalled at the pagan influences of Halloween and the monsters seen in traditional haunted houses, have taken to doing "Halloween alternative" parties, in which children disguise themselves as Biblical characters. Some take this to extremes by setting up "hell houses," in which the attendees are shown scenes meant to portray the decadence of secular culture, finally ending in a room occupied by Satan, claiming that all of the characters they had seen are now firmly in his grasp. In the worst of these, the Hell House is marketed as a normal haunted house, and is thus a Bait and Switch, and in some the attendees must either agree to be saved (ie, become born-again Christians) or must traverse the length of the building in order to get out. The whole concept is savagely mocked in a Something Positive sequence starting here. Perhaps more common are the Harvest Parties, which feature game booths, contests, and the requisite candy, typically hosted in whatever part of the church has an open floor and forgoing the ghouls-and-ghosts theme.
  • Eastern Catholicism existence, is meant what looked like if all Eastern Christianity still (re)unified under Papacy while retaining their identities without any Schisms happen ages ago.
    • Double Subverted with Chaldean Catholic Church that Church is only Eastern Catholic Church literally did reunite with Roman Catholic Church from historical Church of the East (first of earliest Christian sect split from Catholic Church (known time as Nicea Christianity) in 431 over mostly theological issues) back 1552, But however slowly backfired as remaining Nestorian followers who still resistance the Change resplited again to form as now Assyrian Church of the East since 1692. Thus it's become as Catholic counterpart to them.
    • And Inverted with Maronite Church that despite its name without Catholic word, It never got separated from Catholic Church by not have anything causes them to leave at all in communion with Roman Catholic Pope while being classified as Eastern Catholic.
  • Butch Hartman, known creator of The Fairly Oddparents, Danny Phantom and Tuff Puppy, is creating OAXIS, a child-friendly (partially) Christian streaming service and an alternative to Netflix and Youtube (as it will allow users to upload their own videos)
  • Some parents who school their children at home do so because they perceive public school as un-Christian or un-whatever their religion/worldview is. Depending on the parents, homeschooling can actually be a better choice for the child, since the child can learn at a more personalized pace, but with the parents also pushing the child more often to do better than teachers might.
  • Christian BDSM.
  • Heritage USA, part of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's PTL media empire, was planned as the Christian version of Disney World, and wound up becoming fairly popular after its opening in 1978. Today, however, the park is best known for playing a role in the scandal that led to Jim Bakker's downfall and subsequent imprisonment. The park was closed in 1989, and parts of it have since been redeveloped (mostly by various ministries), while the rest lingers in various states of decay.
  • The American Center for Law and Justice is a Christian conservative counterpart to the ACLU founded by Pat Robertson that litigates for pro-Christian, pro-life issues.
    • It is important to note here that the ACLU also does work defending the civil liberties of Christians in regards to the free exercise of their beliefs.
      • Sometimes. Their track record on even-handedness is very uneven, both between various State chapters and between the local organizations and the national organization. As with all advocacy organizations, they have their own biases.
  • The teaching of Spiritual drunkenness also known as "Holy Ghost intoxication", or being "drunk in the Spirit", a spurious claim that comes from misinterpretation of Scriptures (mostly Acts chapter 2 and Ephesians 5:18) that is preached by the likes of Benny Hinn, Rodney Howard Browne, and Kenneth E. Hagin, is often preached in Pentecostal and Charismatic churches as an alternative to getting high from real drugs. John Crowder even goes so far as to call it "tokin' the Ghost".
  • For people who believe proprietary software is evil, Linux and other free/open source software can be a secular example. Quite a few packages exist solely to replace popular proprietary software, such as Gimp for Adobe Photoshop.
    • Worth to note that most of these were newer meant to be Moral Substitutes. Going with the Gimp example: It was created because Adobe doesn't port (Photoshop) or only lazily ports (*cough*flashplayer*cough[4]) its products to Linux, which in turn was made mostly out of monetary reasons.
  • The Church of Reality is a secular humanist alternative to religion, for people with an emotional or cultural need for religion but no belief in the supernatural.
    • And Syntheism works similarly but closer to a Transtheistic religious movement to make Atheist and Pantheists have same religious-like lifestyle to their Theistic counterparts.
  • A whole industry of vegetarian products exists to provide replacements for burgers and bacon, among others.
  • Nazi Germany pushed "moral" (for lack of a better word) substitutes throughout the arts and sciences.
    • Early on, the Nazis advocated "Deutsche Physik" as an alternative to the physics mainstream, which they felt to be too dominated by Jews like Albert Einstein. It fell out of favor in the late '30s once the sturdiness of the "Jewish physics" became apparent even to many Nazis.
    • After the Nazis clamped down on "entartete kunst" (degenerate art) following their rise to power, they pushed art that upheld "blood and soil" themes of militarism and racial purity, often infused with classical Greek and Roman influence. Hilariously, as Cracked pointed out, an exhibition of the banned art (the only legal venue for such work) to show the German people how evil and Jew-corrupted it was wound up attracting far more visitors than a nearby exhibition of Nazi-sponsored art.
    • Bizarrely (given many of the examples on this page), the Nazis promoted a moral substitute for the Christian faith and churches: Positive Christianity, which threw out the "Jewish" parts of the Bible (including the entire Old Testament and the letters of Paul of Tarsus) and recast Jesus as an Aryan warrior who rebelled against the Jewish authority of his day, while also demonizing the Catholic Church as a "Judaized" bastardization of the faith and lionizing figures like Martin Luther (the German theologian who started the Protestant Reformation) who they viewed as having worked to restore the "original" Christianity. Many Nazis (most notably Alfred Rosenberg, who came up with the idea) saw Christianity in its current state as a religion of weakness and submission, unfit for a Proud Warrior Race like they imagined the Germans to be, but at the same time, they realized that they had to make their peace with the churches if they were to hold power for any length of time, and so they came up with a Nazified brand of the faith that was more in line with their warlike ideals. The effort was largely a failure, with the Nazi-backed theology running into stiff opposition from the "Confessing Church" movement that wished to maintain their theological independence, and only a minority of German Protestant churches adopted it before the Nazis quietly sidelined their push for it. 
      • Many neo-Nazis and white supremacists, likewise, have developed their own "moral" substitutes for mainstream Christianity, what with its "all faithful are equal before God" and all that. Among those who still maintain some sort of Christian faith, you'll find what's known as Christian Identity, which proclaims white people to be the descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel, Jews to be impostors to the claim (often justified with the idea that they're actually descended from Khazar converts), and non-whites to be literally subhuman "mud races". A more moderate variation can be found in kinism, which proclaims that race and ethnicity are unbreakable, divinely-created bonds that are just as important as family, which in turn leads to the belief that segregation is mandated by God and that "betraying" one's race (i.e. mixing with other races) is as bad as betraying one's family. For those who think that's still not enough to distance Christianity from its Jewish roots, many follow racialized variants of pagan religions (Norse Mythology and, to a lesser extent, Classical Mythology are especially popular here, given the former's "Aryan" cred and the latter's association with the glory of Rome) or Satanism (on the grounds that worshiping the enemy of the God of the Jews is a necessary component of rebellion against them).
    • Arguably, fascism itself, as its proponents saw it as this towards socialism. It combined many of its economic proposals (broad populism, state control of industry, etc.) and its revolutionary spirit with ultra-nationalism and reactionary social views, in sharp opposition to socialism's international worldview. In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler described both capitalism and socialism as two sides of the same coin, i.e. both controlled by Jews, and both needing to be destroyed. It's not for nothing that the Nazis called themselves the "National Socialists", the "National" part differentiating them from the "subversive" international socialists that they viewed as destroying Germany.
  • The Soviet Union also had a long list of communist substitutes for the "decadent, bourgeois" culture of the West.
    • Similar to Nazi Germany's "Deutsche Physik", the Soviet Union under Stalin pushed Lysenkoism as a more acceptable alternative to evolution by natural selection, which they felt was too capitalistic ("survival of the fittest" and all that). It was abandoned (along with much of Stalin's legacy) after Nikita Khrushchev became Premier, due to the fact that it had proven itself to be a total failure as a scientific theory.
    • Starting in the Stalinist era, the Soviet Union promoted Socialist Realism as a reaction to abstract art, which was seen as a symbol of Western decadence. Before that, they favored formalism, constructivism, and the avant-garde as seen in the works of Sergei Eisenstein, Maiakovsky, Meyerhold, and others; Stalin's rise to power saw the "traditionalists" within the Soviet art world (who favored realistic, albeit idealized, representations of everyday life) win out over the more abstract "futurists" (who wanted art in the workers' state to be just as revolutionary and radical as its politics). It's been noted that, at their core, the style and themes of socialist realism (the glorification of the Party, an idealized depiction of the 'common man', a rejection of modernism and abstraction, a focus on propaganda use) weren't all that different from Nazi art, to the point where some art historians use the term "heroic realism" to describe both styles.
    • The Intervision Song Contest was the Warsaw Pact's short-lived version of the Eurovision Song Contest. It ran from 1977 to 1980, before being canceled due to the rise of Solidarity in Poland (it was held in the Polish city of Sopot). Surprisingly, it's also managed to become this for a new generation — in 2014, Vladimir Putin restarted the Intervision Song Contest after years of discussing the idea, this time including members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as well (though it's been stuck in Development Hell for a long time). Intervision's predecessor, the Sopot International Song Festival, also deserves mention here. It is still going strong today, though it's no longer a contest per se, but rather, one of Poland's biggest music festivals.
    • The Soviet Union promoted the "Spartakiads" from 1928 to 1937 as an alternative to the "bourgeois" Olympic Games until World War II forced them to put the event on the back burner. After the war, they finally broke down and sent a team to the Helsinki Olympics in 1952, though they continued to hold Spartakiads within the Soviet Union all the way until 1991. They also organized the one-off Friendship Games in 1984 after their boycott of the Los Angeles Olympics that year.
    • The Jewish Autonomous Oblast was the Soviet answer to Israel. It was an autonomous republic inside the USSR made for Jews (every nationality in the USSR was supposed to have one) that was rooted in secular Jewish socialism as opposed to Zionism, nationalism, or religion, which were seen as anti-socialist. The official language was Yiddish as opposed to Hebrew, and its monuments contained symbols of Judaism like menorahs. Unofficially, it was also seen as a way of advancing the settlement of the sparsely populated Far East. Soviet authorities invited progressive Jews around the world to help in the construction of the Oblast, but most of them spurned it in favor of Israel, a nation that was itself fairly socialist in its early days; the Jewish residents never exceeded a quarter of the population. The fact that it was located in the middle of the Far East along the Chinese border, a place with no cultural meaning for Jews, did little to endear it to them, nor did the opposition of the natives. The Oblast still exists today and is still officially a "Jewish Oblast", but only 0.2% of the population is Jewish.
    • Their is a theory that a popular motif of the Soviet art depicting Marx, Lenin, and the current leader of the Soviet Union in a row looking forward grew popular because it acted as a Soviet Version of the Christian trinity. Marx takes the spot of god because he was the progenitor of the ideology and has the beard to match the traditional Grandpa God. Lenin replaced Jesus as the man who made the ideology happen. Insert Current Leader Here is the holy spirit who, especially after Stalin, will set things back on track to realizing the communist utopia.

Notes

  1. Perhaps a misinterpretation of the Gaia Hypothesis as a call to pagan Earth-worship.
  2. Strictly speaking, any fiction that doesn't mention a deity can be considered atheistic or at least secular, but that's not the case with the HDM series.
  3. Unless, of course, you take the wrong bus and end up in Bronson, Missouri...
  4. (it's infamous for crashing any Linux browser outside Firefox... and even that on its bad days, amongst other problems.)
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