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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

One Tree Hill reads the BIBLE

Recently I've been watching some vintage One Tree Hill. If you know me, you know that I love that show (and if you don't know me, well now you know). After watching a few episodes <insert entire seasons> I've come to the conclusion that OTH writers totally read the bible. And for fun I thought I would share what I found with you fine people!

Let's start with how the whole show was originally centered around a very Cain and Able plot line. Lucas and Keith played the Able to Nathan and Dan's Cain...well at least in the first couple of episodes.  After that the lines between "good and bad" got kind of blurred (Lucas' cheating on Brooke...Nathan had a beauty and the beast transformation with Haley...Keith slept with Dan's wife...and Dan well he pretty much stayed bad for a while). Anyways the show was based on brothers who (for one reason or another) were feuding with each other. The C&A plot line really manifested when (straight out of Genesis 4:8) Dan killed Keith (Even this girl, who watches every show as if she's watching CSI, was shocked by that). But that's not where the biblical references stop (please I've read enough Nancy Drew to know you need more evidence than that to prove a point).

There was the episode in season 1, when Lucas and Brooke thought they were pregnant, and abortion was discussed. It was the way the writers discussed abortion that made me think that someone was picking up their bible. They didn't have a political agenda, they simply discussed the future of this baby. Lucas having been born to a teen mom, was confronted by the fact that Dan (his father for those of you who don't watch OTH) wanted him aborted. If Dan had gotten his way, where would that have left Lucas...not alive that's where. Lucas is convicted by this information and decides he wants this baby (Brooke ended up not being pregnant...classic teen drama). Now I'm not saying Jesus is up in heaven doing cartwheels when young people get pregnant but I think he would have smiled at OTH's choice of action and dialogue.

Speaking of teen relationships, lets look at the golden couple, Nathan and Haley (my generations Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy). Cue the applause...they waited to have sex until they were married. Okay so that's kind of a weak point to make, since they got married at 16, which is straight up craziness (though if James Lafferty had asked me to marry him at sixteen, I might be singing a different tune). But that's just my starting point.

How about the episode where Haley confronts Nathan about looking at porn. This took place before they were married. So it's before they started having sex (which is Nathans argument as to why its ok for him to do it). Haley <insert the OTH writers> takes the stance that its not okay. That veiwing it doesn't show any respect to her. And when Nathan argues that it's what guys do, she tells him to not be a guy but to be a man (BAM!). I'm impressed that OTH would take that stance against pornography, since our culture pretty much (takes Nathans side) says that its a guy thing and that if you aren't sleeping with a guy, you should feel lucky that all he's doing is looking at porn. Well way to go OTH for speaking the Truth!

Now Haley isn't without her flaws, she walks out on their marriage during season 2 (I cry every time I watch that epi...Nathan smashing her keyboard  <insert tear>) . But in season 3 they reconcile their marriage (the first of many times..they have a lot of issues...but who getting married at 16 wouldn't?) which the bible is all about making your marriages work. Again the OTH writers are totally listening to something (in my opinion the bible) other than culture which tells us relationships are disposable and easily replaced. OTH writers have shown us with Haley and Nathans relationship (over the past 8 seasons) that true love endures! {If you can't tell I adore them} One of my favorite quotes from Haley is "if we're not out searching for the one we want to spend the rest of our lives with, what are doing?" (Okay that didn't really need to be in here, but I love it, so it stays)

I could go on and reference several plot lines that involved forgiveness, perseverance, reconciliation, and redemption (all things found in the bible). But I'm going to end with a scene from season 6. I've watched a lot of scripted teen dramas in my day (dawsons creek, degrassi, laguna beach, etc) and I've never been more shocked by what I saw in this scene. It was the episode after Quentin Fields died (for those that don't watch, he was a player on the Ravens basketball team). After the funeral, the main cast goes up to his mother and asks her how she's coping with Quentin's death. With no apologies made and with all political correctness out the window, she says that her strength comes from her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My first reaction was...<insert confused expression>. Then I was like did she really just say what I think she said. Did she really just proclaim the name of Jesus on network television without a hint of sarcasm. I immediately rewinded it to make sure I heard her correctly. And there it was, a person claiming that Jesus was the way.

OTH writers don't always get it right. They write scenes that make me shake my head or roll my eyes or just completely annoy me <insert me throwing something at the tv...I do that when I'm mad>. But when its all said and done, I believe that the writers know the Truth. OTH could have easily wrote that scene differently. They could have had his mother be bitter and angry or say something cliche about how life is not always fair. There are a myriad of other ways that episode could have played out. And the audience would have understood, I would have understood. But I am so proud (as a fan and as a Christian) that the One Tree Hill writers said what they said and didn't make any apologies for it. It may seem like a simple thing to do, to tell the truth, but in a world filled with lies, its easy to shy away from the truth.

I believe I've made my point; One Tree Hill writers totally read the bible (Time to go eat a hot fudge sundae with Bess). OTH may not always reflect the message of the bible. But I believe someone in their writing department has their B-I-B-L-E opened (and as a fan that makes me smile)! Now on to my next mission; to find out if James Lafferty loves Jesus and if so, has he dumped Bono's (Yes that Bono) daughter yet? (allegedly they're dating) I'll keep you posted! Thanks for reading! XXOO


  1. Keith dies on episode 16 of season 3. John 3:16

  2. I stumbled across this post as I was looking for Christianity in OTH. I like you am a fan of the show and a Christian; I m also an avid music lover and have noticed every time a Christian artist was used in the soundtrack -- Switchfoot, Jon Foreman, Mat Kearney, JJ Heller, Grayson Kessenich, Joy Williams to name a few. I love that the truth is being spoken through this outlet. Is it always (re: mostly) wholesome, no, but the truth is in there, and I hope others are able to see it as well.

    1. I noticed a pretty obscure Owl City song in the soundtrack of the series. Not one like Fireflies or Good Time or anything, but something not really well-known (On The Wing, in case you were wondering). And it is known among Owl City's Christian fans that he will reference his faith in his songs every once in a while. They notice every little Christian reference in the songs he writes that are supposedly referencing his faith. So he seems to have quite a few Christian fans. I'm sure the writers of OTH knew this, and decided to use one of his songs in their soundtrack. When I realized Switchfoot was also included in their soundtrack, I became interested in the show's origins. I found this helpful forum, and now I am beyond happy. I mean, I wasn't all that interested in it before, but now I kind of want to get into it. :)