“THE SIMPSONS” GETS TOO CUTE

Catalyst January/February Issue 1999

The Fox animated TV show, “The Simpsons,” is loved by millions for its engaging characters. It was with regret, therefore, that we were forced to take issue with its November 22 episode. It was on that show that the following exchange took place while the family was driving home from a church service:

Bart: “I’m starving. Mom, can we go Catholic so we can get Communion wafers and booze?”
Mom: “No, no one is going Catholic. Three children is enough, thank you.”

We asked one question of Fox: “Can you possibly explain why this dialogue was included in the show?”

We received a lengthy reply, part of which we are sharing with you. Here is what Thomas Chavez wrote, believe it or not:

“In your letter you questioned an exchange in dialogue between Bart and his mother, Marge. Because Bart is starving, he suggests they convert to Catholicism since he is aware communion wafers and wine are dispensed in the Catholic ceremony. Just like other children that are not knowledgeable, Bart sees the wafer merely as food and wine as a forbidden drink. Because many families wait to eat after they have attended Church, it is not atypical that a child would pose a question such as this unknowingly. The writers chose not to have Marge respond to Bart’s ridiculous desire to satisfy his hunger with the Sacrament but rather, elected to have Marge respond by stating why she would not be comfortable converting to Catholicism. Her views regarding birth control are obviously contrary to the Catholic Church’s belief. While Marge’s response may be perceived as short and curt, it also conveys the impression that one’s choice of religion is based on more than the religion’s rituals.”

Now why didn’t we think of that? Just goes to show how thoughtful the Hollywood gang really is.


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Written by Bill