The FX cable television show “Rescue Me” has again decided to use the Catholic Church as a target of ridicule.
“Rescue Me” is a drama about the personal and professional lives of New York City firefighters. The show was co-created by Denis Leary, the comedian/actor who also plays Tommy, the main character in the show. Leary has referred to himself as a lapsed Catholic, and has aimed insults at the Church in the past. Last winter, Comedy Central aired his special “Merry F***ing Christmas,” in which Leary said, among other things, “Do I believe there was a baby Jesus? You bet your ass I do. But I believe that nine months before he was born someone sure as s— banged the hell out of his mom.” Previous episodes of “Rescue Me” featured Tommy dreaming about having sex with Mary Magdalene and Jesus subsequently shooting him. In another episode a priest admits to molesting a young boy. The priest also says he was molested as a youngster and that he enjoyed it.
The latest offense involved an episode of “Rescue Me” (titled “Twilight”) that aired this past summer. In this episode, Tommy comes home to discover his roommate Lou (played by John Scurti) has had sex with a nun. Lou tells Tommy “She’s a semi-nun,” to which Tommy responds, “She’s a semi-nun? Lou, what does that mean? She’s in the nun National Guard? Huh? She’s the bride of Christ one weekend a month? What the hell does that mean?” Lou also tells Tommy, “She’s only been with two other guys. One was some clown way back in high school, and the other is, you know [covers his mouth and muffles the next word], Jesus.” Lou tells Tommy that the nun is leaving the order at the end of the month. Tommy asks if that means the nun is cheating on Jesus with Lou. Lou responds, “I got a hundred pounds on the guy and look [holds up his hands], no holes in my hands. Bring it on, Jesus!”
John Scurti is given the story writing credit in this episode, but it’s not clear who came up with the witty dialogue. One thing is clear: Denis Leary’s contempt for the Catholic faith has been a continuing feature of his work. A change of direction is long overdue.