Friday, August 3, 2007

The Gospel According to the Simpsons

Here we go, another Simpsons post....

This morning talk show host Laura Ingraham was talking about Mark Pinsky, a journalist with the Orlando Sentinel and author of the book The Gospel According to the Simpsons. The book is about the religious nature of the Simpson family - they pray, go to church, and turn to God in need. According to a quote from Pinsky posted today on Laura's website, "For 'The Simpsons,' [religion] is just a part of their lives, but in that way it's in marked contrast to most commercial television where religion is almost wholly absent."

I had never really thought about that before, but it struck me as very true. As I complained in my review of Evan Almighty, it seems that characters can't pray or attend church without the film being labelled "Christian" and therefore not mainstream, but of course it's different in the Simpsons. (For better or for worse: that doesn't mean that their portrayal of God or religion is something I endorse or even always enjoy, but perhaps it's better than nothing.) Either way, the book might make an interesting read. Another interesting tidbit: although the Simpsons are Protestants of the Western Branch of American Reformed Presbo-Lutheranism, Pinsky is Jewish.

And here's a short Simpsons' take on where Catholics fit into all this (an excerpt from the Season 16 episode "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star," in which Homer and Bart convert to Catholicism).

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