Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Homer: the Catholic role model

Can you imagine? A spokesman for the Vatican has declared cartoon character Homer Simpson a Catholic.

But in an article headlined Homer and Bart are Catholics, the newspaper said: The Simpsons are among the few TV programmes for children in which Christian faith, religion, and questions about God are recurrent themes.

The family recites prayers before meals and, in their own peculiar way, believes in the life thereafter.

Very odd. They’re making reference to a particular episode in which Homer converts, and they’re also, I think, including the character in the same sort of way that President Kennedy included himself in his famous Ich bin ein Berliner. But, really, while the things they mention as recurrent themes are, indeed, there, it’s not really done in a role model kind of way, and the series is, in general, quite irreverent. Religion and religious leaders are mocked regularly, though it’s not as severe as in, say, South Park.

On top of that, Bart is disrespectful to his parents and teachers, and does poorly in school. And Homer spends his time gulping beer and doughnuts, and shirks his work.

You’d think the Vatican could come up with TV programmes for children that are better examples for good Catholic kids. When they have to go to The Simpsons, and use Homer and Bart as role models, you know they’re reaching.



Nathaniel Borenstein said...

The Griffin family on Family Guy has been described as Catholic in multiple episodes. The father is an idiot, the mother wildly promiscuous; another set of modern role models? Is this a trend?

Barry Leiba said...

Wasn’t there an episode of Family Guy where the dog came out as an atheist (and then was shunned by everyone in town) ?

Brent said...

And lets not get started on Shake's religion in Aqua Teen Hunger Force...

Nathaniel Borenstein said...

Brian (the dog) has been consistently portrayed as an atheist, even though the family is Catholic. In the episode you refer to, I don't think he "came out" so much as other people became aware of his atheism. That was a wonderful episode. Seth McFarlane is a genius.