It’s no secret Hollywood has an agenda against Christianity, and Tuesday night of Holy Week brought an attack from ABC’s The Kids Are Alright.
The comedy, based in the '60s, focuses on a family of boys with a Catholic mom. While Mrs. Cleary (Mary McCormack) takes her faith very seriously, not all of her kids are too sold on the Catholic beliefs, in particular her older son, Lawrence (Sam Straley), who recently dropped out of seminary.
In this particular episode, “Mass for Shut-ins,” Peggy is worried that Lawrence is influencing William (Andy Walken) too much as he begins considering other religions. The real kicker? In defending Catholicism, Peggy all but states that Catholicism isn’t really a sound religion.
William: Give it back!
Frank: I found a heretic in our midst.
Lawrence: What, a Giants fan?
Frank: William has been studying this fake religion based on those dumb science-fiction books he reads.
Peggy: Always reading. I'd hoped that was just a phase.
William: It's a science-based thought-system, much of it just as feasible as the stuff they teach in church.
Lawrence: By J. Eldon Gutierrez. They were handing those out in front of the vegetarian restaurant.
Mike: That's where I'd go to look for suckers. Bunch of folks willing to spend 2 bucks on a bowl of grass soup.
William: It's a philosophy the Magorian people have used to bring a trillion years of peace to their quadrant.
Mike: Wouldn't mind a little peace in my quadrant right now. Give him his book back, Frank.
William: Thank you.
Frank: It's a slippery slope, Dad. First Magoreology, then he'll be hanging out with Lutherans. Lutherans!
Peggy: Now that Frank is out of the room, I don't mind saying I agree with him. I don't like my kids looking outside the Catholic Church. That's why we have all the stained glass -- so you can't see out.
Lawrence: William's just got a naturally curious mind. The other day, he was asking me about Buddhism.
Peggy: And you told him?!
Lawrence: Yeah, it's been around for a while, Mom. It's out there.
Mike: Oh, it's "out there," all right. A big, fat guy stuffing his wisdom into fortune cookies.
Lawrence: I think that's Confucianism.
Mike: Damn right, it's confusing. All these new religions.
Lawrence: Buddhism's actually older than Catholicism.
Peggy: Yeah, well, I'm just hearing about it, and I don't like it.
Lawrence: Well, I think it's healthy that William's questioning his beliefs.
Mike: Well, you questioned your beliefs right out of a cushy priest job.
Peggy: Our religion has a lot of beautiful, profound ideas that only work if you don't look at them too closely.
Mike: Yeah, church isn't set up for brainiacs wringing their hands, trying to pick things apart. That's what synagogues are for.
Lawrence: If you think your faith won't stand up to scrutiny, why is it so important for your kids to follow it?
Mike: Because it's right.
Lawrence: Other religions feel the same way.
It’s as if the writers were suggesting Catholics don’t truly believe what they claim to. In order to keep her son in the Catholic Church, or as the episode description says, “manipulate” him, Peggy convinces him to join choir. Her plan backfires when another son, Timmy (Jack Gore), hears about an opportunity William has to be on TV during a special “Mass for Shut-ins” and tries to steal the part from William. Peggy ends up keeping Timmy from going on the stage so William can do the solo, however he chokes in the spotlight leaving Peggy to do the solo. At the end of the whole experience William decides that God caused him to choke to punish his lack of faith. He therefore claims he's Catholic again, “Mainly because I’m scared of God,” to which Peggy replies, “Oh sweetie you finally get it.”
This insult to Catholicism and the Christian religion comes just in time for Holy Week—as if Hollywood is trying extra hard to make their jabs in the days leading up to Good Friday and Easter. Of course, you probably wouldn't see any other religion mocked like this on TV, because it would be politically incorrect to offend them.