Adult cartoons may be known for poking fun at just about anyone and anything, and it may be good to keep a sense of humor and not take them too seriously, but still, there are times when their lampooning can be a bit much. Case in point, Sunday’s episode of Fox’s The Simpsons, “Flanders’ Ladder,” which labeled Christianity a “dopey religion” and fetishized the crucifix.
In the episode, Bart Simpson is struck by lightning and, while comatose, he begins having vivid nightmares that he has died and is being haunted by ghosts. Even though he isn’t Christian, he ends up decorating his tree house in crucifixes to ward off spirits. Millhouse is more than a little excited about this new development and shares how he's "into" Jesus' great abs.
Millhouse: What's going on, Bart? Are you into God now? I always was. Look at those abs. The secret is less loaves, more fishes.
Bart: I don't believe in some dopey religion. This is to keep out ghosts.
So. which is it? Christianity is just a “dopey religion” or spirits are real and the crucifix has more significance than just being an object of derision? Note how the writers have Millhouse hiding his faith as if it’s something to be ashamed of, as well.
We get it. The Simpsons is known for being an equal opportunity mocker and often makes quick jabs at religion, but episodes like this sometimes need to be called out. Kind of like Fox’s other irreverent cartoon, Family Guy, that had a similar plot Sunday night that also needed to be addressed.