Another week, another offensive storyline from the -ish franchise. This time, the award goes to mixed-ish, once again. And this time, it’s surprisingly not about race, but about anti-Christian and anti-Bible bigotry, as lead character Paul (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) calls God “some man on a cloud,” and the Bible an “insane” “magic book.”
Paul grew up Catholic and his wife Alicia (Tika Sumpter) Baptist, but when they married, they were both part of a weird, cultish, hippie commune that turned them off to all religion for good. Until Tuesday’s episode, “Livin’ on a Prayer,” during which daughter Rainbow/Bow (Arica Himmel) becomes curious about church and wants to attend a service with her friend to see what it’s all about.
Bow finds she enjoys church and learning about God, and Alicia even decides she wants to return to her religious roots and attend as well. But Paul remains intolerant towards any mention of faith, and his hostility shows up at dinner after Alicia says grace over the family meal.
Alicia: Bless us, oh, Lord, for these thy gifts which we are about to receive. Bless the food that is before us, the home around us, and the love between us. Amen.
Johan: Why didn't you say grace, Dad?
Paul: Well, because, until five minutes ago, we weren't a family who said grace. We were a family who asked each other how we changed the world today. I swerved off the road to save a chipmunk's life. Anybody else do anything?
Johan: I said a prayer for Santamonica’s soul.
Paul: Well, that's great. But I'm asking more about how you changed the world, not how you outsourced it to some man on a cloud.
Alicia: Paul, our kids are praying for each other. Doesn't seem like something to shut down. Let them explore.
Bow: Speaking of exploring, I've been reading the Bible, and I have some questions. Like, when Nebuchadnezzar threw the three kids into the furnace, why didn't they burn?
Santamonica: Sounds like they've been training for heck.
Johan: Oh! By the way, we're out of hot sauce.
Alicia: The kids didn't burn because God protected them.
Bow: Oh, so, God takes care of kids?
Paul: Well, not all of them. Did you get to the part about Elisha and the bears? No? Oh. So, there was this sensitive bald man named Elisha. Now, he's just out minding his own business, being bald, when some kids yelled, "Hey, Baldy, get out of here!"
Alicia: Uh, there is no way that's in the Bible.
Adult Bow (in voiceover): Oh, no. It is.
Paul: So, then, Mr. Baldy curses the kids, and God sends bears to maul 42 children.
Johan: So now we're not allowed to make fun of bald people?!
Paul: Can you run faster than bears?
Alicia: Uh, kids, not everything in the Bible is literal. Some parts are just stories.
Paul: Oh, okay, well, what about the stories where you're supposed to obey your husband... Or where women, every month, are unclean?
Bow: Is that true? Is all of that stuff in there?
Alicia: Why are you telling her this?
Paul: Babe, what are you getting upset about? This is what you wanted. I mean, things were working, but it seems like you'd rather fight about whether the kids believe in a magic book or something not insane.
Bow: Stop! I was just looking for some answers. But, if I knew it was gonna cause all this, I wouldn’t have brought it up.
There isn’t enough room here to defend God or the Old Testament in its entirety, but in basic terms, God loves all of His children. A further look at the real meaning of the story of Elisha and the bears can be found here.
Some believe the Bible is allegorical and some believe it is literal, but every Christian who has bothered to truly study God’s word in-depth knows there are deeper meanings to what is found there.
As far as women being considered "unclean" during menstruation, much of Levitical law applied as protection from diseases and such during that time because they lacked the means and methods we have today to keep things hygienic.
And while those who like to spew Bible bigotry love to point out the obeying husband part of the Bible, they don’t ever explain how that rule came about or that the husband has an equally important responsibility to his wife. Again, in basic terms, we can put the blame on Eve for the rule, because it was instituted by God after she sinned and then tempted her husband to also disobey God. (Genesis 3:16)
Lest you think that God just expects women to bow down to husbands who mistreat them, though, it’s important to understand that God also demands that husbands treat their wives as they would the church. In other words, husbands must love, honor, and respect their wives as much as they would Jesus. (Ephesians 5:22-33)
Women also have extremely significant, important roles in the Bible, the utmost being that Jesus decided to first appear to women after he rose from the dead. God isn’t some misogynistic, woman and child-hating monster and the Bible isn’t “magic.” God loves and treats us all as equals, and the Bible is our source of knowing right from wrong, Truth from fiction, and good from evil.
There’s nothing “insane” about it but leave it to Hollywood to fail to grasp the Bible's true meaning.
Conservatives Fight Back! This episode of mixed-ish was sponsored by Xfinity and Ford Motor Company. Click each advertiser for their contact information so that you can let them know how you feel about their sponsorship of religious bigotry!