So, because I apparently wronged God at some point, I was tasked with watching the worst television show ever Tuesday night. You know it as The Real O’Neals.
On an episode titled, ‘The Real Grandma,’ just when I thought this abomination of a show couldn’t troll the depths of anti-Catholic demagoguery any more…this happened:
Grandma: I'm not tipping you because I know you're a millionaire back in your own country.
Dad: Geez, who's the crazy racist?
Grandma: This is why I don't like cabs. Allowing you to live in our country is tip enough.
Son: Grandma Agnes, mother of my mother.
Mom: Jesus get the God box! Get the God box!
Son: We're pretty Catholic, but we could never be Catholic enough for grandma.
Mom: Pope swap. Francis down. John Paul up.
Dad: Why doesn't your mom ever call before she comes?
Mom: Because then we'd be ready. Jimmy, scatter these Bibles around.
Dad: What are you wearing?
Daughter: Grandma's Easter bonnet. This hat made me 20 bucks and change on her last visit.
Daughter: I'm not here to make friends. I'm here to play the game.
Mom: We need to talk.
Dad: Right now?
Mom: We're still married.
Dad: In the eyes of the law?
Mom: In the eyes of my mother.
Dad: What?! You haven't told her?!
Mom: How do you tell the world's most sinless Catholic, "I've decided the Bible was wrong about marriage and I'm going straight to hell"?
Dad: Probably not like that.
Mom: Plus I'm not just getting a divorce. I'm divorcing the only thing she likes about me -- you. While my mother is here, please just be my husband.
Dad: Hey, wait a second. I've made a new life for myself in the basement. I grew a mustache. I eat with my hands. I make decisions without fear of criticism.
Mom: Pat, you grew a mustache. You are not a pioneer. Her visits only last two hours. Please, just go along with this. And no tickling.
Dad: What? Old women love tickling.
Mom: What?! One more thing. You're not gay. Mom! So good to see you!
Ah, yes. All those racist Catholics and their missions in Africa, South America, Asia, and in every major inner-city throughout America. Risking life and limb to bring food, healing, hope, and faith to people half-a-world away, in exchange for no material benefit whatsoever.
Seriously, how have we failed to see the Catholic Church as the bastion of Christian racism that it is?!
Nor, did the Catholic-shaming cease throughout the episode. Later, the family sat down for a meal that began well, and then ended up like this:
Son: Oh, there it is. Show me the puddin'.
Grandma: Oh, is that my favorite?
Mom: Bread-and-butter pudding. It sure is.
Dad: Oh, Agnes. I thought I was your favorite?
Grandma: Oh, Pat, you're a rascal. Well, Eileen, you have really outdone yourself.
Mom: Oh, thanks, mom. Kenny helped with the dessert.
Grandma: It looks a little dry.
Son: Do you want some sauce, grandma?
Grandma: No, thank you.
Son: You want somebody less saucy to give you sauce?
Grandma: I know you think I'm a silly old woman and you've been mocking me and my beliefs, but even if you don't care what I think, you should care about what god thinks.
Son: I do.
Grandma: No, you don't. God doesn't accept you. He thinks you're broken, and I do, too.
Son: I didn't think anything grandma said could upset me, but I was wrong.
Mom: That's enough, mom. My son is not broken, and if you want to talk about someone who's not accepted by god, you can talk about me. Pat and I are getting a divorce. That's right.
Dad: And it's not her fault, Agnes. It was a mutual decision.
Mom: That's right. So, you can say whatever you want to say now, mom. Whoa.
Son: Are you choking? Is this what we're doing? We're letting god take out grandma?
Grandma: I told you it was dry.
Once again, this relentless garbage-fest of a show is far more concerned about portraying Catholics, as they see them, and far less concerned with actual fact. God sent his only Son down from Heaven to die for sinners.
Therefore the life and death of Christ --upon which all Christianity is based-- is enough to refute this silly tripe. There’s no way a God would put his only Son through one of the worst deaths in recorded human history for the sake of a bunch of people He would never accept. Or, viewed as irrevocably “broken.” What radicals like the writers of this show can’t understand, is not that there’s a God out there who hates and condemns them, but that there’s a God out there so radical in his love that he can love them through all of that.
But, of course, the creators of The Real O’Neals can’t have that. Because then they would have to come to grips with the fact that their lives aren’t nearly as persecuted as they claim. And they would actually have to deal with the Mommy and Daddy issues that are at the core of their “rebellion.”