The Simpsons’ ‘serious’ treatment of religion praised

Popular adult cartoon series praised by Vatican newspaper

Staff Reporter

A leading US-based social science expert has praised The Simpsons’ scriptwriters for their “honest” and “serious” treatment of religion in the series.

Dr Andy Wood, Professor of Social Science at San José State University said the adult animated sitcom had some “serious existential moments”.

Acknowledging the show went to “some extraordinary lengths” to mock the way some characters practise their faith, Dr Wood said: “You can be slapstick about religion to a certain extent but this show took it seriously.”

Referencing some examples, Dr Wood noted that when it comes to the portrayal of religion and faith, “you know this is a show that is thinking about serious things”.

“There is a stark reminder in The Simpsons when they talk about faith, when they talk about relationships, they are not just going for the cheap laugh.

“They are going for an honest accounting for the fact that there are people that take their faith quite seriously,” he said.

The Simpsons, which has more than 550 episodes and is into its 26th season, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month.

20th anniversary

Marking the 20th anniversary of the show in 2009, an article published in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s official newspaper, praised The Simpsons for its “realistic” way of dealing with religion.

“Homer finds in God his last refuge, even though he sometimes gets His name sensationally wrong. But these are just minor mistakes, after all; the two know each other well,” the article stated.