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The Faith of Flanders - Comments

Demotruk's Avatar Comment 1 by Demotruk

I don't like the way he's developed as a character. In the early days he had a personality. But since before Mod died, he's developed into more and more of a dull stereotype.

Sat, 24 May 2008 07:09:00 UTC | #174896

MaxD's Avatar Comment 2 by MaxD

He was always a goofy stereotype, but I do think the writer of this peice is deluded. The simpsons is terribly hard on religion, and Christianity in particular. What i notice about evangelicals who like the show is that they try to evade that issue or make it pro-faith as this author did.

Sat, 24 May 2008 07:29:00 UTC | #174901

He'sAVeryNaughtyBoy's Avatar Comment 3 by He'sAVeryNaughtyBoy

A memorable scene from the Simpsons was when Marge confronts Lovejoy about what the bible says. Lovejoy tries to argue his way out of it, then gives up and rings the church bells as loud as he can to drown Marge out. If this writer thinks the Simpsons isn't hard on religion then they've not seen a whole bunch of episodes.

Sat, 24 May 2008 07:47:00 UTC | #174904

riki's Avatar Comment 4 by riki

None of this means anything to me. I watch about 20mins of TV a week, and that's on the exercise bike at the gym.

Sat, 24 May 2008 07:59:00 UTC | #174907

Tenochtitlan's Avatar Comment 5 by Tenochtitlan

The fact that Flanders is even there, on the show, being preternaturally good and honest, is, to me, sad, pathetic, and prejudiced. Its like the show promotes the belief that intensely religious people are all good and kind-hearted, while the religiously irreverent cheat, and lie and treat their kids as garbage.

I even remember an interview with Matt Groening himself where he said he wanted to make fun of creationism while still being "respectful" to Flanders beliefs. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a big religious bias and some fairly deep misconceptions about where morality comes from and what your average evangelical is really like. Personally, I think Flanders is by far the low-point of the show precisely because he's shown as what the "ideal" evangelist is like, when the reality is that they are a bunch of...well, based on previous headlines, insert adjectives of choice there.

Sat, 24 May 2008 08:03:00 UTC | #174909

Robert Maynard's Avatar Comment 6 by Robert Maynard

Homer: This book doesn't have any answers!

'nuff said.

Sat, 24 May 2008 08:07:00 UTC | #174911

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 7 by mordacious1

Just look at Flander's kids, enough said.

Sat, 24 May 2008 08:11:00 UTC | #174912

Wosret's Avatar Comment 8 by Wosret

Ralph: "Are the oceans god's tears"?

(*Skinner looks to Flanders, Flanders nods*)

Skinner: "Yes, the oceans are god's tears."

(*Ralph points are Lisa*)

Ralph: "Now you're the Ralph, and I'm the Lisa."

Sat, 24 May 2008 08:13:00 UTC | #174913

mdowe's Avatar Comment 9 by mdowe

I suppose if you really live your life like Ned Flanders, perhaps you just can't tell when your lifestyle and nutty beliefs are being mocked in a long-running, mainstream, animated TV series =) I think the Simpsons series has been largly a true and welcomed voice for reason over the years.

Sat, 24 May 2008 08:15:00 UTC | #174914

Wosret's Avatar Comment 10 by Wosret

I don't agree with people's opinions at all. Flanders only feigns good-natured, and loving and such (thus the episode about his brake down, and the reasons for his speach mannerisms). He is crippled from his traumatic childhood, and complete lack of order and structure that he has found a dictator, and system that he can structure his entire life around. He is compensating, and it isn't about god existing or not to him.

He is intellectually dishonest, not stupid, he ignores good points and evidence and ever burns, after accepting, Homer's disproof of god on the episode that he had it raised by fifty points, to an amazing 105. For many religious people, they are just stupid, but for many others, as Isaac Asimov (I believe it was him anyway) once said about pseudo-science "if you examine it deep enough, you will find a skirt to pull, or a thumb to suck."

I think that he perfectly matches such a religious person.

Sat, 24 May 2008 08:19:00 UTC | #174915

n0rr1s's Avatar Comment 11 by n0rr1s

My favourite clip from the Simpsons concerning religion:

EDIT: just noticed Mitchell mentioned this in the post above. Good timing!

Sat, 24 May 2008 08:23:00 UTC | #174916

TQY's Avatar Comment 12 by TQY

And there was me thinking this article would be about the excellent Trappist brewers of Flanders, Belgium. How disappointing.

Sat, 24 May 2008 08:35:00 UTC | #174917

Dr Benway's Avatar Comment 13 by Dr Benway

Mark Pinsky is on crack. Flanders isn't sympathetic. He's creepy damaged goods, and here's proof: imagine being stranded on a desert isle with the guy.


Sat, 24 May 2008 09:09:00 UTC | #174924

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 14 by mordacious1

Dr Benway
Hmm Flanders...desert isle...possibly little to eat...

Sat, 24 May 2008 09:17:00 UTC | #174927

Don_Quix's Avatar Comment 15 by Don_Quix

I've watched all of Matt Groening's shows since the first episode of the Simpsons aired. I have never gotten the impression that the Flanders character is anything but an outright parody of religion...fundamentalist religion specifically. If you watch the Simpsons or (especially) Futurama, or read any of Matt Groening's old comics like Life In Hell, it's quite clear that Groening is at best a cynical agnostic with no sympathy whatsoever for organized religion or authority in general, and more probably an outright atheist. He may have even said as much himself in an interview somewhere.

Anyone who who thinks Flanders was created so as to portray evangelicals in a good light either hasn't watched the Simpsons or Futurama, or is deluding themselves.

Sat, 24 May 2008 09:54:00 UTC | #174932

RamziD's Avatar Comment 16 by RamziD

Why can't some people just take the stick out their ass and develop a sense of humor (talking about Pinsky here). Is there really a need for this tedious analysis?

Sat, 24 May 2008 10:37:00 UTC | #174934

FSMTeapot's Avatar Comment 17 by FSMTeapot

Homer: The Bible! Talk about a preachy book. Everybody's a sinner... apart from this guy...

Or the one where Homer disproves god and Flanders tries to burn the evidence, only to find out Homer has printed hundreds and put them on car windscreens.

Sat, 24 May 2008 11:19:00 UTC | #174938

AoClay's Avatar Comment 18 by AoClay

I thought Groening usually made fun of religion.

Isn't it Homer with cookies saying "If you want them to eat me for you, God, give me no sign."



Sat, 24 May 2008 11:23:00 UTC | #174939

TrashcanMan79's Avatar Comment 19 by TrashcanMan79

Isn't it Homer with cookies saying "If you want them to eat me for you, God, give me no sign."

This is followed by the funniest line of the bit: "Thy will be done."


Sat, 24 May 2008 11:42:00 UTC | #174940

SurfDude's Avatar Comment 20 by SurfDude

Alan Canon

Let's not lose sight of what we're doing. Religious people, and the yet-unborn ghosts who might become religious, need our help. We should not be in the business of condemning minds, but of liberating them, or demonstrating a proper, logical path to liberation.

I agree very strongly with Richard Dawkins that the "moderate, good" religious like Ned Flanders make it safe for the extremists. But while we should be strident on the public stage and in public conversation (I'm wearing my scarlet A pin as I write), shouldn't we be privately gentle and respectful of people, if not their ideas?

Thank you for your excellent comment. You managed to describe my own mother to a T and the above quote should merely be underlined.

Sat, 24 May 2008 11:58:00 UTC | #174942

SurfDude's Avatar Comment 21 by SurfDude

Alan Canon's post seems to have been removed. What a shame. At least I managed to copy the relevant bits at the end.

Sat, 24 May 2008 12:00:00 UTC | #174943

bluebird's Avatar Comment 22 by bluebird

My diddly-goodness, I didn't know there's a Simpsons Theme Park ride!

Sat, 24 May 2008 12:02:00 UTC | #174944

Ned Flanders's Avatar Comment 23 by Ned Flanders

I'm really an atheist. Diddly.

Sat, 24 May 2008 15:49:00 UTC | #174968

moderndaythomas's Avatar Comment 24 by moderndaythomas

And some secular viewers outside the Sun Belt suburbs and the heartland -- who may have yet to meet an evangelical in the flesh and may even be hostile to the rise of religious conservatives

Hostile? NO! Not cuddly, fuzzy evangelicals.
I've always warmed to the idea of book banning and spreading the word.

This author seems to be give the impression that he's surprised at the hostility creationism gets. He's deluded.

Sat, 24 May 2008 16:02:00 UTC | #174969

Pythagoras's Avatar Comment 25 by Pythagoras

As a long time Simpons fan, I think you might find it's a subtle parody.

Groening seems to be an atheist. He admits to being an agnostic. Admitting to be an atheist would probably hurt his ratings.

Sat, 24 May 2008 16:10:00 UTC | #174970

OverUsedChewToy's Avatar Comment 26 by OverUsedChewToy

"Groening is at best a cynical agnostic with no sympathy whatsoever for organized religion or authority in general, and more probably an outright atheist"

He's agnostic.

Sat, 24 May 2008 16:17:00 UTC | #174971

qomak's Avatar Comment 27 by qomak

Completely agree with RamziD.

Get a sense of humor and stop complaining and whining. The show sometimes has been sympathetic towards the average stupid religious types, so what?

On overall it's blasted religion.

Homer: "God is my favorite fictional character!"

Sat, 24 May 2008 16:29:00 UTC | #174972

gr8hands's Avatar Comment 28 by gr8hands

Don_Quix, don't forget that The Simpsons actually started years earlier on The Tracey Ullman Show.

Sat, 24 May 2008 16:39:00 UTC | #174973

bachfiend's Avatar Comment 29 by bachfiend

I am afraid I have just been converted to a Young Earth Creationist. I made the mistake of clicking on the link showing Homer Simpson proving conclusively to Ned Flanders that God doesn't exist, and I found definite documentary evidence that humans co-existed with dinosaurs.

Sat, 24 May 2008 17:11:00 UTC | #174981

grokes's Avatar Comment 30 by grokes


"Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else - and it hasn't - it's that girls should stick to girl's sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such."

Sat, 24 May 2008 17:17:00 UTC | #174983