Check this article out, it says the Vatican newspaper has declared Homer Simpson as a Catholic. One knows the churches in general are seeking what is called 'cultural relevancy" so this means comments on popular cartoon characters and books. From the article:
The long-running cartoon series explores issues such as family, community, education and religion in a way that few other popular television programmes can match, according to L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's daily broadsheet.
The newspaper acknowledged that Homer snores through the sermons of the Reverend Lovejoy and inflicts "never-ending humiliation" on his evangelical neighbour, Ned Flanders.
But in an article headlined "Homer and Bart are Catholics", the newspaper said: "The Simpsons are among the few TV programmes for children in which Christian faith, religion, and questions about God are recurrent themes."
The family "recites prayers before meals and, in
their own peculiar way, believes in the life thereafter".
It quoted an analysis by a Jesuit priest, Father Francesco Occhetta, of a 2005 episode of The Simpsons, The Father, the Son and the Holy Guest Star, which revolved around Catholicism and was aired a few weeks after the death of Pope John Paul II.
I've seen a few Simpsons episodes over the years, and when watching the show, note the many messages being given through the show, let's not forget that TV programming is actually used for "programming". Is there a reason why Ned Flanders is presented as an "out of touch" oppressive "do-gooder" as an example of the one grown-up "evangelical"? Is there a reason they mocked Bible Prophecy in general when they made fun of end time events? Some time ago I remember seeing an episode, where The Simpsons all visit Israel, and Ned Flanders has no problem with Homer bowing before a very Catholic looking statute and shouts at him, in anger: "Homer Simpson, you are not worth saving!" [what is that supposed to convey to the audience since it is never apologized for?.]
Of course the show is not without its "every religion should come together" message, since towards the end, even Ned Flanders is revealed to be all gung-ho for Homer's message after he gets "Jerusalem syndrome". Homer pronounces himself as a "messiah" declaring everyone to be "ChrisMuJews" and preaches "peace and chicken". Here is a recap here. One does not expect worldly secular cartoons to preach the gospel, but is this message an accident? No way!
But one show that stands out to me and I just happened to see it as a household member had the Simpsons on, was the one that almost seemed like an advertisement for folks to join the Catholic church in 2007. The idea of Protestants having a more depressed 'snooty rich" heaven of wealthy preppies playing badminton vs. the more partying "fun" heaven of the Catholics with wine, Spanish fiestas and Irish dancers was one thing I remember while at least half of the Simpsons family becomes Catholic converts. Of course their blasphemous display of "jesus" had Marge gasping for air, to find he was over in "Catholic heaven" instead of hanging out with the Protestants, See here, I'd stop the video before the last minute so you do not see the breaking of the second commandment, but you can watch a few minutes and see the general gist.
This show was entitled "The Simpsons, The Father, The Son and the Holy Guest Star" [yes blasphemous in the title even] and even here, the world's messages of ecumenism are promoted openly and strongly:
With Bart and Homer both considering joining the Church, Marge (worried she might be alone in Protestant Heaven while Bart and Homer are in Catholic Heaven) seeks help from Rev. Lovejoy and Ned Flanders, who agree to stop them. While they are learning about First Communion, Marge, Lovejoy, and Ned capture Bart.On the road, Marge and Lovejoy try to bring Bart back to the "one true faith": The Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism. Back at the house, Lisa agrees with Homer and Bart's desire to join a new faith. Even after getting laughed at for being Buddhist by Fr. Sean, she says that Marge is taking Bart to a Protestant Youth Festival. Homer and Fr. Sean then leave in immediate pursuit. At the Festival, Marge fails to bribe Bart with the banal Christian rock of Quiet Riot (Pious Riot after their conversion). However, he agrees after he plays some paintball. Homer and Fr. Sean arrive with a motorcycle, shoot Marge's hair with some paintball bullets and engage in a Mexican standoff with Ned and Lovejoy. Bart says it is stupid that all the different forms of Christianity are feuding.
That's it, the ecumenical message in a nutshell and on what is supposedly a "secular cartoon". But when watching TV, realize even the shows, that are seemingly "innocent" [I don't count the Simpsons among them even if it has a few funny jokes] all have a message for you. Realize how many of the unsaved are watching this, thinking how timely it is, and how many think it would be a great idea for all religions to join together and positive messages about the Catholic church.