Michelle Malkin reports on Catholic outrage at last week's episode of NBC sitcom Committed. People are upset because
During the February 22 episode of the NBC-TV sitcom, “Committed,” two non-Catholics are mistakenly given Holy Communion at a Catholic funeral Mass. Nate, who is Jewish, and Bowie, a Protestant, don’t know what to do with the Eucharist, so they make several failed attempts to get rid of it. For example, they try slipping it into the pocket of a priest, dropping it on a tray of cheese and crackers, etc.
I didn't see the episode in question. But frankly, it sounds like
like people may be overreacting. Of course if it actually happened I wouldn't find it funny at all. But I don't think comedic premises involving other peoples' deeply-held beliefs should necessarily be off-limits.
Some people are calling the Committed episode "blasphemous" or "sacrilegious." Perhaps I'm a bad Catholic, but I just don't see it. No one actually flushed the Eucharist down the toilet, in real life or in the context of the story. And it doesn't sound to me as if the writers intended to imply that Catholics are silly or backward for believing in the real presence of the Eucharist. Whether one believes in the real presence or not, situations like this do occur, and a bumbling non-Catholic's uncertainty about what to do in such a situation could be funny. (I'd also add that when situations like this occur in the real world, the common response among non-Catholics is simply to consume the Eucharist. That's sacreligious. At least Bowie and Nate had sufficient respect for Catholics not to eat the Eucharist, and to try to give it back -- albeit not in sensible ways.) It seems to me that the charges of blasphemy hinge on nothing more than the idea that, well, there's nothing funny about God. But I don't buy it: I presume He's the greatest comedian of all time.
I suspect that what some people really are upset about is the fact, hinted at in Malkin's post, that the mainstream media in this country treads very lightly around most religious faiths except Christianity -- and particularly Catholicism. Thus, the failure to tread equally lightly around Catholicism must be a sign of disrespect. (Query the reaction if a sitcom storyline involved devout Muslims unknowingly consuming alcohol at an Irish wake. Plenty of opportunities for comedy, there. Would it air? Likely not.) Malkin suggests that the reason for this disparity is that, as the title of one of the posts to which she links indicates, "Catholics Don't Issue Fatwas."
True enough. But we used to (in a sense, at least). The fact that we no longer do is a good thing. Let's not start again.
Perhaps the right approach to the disparity that Malkin notes isn't to demand that the MSM cater to the delicate sensibilities of particularly sensitive Catholics and other Christians. Instead, perhaps we should demand that the MSM stop catering to the delicate sensibilities of particularly sensitive Muslims.
Then again, maybe I'm missing something in this story. Mrs. Rustler doesn't share my views on this subject, and I suspect many other Catholics won't, either. Maybe I'll even change my mind once I've thought about this some more. But right now, I just don't see this incident as the big deal it's being painted to be.