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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Monday, March 03, 2003

 

How the Flanders has fallen
I'm very nearly positive that this will be the last Simpsons related post in a while. Almost completely. But I was annoyed deeply by the second episode last night. If you didn't see it, and don't want to know, the don't read this. If you didn't see it and do, here's the summary: Ned Flanders, while doing his taxes and being lonely, meets Sarah Sloan, a movie star. The two of them start dating, she moves to Springfield to be with him, and pressures him into sex--the morning after, he makes it clear that he's "like Baskin Robbins--you get one scoop for free, but then you have to buy the whole scoop." She's not willing to be tied down, they amicably go their separate ways.

You read that right--Ned Flanders, the man who eats kosher, just to be on the safe side, had extra-marital sex, and didn't feel overly concerned about it. Now, the show up until the point when he did the deed was a good study in the very real tension within devout Christian men between the desire to do the right thing, and the desire to have sex with movie stars. It could stillhave been, even with Flanders taking the out of character plunge. But afterwards, there was no remorse. He seemed to have justified himself completely, falling into the postmodern practice of interpreting scripture for his own ends, and being content with that interpretation. But as a vaguely Flanders-esque character myself, I can guarantee that there would be guilt and remorse, rather than general pleasure that women liked me now that I had boinked a movie star.

UPDATE: Another thought to add, without adding another post, and thereby breaking my promise. For better or worse Ned has become a role-model for evangelicals--actually, icon would probably be a better term, if one ignores its religious meaning--and the show last night quite frankly hurt that a great deal. And I would assume that the writers knew that would happen, and part of me wonders if they did that on purpose. I know that many Christians work on the show, and I wonder how they reacted to the episode, and what kind of conversations came out of it. If I find out, I'll add another post, and promises be darn-diddly-arned!

LAST UPDATE: A few people at the alt.tv.simpsons newsgroup appear to agree with me, more or less, and most everyone says it was a lame episode, though some were glad they "didn't have Ned chicken out." That right there concerns me--holding to a belief is now "chickening out?" Seems like it's the other way around to me...
Agree, disagree, have more information on the topic? Please, feel free to leave a comment. No profanity!
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