(Note: for those looking for my review of The Prisoner episode “Arrival”, that will come out in the next couple of weeks. The schedule can be found on the intro post. So, a review of this and the Steven Universe episode “Super Watermelon Island” will precede the review of “Arrival”.)
“Heat makes metal expand. Now who’s talking mumbo-jumbo?” – Bart Simpson.
Airdate: January 16th, 2000.
Written By: Frank Mula
Plot: Homer’s attempt to pull a prank on the Dean of Springfield University as revenge for siphoning his money goes awry when a bucket full of glue lands on his head. While his driving is impaired, the resultant crash leads him and the family to Brother Faith, who claims to use the power of God to heal. He uses an enamored Bart to pull the bucket off Homer’s head, and Bart is intrigued with the flamboyance and fame of Brother Faith. As a result, he starts his own church, proclaiming to be a healer of his own.
The early 1800s brought with it a new wave of religious fervor to the United States. Labeled the Second Great Awakening, this wave of religion was in itself a reaction to the more logical elements of the Enlightenment era that fueled the Revolution. Many Christian sects were founded, particularly in the “burned-over” region of Northern New York, and these sects worked to try and solve the societal ills of the time. This wound up not only leading to the founding of the LDS Church, but the Second Awakening laid further seeds for the abolitionist movements in the United States, as it led to the rise of abolitionist preachers.
Likewise, the 1980s brought with it a small religious recovery on its own. So-called televangelists, taking advantage of the revival of conservatism during the Reagan era, began to use the apex of emotion to broadcast the word of their churches, all while acting in increasingly flamboyant ways. Of course, quite a few of these programs fell apart – largely thanks to tax laws. However, the influence still lingers today, in the form of Joel Osteen, for example.
So, what about “Faith Off”, an episode from the middle of The Simpsons Season 11? Continue reading