Communion Wafers are not Comic Fodder
By Michael J. Gaynor
Blasphemy is "the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God."
Sacrilege is "gross irreverence toward a hallowed person, place, or thing."
The NBC sitcom "Committed" apparently is committed to blasphemy, sacrilege and sin instead of homage to God, respect for religion and common decency.
On February 22, NBC, broadcast an egregiously insulting episode of the sitcom "Committed.Ē
Who approved this episode for airing?
Have the characters responsible for airing Rathergate moved over to NBC?
In the name of humor, two of the show's characters flushed a Communion wafer down a toilet!
For "good" measure, the show portrayed a priest as a vulgar ignoramus.
For Catholics, that Communion wafer literally is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
For other Christians, it represents the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
Priests are human, not divine, to be sure, but they do represent Jesus, they do know the difference between a Communion wafer and a cracker, and they don't swear when they receive Communion.
Unless NBC soon broadcasts something like "Holocaust Humor," Christians will have reason to feel singled out for despicable dissing.
If NBC DOES broadcast something like that, the people responsible should be certified as insane, or Satanic, or both.
Oliver Ellsworth, a Founding Father from Connecticut, wrote:
"[W]hile I assert the rights of religious liberty, I would not deny that the civil power has a right, in some cases, to interfere in matters of religion. It has a right to prohibit and punish gross immoralities and impieties; because the open practice of these is of evil example and detriment. For this reason, I heartily approve of our laws against drunkenness, profane swearing, blasphemy, and professed atheism."
Predictably, the "Committed" episode created a firestorm of protest among Catholics.
Hopefully, that will generate the kind of publicity that will punish NBC instead of help its ratings.
Rathergate hurt, instead of helped, Dan Rather's ratings.
The Catholic League, a faithful watchdog, reported that during the episode two non-Catholics were mistakenly given Holy Communion at a Catholic funeral Mass and could not figure out a suitable way to deal with the situation.
Priests don't force Communion on non-Catholics during any kind of Mass.
The Catholic League described the unconscionable episode this way:
"Nate, who is Jewish, and Bowie, a Protestant, donít 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.
"At one point, the priest, who is portrayed as not knowing the difference between the Host and a cracker, goes to grab the 'cracker' from a tray of appetizers; he initially balks when he discovers that it is the last one. Then he changes his mind, saying, 'Oh, what the hell.'
"By far the most offensive scene occurs when Nate and Bowie accidentally flush what they think is the Host down the toilet."
Catholic League President William Donahue demanded that NBC apologize.
"To say that Catholics are angry about this show would be an understatement - the outrage is visceral and intense," Mr. Donahue declared.
"NBC has made a direct frontal assault on Roman Catholicism, choosing to mock, trivialize and ridicule the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
Donahue added: "More than an apology is needed. This episode should be retired for good, and that is what we will demand.Ē
More than that is needed.
Good people of all religious beliefs should choose other programs to watch.
Television shows live and die according to their ratings.
And good people should commit to forcing NBC to substitute a decent program for "Committed."
The solution to Federated Department Stores replacing the words "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Hanukkah" with "Happy Holidays" in order to further secularize America is to shop at religious-friendly stores.
And the solution to NBC broadcasting blasphemy and sacrilege packaged as humor in the hope of winning laughs is to watch other networks that don't insult their viewers.
Michael J. Gaynor
95 Darrow Lane
Greenlawn, New York 11740-2803
(631) 757-9452 (telephone)
(631) 754-3437 (fax)
Communion, blasphemy, sacrilege,
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