Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Simpsons and Mormon outrage.

Sometime before 1989 my family happened to catch the Tracey Ullman show and saw some short cartoons about a family called the Simpsons.  We thought that they were awesome, and were very excited when we learned that they would be getting their own show.  Before they debuted however, we couldn't remember the name of the cartoon family and simply referred to them as the "Sackheads" because Bart and Lisa's hair reminded us of the tops of paper bags with the ^^^^^^^ edge to it.

When the show finally came out, our family never missed an episode.  My parents thought that it was an incredibly clever, funny show.  They would point out to the rest of us as children when the show was making an allusion to a famous movie, book, or work of art.  We loved it enough that quoting it became a staple of our conversations and to really follow some family conversations, it was best to have certain episodes memorized.

This reaction to the show was NOT the correct one as far as church went.  It seemed that Matt Groening was a warlock and sat upon his throne in his dark tower and concocted evil spells that allowed for demons to be transmitted through television sets.  The sound and fury of the church members against that evil, evil show was so overbearing that our family simply kept it secret that we watched the show.  It was just easier to pretend that we didn't view it, then get into fights.  And for us as children, we couldn't really defend ourselves against the grown adults public scorn. Friends of mine were forbidden to even watch any part of it lest they suffer Satanic possession.

This time period was roughly when the prophet came out and said not to watch R-rated movies.  And when a prophet says something like, "don't watch R-rated movies," that sparks a massive fire about whether or not this statement is a "new commandment" or just "counsel."  I guess I was too stupid to ever know the difference because the end result of going against them is the same.  Public chastisement by everyone who loves to publicly chastise.  And Mormonism might hold the record on the number of those members.

I remember before learning to keep things like this a secret, I was chastised as an eight year old by a middle aged woman for watching the Simpsons.  When she heard that I watched it with my parents, her response was, "Well! They should KNOW better!"

But we never did.


  1. I remember that era. Growing up in an agnostic household it was never an issue. Till I got to high school and the pressure to fit in mounted.

    To quote Homer Simpson "Oh great, Mormons."

  2. I remember being 5 or so and trying to watch the simpsons at my TBM friends house and being confused when his mother chased me out of the house with a broom. It happened a couple weeks later while I was showing him how awesome power rangers was.