The animated show The Simpsons is unique in that its characters are often seen attending church. In fact, religion is a dominant theme of this popular show. The family is often seen praying to God, and the show seems to be acutely aware of the significant place religion has in the American landscape.
The show satirizes religion, but is not seen as anti-religious, as the Simpsons themselves are Christian and some are spiritual in nature. Most episodes call for a sensible, tolerant and less fanatical religious devotion. Although the show mocks religion, it is not dismissive of faith, and has wide acceptance among those that practice religion, probably because the show targets all kinds of hypocrisies, not just religious ones.
D’oh, God! uses episodes of The Simpsons as the basis for in-depth discussions of a wide variety of religious topics. At each class, an entire episode is viewed, a distinct advantage when discussion is the intention. After viewing, the class engages in discussion and activities, designed to encourage deep contemplation of issues.
This curriculum is very easy to teach and to administer. The lesson guide provides an outline of each episode followed by discussion questions and activities. It is entirely possible to lead a class with minimal preparation.
For directors and coordinators, the episodes are all easily obtainable. All are available through streaming or on DVD. Streaming provides the most economical way to purchase individual episodes, costing only a couple of dollars each on Amazon.
Lessons are appropriate for either a classroom or youth group setting. Included with your purchase are PowerPoint presentations that can be edited as needed. PowerPoint has proven to be a valuable tool with this age group to keep the class engaged.
NEW! Now includes Homeschool sheets for printing or emailing to families to conduct classes at home!
To purchase digital episodes for streaming, go toAmazon, choose the season from the drop-down menu, and the individual episodes to purchase and add them to your Amazon cart.
if you prefer to purchase DVDs, a list of what DVDs will need to be purchased can be viewedhere. Please note that Season 21 is not available on DVD.
|Bart Gets an F||2||prayer|
|Homer and Lisa versus the Eighth Commandment||2||Christianity, stealing|
|Homer the Heretic||4||Christianity, faith|
|Bart Sells His Soul||7||Christianity, the existence of the soul|
|In Marge We Trust||8||Christianity, the power of listening|
|Lisa the Skeptic||9||faith|
|The Joy of Sect||9||cults|
|Faith Off||11||faith healing|
|She of Little Faith||13||Buddhism|
|Today I Am a Clown||15||Judaism|
|Thank God It's Doomsday||16||Christianity, judgment day|
|The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star||16||Catholicism|
|Mypods and Broomsticks||20||Islam|
|Rednecks and Broomsticks||21||Wicca|
|The Greatest Story Ever D'Oh'd||21||Christianity, Judaism and Islam|
This year, Follen Church wanted to re-invigorate its programs for older elementary and middle school classes – and hopefully boost participation and attendance. We ordered “Harry and UU” and “D’Oh God!” and were thrilled with the response from our youth: attendance bounced up, creativity soared, and the discussions were deep and values-based. Thank you, Karen Hager, for creating curricula that have made a difference in Follen’s religious education programs!
Deborah Weiner, Interim Director of Religious Education
Follen Church UU – Lexington, MA