Thursday, January 10, 2008

GetReligion on "Public Radio, [Huckabee] and the Eucharist"

Terry Mattingly has an interesting post at GetReligion on a recent Utah public radio skit that pokes fun at Mike Huckabee at the expense of the Eucharist:
... here’s the key part of the script, as passed along by the Catholic League:
[Woman’s voice]: And now another Huckabee family recipe leaked by his opponents.

[Male Voice]: Tired of bland unsatisfying Eucharists? Try this Huckabee family favorite. Deep-Fried Body of Christ — boring holy wafers no more. Take one Eucharist. Preferably post transubstantiation. Deep-fry in fat, not vegetable oil, ladies, until crispy. Serve piping hot. Mike likes to top his Christ with whipped cream and sprinkles. But his wife Janet and the boys like theirs with heavy gravy and cream puffs. It goes great with red wine.

[Woman’s voice]: Now that is just ridiculous. Everyone knows evangelicals don’t believe in transubstantiation.
The point, you see, is that the producers of the show were not mocking Jesus and they were not mocking Roman Catholics. They were mocking Bible Belt people. They were mocking an evangelical from the Bible Belt who is running for president. The problem was that they had to use the Mass and the Catholic faith in order to get to the punch line about the evangelical target. Follow that?

So, what is the point? That Catholics should not vote for Huckabee? That many Catholics are tempted to vote for Huckabee and this offends progressive Catholics? That this was a journalist’s attempt to protest political cooperation between evangelical Protestants and traditionalist Catholics? Or was this simply a stupid skit that gives us insight into what a very, very small number of people in public radio think is funny?

... Can you imagine a public-radio station airing a skit this blunt about, oh, any efforts that Barack Obama may make to reach out to Catholics? Wine, bries, soul food, watermelon and Eucharist? That Hillary Clinton might make to reach out to Muslims? Imagine the humor material lurking there. That John Edwards might make to reach out to Jews?


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