“Glee” doesn’t really try to answer the huge religion question on its “Grilled Cheesus” episode, but it certainly does try to throw a lot of different ideas the viewers’ way.
Spoiler alert — don’t keep reading if you haven’t watched the episode yet.
In the episode, Kurt (Chris Colfer) is going through a tough time with his father in a coma, and when his friends try to comfort him with their spirituality, he explains that he rejects Christianity partly because of some ideas that don’t jibe with who he is but also because he doesn’t have faith.
“I think God is like Santa Claus for adults. Otherwise, God’s kind of a jerk, isn’t he?,” he tells the show choir. “I mean, he makes me gay and then has his followers telling me it’s something that I chose. As if someone would choose to be mocked every single day of their life.
“You can’t prove that there isn’t a magic teapot floating around the dark side of the moon with a dwarf inside of it that reads romance novels and shoots lightning bolts out of its boobs, but it seems pretty unlikely, doesn’t it?” (To which of course, Brittany asks, “God is an evil dwarf?”)
While it’s pretty safe to say that this teapot-dwelling lunar dwarf is not a real deity in anyone’s religion, “Glee” does make some references to other beliefs — besides the more broadly known Christianity and Judaism — that may be less familiar. We take a look at a few of them.
Grilled Cheese Religious Imagery
Finn isn’t the first person to feel the holy spirit from toasted bread and dairy (his Cheesus is pictured right). A Florida woman named Diana Duyser claims that in 1994 she made a grilled cheese sandwich, took a bite and then saw the Virgin Mary looking up at her. She stopped consuming the rest of the holy sandwich and kept it in a container in cotton wool, claiming it had helped her win $70,000 at a casino, among other windfalls. She put it up for bid on eBay in 2004.
Sikhism primarily originated in the 15th century Punjab region of India, and a “sikh” is a disciple of the teaching of the ten Gurus, believes in equality of mankind and follows one supreme deity, Ik Onkar. The Sikhs can be recognized by their turbans. The Sikh in “Glee” is practicing acupuncture an Eastern practice in which needles are placed into various points on a person’s body for anesthetic, analgesic or therapeutic purposes.
Jews for Jesus
“I’m a total Jew for Jesus. He’s my No. 1 Heeb,” Puck says to Finn.
Depending who you talk to, Jews for Jesus could be seen as people who are born Jewish (as their birthright) but have Christian beliefs or perhaps a Christian evangelistic organization that tries to convert Jews to Christianity. The group has both been supported and rejected alike by various Jewish and Christian organizations.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster
Although this is a fictional, parody religion, it’s existed previously to this “Glee” episode. An Oregan State physics graduate named Bobby Henderson created this fake deity — that looks like spaghetti and meatballs — in 2005 to protest to the Kansas State Board of Education permitting the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in public schools. Followers of Pastafarianism embrace the silly aspects of the religion — pirates are the original Pastafarians, holidays include Ramendan and Pastover — that are often satires of known religions.
Okay, now we’re hungry. We’re going to make going to make something starchy and see if the spirit moves us.
Photo credits: FOX, Ring of Fire Enterprises