Am I the only one who was deeply, deeply confused and offended by Tuesday’s episode of Glee?
Because usually I side, as one assumes the show’s writers intend, with Will and Emma against Sue Sylvester. There’s the occasional wonderful moment in which we’re surprised because Sue is right and Will and Emma are wrong (e.g. Sue’s harsh coaching last season of Becky Jackson, the cheerleader with Down Syndrome, since to be more lenient with her would be holding her to a lower standard, discriminating against her based on her disability), but even then I’m exactly where the writers want me to be.
Which is why I was so baffled last night when everybody on the show except Sue and Kurt went fucking insane.
And, since it’s difficult for me to believe that such skilled writers put a character who’s usually in the wrong in the right and characters who are usually in the right in the wrong for no reason, the only conclusion I can reach is that Ryan Murphy thinks the Constitution of the United States is great and all but should be superseded by good intentions.
Because that’s what Thomas Jefferson’s “eternal wall of separation between Church and State” means in today’s society, or one of the things it means: religion stays out of public schools. Students are free to pray to any deity they like at any time they like, but an institution run by the government is absolutely forbidden to force other students to join them. And if Kurt doesn’t want to sing about God, then the Constitution of the United States says he doesn’t have to sing about God, and what Mr. Schuster and Mercedes and Finn’s grilled cheese sandwich want doesn’t make one iota of difference.
And then when they go and pray for Mr. Hummel in the hospital—at that point I came pretty close to turning off my TV and never watching the show again. Because it’s difficult for me to see a big difference between that and the monstrosity that is the Mormons’ baptism of dead Jews.
And then Mercedes takes Kurt to her church and he sees that really it’s not so bad, believing in God is really okay, maybe he was wrong, maybe he should give this God thing a try, except the entire scene was a fucking lie, because Evangelical churches—which this one clearly was—tend to frown mightily on guys who suck cock. If Mercedes had said, oh, and by the way my friend is gay, everybody in that room would have dropped Mr. Hummel in an instant and started begging Jesus to make the boy straight. (So as not to leave unremarked the elephant in the room, I’ll say simply that I have a lot of thoughts about the interactions of race and sexuality, but I’ll leave them for another time. The Evangelical horror of the love that dare not speak its name is no respecter of color.)
And so when Kurt was sitting there, starting to smile, my blood—long past boiling—began to head toward a gaseous state. Because this was dishonest storytelling. Misleading storytelling at the very least—it would be like showing Pontius Pilate in a good light because of his excellent hygiene. And that’s not something I’m used to from Glee, and it’s not something I’m interested in watching. The corporations that run this country tell me lies enough every day; I don’t need more from my art.
I think I might really have sworn off the show, if it hadn’t been for the hat Kurt was wearing.