Sunday, May 15, 2011

‘Malcolm in the Middle’’s Dewey on religion [restored]

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[NOTE: Reposted from RSS feed. May contain differences from original post.]

I like Malcolm in the Middle; I used to watch it whenever I was stuck at my grandparents’ place with nothing to do but flip idly through cable networks. This clip, where Dewey Wilkerson (Erik Per Sullivan) shares his thoughts on the futility of praying for God to be merciful, is an example why:

My transcript:

DEWEY: I don’t like this church! Ever since we came here, all I do is think about stuff. What kind of god makes children think when they’re not even in school?

BIBLE STUDY TEACHER: Well, now, see, that is a torment. But I’m sure he has his reasons.

DEWEY: Yeah. Like Pastor Roy said, God’s so much bigger and wiser than us, and trying to see what he’s thinking would be like an ant trying to see what I’m thinking.

BST: Yes, exactly. But we can trust in his wisdom and we can have faith that he is watching over us.

DEWEY: Like me with the anthill in my backyard. I spent days watching the ants, trying to figure out which ones were good and which ones were bad, but they all just look like ants. So, I started smiting all of them.

BST: [reacts] Well, that’s –

DEWEY: I’m smiting them with the garden hose, and with lighter fluid, and with the lawnmower, and to be perfectly honest, I think I went a little crazy with the shovel. Those ants could’ve been praying to me all day. I wouldn’t have heard them … there was nothing they could do about it.

BST: Well, I don’t think –

DEWEY: Really, it’s the same with us. There’s nothing we can do about anything, either. So, why worry about it? … Hey, this is making me feel better.

BST: [nervously] Well, that’s … good. But –

DEWEY: I guess all we can do is live our lives with as much kindness and decency as possible, and try not to dwell on God standing over us with that giant shovel. Bye!

[Dewey exits. BST looks upwards awkwardly.]

(via @pzmyers)