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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - The NBC sitcom Champions has let off shots at the Catholic Church.
In the show, brothers Vince (Anders Holm) and Matthew (Andy Favreau) are raising Vince's teenage son Michael. Near the end of the April 26 episode, the main characters find themselves checking out a Catholic high school in Brooklyn, New York. Matthew had attended that school but never graduated, so now he is going back to school to obtain his high school diploma.
The name of the fictional school is Holy Martyrs Bleeding Feet Academy — mocking Catholic devotion to the martyrs and Catholic emphasis on redemptive suffering.
Coming into a classroom, the main characters notice that all the students are female. Back when Matthew was in school, it was co-ed. His brother Vince asked the nun teaching the class, "Hey, uh, Sr. Timothy, where are all the boys?"
Her response was, "They proved a distraction to the priests. They had to go."
This is a jab at the priest sex abuse scandal in the United States. A large number of victims of alleged sex abuse by priests have been underaged males.
The recent Champions episode also bashed "straight white men." To start the episode, Vince tells other characters he is unsure how to teach sex ed to his homosexual 15-year-old son. He jokes that all he knows about homosexual activity is what he "learned from graffiti" on bathroom stalls.
A female coworker tells Vince to "check his privilege" by saying, "Yes, God forbid a straight, white man has to learn about something outside of his comfort zone."
At another point in the episode, Vince calls himself "just a straight, white guy struggling to give a meaningful 'bees and the bees' talk" to his gay child.
Dawn Slusher of Newsbusters.org commented sarcastically, "I'm not quite sure, but I think the show might be trying to tell us that Vince and Matthew are straight, white guys? I mean, because clearly, we can't tell that by looking at them."
The show also bashes more conservative approaches to sex ed. There is a lot of talk about sex ed, condoms and homosexuality after Vince finds a poster of an attractive man in his son Michael's room.
In the episode's opening scene, the joke is made, "Ohio's so conservative that they teach you that condoms actually increase your chance of STDs."
This misrepresents a common argument from conservatives. Some conservatives, especially committed Catholics, argue that widespread contraception tends to lead to widespread promiscuity, which in turn facilitates the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
At another point in the show, Vince gives his son a vulgar speech about orgasms. Trying to give his gay son "the talk," Vince asks Michael rhetorically why the male sexual organs function so differently from the female sexual organs.
NBC can be contacted here.