Glee: Personal Cheesus

The American Jesus doesn't die for your sins ... but *you* might.
The American Jesus doesn't die for your sins ... but *you* might.

Christianity may not be the only one of the world's major religions with an inordinate number of followers who see images of their spiritual leaders in inanimate objects, but ... okay, that's not true. It overwhelmingly is (that miracle baby in the West Bank from several years ago doesn't really count). Hell, there are web sites devoted solely to visions of Jesus and the Virgin Mother in food.

Coincidentally or not, it's Finn -- the most credulous member of the glee club -- that encounters the phenomenon after an incident with his George Foreman Grill. When his prayers to the ... Grilled "Cheesus" ... are answered in the form of McKinley High's first football win, he decides to dedicate a week to his lord and savior. And that's when the episode sort of goes into freefall.

Only 5 1/2 minutes in. A new record.

Considering the well-documented issues organized Christianity has had with gays and Jews, Finn's idea meets with some resistance. Will's compromise: songs about "spirituality," which will hopefully skirt that whole proscription on religion in public schools.

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Puck leads off with Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young," which stretches any definition of "spirituality" not tied to convincing Catholic schoolgirls to unzip their jumpers. Aside from highlighting Mark Salling's weak vocal delivery, the song also serves as the last relatively upbeat moment of the night.

Absent for the last several episodes, Kurt's father Burt pops up to chastise his son for bailing on the traditional Friday night dinner, then promptly drops into a coma when his arrhythmia cuts the blood to his brain. The situation has such potential for tragedy (Kurt could lose his father without getting the chance to tell him how much he cares for him) you know nothing of the kind is possibly going to happen.

In the meantime, the members of New Directions do their best to cheer up Kurt, who has unexpectedly(?) sided with Sue to oppose the religious types. We also learn the basis for Sue's atheism. Big surprise, it's tied to her mentally disabled older sister.

There's more music: Rachel sings that godawful song from Yentl, Mercedes leads her church choir in a gospel rendition of "Bridge Over Trouble Water" as a tribute to her guest Kurt, because the African-American community has such a great track record with accepting gays.


Look, I'm not saying the sandwich was actually Jesus. Actually, I know it wasn't. For in spite of its apparent capacity for answering Finn's prayers (feeling up Rachel, getting the starting QB position back), I must respectfully disagree with Emma's assessment that the sandwich had no real power. Clearly the Cheesus was a monkey's paw of considerable potency.

Finn, feeling guilty because he used his sandwich powers for personal gain, sings "Losing My Religion," endearing him further to Kurt. And it was at this point I wondered when Kurt was going to bust out into something more virulent than his rendition of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand."

You know what I'm talking about ... what are the two songs every adolescent proto-atheist latches onto in their quest for disbelief? Come on, it's an easy question: "Blasphemous Rumours" by Depeche Mode, and XTC's "Dear God." I can understand why Fox wouldn't go with Mode, but Kurt should have been able to do something with a line like "I can't believe in you."

In the end, Kurt's dad appears to be on the road to recovery, and Sue reconciles her atheism with the glee club's performance of Joan Osborne's "One Of Us," a song so offensive to non-Catholics it could be the theme for a new Inquisition. Little else is resolved except for my determination never to experience "Papa Can You Hear Me?" again.

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