NBC’s comedy series The New Normal emerges from a shifting American culture increasingly accepting of new family arrangements and consciously engages the dynamics these present . Recently, The New Normal took up Catholicism in relation to the gay protagonist, David — and did so in a strikingly positive, fact-based manner.
As background, the premise of the show is that a gay couple hire a single mother with a nine-year-old daughter as their surrogate in the quest to have a child. Episode 7 features the couple, David and Bryan, struggling to decide on godparents for their child, as they are two people who identify as non-spiritual.
So often the LGBT community and the Catholic community are pitted against each other in entertainment. The New Normal overcomes false dichotomies to reveal reality. LGBT Catholics and allies have long known that good priests are building welcoming parishes, that the Church is not anti-gay in its fundamentals, that LGBT persons desire a place in the Catholic faith, and that, with commitment, change can occur should we be willing to seek it.
The conversations between Bryan and Father Michael are comedic, poignant, and surprisingly truthful moments for a popular television show. While as a student of theology, I would have liked to see more nuance in several statements of the show’s dialogue, it is heartening to see mainstream entertainment positively reflect on the good relationships and good work of so many Catholics who are trying to make the Church a welcoming and affirming place for our LGBT brothers and sisters.
-full commentary by Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry, at Bondings 2.0.
- A Tribute to the (London) Soho Masses Congregation (opentabernacle.wordpress.com)
- New Organization of LGBT Students on Catholic Campuses Is Launched ” Bondings 2.0 (queerchurchnews.wordpress.com)
- Campus Chronicles: Georgetown U. Celebrates Coming Out Month (newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com)
- Catholic Rebellion on Gay Marriage: US – and Italy (queeringthechurch.com)
- Italian Catholic Priest Comes Out (newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com)
- What Really Happens at the Soho Masses? (opentabernacle.wordpress.com)
- “The New Normal” is Anything But Normal & It’s a Good Thing (dualshow.com)
- New Show Recap: The New Normal, Episode 1.07, “The Godparent Trap” (persephonemagazine.com)