Brent Bozell's culture column centers on a twisted little late-night Cartoon Network show called "Moral Orel." It's a vicious little claymation attack on Christianity that airs on "Adult Swim" 15 minutes after Sunday is over. Two weeks ago, it aired 15 minutes into Christmas with the first and worst episode: a Christmas special.
Right from the get-go, viewers learn that Orel’s parents are very phony Christians who hate each other, and their preacher, Reverend Putty, looking typically ridiculous in the phoniest of toupees, declares his gratitude to St. Joseph in his Christmas sermon for accepting the "unplanned birth" of Jesus, since it prevented them from the horror of being Jewish instead of Protestant. They worship at "God's Favorite Protestant Church."
Then the Christmas-mocking plot kicks into motion. The preacher tells Orel that the Second Coming of Christ could be a kid walking around Earth right now. (That’s very strange, since most assume from New Testament accounts of the Ascension that Christ will return in the same way and form as he left.) After church, Orel’s mother and father get in a vicious fight about Orel’s bratty little brother, who in some odd clay-mation joke, is named "Shapey." The father insists that the child is a product of adultery, that he didn’t want another child, but "boom! Shapey magically appears!" Since the plot depends on Orel being a moron, he assumes his little brother is the second coming of Christ.
It gets worse. Orel takes his brother out to buy him a gift certificate at the pizza parlor. While he’s inside, Shapey starts trashing a Nativity scene. When Orel returns, he sees the ousted Christ-child replica lying on the sidewalk and says "The Apocalypse begins. Yay!" He idiotically tries to obey his newly discovered "savior," and begins ripping all the saints and shepherds to bits. When his mother arrives to inquire about what he’s doing, Orel says his brother is the second son of God. His mother scoffs and says "I wish." Orel asks where his father is, and Mom says "He left home. We’re splitting up." When Orel protests they shouldn’t be apart at Christmas, Mom snaps: "Then I suggest you go find your precious father and the two of you spend Christmas together." She drives away without him.
After Orel glances through the bar window at his father getting drunk and getting hit on by a gay man (his dad’s repressed gay desires are a constant theme of the show), he says, "Boy, God, this sure didn’t turn out to be the best Christmas ever. But you still have two minutes left, and I have faith in you." Then the camera recedes into the sky, and all you hear is the empty howl of the winter wind. The message is clear: Orel is a very stupid, misguided child to believe in God.
It’s amazing to see people scoff in December at the idea that there’s a "war on Christmas."