The episode for this week was called “Church Hopping” (summary and review here), and – as they have done in a few other episodes – Mike Judge and company did an incredible job of capturing the insanity of much of the modern practice of Christianity, particularly as it occurs in rural Texas.
The madness begins when the Hill family arrives late to Arlen First Methodist after failing to properly set their clocks ahead in the Spring. Making their way to the front of the building, they discover that another family has taken their pew.
Hank politely asks the family to move, but they refuse. Then, after Reverend Stroup (sp?) refuses to ask the family to sit somewhere else the following Sunday, Hank decides the time has come to seek out a new church.
The next sequence had me doubled over. The Hill family then begins to sample church after church, trying to find something to their liking. With most churches, they will at least go inside. But when they open the door to one church – only to discover sappy contemporary praise music wafting through the open door – they immediately close the door and walk away (!).
Most of the rest of the episode is devoted to satirizing the megachurch movement. Hank ultimately manages to get his pew back by threatening Rev. Stroup with telling the rest of the members at AFM about all of the cool “perks” that they can enjoy at the local megachurch. Stroup immediately caves to Hank’s demand, knowing there is no way she can keep her congregation if they ever learn about all of the cool offerings at the megachurch.
“Good to be back, Lord.” Hank says, as he settles into his pew.
Sad and funny all at once.
Update: Here are some clips from the episode, courtesy of YouTube!