She Of Little Faith
Season
13
Production Code
DABF02
Episode Number
0
Airdate
16 December 2001
Writer
Bill Frielberger
Director
Steven Dean Moore
Executive Producer
Al Jean
Editor
Jimmy Heenan
Plot Bart and Lisa watch a cheesy science fiction movie, obviously made in the 1950s or before. During the commercial, a model rocket kit is advertised and Bart, predictably, wants it. So, using Homer's credit card number, he orders it. Six to eight weeks later, Bart gets the rockets and asks Homer if he wants to help put the rocket together. Homer joins him and Milhouse in the back yard to help them. Soon the rocket is ready, but it blows up before it can lift off. A second attempt proves no better. Jealous that Ned Flanders built a superior rocket, he enlists the help of his nerdy college roommates, Gary, Doug, and Benjamin. Once they are done with a pretty high-tech rocket, he shoos them and Milhouse away, and prepares to launch it himself. Unable to get their hands on any space monkeys, they use the school hamster, Nibbles, to pilot the rocket. The rocket lifts off successfully. However, it develops complications and starts drifting off-course. After Nibbles bails out (disobeying Homer's rather simple instructions), the rocket crashes into the church and blows it up.

The church council meets up to decide how to come up with money to fund the repairs to the church. With no help, they will have to do it themselves. At that moment, Mr. Burns, looking more sinister and evil than the Devil shows up and offers to fix the damage, if they allow him to run the church like a business. At first, the group is a bit reluctant, but they have no choice, so they agree. He introduces them to Lindsay Naegle, who will be overseeing the church renovations. Together, Lindsey and Burns make the church into a commercial monstrosity, complete with advertising signs, a Lard Lad statue, and a Jumbotron. Lisa, on seeing this, can't believe her eyes.

Three weeks later, the newly-renovated church is thrown open to the public. The whole place seems like a shopping mall and it even has new pews, resembling first-class airline chairs. When Lisa objects, she is labelled a "Pouting Thomas" on the "God Cam." Reverend Lovejoy starts the service rather solemnly, as usual, but suddenly starts endorsing big-screen TVs and pizzas. At this point, Lisa has had all she can take and denounces how horrible the church has become, likening it to the Whore of Babylon, much to everyone's astonishment. Some people try to talk favorably about the church about some wonderful things. Lisa agrees with them, but tells them that they cost the church its soul, and leaves, vowing not to return ever again, much to Homer and Marge's shock.

That night, Marge tries to "talk sense" into Lisa by pretending to be God as she prays, but Lisa, offended that her mother would eavesdrop on her prayers, is not to be swayed. Bart comes up with some religions she should consider taking up, but she shoots them all down. She goes for a walk, passing many sacrilegious signs, like Whiskey A God-God and Church of The Latter Day Druids, until she happens upon Springfield's Buddhist temple. She enters and sees Lenny, Carl, and Hollywood actor Richard Gere inside. After hearing and reading about the virtues of Buddhism, she declares to everyone that she's a Buddhist. Ned hears this and takes his sons into an underground bunker. They ask how long they'll be there, to which Ned replies that they may never come out, much to the boys' apparent delight.

Marge is shocked at the conversion, and tries unsuccessfully to bribe her back to Christianity. Lisa plants her own bodhi tree in the back yard, much to Marge's disapproval. At the church council, Burns gives the money to them, after trying to escape with a smoke bomb, which fades just as he grabs the door knob, leaving them one of the topics on agenda: "Marge Simpson's devil daughter". Since Christmas is coming, they decide to bribe Lisa back using Christmas presents, using what looks like a pony named Clip Clop wrapped in paper (in actuality, it's only Ralph and Milhouse wrapped inside). However, she gets wise to the fact that Reverend Lovejoy is outside watching, and runs away. Ralph asks for more sugar cubes and Homer tells him to get some in the kitchen, Milhouse rips open the back and runs for the kitchen.

She runs to the Buddhist temple, where she complains about how her family tried to trick her into celebrating Christmas. Richard Gere informs her that Buddhism is about respecting the diversity of other religions, as well as love and compassion. In other words, she can celebrate Christmas while being a Buddhist. Gere leaves to spend Christmas with his daughter, and Lenny and Carl leave to prevent Moe from attempting to kill himself (as he does every Christmas).

Lisa goes back home and tells everyone that she will be celebrating Christmas with them and pay lip service to Christianity, all the while remaining with Buddhism. When she asks about the pony, Marge tries to change the subject by saying "Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year." At the end we hear Marge still saying Happy New Year and Lisa calling for Clip Clop.
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