Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: If Chuck is God

In season four and five, Supernatural made a pointed effort to avoid putting God in their show, which I actually felt was a good decision. Many shows that incorporate the apocalypse tend to make Satan as powerful as God, which pisses me off because it is just so theologically inaccurate. However, if God is more powerful than Satan then there is no story, which is boring. Supernatural makes a point to say that God is more powerful than Satan, than anyone really, but God never appears, allowing the story to still have conflict.

This created some theological problems, because God ignores Sam, Dean, and Cas, and actively states that he doesn’t think the apocalypse is his problem. But really, those theological problems aren’t that bad, because it’s something that we all go through. Namely, why does God let bad things happen to good people? God’s reasons for not intervening could have remained mysterious and beyond human comprehension.

But then something happens, at the end of “Swan Song,” Chuck, the prophet is revealed to be God. It’s not exactly stated so fans still debate over whether or not Chuck is God, but it’s pretty much been confirmed.

But if Chuck is God, many more problems arise.

First, it looks then like Chuck is lying to Dean and Sam. In season four Chuck sees a vision of what the future holds for Dean and Sam as Michael’s and Lucifer’s vessels. He wants to tell them what he saw but the angel Zachariah threatens him if he does. Now if Chuck is God then here he is simply playing a role and pretending to cave to the threat made by the angels. However, that also means that Chuck lies to Sam and Dean consistently throughout the show. If Sam and Dean already thought God was a dick before, they would certainly think that he was after Chuck revealed he was God. This could look like God simply allowing evil, but Chuck in some ways looks like he is deliberately screwing with the Winchester’s lives. If he is God, he wrote a plan that included them as Michael’s and Lucifer’s vessels, then expected them to rebel against that plan using their free will to… do what? To teach the angels a lesson about freedom?

Which leads me to my next point. If Chuck is God all of season five was a test. Lucifer is surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly) the one who points out how he and Michael, and the Winchesters, are being strung along for one of God’s tests. Lucifer suggests simply refusing to participate in the test, which is weird since he was playing along with the rest of the plan earlier, but whatever, we aren’t talking about Lucy right now. Anyway, the idea of the apocalypse being a test seems to be just Lucifer trying to say God is a dick and just messing with everyone. But at the end of the episode Chuck says that he thinks the whole thing was a test and that Sam and Dean passed, then Chuck vanishes, signifying that he is actually God. If Chuck is God then he basically told us that Sam and Dean’s whole life and the apocalypse was a just a test, which really makes him seem like the horrible person. Screwing up people’s lives for an experiment isn’t ethical in any religion or philosophy.

There is also Chuck’s treatment of women. Chuck has a brief relationship with Becky, our in-show Supernatural fangirl, which is weird to begin with. The idea of God dating a human woman is also arguably pretty unethical and more so reflects many pagan mythologies than a Christian one. At first I thought that hitting on Becky was just a part of his cover, but even the little we hear about their relationship is mysterious. Chuck tells Dean that Becky dumped him in season five, but in season seven Becky says Chuck dumped her. So whatever happened between God and Becky is unclear. Chuck also tends to buy women, which he is seen doing several times of the show. Dean even calls him out for having a hooker-virgin complex. If Chuck really is God then God does not believe in equality. He uses women as sexual commodities. It doesn’t help that one of the prostitutes God calls is named Mistress Magda after Mary Magdalene, which I assume is supposed to be a hint that he is God, but for me just added to bad theology. Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute and God/Jesus did not sleep with her. The Da Vinci Code is fiction, people! Furthermore, the hooker-virgin complex has been something feminist theorists and Christian feminist theologians have been trying to fight for a long time, so having a literal God actually enjoy and perpetuate the virgin-hooker dichotomy is kind of a slap in the face.

There are moments when Chuck does at a God-character I could get behind, but I think the writers made a mistake in upgrading Chuck from prophet to God, as it muddles the otherwise decent theology in Supernatural. Sorry Chuck, you’re a fine prophet but not so great a God.

 

One thought on “Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: If Chuck is God

  1. Pingback: Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: “God Johnson” and Fear of Characterizing God | Lady Geek Girl and Friends

Send a Hologram

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s