Everybody loves Ned Flanders

Ned Flanders to play Commisioner Gordon?

Ned Flanders is perhaps the most well known Christian on television. Yeah, I'm aware he's not a real person, but he does embody the stereotype well. He has some annoying as hell features that are all too familiar, but mixed in with some redeeming features too. There must be some ex-Christian writers on the writing staff because they are definitely in on the joke. As a Christian, I used to be both proud and deeply ashamed of the character. Wikipedia has a pretty full profile on the guy and I pulled out a few interesting paragraphs.

Ned is obsessed with following the Bible as literally as possible (even "the stuff that contradicts the other stuff") and is easily shocked when challenged on any point of dogma. This has led to his frequent calls to Reverend Lovejoy ("I... I think I'm coveting my own wife!") who has become increasingly frustrated with Flanders ("Ned...have you thought about one of the other major denominations? They're all pretty much the same.") He is an extreme prude at times and even avoids saying the word "sex" aloud, even when there are no children in sight — he either spells it out or sheepishly calls it "doodily". Ned also uses the word "doodle" or "shrinky-dink" when referring to a penis.

Most of the entertainment enjoyed by the family involves religion in some way. For instance, the family uses at least five different versions of the Bible to play "Bombardment...of Bible Questions!" ("The bridal feast of Beth Chadruharazzeb!?").

In the episode "HOMЯ", after Homer has a crayon removed from his brain and becomes super-intelligent, Homer tells Flanders that "I was working on a flat tax proposal and I accidentally proved there's no God". He hands Ned a piece of paper with the proof. Skeptical, Ned says "We'll just see about that." Ned reads the paper, his face falling. "Nope, it's airtight. Can't let this little doozy get out." Ned then uses a lighter to burn the proof, while, in the background, Homer puts more copies of his formula on the windshields of nearby cars.

Despite his convictions and antagonism towards other faiths, he is still honest and sincere in carrying out the Christian doctrines of charity, kindness and compassion. He also means to be a good neighbor to the Simpsons, regularly asking about their lives and offering his assistance — and then suffering the consequences often paid to those with good intentions.

One might also note the irony in the fact that Ned Flanders, who runs a store for left-handed people, is considered the ultimate god-worshiper, and the following of alternative religions (Such as Buddhism) is called the left-hand path.

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