The Big Bang Theory risks fan outrage by calling religion 'superstition'

Apr 30, 2015 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Image: CBS

Whoa, mama! The Big Bang Theory took a devilishly dangerous turn tonight when Leonard and Sheldon's moms both showed up for a visit. The two very different women went head-to-head in one of the world's oldest debates and we're not sure anyone won.

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Potentially the biggest loser in the motherly Big Bang Theory debate, however, is the show itself.

It's always stressful when best friends' moms meet each other for the first time, but tonight's clash of Leonard and Sheldon's mothers may have been the most explosive meeting of madres yet. As we all know, Leonard's mother is an acclaimed psychologist while Sheldon's mother is a homemaker and a God-fearing Texan. We've met them both before on numerous occasions, but this was the first time they ever met each other. Before long, the two women were debating the merits of science and religion and neither one had very nice things to say.

The worst issue, though, is how they treated Sheldon's religious mother. This isn't the first time we've seen her. We're used to her not always understanding "science-y" things. We're even accustomed to her thick Texan accent (that Sheldon is almost always mysteriously lacking) and the various ways in which they try to make her seem less educated. It's not hard to seem uneducated next to Sheldon, though.

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Tonight just seemed to kick it up another notch. Leonard's über-smart mother's interaction was based in theory and research. Meanwhile, Sheldon's mom carried her side of the debate using sass and a crazy story of seeing a sign from God in a Jesus bobblehead. Then, Leonard's mother even went so far as to call religion a "superstition." Yikes!


The Big Bang Theory is obviously a smart show. The show title is based on a scientific theory, its characters are all deeply rooted in science and logic and even when they're having fun, they're caught up in smart, geeky hobbies. So, one expects a certain amount of science. Fan are even used to reason-based decisions over faith-based. However, The Big Bang Theory reaches a broad spectrum of fans, far beyond just evolutionists. Most of the time, the show's swipes at faithful people like Sheldon's mother are easy to ignore. Something felt different about this episode, though. Was calling religion a "superstition" going too far? Will it be too difficult for religious viewers to see the like-minded mother belittled and outwitted by Sheldon's mom?

We have a feeling this latest debate might finally alienate TBBT's more religious viewers, but we might just be oversensitive. What did you think of the mothers' arguments?

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