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Timothy Lovejoy, Jr.

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Reverend Timothy Lovejoy, Jr., better known as Rev. Lovejoy, is the local Reverend in Springfield.

Biography

Lovejoy is sometimes seen with a Episcopal Priest's cassock. He is a Man of God and a marriage counselor.

It is revealed that he may be friends with Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky because they do a radio show together about religion called Gabbin' about God.[2] His biggest competitors are the NFL, warm beds on a Sunday morning, and cable.

He describes how he initially came to Springfield an eager, idealistic young man in the seventies, only to become cynical and disillusioned about his flock and ministry, mostly due to Ned Flanders, who constantly pesters him with such non-emergencies as coveting his own wife. Lovejoy would dispatch such concerns with maximum brevity so that he could return to playing with his model trains (his true passion), and in one case, his dessert.[3] He wrote a book called Hell: It's Not Just for Christians Anymore and a pamphlet called Satan's Boners.

Regarding his ministry, he once explained to Marge, "I just stopped caring. Fortunately by that time it was the eighties, and no one noticed." Lovejoy demonstrates a thorough knowledge of the Bible, citing parables such as the "foolish man who built his house on sand" in an attempt to warn Homer against the dangers of founding a self-serving "religion".[4] Homer retorts with a random passage of his own, which Lovejoy cites immediately as having no relevance to the discussion. Homer then tries in vain to cover himself by saying, "Yeah ... think about it!"

His sermons currently vary between dreary recitations of more opaque parts of the Old Testament, to the occasional "fire and brimstone" scaremongering about Hell — and very little of the love and joy that the Reverend's surname suggests. However, some of the sermons, such as the sin of Gambling, occur on weeks that are highly ironic, such as the fact that Reverend Lovejoy's anti-gambling sermon occurring on a week where Bingo is going to be played on Tuesdays, an implied Gambling convention called Monte Carlo night on Wednesday, and having a retreat at Reno, Las Vegas on Saturday.[5] Lovejoy is also implied to be a closet drinker. Burns' Surveillance Room shows him drinking heavily from a flask.[6] When congregation members begin to nod off, Lovejoy can awaken them by pressing a button on his lectern resulting in pre-recorded sounds, including an eagle, an ambulance siren, a disco whistle and a blimp attack. He has his dog do his "dirty business" on Ned Flanders' lawn.

Personality

Lovejoy is depicted as the image of Christian tolerance and diligence within the town of Springfield. When he first became a reverend in the 80's he was initially passionate and idealistic about helping people with their problems but as Springfield's citizens (namely Ned Flanders) began to pester him with trivial problems everyday, Lovejoy lost enthusiasm and eventually stopped caring altogether (although no one seemed to notice). 

His own disinterest in his religion has caused his Sunday sermons to become a bleak monotone. Lovejoy seems aware of how much the townspeople hate his sermons but he continues to drone his delivery out further, quite frankly maliciously due to being embittered by how his enthusiasm was crushed, often finding passive-aggressive ways to spite the townsfolk, including pretending to conclude his sermon by stating "a..." then going onto another verse when they believed he was about to conclude "amen" in excitement and then took an exaggerated amount of time before really finishing, only doing it when Homer threatened him. He once repeated his entire sermon when near to the end upon noticing a "few people" were not paying attention, commanded his dog to defecate on Ned's front yard and even had the church choir sing Homer's song, "Everybody Hates Ned Flanders", an entire song dedicated to slandering Ned.

Lovejoy's faith in Christianity itself is rather dubious. His ideals and behaviour of his own religion is also rather Draconian. His tendency to lead mass burnings, partake in mob rioting and his willingness to prosecute children, crucify and burn people show this. Lovejoy also has little tolerance for gays, opposite religion or the descending opinion of evolution, shown by the way he refused to marry gay couples when same-sex marriage was legalised in Springfield and leading a slander attack on Darwin's theory of evolution with Ned Flanders. Lovejoy rarely gives meaningful advice to people who actually seek it, normally directing them to a bible verse that has no actual relevance to their own problem at hand. Moe claims that he became suicidal because Lovejoy rarely gave him encouragement that he had something to live for and he became so fed up with Flanders calling him that he attempted to sway him to a different religion, claiming "they're all about the same thing". This lack of dedication was also witnessed by the way he threw his reverend collar when it seemed the Movementarians religious cult beliefs was actually true and only picked it up when pointed out by Ned and pretending it was an accident. He is implied to be money-hungry and previously burnt down his church for the insurance and regularly asks, at times demand and even exonerate generous donations to the church collection plate. It's presumed however that whatever funds Lovejoy gains are used towards the church which is in shoddy condition.

Despite his lack of enthusiasm, Lovejoy becomes deeply disturbed when he believes someone is quitting Christianity as he went to great lengths to persuade Bart from becoming Catholic and when the Simpson family became Movemanterians. When Homer refused to come to church any longer, Lovejoy gave a meaningful bible verse to persuade him to come back and led the town in prayer when Homer "made God angry" and was flooding Springfield. He became saddened when his audience was paying more attention to Marge than him and finally spoke in a more passionate caress in his sermon when recalling how he rescued Ned from a pack of vicious baboons.

Lovejoy is an avid collector of model trains. However, his collection is usually ruined such as when one of his trains was derailed off its tracks whilst talking to Ned on the phone and when Homer ploughed through his set, leading him to believe that God hated Lovejoy's trains.

Tolerance

His tolerant side is demonstrated when he performs a marriage for Hindus (though he apparently thinks Hinduism is a Christian group) and co-hosts a religious radio program with Krusty the Clown's rabbi father. However, despite the fact that he married a Hindu couple, he is unable to identify Apu's religion sometimes. His words of comfort to death-row inmates are "There, there, there, there." and "Well, if that's the worst thing to happen to you today, consider yourself lucky."

However, Lovejoy has become increasingly intolerant. As such, his antagonism towards Ned Flanders has diminished in recent seasons. He called Lisa, who had converted to Buddhism, "Marge Simpson's devil-daughter".[7] Moreover, he appears bitter about the tall Episcopal church across the street, wanting to build a larger steeple and, when mentioning the other church, placing the emphasis on "pis". He also read to Lisa an excerpt from the Bible to justify Whacking Day (during which many snakes are killed), but refused to show her the supposed text supporting his argument. While he seems to have originally believed in evolution, he later takes up the creationist cause to bolster his church's membership. He has also driven a "Book-burning-mobile", further revealing an extremist nature. He seems rather stingy as well.

He is especially intolerant of the Roman Catholic Church as he is shown brawling with a priest, telling Marge that he might as well do a Voodoo dance for Abe Simpson when he asked him to give him the last rites, and helped kidnap Bart to keep him from converting to Catholicism.

Despite being a clergyman, Lovejoy does not always follow the word of the Bible, and has been shown to do things that would be considered sinful. Lovejoy has been known to exploit his congregation for money, brawl with a Catholic priest, encourage his dog to foul Ned Flanders's lawn, told Moe he had little to live for, and burned down his church for insurance money.

Lovejoy is not always enthusiastic about The Bible and is often disparaging about its content and purpose, ("Have you ever really read this thing? Technically, we're not allowed to go to the bathroom.") this most likely means that he believes it is impossible or very hard to be completely free of sin. He tends to stress church and community work over any involved study of biblical text.

He is proven to be a poor parent; he is usually seen spending more time with his wife and hobbies rather than with his daughter Jessica, who sends her to boarding school for the majority of the time.

Also, he has been known to be somewhat enthusiastic about burnings, as evidenced by the fact that he owns a van that's sole purpose is to burn books (named the burning-book-mobile), which he thanked Lisa personally for writing the article that inspired him [8] and his declaration that his entire parish, as well as the entire town, try to burn Krusty the Clown products after it was believed that he committed an armed robbery at the Kwik-E-Mart.[9] This is a negative quality because the Christian Faith denounces any burnings in regards to objects, regardless of whether they are satanic in origin or not. This trait of his also has passed beyond into his personal behavior; he also had deliberately set his church on fire several times to gain the insurance money covered with it.

It's no secret that he hates Homer. He even wanted Marge to leave him, but Marge refuse to do it. Lovejoy usually tells everyone that Homer is horrible and even wrote "Jesus Died For This!" Picture of Homer sleeping in church.

Family

Reverend Lovejoy's daughter Jessica is normally ignored by her father who refuses to believe she is worse than Bart even after she stole the church's donations.[10]

Lovejoy's wife, Helen, who looks older than her husband, is a moralistic gossip. Now Helen is rarely seen without being at her husband's side. Despite the 1950s aura, it is she, not her husband, who is the driver of the van that takes the Lovejoys out of town when Homer Simpson is deeded the church by the court after suing them for falling in a hole outside the church building and ends up bringing the wrath of God upon Springfield, which is allayed only by the Lovejoys' return.[11]

Reverend Lovejoy's father has appeared once, in Springfield's burlesque house, La Maison Derrière.[12]

Lovejoy also has a bad relationship with his mother in law. He said that after Helen's father died, she never stopped visiting.

Non Canon

Ssi 5 The contents of this article or section are considered to be non-canon and therefore may not have actually happened/existed.

The Simpsons Game

  • Reverend Lovejoy appears in the level Mob Rules as one of the people Marge can use to protest the sales of the Grand Theft Scratchy videogame to minors.

The Simpsons Road Rage

Behind the Laughter

Matt Groening has indicated that Reverend Lovejoy is named after NW Lovejoy Street in Portland, Oregon (the city where Groening grew up), which is in turn named for Portland co-founder Asa Lovejoy.

Trivia

  • Lovejoy is a fan of the Steven Spielberg movie, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. [13]
  • Due to the fact that, as listed above, he seems overly-enthusiastic in regards to burning (such as the mass burning of Krusty merchandise as well as even owning a van of which its sole purpose other than driving is burning books), as well as having burned down his church a few times, it's possible that he has pyromaniacal tendencies (which may also explain why of Rev. Lovejoy exacerbated make an apology to Hell fire).
  • In many episodes, Reverend Lovejoy is seen with his model trains. This is most likely a joke off of the Reverend W. Awdry, a pastor like Lovejoy who is the creator of The Railway Series in which Thomas the Tank Engine originated from.
  • Reverend Lovejoy's first name, Timothy, means "Honored by God".
  • in "Homer's Triple Bypass", he is shown to live next door to Snake.
  • In "Wedding For Disaster", Helen remarks how he and The Parson were college buddies at Texas Christian University (TCU).

Gallery

Appearances

References

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