Idol Chatter

Television’s crankiest yet most lovable doctor, Gregory House, has finally returned with fresh episodes, and last night’s storyline proved that the doc is an equal opportunity religious offender. House has mocked Christians many times for faith in a God who, he says, doesn’t exist. But last night he turned his disdain for religous zeal toward a woman who had recently converted to Judaisim to become a Hasid. As House and his co-workers wrestle with the question of faith as it relates to medicine, some well-deserved light was shed on religious practices usually not seen on the tube.

The episode begins at a Hasidic Jewish wedding, where two characters, Roz and Yonatan, are about to be united in marriage.The woman collapses, and House must once again uncover what mysterious illness is plaguing his patient. However, in the process of running a battery of tests, a lively debate surfaces regarding whether or not the woman’s recent conversion to Judaism has anything to do with her illness or her change in character. (The woman used to be an exec in the music industry.)
One of House’s underlings is Jewish, but is skeptical of the Hasidic traditions the couple follow, yet soon finds himself defending the couple’s faith, as he observes their dedication to each other. Another House co-worker is viewed as condescending of the religion when the husband refuses to watch the staff perform a procedure on his naked bride because it would be disrespectful.
But the classic “House” moment came when Roz, her nhusband and House argue about her refusal to undergo a certain procedure because of her beliefs. It is then that House is forced to resort to religious analogy to try to convince the couple he is right. He asks her if she understands everything about her religion and about God. The woman admits, no, she doesn’t, but she believes, based on what she does know. House retorts, “So you will trust my diagnosis… because in this temple, I am Dr. Yahweh.”
Irreverent? Yes. Disrespectful? Maybe. But I think any character who continues to talk about God so much is destined to have a divine encounter sooner or later.

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