“Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:10-11
“Ho ho ho, Merry Fishmas” – Mr. Burns (“The Simpsons” Season 12)
It seems doubtful that the writer of that episode of The Simpsons (Rob LaZebnik, it turns out) was thinking much of symbolism when he concluded the episode with Mr. Burns as Santa Claus on a float throwing fish entrails on the crowd of a parade while shouting “Merry Fishmas.” Fish just happens to mostly rhyme with the first syllable in Christmas; Mr. Burns is evil; that was probably, and perhaps hopefully, the extent of the joke.
Yet let’s pretend it went beyond that. Most people are aware of the fish as a Christian symbol. Of course, in the episode they were gutted fish, being used in a parade by a bad rich man. The joke couldn’t possibly be a statement on how materialism has “gutted” Christmas of its meaning, could it?
No, I don’t think so either. Now, please disassociate Luke’s Gospel from The Simpsons as quickly as possible.
And Merry Christmas everyone.