Istanbul, Turkey — The Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) in Turkey recently fined television network CNBC-e for blasphemy, reports state.
The network had allegedly aired an episode of The Simpsons called “Treehouse of Horrors,” in which God is depicted as taking orders from the devil, who requests a cup of coffee.
Additionally, a scene from the popular cartoon shows the Bible being burned and characters promoting unGodly behavior.
“One of the characters is abusing another one’s religious beliefs to make him commit murders,” RTUK wrote in its report. “The Bible is publicly burnt in one scene and God and the devil are shown in human bodies.”
It also said that the broadcaster is being fined because the episode engages in “making fun of God, encouraging the young people to exercise violence by showing the murders as God’s orders and encouraging them to start drinking alcohol on New Year’s Eve night.”
CNBC-e is now facing fines that are the equivalent to nearly $30,000 US dollars.
Hurriet Daily News in Turkey was the first to break the story.
While Turkey is said to be run by a secular government, it is almost entirely a Muslim nation. Christians and Jews make up less than one percent of the population. The nation, however, is referenced several times in the Bible, namely due to the evangelistic missions of the Apostle Paul. Ancient Antioch, Ephesus, Colossae and Galatia are all located in Turkey, and the New Testament books of Ephesians, Colossians and Galatians were written to Christians in these cities.
Acts 19 outlines that Paul lived in Ephesus for two years, preaching in the synagogues, schools and streets. Scriptures explain that the city was overtaken with idolatry as it worshiped the sexually-driven goddess Diana, the statues of whom brought metal workers in the city much money. A silversmith named Demetrius especially took issue with Paul’s preaching that “they be no gods which are made with hands” because it hurt his business.
Today, while Turkey identifies as being a non-sectarian republic, it does not allow certain messages to be presented in broadcast media. Reports state that any insults to God, historical leaders or the degradation of family values are strongly frowned upon by the Supreme Board of Radio and Television, and that a number of broadcasters were recently fined by the entity for infractions of its rules.
The Simpsons, which first began airing in December 1989 in America, is the longest running animated sitcom in the United States. It features the character Bart Simpson and his wife Marge, along with their children Bart, Lisa and baby Maggie. The broadcast has been met with controversy by some through the years who have stated that its content is of poor taste and its characters are not a good role model for children. It has been banned in China and Venezuela, being deemed “unsuitable” for youth.