Before The Fosters premiered, the One Million Moms group called for a protest of the show by advertisers because, they claimed the series tries to ‘redefine marriage and family with two moms raising these children together.’ With such a strong reaction from a religious group, you may assume the creators would portray religion and religious groups in a negative manner. However, on The Fosters ‘Saturday’ episode, the series represents the two sides of religious extremes in a honest, tolerant way. On ‘ Saturday,’ Frank Foster represents the intolerant side of the religious debate on gay marriage. Stef’s father shows a man who intensely follows the teaching of the church and bible. So much so that he never fully accepts his daughter’s homosexuality.
On this episode, Stef reveals that her father tried to scare her about her sexuality before she even defined it. He sees being gay as a choice his daughter made, not as part of her imbedded DNA. Frank is not categorized as a horrible man, but one who cannot understand anything beyond his religious beliefs. If anything he is shown as a sad, lonely man. By The Fosters not using this episode to make judgmental, religious individual monsters, they show that acceptance of those who don’t accept you is a better method of combat than slander.
Lexi’s parents, Sonia and Ernie Rivera, demonstrate the more understand side of the religious debate on gay marriage. They take religion just as serious as Frank, but they do not see anything wrong with Stef and Lena’s relationship. Ernie even says ‘what’s more Christian than family.’ They comprehend that the bible has room for interpretation.
Nonetheless, Sonia and Ernie are not portrayed as perfect people either. They are close-minded to teen sexuality and delusional about Lexi’s behavior. The Fosters carefully displays that just because someone is comfortable with homosexuality, they are not flawless individuals. The series equally gives all the characters saint and sinner traits, no matter where they side on the gay marriage debate.
The Fosters ‘Saturday’ highlights that being extremely religious and open-minded does not make you an angel, nor does being extremely religious and close-minded make you a demon. Either characteristics will make you a human with negative and positive traits. The show once again handles a hot button topic with passion and forgiveness.
Additional information: If you want to read more about the One Million Mom protest, you can find it here.