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A Spiritual Lesson In Toon Language: Lesson 57

Topic: Independence Day

Series: Animaniacs, The Simpsons

Episodes: The Flame (Animaniacs), Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington (The Simpsons), Treehouse Of Horror VII (The Simpsons)

Lesson PDF link: 57.pdf


When you think of independence, and yes, freedom of yourself and country, what does it mean to you? I live in the United States Of America (USA) and the ministry that I head (Toonspirit Ministries) is headquartered in the USA. Freedom is very important to me and the ministry. In fact, if we in the USA really think about it, we should and must think the same. This country was founded in 1776 with the ratification of the Declaration Of Independence. The men who fought for this independence were very brave and commendable to pave the way for us in future generations to enjoy. We are now going to show the Animaniacs episode called "The Flame."

Cartoon: Animaniacs: "The Flame":

Animaniacs: "The Flame": Direct link for video/webmUsing IE? Video not working? Download Windows HTML 5(WebM) video support: WebMProject.org

What do you see in this cartoon?

The character called “The Flame” which is the cartoon's namesake is very well done. He goes through several very human emotions, which leads me to believe that in actuality, it's probably Thomas Jefferson's mind in a more personified fashion. I am sure that the darkness was sort of spooky, the fear in his mind was whelming, and even so, Jefferson had a calling. This calling was to end tyranny. This meant that the founders of this nation had to raise an army and eventually the Continental Navy and go to war against a pretty wicked British king (King George III). Once the war was won in hard-fought fashion we had a brand new sovereign nation. This means that these leaders including Jefferson succeeded in their God-given call to arms and founded this place we now call home.

However, now that we have this wonderful country, we are faced with the ever growing problem of immorality, power grubbing, and other corruption in our government. Fortunately, this ministry is given the gift to show the truth through our media namely cartoons. Cartoons have a very longwinded history of showing real life in pictures and parody. We will now show a few clips from The Simpsons episode "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington".

Cartoon Clip: The Simpsons: "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington":

The Simpsons: "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington": Direct link for video/webm

What do you see in this clip? In this clip, we see Lisa reading an essay that she wrote for a contest in an attempt to go to Washington D.C. She is a bright student who obviously loves the USA. If you had to write an essay about this country, what would it be like?

I would honestly write about how I love my homeland, but I would also write about being scared about our nation's future as we know it because I see some corruption in politics and it's frightening.

As you will see, the cartoons share this fear. Now, we will show clip #2 of "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington."

Cartoon Clip: The Simpsons: "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington":

The Simpsons: "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington": Direct link for video/webm

What do you see in this clip?

This starts to show political corruption in our system. Back in the 1990's, illegal timber had a huge market the way I understand it. This I believe is called a “Slash And Burn” outfit. A lot of times illegal timber operations would cut down a forest for making small to medium-sized items or would waste the good timber and make some kind of development like subdivisions and the like. This particular cartoon shows a decent example of what could be one of those.

And now, we will look at clip # 3 of "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington."

Cartoon Clip: The Simpsons: "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington":

The Simpsons: "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington": Direct link for video/webm

What do you see in this clip?

Lisa is a definite feminist in the series. She loves the history of the Feminist and Suffrage movements of the early 1900's and the Women's Lib movement that followed in the 1960's--1980's. Seeing this corruption going on around the statue of one of her heroes is appalling to her and she starts to rethink her essay. Politics break her heart at this time.

And now, we will show clip # 4 of "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington."

Cartoon Clip: The Simpsons: "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington":

The Simpsons: "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington": Direct link for video/webm

What do you see in this clip?

In this clip, we see what Lisa thinks of America after seeing the political corruption and lack of respect that these two men showed at the Winifred Beecher Howe Memorial. It isn't pretty is it? Now, we will show clip # 5 of "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington."

Cartoon Clip: The Simpsons: "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington":

The Simpsons: "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington": Direct link for video/webm

What do you see in this clip?

In this clip, we see that Lisa reads an essay that is a stinging report of politics the way she sees it. And we see that the Congress makes quick work of getting rid of this bad politician. After all, children can be brutally honest with what they see and then say. Lisa, not caring anymore about the contest is the brave and brutally honest person who cares about what she sees and speaks her mind because she is a first-hand witness.

And now, clip # 6 of "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington."

Cartoon Clip: The Simpsons: "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington":

The Simpsons: "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington": Direct link for video/webm

What do you see in this clip?

In this clip we see that Lisa does not win the essay contest. Why do you think this is so?

For one thing, this contest is supposed to be “Fiercely Pro-American.” The judges obviously didn't believe that Lisa did this correctly. Second, this speech wasn't very crowd pleasing or popular because everyone was gasping in horror and surprise. What did you think of this speech? Even so, this speech has a couple of saving graces. First, it gets the job done, for the corrupt congressman is fired very soon afterward. Second, it gains the respect of the room and the essay champion in the end as you will see in the final clip of Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington.

Cartoon Clip: The Simpsons: "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington":

The Simpsons: "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington": Direct link for video/webm

What do you see in this clip?

As bad as the pianist might be to some people, he did Lisa a favor by giving her a huge encouragement. Her words were not in vain because the corrupt politician lost his job and is now in prison. I know this cartoon's ending is slightly idealistic. Most people seemingly don't get the respect they deserve for speaking hard truth; people would rather hate than listen in a lot of cases.

Our Bible Study comes from Deuteronomy 16: 18- 20, Psalm 9: 7-10; 15-20; Psalm 110, Revelation 19: 11-16, Hebrews 7, Proverbs 8: 12-16; 17: 7; 20: 26; 28: 2-4; 29: 4, Romans 13: 3-6, I Peter 2: 4-9; 11-17, I John 4: 18, Deuteronomy 28: 13, Matthew 13: 47-52, Philippians 2: 5-11, Revelation 21: 22- 27

The Bible States In Deuteronomy 16: 18-20

18 Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the LORD your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly.

19 Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent.

20 Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you.

We are all to elect good leaders of our nation. Every nation in fact needs to do this. We are not to accept bribes like congressman Bob Allen in the cartoon. Bribes are for personal enrichment and selfish gain. A “Pay To Play” system is not of God.

Psalm 9: 7-10; 15-20

7 The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment.

8 He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity.

9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

15 The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.

16 The LORD is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.

17 The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget God.

18 But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish.

19 Arise, LORD, do not let mortals triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence.

20 Strike them with terror, LORD; let the nations know they are only mortal. God makes sure that evil will not win in the end and nations that do it will fall by their own hands and the same goes for all people.

God makes sure that evil will not win in the end and nations that do it will fall by their own hands and the same goes for all people.

Psalm 110

1 The LORD says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

2 The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying, “Rule in the midst of your enemies!”

3 Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy splendor, your young men will come to you like dew from the morning’s womb.

4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

5 The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.

6 He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.

7 He will drink from a brook along the way, and so he will lift his head high.

The Bible States In Revelation 19: 11-16:

11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.

12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.

13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.

14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.

15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.

16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

It is very interesting to note that the scriptures read that Jesus is our judge and the nations' judge. He will judge fairly, but woe to nations and people who aren't what they need to be because judgment is harsh on evil and should be. It is even more interesting to note that if you read the scriptures carefully, you will see that Jesus is compared to Melchizedek and is similar if not the same (because of function). Melchizedek in scripture is the first one that received a tithe. High priests in the Bible in Levitical law were always descended from Levi, however Levi wasn't born yet the way I am understanding the scriptures. In Bible talk this is also significant because our tithes are exclusively God's property which He uses to extend His kingdom in the form of missions, really reaching out to the community, church expenses and the like. Moreover, we are to give these in full respect of God as firstfruits - give God your best; He'll do the rest. This is Bible talk for giving the best of everything. Melchizedek was a mediator for the people back in his day and Jesus is our High Priest today, a mediator between us and God and is of course God Himself (the second person of the Trinity). Jesus is indeed our Melchizedek. To show this more clearly we are listing Hebrews 7 for this lesson.

The Bible States In Hebrews 7:

1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him,

2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.”

3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder!

5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham.

6 This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.

7 And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater.

8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living.

9 One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham,

10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.

Jesus Like Melchizedek

11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood - and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood - why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?

12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.

13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar.

14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears,

16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.

17 For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless

19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath,

21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’”

22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.

23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office;

24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.

25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

26 Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

This is a very interesting parallel indeed. Now, we will go to the next topic of study and that is to see how godly leaders and rulers are to act when in authority.

The Bible States In Proverbs 8: 12-16

12 “I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion.

13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.

15 By me kings reign and rulers issue decrees that are just;

16 by me princes govern, and nobles—all who rule on earth.

This is to say that these are the things that God seriously looks for in a good ruler, wisdom, hatred of evil, and governing justly.

The Bible States In Proverbs 17: 7

7 Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool — how much worse lying lips to a ruler!

Lying is detestable to a just king or other ruler and gibberish is what a fool in ruling might as well be doing. Wisdom is key to being a good leader and without it, a nation can have a bunch of laws that don't make sense for a people and the people have to live inside of them.

The Bible States In Proverbs 20: 26

26 A wise king winnows out the wicked; he drives the threshing wheel over them.

I am guessing this means that wicked people should have their lives come to nothing by the rules of a land or even the decree of a king as long as wicked people are wicked. This could mean a death penalty or just being intensely scrutinized or regulated somehow as in jail, being watched closely, etc. In other words, the wicked should eventually come to misery unless they turn genuinely away. Even so, consequences are consequences and this is at the discretion of the wise ruler.

The Bible States In Proverbs 28: 2-4

2 When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.

3 A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.

4 Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked, but those who heed it resist them.

Simply stated, if a nation has rulers they need to be worth being rulers. Being a just ruler means making and maintaining laws that help people stay safe and not be oppressed. If a ruler doesn't listen to good counsel though, it is like praising the wicked and laws have a great shot at not being right. When you have a bunch of leaders going after everyone else's character instead of actually making good laws together, you are bound to have a rebellious nature to a country, this is part of the USA's problem at the time when this lesson is written.

The Bible States In Proverbs 29: 4

4 By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.

This is another scripture about bribes. Any politician who takes bribes for favors isn't worth being a leader or ruler. In our cartoon "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington", we see a politician who caters to special interests (not very good ones I might add). Special interests are still everywhere in politics today; these include, but aren't limited to pharmaceutical, guns, and of course community projects. These are called lobbies. Some special interests are worth it, others are not. A just and discerning leader or ruler would be able to pick the best ones if good ones exist. Taking a literal bribe for one of these meaning an agreement to do a certain special interest or sway influence if the price is right when we are talking about corrupt deeds or compromising principles and morality is not good for anyone.

The Bible States In Romans 13: 3-6

3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.

4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.

Now, also understand that some rulers are less than ideal. This means even some ungodly are rulers or leaders, but they are still anointed of God and need to be taken as such. Remember though, they will be judged also by God.

The Bible States In I Peter 2: 11-25

11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.

12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority,

14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.

15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.

16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.

17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.

19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.

20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

25 For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Even if we sometimes don't like our leaders, we still have to honor them as God's chosen to lead. This isn't to say that all leaders are just and not all of them should keep power. God in His wisdom has to allow and in a lot of cases orchestrate the overthrow or end of a particular ruler's reign or leader's office. Remember that the USA was founded on an overthrow of a bad king. Does everyone remember "The Flame"? I want everyone to remember this quote: “You keep on writing and I'll keep the darkness away.” This is a 'God-type' of comment if I ever saw one.

The Bible States In I John 4: 18

18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Thomas Jefferson had a right to be afraid of the British king, but he was convicted and compelled to help make a nation and God blessed his efforts. I think that Jefferson acted on the will of God and knew it, didn't second guess and succeeded. God took away the fear of death by the sword, lack of wealth etc. If Jefferson would have died there, he would have done it admirably.

This begs the question then, where do we go now with our democracy. Does your vote count?

We will now show a clip from "Treehouse Of Horror VII."

Cartoon Clip: The Simpsons: "Treehouse Of Horror VII":

The Simpsons: "Treehouse Of Horror VII": Direct link for video/webm

In this case, whichever alien is voted for, the result would probably be the same - enslaving humanity. The proper vote would likely be Perot. True the aliens both promised freedom, but they didn't make any sense anyway at the debate. In today's elections too, there seems to be no difference in the candidates as they all promise freedom and change and never really get things accomplished (at least in the USA). We would rather bicker than stick to issues, hurt people's feelings with name calling or otherwise lash out at even possibly small flaws in character when not one candidate is going to be absolutely perfect. In past and recent elections, I have voted third-party because that was my conscience and my right as an American. It is not throwing my vote away like was said by the alien named Kang. True, not many third-party candidates have been elected, but one thing is sure, and that is we need to vote with our heart and discernment of God. If the leaders are not corrupted by the system then, the chance of us having just leaders and rulers is high. Remember our leaders will be judged by God and with them the nation they serve.

Does everyone remember "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington"?

Lisa might not have won because she possibly wasn't judged as “Fiercely Pro-American”, however, I will tell you the reader that her speech was “Fiercely Pro-American”, because she exercised her 1st Amendment right to free speech. This is one of the principles that the country was founded on. In any given primary, caucus or general election, whether it be February, May, November etc., use your right to vote responsibly for who you discern will rule justly.

One more thing, at the end of days when God rules forever with His Son and Holy Spirit (Three In One, One In Three), this world, the way the scriptures read, will probably become a theocratic dictatorship, but will encompass the best possible parts of all governing styles, this will exclude free elections because King Jesus will appoint any ruler for any province He wishes. Free will would be still for the people, but everyone will want this King, because there will be no enemies. Everyone who is there will have already given their lives in obedience joyfully and honestly. Those who would not want Jesus will be separated and not be a part of it and be essentially treated as non-existent. Of course I am talking about Hell, the place of separation in all of its condemned form or forms.

The Bible States In Deuteronomy 28: 13

13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.

The Bible States In Matthew 13: 47-52

47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish.

48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.

49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous

50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” they replied.

52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

The scriptures also say this in Philippians 2: 5-11.

The Bible States:

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Bible states in Revelation 21: 22-27 (about the New Heaven and New Earth):

22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.

24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.

25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.

26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.

27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Now, this isn't as scary as it seems; it's a beautiful scene and vision that everyone undoubtedly should want and must to have a part in the Heavenly kingdom. Jesus is our rightful ruler and King. Submit to the authority of Him who saves and fights for His people, this is the truest of candidates for honor as a ruler. While we are not at the literal end of days, we wait. We appoint and elect rulers of our free will, but we need to remember who we are really appointing and electing and working for. Once the end of days happens, there won't be a choice in the matter for our King is coming and we need to be ready and blameless as a nation and a people. Jesus isn't a ruler that we can just declare an “Independence Day” from because he is the sustainer of everything. Declaring independence from God is literally death to anyone who does it. Thankfully, God is rich in mercy and abounding in love and that's what His kingdom is all about. Keep God in the center and then no matter what, we will have life, liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness, and yes, joy endowed by our Creator.