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Tony Soprano and God

Tony Soprano and God

R.I.P James Gandolfini. At my house, we recently rewatched “The Sopranos” from start to finish. What a brilliant series. What a brilliant actor. Gandolfini’s nuanced, often comical portrayal of Tony Soprano, the brutal mobster next door, offered us a compelling depiction of evil in the modern age. God and church were certainly woven into the narrative. Was Tony beyond redemption? In this clip, Tony aims to help his son snap out of an existential funk:


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Kurt Wiesner

Still thinking about this one line, especially as a preacher:

“David Chase and James Gandolfini explored the nature of evil and complicity at a depth not reached by any preacher I’ve ever heard.”

But you’ve never heard ME preach Jim!


Seriously, your words ring true to me: a nuanced, truth-filled storyline with compelling, complex characters (which is usually a TV or book series, but occasionally a feature length movie) is far superior to even the best preaching in exploring humanity and the world, perhaps in its ability to explore characters relationships and development over time.

Star Trek…Buffy…M*A*S*H…Harry Potter…the list could go on and on.

That’s why preaching, in my opinion, is much better in its 8 to 15 minute form: say what you want to point people to, in a way that people can hear it and can be further considered & explored, and sit your butt down.

My two-cents welcomes peoples’ comments

Kurt Wiesner

Even as someone who has never watched the Sopranos (no HBO, and a spouse who doesn’t like watching anything w/violence), I think Jim’s first commented post is spot on.

Jim Naughton

D, I don’t think anyone is arguing that James Gandolfini was more important in the eyes of God than other people who died yesterday. But he was a culturally significant figure who was at the center of a television program which was loved by millions of people. We’re just trying to crate a space for people to talk about that contribution if they felt called to do so.


My friends,

We are all equal in the eyes of God, therefore, no one’s death is more significant in his eyes. When a person dies, all family members and friends are equally saddened. Yes, we do hear of certain deaths before others, but that doesn’t mean those deaths are more “important”. It simply means the editor put the others on the obituary page. I simply pray that the families of the men mentioned aren’t burdened in anyway by their loss.

[Editor’s note: Thanks for the comment. Please sign your full name next time.]

John D. Andrews

I got HBO because of the Sopranos. I enjoyed the show. I like how it showed Tony as a real human being. He wasn’t a one dimensional character, but a flawed human who was both good and bad, like the rest of us. It was entertainment, but there were lessons to be learned from it. I find it shameful to minimize the death of Gandolfini by comparing his death with the deaths of others. Is he not loved by the same God who loves us?

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