Episode Reviews (12)
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30 Days always amazes me with its ability to portray the many elements of the big picture, including here several atheists of differing belief strengths, and a range of Christians, with varying openness towards atheists or people of other beliefs.
As usual, this series continues to impress with its unique take on so-called "reality television" by infusing it with documentary-style clips that help viewers to understand the aims of the episode and keep an open mind towards both the host party and the visiting party. This episode to me was extra special, as I am a strong atheist, a belief that was never forced upon me (as with the visting party in this episode) but rather simply decided for myself over the course of my life (and with a healthy serving of scientific education).
Nevertheless, even though I don't live in the USA (where I was disappointed to see how disrespectful some of the American Christians portrayed could be), still found it to be an enlightening experience - as I've seen, Canadians with strong religious beliefs aren't nearly as obnoxious (I realize that this may be an over-generalization, and apologize in advance). However, more importantly, the wife was a jewel, whose representation in this episode really in my opinion could be held up as an example that all strong-believing Christian Americans should strive to follow. She was kind, empathetic, and unlike her husband and many of the other Church-goers, did not see any real need to treat the difference in religious beliefs as something to separate herself from their atheist guest. Instead of assuming that an atheist has no moral values, she dropped that preconceived notion and allowed herself to see that her guest was as kind and accepting as herself.
This was a great episode to see for Christians and atheists alike, because the two woman featured were examples of what sharers of their respective beliefs should strive to emulate. I myself, occasionally somewhat arrogant towards theists, am now finding myself trying to be more open and less divisive whenever possible.
Just as an aside to some of you who may think that the atheist children were "closed-minded" at the Christian concert, I do not believe this to be the case. While some may argue that the very concept of atheism is closed-minded, that isn't really true because the fact is that any atheist who lives in the USA has been greatly exposed to the principles and concepts of the Christian faith - it is just an inevitable fact. What their mother was teaching was the exact opposite of that, in fact - to always have an open mind, and make decisions for themselves, and to simply let themselves be easily swayed by other people's radical beliefs (for example, pushy Christians who want to convert them). Rather, they need to analyze the facts. It shouldn't be hard to believe that whatever these kids were hearing in the concert was not new to them - quite the contrary, they've probably heard these arguments hundreds of times from their classmates and others while growing up. They've already decided that it isn't quite good enough to believe in God or Christianity, so they aren't listening to the lyrics. I myself, in a similar position, would find it very difficult to enjoy the music, if listening to lyrics that convey a message that I've already decided quite firmly in the past that I don't believe in.moreless
An Atheist being a Christian for 30 Days
I really liked this . show because, being a Christian who does not
follow their belief system, I have never imagined myself following the
values in a disciplined way. I cannot imagine myself one day to
suddenly start, studying the Bible then have discussions about it, and
go to Church every Sunday. I found this very interesting, because I can
compare my situation to Brenda's and experience through her eyes what
it would be like if I was in her position. Throughout these thirty
days, Brenda learned a lot, and also learned to accept other religions
for what they are. This movie helped me learn the same thing as Brenda,
and that even if I do not follow the beliefs that other religions
believe in, I can still accept their religion. Another point that I
really found interesting was the assumptions the Christian family made.
The father of the family automatically assumed that Brenda had a
negative view on Christianity, just because she is an Atheist. The
neighbors of the host family also took Brenda's responses very
personally, as if Brenda insulted Christianity. This helped me to
understand and realize how easily Atheists are judged. Right after
that, when some people on the streets were asked what they thought of
when someone said the word "Atheist", one response was that they need
help. This reveals and exposes how easy it is for one in the United
States to judge Atheists, as if they are wrong. I thought this was
really interesting as well, because it helped me to contrast what the
United States' Bill of Right states. It states free exercise of
religion. Even if they say that, Christians don't necessarily follow
this amendment, they tend to believe that Atheists are wrong.moreless
Horrible host family!
I absolutely can't believe the way the father treated his guest! He even had to 'remind' his children not to be mean to the atheist children---how ridiculous is that??? He reminds me of a guy who thinks he knows everything and that your opinion isn't worth beans in his eyes. The atheist was very right on soo many levels all throughout the show. I cringe when I think about what she had to go through with that family! I feel like they were rude, insensitive, and a far cry from what I feel a Christian should be.
I don't want to say that they are bad people, they are obviously not, but they really handled the whole situation terribly. By the way, these really are how American Christians are. *shudders* Instead of changing my beliefs, though, I enhanced them. When you go to the Bible itself and read what it says and actually live it, you become such a remarkable and loving person that no one could possibly have a valid reason to persecute you (people will, of course, but you won't be at fault!).
So please, don't take that family's misbehavior as what Christianity actually looks like. In fact, throw out their megachurch too. That's not Christianity either. (the Bible actually states that there should be a separation of church and state; and to love all regardless of their beliefs; not to badger people and force them into your religion by persecuting them and forcing them to pledge allegiance to a nation 'under God').moreless
"At any point during this documentary did the atheist actually speak to a priest."
At any point during this documentary did the atheist actually speak to a priest. I mean she might of as I may have just zoned out and don't plan on watching the episode again to argue my point but they're probably one of the few people who would be able to put forward the best argument for the existence of god. Unfortunately the family are going to struggle in providing a coherent argument given that their not as well versed in situtations where their faith is being questioned unlike a priest who I would imagine would deal with these issues quite frequently. I would also like to comment on the commonly used argument put forward that it is wrong to spend money on building churches or the infrastructure surrounding religion. Understandibly many religions do not spend the money donated as effectively as everyone would hope but followers to continue practicing organised religions still need a place of worship which does provide many services to the community similiar to that of schools, librarys, parks including many charitable works which are intended to support believers and non-believers. In summary while I really enjoy this documentary format but was very disappointed with how poorly the arguments were constructed and it's bias towards the minority.moreless
As a christian, I don't think the Christian family did a very good job.
When I heard about this episode I knew I had to see it. I'm a Christian and I was curious to see how the Christians on the show would handle the atheist woman.
First of all, I don't think they did a very good job explaining to her all there we're about. They didn't do a very good job answering some of her questions.
Second, I don't think the husband was very understanding. I thought he was trying to push her a little too much and by doing so was actually pushing her away.
I can't believe that atheist was saying that she was teaching her kids to be open-minded because when they went to that Christian concert they said they didn't listen to the words just the music. If they truly were open-minded than they would want to hear what the song was about.
It pains my heart to hear them talk like that because if they don't change and they were to die they wouldn't go to heaven. I wouldn't yell that in their faces like they say other "Christians" have done, but I would try to make them see another way. I put Christians in quotations because if someone berates another person they can't truly be called Christians.moreless
An atheist woman lives with mainline Christian Family for 30 days. The very nature of this episode will open the eyes of almost anyone, no matter the background. Everyone is forced to attempt to be understood and to understand. Great show.
This episode can be broken down into a few different areas of encounter. They are: the atheist woman (AW), the Christian Wife, the Christian Husband, the members of the bible study group, the atheist members they visited in the coffee house, the atheist woman’s Husband and the respective children of the two couples. Sprinkled through this are bits of information from Christian, governmental, and experts in the scientific field.
Coming into this encounter, each person or group has their own expectations, hopes preconceived ideas and realized realities of this encounter. Of the groups I would say that the atheist members of this episode we the ones who had the best or most realistic expectation of that they were going to encounter. The Christians were the ones who encountered the greatest challenge to their way of thinking.
There was a difference of intent in the groups and I feel it should be pointed out. The objective and hope of the Christian couple and the bible study group was clearly to convert the woman to Christianity. Many of them came with idealistic hopes of sympathetically showing this woman the errors of her ways. What they found to their confounded surprise was an intelligent, thoughtful, articulate woman. They were further confounded to find that she had been raised a Christian, but after she left home, she had rejected it – not because of rebellious reasons but after some sole searching events had decided that God did not exist. The atheist woman knew that one of the hardest things she is going to encounter was to be understood by the couple. Of the two groups I believe that the atheist woman had the clearer understanding and the harder job of being someone who tries to make herself understood to a group of people who had dismissed her point of view without ever considering what they were dismissing.
Being a Christian, I find the hardest people to deal with are self-righteous Christians who don’t actually have a faith of their own, but have the faith of their fathers and they have accepted it precisely because their parents told them to and never truly investigated the realities of their faith to make it their own. They slapped a layer of clear coat varnish on top of their parent’s beliefs and said, “That’s good enough for me!” left it there and never looked at it again. I did examine my beliefs and that examination forced me to reject the church of my upbringing and join another. My relatives have never asked why I have done what I have done. I am simply wrong and they never bring up the subject. I agree that every person, from atheist to Christian should see this program. At the very least, I would hope that everyone would come away with a renewed determination that to really love or care about your neighbor, you must understand them and not assume that you do.
This Atheist women goes to a christain home to discover why she isnt christain in the first place..
I only gave this show a 9 because i felt that it didn\'t change the family at all. It didnt impact them. I am an atheist too, and as humble as i am i still would have gotten upset at how they are so closed minded to other people\'s opinion and think of themself so high and mightly.. I think his shows are great, and i can\'t wait to see more.. thank u for TV!
I revised my review after watching it again. and I see a flaw. Its the tendency to believe all Christians are like the host family, when we're not. Being a Christian, Texan, and white, I am accused of close mindedness and "intolerance".
While not defending hypocrisy or tragedies of Christianity and most other religions, I offer that there are sincere, loving Christians in the US.
I thought at first the husband was sincere about the mistreatment of the atheists, until he said, "If you don't like it move." Thank goodness his wife was more understanding that he was.
However, the athiest is a hypocrite as well. If she really wanted her children to be open-minded, then saying there is no God immediately closes your mind. Hypocrites all around in this episode.
Sincere Christians are out there. Judge not...
This episode focused on placeing an athiest woman inside the home of a non-denominational christian family to see how different athiests and christians belief's really are.
I thought this was a very good subject to do an episode on because it is one that I believe really touches a lot of people. As soon as I heard what this weeks episode was about I was immediatly hooked and had to watch it to see what the outcome of it would be and throughout watching this episode I feel that the christian family did a very good job in planting little seeds of their faith into the athiest woman. She seemed very open and willing to learn about christian beliefs and the christian family was very good at listening to her and being compassionate towards her. The show did a very good job in picking out the athiest and also in picking the christian family in which she would be living with for 30 days. The only thing I was a little down about at the end was that the christian family did not challenge her a whole lot in really searching for the truth. Yes they brought her to their church and bible studies, but I felt they were more focused on what the root of her "beliefs" were instead of "Here these are our beliefs, what would you like to question on and how can I help you have a better understanding of them...etc." Overall I gave the episode a 9.1 rating because of an awsum subject matter, an amazing host family for the athiest woman to live with and excellent information clips on christian theme parks, Biblicly correct tours in museums and athiest's views on christian monuments placed on public property. This episode was not only informative on what each group believes, it experimented with people living in other people's shoes for 30 days.moreless
Every Christian should see this episode!
I gratefully thank everyone responsible for the production and airing of this show. When I first heard it would be airing, I cringed. I worried it would be the typical send up of an Atheist who suddenly ‘sees the light’ at the conclusion of the show or the Atheist as ‘devil worshipper.’ The typical Christian is uninformed about what Atheism really is and isn’t. The way we are usually portrayed in the media doesn’t help. Katie Couric recently repeated on air the tired, old adage, “It has been said there are no Atheists in foxholes.” It was a blatantly ignorant comment... the American Atheists have a strong chapter of Atheists in the military. The broad implication is that we are acknowledging God, just resisting acceptance of God until the chips are down and we are facing our mortality. Meaning no disrespect, but the average Joe in the fox hole doesn’t suddenly start believing in the tooth fairy when the bombs start dropping either.
I like the ‘casting’ of the Atheist, a sensible, reasonable woman with a strong ethical grounding. Most Atheists, I think, would identify with her. The show allowed her to speak to various issues and permitted her to tell the Atheists\\\' concerns regarding the separation of church and state. Many Atheists get shouted down in a public forum. Christians are usually so intent on converting us, we seldom get heard. You allowed us a voice. Thank-you for letting the world see Atheists who are like the majority of Atheists I know.