30 Days

Season 2 Episode 3


Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Aug 09, 2006 on Planet Green
out of 10
User Rating
32 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

A female atheist spends 30 days living with a fundamentalist Christian family.
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  • 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
  • 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.moreless

    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
  • 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

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