It’s become surprising when a network show portrays Christianity and religion in a somewhat positive light. The pilot episode of CBS’s new show, God Friended Me, does this and actually encourages some productive conversation between Christians and atheists.
HBO proudly aired their star Bill Maher doing stand-up in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday night, with a routine centering on mocking President Trump. "Doesn’t everything about this man scream microdick? The bragging, and the buildings with my name on it! And the debates. He was talking about his dick at the debates! That guy is president." Maher went on to suggest Trump "never once brought a woman to orgasm."
In Sunday night’s episode of Fox’s Family Guy, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Peter,” Peter Griffin meets a very vulgar God while in a coma and eventually learns that God doesn’t exist, which is unsurprising for the show created by notorious atheist Seth MacFarlane. The conversation between the two ranges from God’s non-existence to God’s statement that humans are reincarnated as other animals and humans to God’s misconduct with some angels.
In the third season of Bill Nye's not-so-humbly titled Netflix series Bill Nye Saves the World, there are an unusually large number of shots taken at religion. Even more awkward are the clumsy attempts at what seems to be outreach to people of faith, they are almost painful to watch they're so bad.
It’s a timeless tale in the world of Hollywood entertainment. One can’t seem to escape the constant attacks on prayer and Christianity across a wide variety of television shows, but it appears the attacks are becoming more frequent lately. NBC’s time travel drama Timeless took its turn in Sunday’s episode, “The Kennedy Curse,” as a main character takes credit for answering his mother’s prayers instead of attributing it to God, Who, he claims, “doesn’t exist.”
In addition to being anti-business, Comedy Central’s new show Corporate is also anti-religion. On Wednesday’s episode, Casual Friday, Hampton Deville’s CEO announces, “We all know there's no God, but there is a ton of money to be made in His name,” in anticipation of meeting with power/money-hungry Glorious Salvation Ministries representative Alyssa Armstrong. CEO Christian Deville meets with the cross-bearing representative of the largest group of mega-churches in the country to discuss how Hampton Deville will furnish them with flat screens, massage chairs, and snacks, in return for the corporation’s logo being broadcasted all over the churches. Or as Alyssa puts it, “Every time my congregants go to pray, they'll be thinking of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and Hampton f*cking Deville."
The premiere episode of the new season of HBO’s Crashing took a hard turn from its original, pro-Christian season. Sunday’s second season premiere, “The Atheist,” had formerly Christian Pete Holmes lose his faith after one conversation at a bar with famous magician and atheist Penn Jillette. The conversation between the two begins humorously, but quickly turns into a harsh interrogation, with Penn asking, “You actually believe that there's a being that cares about, forgive me, but your masturbation?” As per usual with liberal TV, the Christian can only defend his faith by claiming that it provides him with a comfortable “certainty” and claiming, “This is all I have."
If you’ve ever watched The Big Bang Theory or its new spin-off Young Sheldon, you already know that both shows love to remind viewers how much main character Sheldon doesn’t believe in God and likes to bash Christianity. But just in case you missed the 5,924,835 references that came before, Thursday night’s episode of Young Sheldon, “Demons, Sunday School, and Prime Numbers,” made sure to remind everyone once again.
Seth MacFarlane isn’t content to undermine religion in just one episode of FOX's The Orville. He devotes 2 whole episodes of his 12 episode series to bashing religious beliefs. In tonight’s episode, tellingly titled “Mad Idolatry,” he calls religion a “poison.” Thursday’s episode had a religion develop around the Orville’s First Officer Kelly after she uses technology to heal a girl from a primitive alien culture. As a result, the planet begins to worship her as a deity, crucifying those guilty of “forsaking the word” of Kelly. In case the audience hadn’t caught on to the heavy-handed parallel to Christianity, one of the crucified characters shown is made to resemble Christ.
As with most streaming shows of late, at least the ones that try to be edgy (which means pretty much all of them), it takes a minute to process what you’ve watched sometimes. Such is the case with Netflix’s Lady Dynamite which so far tops the list of confusing and bizarre streaming shows.
When the horrific shooting in Vegas occurred last month, Hollywood rightly cancelled two movie premieres out of respect for the victims of the tragedy. But CBS’s Young Sheldon felt it was okay to air an episode, immediately after the shooting at a small-town Texas church, that depicted a small-town Texas church service with main character Sheldon (Iain Armitage) stating that he wanted to “destroy” the pastor to prove that God does not exist.
In a particularly snotty Nov. 7 New Republic article, Sarah Jones tells readers “Why the Right Is Obsessed With the Sutherland Springs Shooter’s Atheism.” Guns, she posits, are a new civic religion, and shooting victims are martyrs of the faith. Therefore, the shooter’s atheism is a big deal.