30 Days–Atheist and Christian

Last night, Josh and I decided to spend our date night eating pizza and watching Hulu. Despite its intense liberal agenda, we decided to preview the show “30 Days” (featured on Fox FX). So, we watched two episodes. First, a North Carolinian hunter goes to live with a PETA family for 30 days. Was he convinced that his heartless, malicious hunting tactics were wrong? No, not even after the activists likened his relationship to animals as Hitler’s relationship to the Jews (no joke). Nevertheless, the editors were conniving enough to pull clips that suggest he truly converts to the ways of an animal rights activist; when, in reality, he realizes that unnecessary, violent techniques are used in these mass production plants (what warm-blooded American disagrees?). Thus, he’s really an activist for treating animals humanely. * By the way, please beware–there are some wacky naked protestors in this episode.*
 
Moving on. The next episode of “30 Days” is worth the watch, particularly for Christians. This episode featured Brenda, a mother of three, and devout atheist, who goes to live with, what the show calls, a “fundamental” Christian family for 30 days. The scenario brings up a plethora of conversation starters. To start with, the Christian family (particularly the dad) is ill-prepared for such a visit, and Brenda, who touts that she spent 20 years immersed in Christianity, is well-researched. The dad ends up showing frustration and harping on the same argument: “What is your moral basis if you don’t have the Bible?” Of course, the show takes these clips and goes with them, and the tables turn. A few informational clips are used to prove that atheists are victims in America. Consequently, the producer hits the streets to find America’s real view on atheists. In his search, he uses these quotes as evidence of America’s intolerant attitude:
 
QUESTION: What do you think about atheism?
-“I think [atheists] need help.”
-“In my honest opinion I think that’s very shallow.”
-“I have judgments about it. I think it’s narrow minded.”
-“Communism. Russians. Progressives. Leftists…”
 
As if purposeful quoting wasn’t enough, Brenda invites the Christian mom and dad to a conveniently placed “Society for Open Minded Atheists” meeting. Here the group informs the couple that they were denied tax-exempt status three times because they “believe in one fewer gods than every other church in Texas.” At this, the dad apologizes on behalf of all Christians. To me, this was an inappropriate response. However, it seems to make the atheists happy, but not happy enough. Next, they say that “In God We Trust” is offensive. They ask the dad how he would have felt should money be emblazoned with “there is no God.” He has obviously never considered this logic before and eventually says, “If it bothers you, move.” Again, I’m cringing.
 
As I’m starting to lose hope in this sort of social evangelism, the mom starts to befriend Brenda on the basis of their similar stay-at-home mom lifestyles. Probably the most effective move. With this, the show moves toward a theme of tolerance. Did I mention that after going to the Christian’s church and hearing a sermon on spiritual warfare, Brenda says, “[Christianity] is not a message of acceptance and tolerance.” Instead of boldly acknowledging that Brenda IS correct, the Christian community shrinks back and considers ways to be more accepting. Am I advocating an attitude of insensitive bigotry? Most certainly not. But, whatever happened to boldly speaking the truth in love? This tolerance tactic really appeals to the Christian’s selfish desire to be liked (which I’m guilty of too). Much more happens in this hour-long show, but before it concludes, Brenda’s well-adjusted, loving family appears to disprove the dad’s badgering question about having a moral basis “for raising a family.”
 
What’s my point in transcribing this? It’s very disturbing to see a lack of intellect and boldness in the Christian community. The show got exactly what it had hoped for: a family that would give in to its agenda of tolerance and acceptance. It appears that their faith was shaken and Brenda left more emboldened. More importantly, I had to ask myself if I would be prepared to host a “Brenda” in my own home. What tactics would I use? To me, the formula is clear: (1)Prayer + (2) Ephesians 4:15. Perhaps this encounter in “30 Days” was a failure, but it can be a success if Christians observe and learn.
 
 
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