30 Days – Part 1 of 2

30 Days is a show on the FX network hosted by Morgan Spurlock from Supersize Me. The premise is that one person lives ouside his/her comfort zone for a month to see what happens. Previously, for example, a straight guy (and homophobe) lived with a gay guy and a devout Christian lived with a Muslim family.

It’s like Wife Swap. But good. And much more serious.

This Wednesday at 10:00 (EST), the episode will feature an atheist living with a conservative Christian family. The description on the show’s website states:

Brenda grew up in Topeka, Kansas, where she was raised as a member of the United Methodist Church and attended services every Sunday with her family. She has been an atheist for more than 20 years and feels that this country is opporessive and discriminatory towards atheists. Brenda holds several degrees, including a Ph.D. in psychology and previously worked as a counselor.

Brenda and her husband Mark, who have been married for 20 years, are raising their 4 children as free thinkers. For 30 Days, Brenda will live with Scott and Tracy Shores of Frisco, Texas, who have three children and are expecting another. The Shores are evangelical Christians and attend the McKinney Fellowship Bible Church. They pray everyday and host a weekly bible study in their home. While with the Shores, Brenda will attend their church, take part in their bible studies and introduce them to a group of local atheists in Frisco.

Brenda hopes that her participation in 30 Days will provoke discussion surrounding what she believes to be prejudice that she, her family and other atheists experience because of their chosen lack of religion. Her last name is not used to protect her privacy.

I had the opportunity to meet Brenda, the atheist in question, a few months ago at the Secular Student Alliance convention and I am hopeful they will showcase her and her family in a positive light (on a side note, her kids are adorably cute). Something similar happed on Wife Swap last year when an atheist and Christian wife traded places. The atheists’ portrayal on that show wasn’t the most wonderful image booster ever seen.

Then again, it is strange to see the show sending an atheist to live with a Christian family. As someone on the Internet Infidels Discussion Board said, that’s like sending a gay guy to live with a straight family. The person already knows that world. Maybe it should’ve been the other way around.

But the show’s taped and done.  Should be interesting either way!

[tags]30 Days, Morgan Spurlock, atheist, Christian, Supersize Me, Kansas, Internet Infidels, IIDB[/tags]