30 Days – Part 2 of 2 and more…

For those who read the earlier posting, my friend Andrew asked that it be taken down, just in case opinions of his were mistaken to be opinions of the family on the 30 Days show. But I finally had a chance to see the episode today, so you get to hear my take instead. (Yes, exciting!)

Overall, the portrayal of Brenda was much more positive than I expected it would be. The showed her nice, normal family. They showed her calm explanations when questioned on her morality and how she raises her children. She never seemed to lose her cool in situations other atheists might have felt overly defensive about, such as the Bible study.

The side footage of Morgan Spurlock explaining what public reaction to the word “atheist” was (Communists, need help, etc) and the actual reasons for how “In God we Trust” and “Under God” came into being were helpful as well.

He even mentioned the Utah highway cross scandal!

Still, 30 days of filming was trimmed down to 42 minutes of show, and taking out Morgan Spurlock’s commentaries and other background/filler material, there were about 30 minutes of actual interaction between Brenda and the Christian family. Which by my math, is one minute of footage for each day. I would have loved to see behind-the-scenes footage and the parts that were cut. Like other reality shows, I’m sure they cut scenes that didn’t fit into the plotline (of the two sides learning where the other is coming from, difficultly at first, and much more easily towards the end).

There will be re-airings this weekend on FX. Go watch.

An interesting story was in some newspapers yesterday.

Stafford, Texas is a city of seven square miles. And 51 churches. All of which are tax-exempt. More churches might be taking up the 300 undeveloped acres still left. Now, the city doesn’t have enough money for the usual public necessities (police, schools, etc), since normal tax-paying businesses are well outnumbered by the churches.

Two things come to mind:

1) Why should churches be tax exempt? They’re a business. They provide services. (If you saw 30 Days, you heard an atheist mention that a gathering place for atheists was not given tax-exempt status)

2) Can someone please tell me why any one city needs 51 churches?!? I tried to think about it and my head hurt. They can’t all be different denominations. And none of them that I know of are megachurches… So, what’s the deal? (I mean, clearly, 45 would make sense… but 51?)

Finally, I’m happy to say that I’ll be making a big announcement this weekend. I’m very excited about it! Stay tuned…

[tags]30 Days, Morgan Spurlock, atheist, Christian, Brenda, Stafford, Texas, churches, Utah, crosses[/tags]

  • Karen

    I watched the re-airing of 30 Days when it repeated today and I thought it was very interesting. Brenda definitely is a special woman, reacting so graciously in so many difficult situations. I think she gave both her host family and the others in their bible study a lot to think about, and certainly a positive image to counter their mental picture of atheists.

    I also caught the 30 days episode in which a Christian lives with a devout Muslim family. While that may be off-topic here, I’ll just say that it was an even more fascinating episode and really worth catching for anyone interested in religion and culture in general.

    I’m looking forward to this coming week’s episode – which is an examination of “New Age” practices. I don’t know whether it involves a skeptic, a Christian or what, but it should be good.

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