Faith came into play quickly. Host Jeff Probst asked all the contestants to participate in a “non-religious ceremony” at a Buddhist temple.
Leslie went inside… and came right back out.
… her “relationship with Jesus Christ” prevented her from participating in the ceremony, which “felt like worship.”
It seemed an unnecessary move (and an overreaction), especially if you don’t want to stand out to your teammates and be the first person voted off. It really was a cultural ceremony; she just mistook the rituals as religious.
Then again, watching the show, I don’t think I would’ve wanted to do it either.
In any case, the interesting part came when Leslie was commenting on why she left the temple:
”I’m not a religious person, but I have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and the only time I’m gonna put my face on the floor is for him.”
So many thoughts come to mind… Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly speaks for many of us, though:
Hmmmm, isn’t that kinda like me saying, ”I’m not really a beer drinker, but I sometimes have been known to hook an IV full of Milwaukee’s Best up to my vein”? Leslie, what the hell — can I say hell? — does that mean? If you ”have a relationship with Jesus Christ,” then I’m pretty sure that makes you a religious person. Oh, and being a Christian radio host? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that makes you a religious person as well — unless you are some weird sort of counterprogramming put on the air to ignite controversy and boost ratings.
After that strange comment, she came off pretty positively, making friends with others on her tribe.
Why can’t they ever put an atheist on the show? It would provide such a good foil for people like Leslie… they’ve had plenty of vocal Christians (e.g. Elisabeth Hasselbeck) on the show!
(Really, this is me just venting because they rejected my application for Survivor 11.)
(Thanks to Beth for the link!)