Teen Atheist over at Diary of a Teenage Atheist was writing about reactions people have when the word “atheist” comes up in conversation.
Like this one with a friend currently working on a novel:
Teen Atheist: “Your protagonist is an atheist, right?”
Alice: “The girl is. The boy isn’t. He’s nice.”
It got TA to start thinking about atheists in pop culture and how the portrayal of atheism isn’t actually all that bad. She even created categories:
- The Brilliant, Snarky Misanthrope: Dr. Perry Cox (Scrubs), Dr. Gregory House (House), Dr. Cristina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy), Matt Albie (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip)
- The Heartless, Dysfunctional Whore: Andrew Van De Kamp (Desperate Housewives), Dr. Christian Troy (Nip/Tuck), Brian Kinney (Queer as Folk)
- The Slutty, Angsty Rebel: Jen Lindley (Dawson’s Creek)
- The Lab Geek: Dr. Temperance Brennan (Bones), Dr. Mohinder Suresh (Heroes)
There’s one exception: Dr. Allison Cameron on House, who is acknowledged as being a “naive atheist” on the show.
But despite the categories, look at who we are:
Notice that out of the 10 examples I’ve provided, 6 are doctors (7 out of 11 if you include Cameron). Of the remaining four, one is a successful advertising executive (Brian Kinney) and one is a talented head writer for a popular sketch show (Matt Albie), while the last two (Jen and Andrew) are the cool, rebellious teenagers. And all ten are smokin’ hot.
Yeah, we are!
Teen Atheist adds that these characters are also among the most critically acclaimed.
If the atheist stereotype was true, you would think writers would create “true-to-life” atheist characters that were rapists, thiefs, drug-addicts, etc. That’s not the case at all.
It’s quite impressive, really. And the more atheists you see on popular shows, the more acceptable it will be to be openly atheist in real life.
(Via Diary of a Teenage Atheist)
[tags]atheist, atheism, pop culture[/tags]