Help an Atheist on a Reality Show

Have you been watching the ABC reality show “The Glass House“?

Me neither.

But from what I can gather, it’s basically a Big Brother clone.

14 strangers live in a house. Cameras are on at all times. Viewers decide what they wear, eat, etc. Challenges are involved. Viewers vote on who will be kicked out of the house.

After tonight, there will be 6 people left.

One of the remaining contestants, Stephanie Link, happens to be an atheist:

She’s also really smart — a MENSA member and a chemist at Procter & Gamble. If she wins the $250,000 prize, she plans to use it to pursue a PhD.

All of these things have been reasons for other competitors to target her — apparently, she’s “too smart” for them.

The most popular contestant right now happens to be a Mormon who’s waging something of a religious war against Stephanie, using her atheism against her. (Of course, if Andrea, the Mormon, wins, that’s an additional $25,000 going to the Mormon Church…)

So what can you do to help?

After the show ends tonight (11:00p ET), you can vote online for Stephanie. Or, from what her own fans are saying, anyone but Andrea.

You can follow updates on her journey here and here. Let’s hope she survives the next few votes :)

(Thanks to Marie for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001627228091 Alexander Ryan

    Tossed my vote her way. Good luck to her.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Seriously, dude. It’s reality TV. Ignore it and it’ll eventually go away. It’s just about a bunch of attention whores anyway, so who cares?

    Besides, the only reality TV I accept is Drawn Together. Now there was quality entertainment.

    • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

      Call me old school. The only reality TV I ever enjoyed was “Cops”.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

        I still enjoy watching COPS but lately sucky ass baseball has been running over into the 8PM time slot.

    • It’s Not Rocket Surgery!

      “Ignore it and it’ll eventually go away”
      Nah.  It hasn’t worked with you yet.

      • The Other Weirdo

        That’s nice. And WTF are you?

    • Pascale Laviolette

      RuPaul’s Drag Race FTW!!

      • rlrose328

        You speak the truth, my friend… SNAP!  Even my anti-reality show hubby will take in an episode or 2 or the Drag Race.  His reason:  They’re all much more real than any other reality show on TV.  They’re bitchy, they know it, and they’re not afraid to show it (followed by a very high SNAP).  No covert alignments here… nope.  It’s out and out high-fashion, fake-boobery warfare, which is so much fun!

      • http://profiles.google.com/julielada Julie Lada

         I’ve loved Ru since his talk show on VH1. He’s got a great sense of humor, a sharp wit, and is very humble while still having the confidence to defy gender roles and do whatever the hell he wants. Love, love, love him and I’ll watch anything he does. (Before the pronoun police jump on me, Ru has expressed that he doesn’t particularly care how people refer to him. For me personally, were he in costume I’d use female and out of it male, as with most drag queens.)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Some of us do enjoy watching reality TV and I hope to one day see Hemant on Survivor, which I am a fan of. I also enjoy Big Brother, Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef, The Amazing Race and I used to enjoy American Idol but it sucks big time now days.

      If Hemant does make it onto Survivor are you going to call him an attention whore? There are many people that play these games that are not seeking any sort of attention and then there are some that are.

      So face it, it is not going away. They have to large of a fan base. Kind of like Christianity.

      • Wintermute472002

        I’m not going to use the word ‘whore,’ but I think if you’re volunteering to have your life televised for other people’s entertainment, you’re pretty cool with having a whole lot of people’s attention. Especially when the whole purpose of the show is to be watched (as opposed to, say, as baseball player, who receives a lot of attention in the course of a particular purpose).

        But hey, whatever, somebody has to win the game, and it may as well be the atheist.

      • rlrose328

        I agree… we were THISCLOSE to being on Trading Spouses.  We were awaiting word on scheduling when it was unceremoniously cancelled.  We were fully prepared to have our lives televised to the masses because we’re atheists with a heavy techology theme in our household.  When the casting folks asked what type of family would be our polar opposites, we thought for a moment and said, “Amish?”  Oh well.  I guess our 15 minutes is still out there for us.

        I do like reality TV but I prefer those with a talent component rather than just a survival component.  I loved American Idol for the first 3 seasons or so… haven’t watched since as it’s all the same and the up close and personal for selected contestants bugged me.  I like any of the cooking competitions and of course RuPaul’s Drag Race.  I also ADORE Gene Simmons Family Jewels.  That’s a helluva guy right there.

        So yeah, it’s not going anywhere… but I do wish there were more good, old-fashioned sitcoms on.  I do miss those.

      • The Other Weirdo

        The only way I’ll watch Survivor if the survivor is the last person left uneaten by alligators.  COPS at least has the added bonus of being actually, you know, grounded in reality.

        And yes, I would.

    • http://twitter.com/AchronTimeless Achron Timeless

      There was that one on SciFi channel (I refuse to call it what they’ve changed it into, it’s still SciFi damnit) but I can’t recall the name at the moment. It was about special effects makeup and it was very entertaining, but it was less “reality” and more flat out competition with reality show aspects pinned on such as making them live in the same house between competitions.

      • Rachel_haas2000

        Face/Off

  • It’s Not Rocket Surgery!

    I know Stephanie from our local Mensa group.  I was not thrilled that she told the audience aboutr being a Mensa member, as it’s probably not good for voting purposes.   But she’s a good person, and is genuinely the standout contestant on the show (not that it would take much to be the best among this group).  Go Steph!

    • The Other Weirdo

       So, does being a standout contestant on a Big Brother knock-off mean what, exactly? That is a bigger or a smaller bitch than the rest of them?

      • http://profiles.google.com/julielada Julie Lada

         Wow. Unnecessary.

        • The Other Weirdo

          Why’s that?

    • Georgina

      Maybe oT:  He! Mensa needs all the advertising it can get.
      Compare your membership numbers with the actual 2% of the world pop. and you know we must grow.

      If we want schools to give equal time/money/resources to  kids-with-brains that they give to kids-with-muscle, we need better PR.

      Rodney McKay was just the start!

  • Notyet

    Her Favorite book is Atlas Shrugged ??
    If I could pray I would for a micro singularity to engulf her…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5736566 Scott Maddox

    She’s an “Atlas Shrugged is my favorite book” Atheist though! :(

    • johnee

       That’s not unusual. I attend the skeptics convention in Las Vegas every year. A lot of the atheists/skeptics in the crowd are socially liberal but fiscally conservative. Penn Jillette of  ‘Penn and Teller’ fame is one example- he’s a proud card carrying member of the Cato institute.

      Personally,  though it has some good stuff in it, that book is so full of flaws and B.S. that I find it hard to believe that so many intelligent individuals gravitate to it. I’ m a capitalist and business owner, but really, haven’t we learned that we can’t let big business do ANYTHING they want to under the sun without SOME checks and balances? I mean isn’t the natural collusion between corporate interests and politics automatically gonna follow (like it’s already doing now)?

      • http://profiles.google.com/fader2011 Alex Harman

        Penn is also, unfortunately, an uncritical consumer and propagator of lies about the science of climate change.

        • johnee

           Yeah what’s up with that?  Penn is good friends with a lot of scientists that are big proponents of the mountain of evidence behind anthropogenic global warming ( Michael Shermer for one ). 

          I used to watch his ‘Bullshit” show on HBO. And I can honestly say I’ve never seen an individual that can be so reasoned and  rational 90% of the time, and then adopt  a complete WTF  Ayn Randian  apologist attitude, whenever it comes to any kind of corporate responsibility.

    • J B Bell

      Ugh. No Randroid gets my vote on anything, ever.

  • Sarah

    Not sure that I should admit to watching this, but I it is…  I would hardly say that Andrea (the Mormon contestant) has been “waging something of a religious war against Stephanie”. Stephanie’s atheism has only come up a small handful of times and generally with very little comment. The major religious conflict of the show is between Andrea and Jeffrey (openly gay man who took exception to Andrea voting for and campaigning in favour of Prop 8). 

    All that being said, Stephanie seems like a lovely person (Atlas Shrugged aside) and I am definitely voting for her. 

  • Alexandra

    What I want to know is why she needs money for grad school.  Even those of us who aren’t in MENSA manage to get fellowships and live nicely off of our stipends. 

    • Georgina

      Maybe she likes to eat.

  • a4249

    I’ve followed Hemant and know Stephanie well.  I am a big fan of both of these people!  Don’t worry- the Ayn Rand was a joke that got typed.  I don’t think Stephanie’s in an explicit religious war on the show, but I cringe at the thought of the size of that possible tithe.  Please sign in and vote on the pictures!  I certify that no spam will come your way:
    http://the-glass-house.abc.go.com/shows/the-glass-house/view-and-vote/

    • Coyotenose

      Is there a citation somewhere that the Atlas Shrugged thing was a joke? Because seriously, Ayn Rand’s work is so sickeningly twisted that it shows a tremendous shallowness of thought, ignorance of the actual writing, and/or disregard for humanity  in anyone who actually likes it.

      • johnee

         there are tidbits of good stuff in her work- like sexual freedom, gender equality,  scientific inquiry, and of course skeptical atheism. But all that tends to be washed away because ,as you say, the other stuff is so twisted.

  • http://twitter.com/Outcast_Kyle Edgar

    If she is an atheist, and also one that like Atlas Shrugged, what are we waiting? Let’s give her the prize already. For what I have read she is the kind of atheist we need. Also id she likes Ayn Rand it means she’s very intelligent and doesn’t get petty yhings get in her way. It is the first time I have heard about her and I already think she is a great role-model for all atheists.

  • ANTdrew

    Um….you don’t need money to get a phd…they pay you.

  • David McNerney

    Important to note, there is no restriction on voting from outside the US.  The registration is a bit convoluted but it worked out eventually.

  • Inaa Lia

    No, she likes Atlas Shrugged. No one who likes that is worthy of my vote. Like someone else said, “Ayn Rand’s work is so sickeningly twisted that it shows a tremendous shallowness of thought, ignorance of the actual writing, and/or disregard for humanity in anyone who actually likes it.”

  • Lauren

    Sorry, was about to vote for her when I noticed Atlas Shrugged was her favorite book- 


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