Two Atheist Characters Out Themselves on The Good Wife

Last weekend, there was an interesting conversation taking place on the TV show The Good Wife.

The brief setup for other non-viewers: Maddie Hayward (played by Maura Tierney) is running for Governor against Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) and she used to be friends with Florrick’s wife Alicia (Julianna Margulies).

In the scene below (beginning at the 31:47 mark), a reporter confronts Hayward about a video showing her not bowing her head during a prayer:

Alicia and Peter Florrick discuss their religious beliefs on The Good Wife

Reporter: Ms. Hayward, how do you respond to the controversy over your actions at last week’s benediction?

Maddie Hayward: My actions… you mean the video on the Web of me not bowing?

Reporter: Yes. During prayer. There’s been some chatter about your insensitivity.

Hayward: Well, I apologize if it, uh, seemed insensitive. I was just trying to avoid being hypocritical. I am an atheist.

Reporter: Really? Don’t you worry about how that’ll play in a state where only 15% call themselves non-religious?

Hayward: I worry about everything. [Nervous laughter] But I am who I am and I don’t think you should run away from that. Let’s just let the voters decide.

Reporter: And what about you, Mr. State’s Attorney?

Peter Florrick: I respect Maddie’s point of view.

Reporter: But you don’t share it.

Peter Florrick: Well, it’s different. I was in prison. Belief means a great deal there. In fact, sometimes, it was the only thing we had.

Reporter: And your wife?

Peter Florrick: Oh, well, I think my wife can speak for herself.

Alicia Florrick: I’m an atheist. [Smile.]

I don’t think Florrick’s campaign manager’s going to be happy about that admission from Alicia…

But how awesome is it to see the main character of a popular TV show out herself as an atheist? And what about her husband’s opponent also admitting that? And what about neither woman acting like it’s a horrible thing?!

We’re moving up in the world, people.

(Thanks to Peggy and Lisa for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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