I give the Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World a lot of credit. While the first season of the Boy Meets World spinoff was a bit weak, the second has already addressed serious issues such as Asperger’s syndrome, family relationships, abandonment, identity, and bullying.
That’s what upsets me about this past Friday’s episode. While the show has done a decent job of handling serious issues other sitcoms may have just glossed over, the latest episode (titled “Girl Meets Belief”) did an awful job addressing religious belief.
If you’re not familiar with the show, you can still make sense of this. Here’s what you need to know: Riley Matthews and her crush Lucas Friar believe in God. Riley’s best friend, Maya Hart, is more of an Agnostic, continually deflecting conversations about belief since she doesn’t want to argue with her friend. Another character, Farkle Minkus, values evidence-based thinking.
When their teacher (who is also Riley’s father) gives them an assignment based on Joan of Arc and Thomas Jefferson, it’s a chance for the kids to work with each other and examine their beliefs.