I subscribe to a news magazine called “The Week” which is running a contest to name a TV show about Atheists. The show is a Turkish game show which pits a Greek Orthodox priest, a rabbi, a Buddhist monk and an imam against each other, all trying to convert a group of self-proclaimed atheists.
The magazine is running a contest on the following question:
If an American network stole this TV idea,
what should this show be called in America?
- No “Idol” jokes, please! (Too easy)
- Submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please include your name, address, and daytime telephone number for verification;
- Please type “Atheist Show” in the subject line.
- Entries are due by noon, Eastern Time, Tuesday, July 21.
- The winner gets a year’s subscription to The Week magazine.
- The winner will appear Friday, July 24 on the Puzzle Page of the magazine next week and at TheWeek.com/WhatNext
This looks like a fun contest that Atheists and Theists alike may enjoy. Who knows, humor may help destroy prejudice faster than debate !
The continuing details below, from The Guardian, show how this show is a two edged sword. What do you think ?
The show is called “Penitents Compete” (“Tovbekarlar Yarisiyor” in Turkish) and is broadcast by the Kanal T station. Four spiritual guides from the different religions will seek to convert at least one of the 10 atheists in each programme to their faith. Those persuaded will be rewarded with a pilgrimage to the spiritual home of their newly chosen creed – Mecca for Muslims, Jerusalem for Christians and Jews, and Tibet for Buddhists.
The programme’s makers say they want to promote religious belief while educating Turkey’s overwhelmingly Muslim population about other faiths. “The project aims to turn disbelievers on to God,” the station’s deputy director, Ahmet Ozdemir, told the Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review. That mission is attested to in the programme’s advertising slogans, which include “We give you the biggest prize ever: we represent the belief in God” and “You will find serenity in this competition”.
Only true non-believers need apply. An eight-strong commission of theologians will assess the atheist credentials of would-be contestants before deciding who should take part. Converts will be monitored to ensure their religious transformation is genuine and not simply a ruse to gain a free foreign trip. “They can’t see this trip as a getaway, but as a religious experience,” Ozdemir said.
The programme, which is scheduled to air in September, has been criticised by commentators and religious figures for trivialising God and faith.