Stop the Presses! Atheists Depicted in a Good Light on TV!

by Luke Muehlhauser on December 14, 2009 in Atheist Film & TV,Video

The American Atheists blog alerted me to a recent episode of the NBC sitcom Community, in which one character comes out as an atheist, another as an agnostic, and neither of them did bad stuff or changed their minds to be more sympathetic toward religion. No, it was the Christian character who was intolerant at the beginning and had a change of heart by the end.

Times, they are a-changin’.

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Charles December 14, 2009 at 9:01 pm

That episode was hilarious!

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Briang December 14, 2009 at 9:11 pm

I’m watching now.

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Bill Maher December 14, 2009 at 9:58 pm

We have been portrayed a few times in good light. Dr. House and Dr. Perry Cox (from scrubs are) atheists after all.

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Bill Maher December 14, 2009 at 10:06 pm
Briang December 15, 2009 at 7:09 am

Bill Maher: We have been portrayed a few times in good light. Dr. House and Dr. Perry Cox (from scrubs are) atheists after all.  

How is being portrayed as a narcissistic drug addict (House) good? Because he’s smart?

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Bill Maher December 15, 2009 at 8:13 am

Briang:
How is being portrayed as a narcissistic drug addict (House) good?Because he’s smart?  

I always thought it was good because he is a badass :-P

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Lorkas December 15, 2009 at 8:32 am

Bill Maher:
I always thought it was good because he is a badass   

I never thought there was a question about how badass atheists are.

The clip was funny, Luke. Thanks for sharing it. I might try to catch a few more episodes of this show in the future.

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Jeff H December 15, 2009 at 8:33 am

Goddamn regional restrictions. Since when was the Internet a US-only production? I thought that transcending regional barriers was the point of the Internet…

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Alex December 15, 2009 at 9:32 am

Anyone have an alternate link? Video doesn’t work outside the US.

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Bill Maher December 15, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Jeff and Alex: You should just move to america. We could use more freethinkers.

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Josh December 15, 2009 at 2:16 pm

From the list of fictional atheists…

“Ash Ketchum (played by Veronica Taylor), from Pokémon.”
“Misty (played by Rachael Lillis), from Pokémon.”

Huh? When did I miss that?

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RyanM December 15, 2009 at 2:21 pm

From the list of fictional atheists…

“Ash Ketchum (played by Veronica Taylor), from Pokémon.”
“Misty (played by Rachael Lillis), from Pokémon.”

Huh? When did I miss that?

_____________________________________

I saw that yesterday… I’m still confused.

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Jake de Backer December 15, 2009 at 3:33 pm

The two stars of Nip/Tuck, Christian Troy and Sean McNamara, are unequivocal about their utter godlessness. If House is a bad ass for popping vicodin and being a persicuous physician, the two coke snorting, multi millionaire, plastic-surgeon letharios on that show should qualify as atheist heroes.

J.

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Jeff H December 15, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Bill Maher: Jeff and Alex: You should just move to america. We could use more freethinkers.  

Lol nah, I think I’ll pass. Call me when you get universal health care and I’ll reconsider :P

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Jake de Backer December 15, 2009 at 5:08 pm

Where are you from Jeff H? I’ve actually wondered for a long time where the posters here are from and how old everybody is.

In the interest of disclosure:

Georgia, USA – 25

J.

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Neil C. Reinhardt December 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Good, I am glad TV is FINALLY moving in the right direction.

This 74 year old Agnostic Athiest Activist (who has been an Activist for logner than Mather has been alive) is here to tell Bill Mather one thing we do not need more of in the Unitred States are the RETARDS LIKE HIM who DENY the MANY FACTS which PROVE the Iraq War is FULLY JUSTIFIED!

Neil C. Reinhardt

religionsucks@webtv.net

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Neil C. Reinhardt December 15, 2009 at 6:28 pm

As ATHEISTS ARE the LEADERS, or are among the Leaders in EVERY field other than religion, (and maybe rap music) we have an ABUNDANCE of Heros!

And Child, MANY Atheists WERE religious leaders
before the successfully DE-Programmed themselves.
Guys like Dan Barker and John Loftus.

A FEW Atheist HEROS are Lance Armstrong, Chris Reeve, Walt Disney, Charles Shultz & Pat Tilman. And MANY MANY more very famous, very successful successful Atheists can be found by just doing an internet search.

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Neil C. Reinhardt December 15, 2009 at 6:54 pm

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Alison December 15, 2009 at 6:54 pm

I loved this show from the beginning. This, despite its overall wonderfulness, was one of the weaker episodes. Go back and watch more – so many things are satirized in subtle but spot-on ways. Plus, it’s truly an ensemble cast, with three-dimensional characters from outside the typical sitcom bag of tricks.

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Neil C. Reinhardt December 15, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Hi Allson.

Me been reading your blog. YOU NEAT! Me Like!
(you probably not care) Then when I read this:

“offline my mouth is sometimes not even remotely connected to my brain. Overall, though, what you see is what you get.”

It reminds me of me. Then, I am too often the same way on line as well. (I have very bad anger managment problems.)

ANYWHO, if youse wants to email me, I would be happy to “net” with you.

Neil

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lukeprog December 15, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Alternate video links? Yes.

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lukeprog December 15, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Jeff H: Lol nah, I think I’ll pass. Call me when you get universal health care and I’ll reconsider

Fuck you, rubbing it in. Yes, we’re Americans and we bow down and lick the hairy balls of our corporate overlords every chance we get.

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Bill Maher December 15, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Jeff, what country are you from?

You should realize that our country is so fat and gluttonous that Jared from Subway, a guy that is kind of fat but skinnier than he was, is the symbol of American fitness. Do we really want a bunch of fat bastards that go nuts for free samples getting free health care? I would be more or less paying taxes to support some obese pig’s Krispy Kreme and McDonald’s centered lifestyle. Not only that, but welfare states have a hard time assimilating immigrants (ex: in Paris, 7 out of 10 Imams live off of the Gov’t and have very radical views). Historically in america, if you do not work and learn English, then you starve. That is the heartless secret to our historic success of integration.

Once Americans quit being such fat gluttonous bastards, then I will probably switch stances on healthcare.

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Briang December 15, 2009 at 10:53 pm

Hey! We’re not fat, we’re big boned. And what about Jared. . . oh.

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Jeff H December 16, 2009 at 7:26 am

Bill Maher: Jeff, what country are you from?You should realize that our country is so fat and gluttonous that Jared from Subway, a guy that is kind of fat but skinnier than he was, is the symbol of American fitness. Do we really want a bunch of fat bastards that go nuts for free samples getting free health care? I would be more or less paying taxes to support some obese pig’sKrispy Kreme and McDonald’s centered lifestyle. Not only that, but welfare states have a hard time assimilating immigrants (ex: in Paris, 7 out of 10 Imams live off of the Gov’t and have very radical views). Historically in america, if you do not work and learn English, then you starve. That is the heartless secret to our historic success of integration.Once Americans quit being such fat gluttonous bastards, then I will probably switch stances on healthcare.  

Lol I’m from Canada. Perhaps you Americans should move up here – all that fat might help keep you warm in our long, icy winters :P

Canada tends to be somewhere in between Europe and the United States. It’s interesting…we’re more liberal and multicultural than the US, but a lot of the corporate greed and conspicuous consumption bleeds in from the south. So we get this strange mix of liberal togetherness and conservative hate-everyone-ness, which makes our politicians do stupid things trying to keep everyone happy. Ahh well…back to the igloo, I guess.

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lukeprog December 16, 2009 at 8:30 am

Jeff H,

Love those comments about Canada.

Seriously, why do all the secure, comfortable, peaceful companies live in the cold?

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Jeff H December 16, 2009 at 11:25 am

lukeprog: Jeff H,Love those comments about Canada.Seriously, why do all the secure, comfortable, peaceful companies live in the cold?  

Keeps the beer colder :)

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Bill Maher December 16, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Jeff H:
Keeps the beer colder   

I was going to quote Canadian Bacon and make a “the beer sucks” joke, but I do not want to fight anyone. :-D

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Neil C. Reinhardt December 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm

For BILL MAHAR

I guess you are just another one of those who are too lazy to get off their butts and get the facts and/or are really not bright enough to be able to comprehend what the facts mean (or both) as your comments on the Iraq War and on Bush have proven you to be.

I DEFY YOU to DISPROVE my list of 18 Facts (which I’ll gladly send you) proving the Iraq War was/is NOT Fully Justified & a Necessary Part of our War on the Terror!

(For the retards out there, this means a war on the Terrorists who have been killing Americans for over 25 years! DUH!)

Next, only those who are too stupid to know what the mission was would think Bush was NOT correct when he stated the Mission had been Accomplished
on the Aircraft Carrier.

Neil C. Reinhardt
“Airborne!”

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Jeff H December 17, 2009 at 9:28 am

Umm, Neil? Where exactly did Bill Maher say anything about the Iraq war? Or are you talking about the real Bill Maher, the comedian?

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Neil C. Reinhardt December 17, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Hi Jeff,

My error!

As the comedian Bill Maher, is an open Atheist, I ASSUMED this was him. Sadly, it seems it is not.

So, SORRY!

Neil

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Jesus Christ December 17, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Neil,

It is I, my son, the LORD. As should be obvious by my name. George W. Bush was no creation of mine. He is –how should I put this diplomatically– a bit of a tool. His whole tool bag family and administration was really a cruel joke. You see, the Holy Spirit said I couldn’t create something that was more stupid than reality TV and worse for the planet than aerosol bottles. Naturally, I indulged him his wager and categorically succeeded but while being paid my winnings, W., his father, his retarded brothers and his Mother (only partially human, after making so many, I became tired and used a rock in place of a heart) all ran behind my back and made it to earth. I assume full responsibility and to make it up, nobody need go on “eating” and “drinking” me. I’ve literally had to replace so many eaten parts of my body now, I just can’t go on with it anyway. So just stop it. Off to the pub with the H.G. and Pops.

Much love to the gay’s,
J.C.

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Neil C. Reinhardt December 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm

So JC, do you eat RETARD pills or were born being that stupid?

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Jesus Christ December 17, 2009 at 5:14 pm

Neil

I “were born being” this stupid. But you’ve read my biographies, surely you know I was an illiterate, generally uneducated, itinerant, unoriginal, man-god of questionable sexual orientation electing almost exclusively men as my companions so you’re going to have to lower the intellectual standards a bit on my account. And I remember addressing a sermon a few thousand years ago delineating peace and love between men and yet all I detect is hostility from you. Why are you disobeying me who is I AM?

Jesucristo

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Neil C. Reinhardt December 17, 2009 at 9:40 pm

You are as funny as a sack of shit! (Which is probably what you look like,)

Here JC, from YOU to YOU!

http://media1.break.com/dnet/media/2008/5/15may-17-wwjd.jpg

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Jesus Fucking Christ December 18, 2009 at 12:31 am

Neil,

Let’s skip the pleasantries. You are a tool because you cast aspersions upon a man who frequently comments here under the pseudonym, “Bill Maher” without even confirming –what would have been present in any reasonable human being, that is– the suspicion that perhaps someone elected as a user name someone they admire and are not in fact the person themselves. But as I qualified that statement with “…any reasonable human being…” and you have so far represented a paragon of it’s antithesis, you are necessarily then disqualified from being accountable. Thanks for embodying all that I’ve come to expect in theistic humor. Typically ill-tempered, witless remarks speculating on the nature of my appearance. In a world full of chaos, it sure is nice to see some consistency.

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Neil C. Reinhardt December 18, 2009 at 6:54 am

Look, “Oh Very Clueless One”

1. IF you could read with child’s level of comprehension, you’d know I explained why it was logical and rational to think it was the famous “Bill Maher” who was posting here. (Or do you think he is “too famous” to post in an Atheist blog?)

Anyone who uses the name of a famous person has to know others may think they are the actual person. And the actual person may NOT appreciate someone using their name anyway. Only I guess you, and whomever the phony is are too retarded to understand anything so simple

2. I did NOT cast any “aspersions” on anyone. They are NOT “aspersions” they are the TRUTH!

3. IF I wanted to read supposed comedy. I would be reading a “comedy” blog.

To me, your both a COWARD, and a person with NO integrity. One who does not use their real name and who hides behind their computer while making comments to, and about others.

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Jeff H December 18, 2009 at 7:28 am

Hi Neil! On behalf of the whole gang, we’d like to welcome you to the Internet. Make yourself at home…just watch out for goatse and the midget porn.

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Janus Grayden December 18, 2009 at 9:09 am

Bill Maher: We have been portrayed a few times in good light. Dr. House and Dr. Perry Cox (from scrubs are) atheists after all.  

I’ve always felt like they’re stereotypically bitter and constantly kind of angry at everything. While I agree that it’s cool that they’re both popular atheist characters, it’s nice to finally see some atheists on TV that are actually, you know, emotionally functional human beings.

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Neil C. Reinhardt December 18, 2009 at 10:19 am

It seems Jeff, you are just another Clod with no clue.

1. I’ve been on the internet for over TWELVE (12) years.

2. I am sure it is YOU are who avails yourself of such things as “goatse and the midget porn”

So go play in your sand box with ALL your little retard friends.

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Neil C. Reinhardt December 18, 2009 at 10:46 am

Methinks we could have STOPPED THE PRESSES in 2005! This is when the FOX Channels TV Series BONES first started.

The lead, who is nicknamed “BONES” IS, the MOST POSITIVE example of a ATHEIST to ever be in a Prime Time TV Series.

(Not counting real life Carl Sagen in Cosmos.)

She is a very good looking and well built lady who is exceptionally intelligent, as well as being very rational and much more logical than most. She is blunt, straight forward and very honest.

Bones (TV series) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bones is an American crime drama television series that premiered on the Fox Network on September 13, 2005. The show is based on forensics, …

Series overview – Cast and characters – Production

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bones

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Neil C. Reinhardt December 18, 2009 at 11:18 am

OPPS, MY BAD

I messed up on the link

SORRY!

Hopefully, this one will work

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bones_(TV_series)

or this one

http://fox.com/bones

And last, one of my favortie quotes

“The Christian god is cruel, capacious.
vindictive and unjust.”

Thomas Jefferson

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Neil C. Reinhardt December 18, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Another TOP rated TV show on CBS and is on Friday nights is NUMB3RS

Charles Eppes, the lead character is a RATIONALIST

Dr. Charles Edward Eppes is portrayed as a young mathematical genius. Numb3rs Adds a New Twist to the Crime-Show Formula”. …

Backstory – Characterization – Evolution over the series – Creation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Eppes

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Jeff H December 18, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Neil C. Reinhardt: It seems Jeff, you are just another Clod with no clue.
1. I’ve been on the internet for over TWELVE (12) years.
2.I am sure it is YOU are who avails yourself of such things as “goatse and the midget porn”
So go play in your sand box with ALL your little retard friends.  

Lol hey, lighten up. It was just a joke :D

And yes, I’m all over that midget porn. You know it.

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Neil C. Reinhardt December 18, 2009 at 9:59 pm

ANOTHER ONE

Starting in 2000, there has been another POSITIVE leading character on Prime Time TV. He was an Atheist named Dr. “Gil” Grissom of the hit series CSI, Las Vegas

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation –

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (also known as CSI: Las Vegas) is an American crime drama television series, which premiered on CBS on October 6, 2000. …

http://en.wikipedia.org/…/Search?…CSI%3A%20Crime%20Scene%20Investigation

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austrian December 18, 2009 at 10:43 pm

From the list of fictional atheists…

“Ash Ketchum (played by Veronica Taylor), from Pokémon.”
“Misty (played by Rachael Lillis), from Pokémon.”

Huh? When did I miss that?

———————-

Why are you confused? It makes sense that they are atheists… maybe they confessed it later on in the series, but I do know that they haven’t explicitly expressed a belief in God. I’ve never seen Ash Ketchum praying to God in the 100s of episodes I’ve seen.

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Neil C. Reinhardt December 22, 2009 at 9:34 pm

I am fairly sure the lead, “Sheldon” (as well as others) in the CBS HIT Series, “THE BIG BANG” is an is an Atheist. This is based on some of the comments he has made on religion and Christmas gifts.

What do others of you who watch it think??

Thanks

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Alex Allen September 12, 2010 at 6:52 pm

numb3rs has a very good storyline and i love all the characters in this tv series”"”

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Raghuvar Vasudev April 19, 2011 at 10:04 am

You guys should see some anime series or movies… Many have atheist protagonists or atheists as a central character… Fullmetal Alchemist’s Edward Elric and Roy Mustang are atheists as are Setsuna Seiei from Gundamm 00, Kyosuke Kawachi from Yakitate Japan! (in one episode he clearly states “I’m not into religion and all that crap”), Simon from Gurren Lagann (in episode 9 he states “either god killed my brother or there is no god” and in episode 25 – “why should humanity accept extinction just to forward the ideas of some stupid religion?”) plus Gurren Lagann is all about evolution and in another episode, religion is made out to be a sick joke that got out of hand, the Laughing Man from Ghost in the Shell (in one episode he refers to god as a “sick humored son of a bitch”) and in Trinity Blood a Cardinal of all people questions a vampire about the existence/non-existence of god – and there are lots more than just them…

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