March 30, 2009

Atheism on Family Guy

"Family Guy" television set
"Family Guy" television set (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I suspect you have already heard about this by now, but a special episode of Family Guy aired last night (Season 7, Episode 11) in which atheism played a fairly prominent role. The dog, Brian, came out as an atheist to the family and faced the typical set of reactions one might expect from a Christian family. He was assaulted by enraged townspeople after Meg publicly outed him, and there was even an appearance by Christian hero Kirk Cameron.

I have heard that Seth McFarlane, creator of Family Guy and American Dad, is an atheist. After watching this episode, I applaud his courage and conclude that he truly seems to get it. Being a comedy, there was of course some great mockery of Christianity as Meg became "born again" after watching Kirk Cameron. But more to the point, I thought that the episode did a good job of showing the degree to which atheists are still demonized in the U.S.

Aside from villains or objects of conversion, it is still rare to see atheists on TV. I see this episode as a step in the right direction.

If you missed the episode, you can watch it at Hulu.