This weeks Glee episode has Finn spot Jesus in his grilled cheese sandwich, which he then prays to so he can 1) win a football game, 2) touch Rachel's boobs and 3) get his quarterback slot back. When they all come true he suddenly gets religion.

I won't run down the whole show, but that and other plot elements combine to setup a big church-state separation flap and Kurt outing himself as an atheist and battling his friends praying over his sick father.

Most reviews & stories about the episode go on and on about the issue of gay bullying and how timely it was with the three recent suicides in the news related to this issue. I've only seen seen one review that mentions the church-state issue or Kurt's atheism (Michael Stone/Examiner). Not even any stories or blogs on the relatively gay friendly and liberal HuffPo. When I watched it, the atheism issue seemed to be the major up front theme. The episode was certainly taped quite a while back and not in response to bullying.

What do y'all think? Are all the reviewers etc just sticking their head in the sand on a too hot to touch issue with atheism, sticking their fingers in their ears saying la-la-la-la-la? Or is the topic of atheism just so 'no big deal' to the watchers of Glee that it didn't even register with them? Oh yeah, remember that this show airs on the Fox Broadcasting Company.

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Right out of the religious playbook, yeah. Hit them when they're weakest.
but somebody should tell those Christians that the loving response to someone else's pain is not trying to convert him.

So true, but I thought the episode did a fabulous job of depicting the many layers of the issues Atheists take with Theists. Including that busting out the God when an Atheist is down is, to the Atheist, proselytizing, even though the Theist often doesn't intend it that way at all.

Spoiler alert, just in case.....

It felt to me that's the point the show was trying to make both with Kurt lashing out at people gathered around his dad's bedside praying, and at the end when he accepts Mercedes' invitation to church on the promise of getting to wear a fabulous hat. That the unsolicited prayer circle does indeed irritate and come off to us as proselytizing, but with that end scene, Kurt accepts that the intention is to comfort, not to convert, and accepts the intent. Mercedes too seems to be saying the same thing. "I want to be your friend and comfort you and invite you to this place where other people you haven't even met would like to be your friend and comfort you."

Militant as the little Militant Atheist in me is, I didn't even think that ending scene was a shark-jump. It came really close, but I thought it ended pretty well for Atheists and Theists alike.

As to music, I cried both during Lea Michelle's "Papa" and Chris Colfer's "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." This whole episode needs an award category all its own!
"on the promise of getting to wear a fabulous hat" - I cracked up at the look exchange with the lady across the aisle with the similar hat.

"the unsolicited prayer circle does indeed irritate and come off to us as proselytizing" - Irritating, yes - proselytizing, not so sure. The bedside prayer circle did not seem to be for Kurt's benefit at all, just for the dad. Their sincere desire to help for sure, but not aimed at Kurt. But this is where their absolutely sincere desire to help and beliefs become so damn insidious - they really, really do belief this crap and you have to at the same time both despise their misguided beliefs and respect their love and concern.

Overall, a great episode but maybe a little too capitulating and weak at the end.
TheFriendly Atheist blog and most comments did not have quite as rosy a view. My response was positive.
What about Puck? I did my best to read all of the responses so please forgive me if someone else did point out this one.
Puck stated what he thought, (“He’s my number one Hebe” was pretty funny) but he did stand up for sanity and didn’t push his religion. My only complaint was that he insisted on wearing a shirt while singing one of my favorite Billy Joel songs.
He only told Finn (not in-front of Kurt) that he went to temple and prayed for Mr. Hummel. He did what he thought was right without having to tell the world about it. I did like that the ‘irresponsible’ character and the ‘mean’ character were given another opportunity to show their good sides.
My only complaint was that he insisted on wearing a shirt while singing one of my favorite Billy Joel songs.

LMAO Michelle!!! Sooooo true. My main complaint is that he got rid of the mohawk, which I thought he wore extremely well.

But if he would take his shirt off more, especially while singing, I would forgive the hairdressers for that faux pax.
If Atheists take nothing else out of this episode of Glee; I don't believe Kurt's take on Russell's Teapot will ever, ever be topped.

Spoiler alert, just in case...

Mercedes: "How do you know for sure? You can't prove there's no god."

Kurt: "You can't prove that there isn't a magic teapot floating around on the dark side of the moon with a dwarf inside of it that reads romance novels and shoots lightning out of its boobs. But it's highly unlikely."

Britney: "Is God an evil dwarf?"

Although I liked the episode overall and the arguments by Kurt, I thought they painted atheists in a very stereotypical light, such as in Gibsons movie Signs where an atheist is just someone who is angry, or not really an atheist. For example Sue came out as one, but the moment her sister said "Want me to pray for you" and "God doesn't make mistakes", the strong Sue folded like a house of cards. Truth is, they could not have done this episode in any way without offending a whole bunch of people on either side, but I was just disappointed with how they portrayed atheists.



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