Friday, July 03, 2009

Religious "Survivor" from Turkey

The forces of religion and popular culture meet here at the lowest common denominator. I guess this was inevitable:

A Turkish game show is challenging atheists to reassess their views and win "the biggest prize ever".

Penitents Compete will bring together an Islamic imam, a Jewish rabbi, a Buddhist monk and a Greek Orthodox priest seeking to convert the atheists.

The prize for any converted contestants is an expenses-paid pilgrimage to a holy site of their chosen faith.

But the producers say the show will also help contestants "find serenity" and raise awareness of the faiths.

Each episode of Penitents Compete will pitch 10 atheists - carefully vetted by a team of theologians to ensure their non-belief - against the four faith leaders.

The imam, rabbi, monk and priest will then seek to persuade the atheists of the merits and truth of their faith.

Adverts for the show promise: "We give you the biggest prize ever; we represent the belief in God. Believe, repent, God will forgive you."

Really...there is not much to comment here. You can scream at your own convenience. If so inclined, here is the full story. While I have serious doubts, Taner Edis over at Secular Outpost is leaving open a chance (however small) that it may actually turn out to be interesting:

This could be seriously crazy, brilliant, or anything in between. I'm not a TV person—I've never watched a reality show, and I am even more cut off from the Turkish TV scene than the American one. So I have no clue how this is going to end up. But it could be interesting.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Salman,

Unrelated to this post, but I recall you posting about schools in Pakistan previously and I thought this post might interest you:

http://rodrik.typepad.com/dani_rodriks_weblog/2009/06/the-madrassa-myth.html

Nilesh

Андрей Коваль said...

That's a great idea! It's got to be fun. Well, more of a American Family Radio fun, but nevertheless. I wish someone could pitch the idea to american producers.

Salman Hameed said...

Thanks Nilesh. I will check it out in more detail.