Turkish TV gameshow looks to convert atheists

July 3, 2009

game-showGiven the popularity of glitzy television gameshows of all sorts, it was probably inevitable that some secular channel somewhere one would come up with one about religion. Turkey’s Kanal T television station now has.

Its show, entitled “Penitents Compete,” will bring together spiritual guides from Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism who try to convert a group of non-believers. Those who get religion win a pilgrimage to a holy site of the faith they’ve chosen — Mecca for Muslims, the Vatican for Christians, Jerusalem for Jews and Tibet for Buddhists.

But the show, due to debut in September, has run into some unexpected trouble. The religious authorities in Muslim but secular Turkey have refused to provide an imam for the show, which they say will cheapen religion. Read the whole story here.

Do you think a program like this is offensive?

(Photo: Popular German TV gameshow “Wetten, dass…?”– “Bet that..?” — on 22 Jan 2005/Christian Charisius)

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This is HIGHLY offensive – ‘”We are giving the biggest prize in the world, the gift of belief in God,” Kanal T chief executive Seyhan Soylu told Reuters.”We don’t approve of anyone being an atheist. God is great and it doesn’t matter which religion you believe in. The important thing is to believe,” Soylu said.’Who do they think they are to approve or not of anyone being an atheist? I don’t approve of their belief in non-existent dietys either, but I’m not trying to convert anyone. They’re just scared that people are turning away from religion in record numbers and that dilutes their power base and reduces donations to the church. It’s really all about money and power.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

If atheists started such a game show to convert Christians to atheism, there would be a riot of holy rollers. But it is ironically funny in that this might just backfire and show the public just how justified atheists are in NOT believing in any of these religions. Here is an example:Game show Christian leader asks, “But how can you say Jesus does not exists when there is proof?”Atheist replies, “There is not even one proof that Jesus ever existed, not even as a mere mortal man.”Show quickly cuts to commercial…lol.

Posted by Marcus | Report as abusive

I might add that the Christians, Muslims, and Jews will pull out the same old testament that says the Earth is flat, less than 10,000 years old, Sun orbits the Earth, evolution doesn’t exist, and so many other proven false tales. They don’t have a chance. The Buddhist will more likely say,”You may believe what you want. That is the beauty of life.”, to which the atheist and the Buddhist will then ditch such a dumb game show and go to the neighborhood pub and have a drink together.

Posted by Marcus | Report as abusive

wrong marcus,get your facts right.in the old testament right at the beginning, before there was any discussion about the earth being flat ,the bible talks about the “THE CIRCLE OF THE EARTH”.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Brian. By definition a circle is flat. :) Now if the line said it was the sphere of the earth, or the oblate spheroid of the earth, then you’d have something. ;pPS: I find this show idea HILAROUS but I doubt they’re going to have any real athiests on the show. If they were really athiests they wouldn’t be converted by a silly TV show. And having all those religions in one place is just going to prove to have each of them poke holes in each other. Unless it’s fixed the only one I can see maybe getting any converts is the Buddist.

Posted by Don | Report as abusive

you mean flat like the moon don,so you think “the man on the moon”is hanging on to the edge up there?actually biblical scholars interpret the meaning as a sphere, unless you think the firmament that covered the earth was one dimensional as well?

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

I think this is a great idea if it is on the level. It just might be very entertaining. Just ensure that the atheists are for real – I suggest Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.

Posted by Jonas | Report as abusive

There are several lines and events in the New Testament about not making a show of worship. Why do so many of these so-called Christians completely ignore that but remember obscure one-liners? Nowhere in the article does it state what the contestant will get if they don’t choose a religion either. Talk about holy bribery. Crap like this drives me closer to atheism every day.

Posted by Jonathan | Report as abusive

Atheists and Gnostics are right in most of their thinkingIt has been common among religious believers to look with misgiving to atheists and Gnostics, and to think that they are mistaken; however, in many instances the opposite is the truth; some religious beliefs are not just irrelevant, but baseless. The “God” of main line traditions simply does not exist. I accepted the challenge of finding the One who may be recognized even by Gnostics and atheists: the Existence itself, “All-That-Is.” If something is there, that is God. Look at the book “Christianity Reformed From ist Roots – A life centered in God” (Amazon.com). I am confident that some of your friends will be relieved of the illusion, as I did myself.Jairo Mejia, M. Psych., Santa Clara UniversityRetired Episcopal PriestCarmel Valley, Californiahttp://www.mbay.net/~jmejia/Gr udzen.htmhttp://www.mbay.net/~jmejia/Chu rcher.htm

Posted by Jairo Mejia | Report as abusive