by Frederick Sparks
A few years ago I wrote a post overviewing the (limited) portrayals of black atheist characters in popular television and film. In it, I argued that more numerous portrayals of black nonbelieving characters (particularly in a positive light) would go a long way in normalizing the experience of black nonbelievers, in the same way that I believe increasing portrayals of gay characters in popular culture both reflects and influences growing gay acceptance.
Well, we certainly aren’t there yet, as the Friendly Atheist describes in his post about a recent episode of “Belle”, a sitcom offering on TV One, a black oriented cable network. In the episode, the daughter of the main family brings home a seemingly perfect beau who reveals one “flaw”..he’ s an atheist.
As Hemant points out, the writers pass up the opportunity to challenge the traditional thinking around this issue, instead choosing to easily dispatch of the controversy by having the young woman doubt her beau’s “heart” because he’s a nonbeliever.