Contestants will ponder whether to believe or not to believe when they pit their godless convictions against the possibilities of a new relationship with the almighty on Penitents Compete (Tovbekarlar Yarisiyor in Turkish), to be broadcast by the Kanal T station. Four spiritual guides from the different religions will seek to convert at least one of the 10 atheists in each programme to their faith.Read the whole thing.
Those persuaded will be rewarded with a pilgrimage to the spiritual home of their newly chosen creed – Mecca for Muslims, Jerusalem for Christians and Jews, and Tibet for Buddhists.
The programme's makers say they want to promote religious belief while educating Turkey's overwhelmingly Muslim population about other faiths.
"The project aims to turn disbelievers on to God," the station's deputy director, Ahmet Ozdemir, told the Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review.
...Only true non-believers need apply.
The show has also figured out all of the angles:
- A group of 8 theologians will test the credentials of the contestants to make sure they are true atheists
- The potential converts will be monitored to make sure they have really converted and are not just looking for a free trip.
- How fair is it that Islam has the home court advantage.
- If the contestant converts to Judaism, he automatically loses: no Orthodox Beis Din will accept such a conversion, so technically there is no way for the contestant to really convert--which allows the runner-up to protest.
- Will there be a celebrity version featuring Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins?
- The potential comparisons to American Idol stagger the imagination--interviews with the contestants as they leave the interview room after finding out if they qualify, judges critiquing the contestants as argue for their atheism, the tension each week as a contestant is eliminated based on the votes texted in.
Hmmm, maybe they're onto something--can Atheist Survivors be far behind?
Crossposted on Soccer Dad
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