Save Me? Get Ready For Religious Reality TV!
My friend Jim Henderson has an idea for an interesting experiment. What would happen if you took several people, all of whom have strong and perhaps mutually exclusive sets of beliefs about God, religion, faith, or spirituality, plus a desire to convert others to their beliefs, and asked them to live together for several weeks in full view of a few million people? Interested? How about applying to be part of it?
I am not a devotee of reality TV shows, and I have to confess I watch little television myself, so I am no expert on these things. But my guess is that this may be a new idea. The point of most reality TV is to take a bunch of strangers and reveal them all to be jackasses. The camera zooms in on people who are sexually obsessed or insecure, addicted to alcohol, drugs, or talking too much, deeply competitive, aggressive, or downright mean, and in love with themselves and the limelight. Is it possible to create a positive and healthy counterpoint to that pathologically voyeuristic form of entertainment?
Jim makes the point that "spirituality and religion should be thoughtfully and playfully explored just like race, money, politics, and sex. But someone needs to provoke and guide this public conversation. It is not currently taking place in any venue or vehicle that is taken seriously by a broader audience."
Here is Jim's pitch:
Are you passionate about your beliefs? Do you sincerely want others to come to your beliefs as well? If so, we invite you to apply for a different kind of reality television show. Jim Henderson Presents is developing a show called “Save Me!” that will bring people with a wide variety of religious beliefs such as fundamentalist Christians, Campus Crusade for Christ, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, militant Atheists, end of world “warners” and Hare Krishna practitioners, etc. together in one house.
We want true believers who will go to any length to spread their message, whether that’s saving people from hell, warning people about the end of the world or simply “saving” people from religion altogether. Actors need not apply! We want real practitioners — people who are willing and able to spend several weeks living in close quarters with others for no pay while spreading a personal faith message to millions of people. Contestants will play for the opportunity to have their message heard and possibly win converts, as well as the chance to win a significant cash prize that will be donated to the cause or organization of the winner’s choice.
Jim Henderson Presents thinks that spirituality and religion should be thoughtfully and playfully explored just like race, money, politics, and sex. But someone needs to provoke and guide this public conversation. It is not currently taking place in any venue or vehicle that is taken seriously by a broader audience. Let’s change this. Let’s start with Save Me!