If you’ve ever seen CBS’ Young Sheldon, you know the title character played by Iain Armitage is a know-it-all who often challenges the adults around him, including his pastor.
On last night’s episode, he was sent to Bible camp, which led to this conversation between Sheldon and his sister.
MISSY: Why don’t you believe in God, Sheldon?
SHELDON: Because science explains the universe without the need of inventing a supernatural being.
MISSY: But how do you know for sure He doesn’t exist?
SHELDON: The burden of proof isn’t on me. If I said there was an invisible monkey in the room with us, you shouldn’t believe me just because you can’t prove me wrong.
It’s hardly a new argument, but it’s amusing to see that “Atheism 101” conversation take place on a popular sitcom. Sheldon said later in that same conversation that there was no Heaven, either.
That whole clip was flagged by the right-wing Media Research Center’s Lindsay Kornick, who is deeply troubled by a “smug” fictional character challenging the existence of another fictional character… and comparing God to an “invisible monkey.”
I suppose the comparison is kind considering the show’s previous examples of hating Christianity, but it’s still more of the same. Since this argument never comes back again, I also have to assume this scene was just for the audience’s benefit. Just another reminder that God isn’t real and you’re an idiot if you think otherwise. How’s that for a sitcom?
How’s that for a sitcom? Well, it’s funnier than anything Janet Porter will ever write.
And while the argument in that clip ends there, what the character says really is a starting point for so many people who question their own faith. It’s the reason the concepts of a Flying Spaghetti Monster and Russell’s teapot gained popularity.
For the record, Kornick never mentions that CBS has also aired plenty of pro-faith television shows, including, most recently, two seasons of the now-canceled God Friended Me. But I guess a one-minute clip about atheism from a sitcom that centers around a budding theoretical physicist is too much for some people who want all television characters to inhabit their Christian bubble.
By the way, later in the episode, Sheldon sets aside his concern about God’s existence and begins studying for a Bible trivia contest. Remember: This is ultimately a sitcom for a mass audience, not a theological debate. It’s not like someone’s just going to challenge God’s existence and be done with it; it would be a dull plot if that were the case.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)