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Good Times

February 23, 2008

Yes, I mean the show.

I was channel surfing and happened to come upon a Good Times Marathon. The episode that caught my eye was one in which Michael, the youngest son, gets a job at a hardware store where the owner happens to be an atheist. The owner’s atheist views come into discussion, and Michael being a 15 year old boy, decides he is atheist too because of his repect for his new boss.

When Flo finds out about this, the heads to the hardware shop to tell the owner that Michael quits. They butt heads, with appropriate 70s humor, then the owner decides to fire Michael so that the boy wouldn’t blame his mother for losing the job. That night, at dinner, the owner stops by the Evans household and offers to make peace with Michael, who then finds out Flo caused him to lose the job due to the shop owner’s beliefs.

As happens on sitcoms, everything resolves with everyone the best of friends. The atheist shop owner has dinner with the Christian Evans family and everyone is happy friends.

It just struck me how unlikely that resolution would be in America today. Atheists are finding their voices against the Christian right, and the loudest ones are also the most critical. Christians are seeing these attacks on their faith and pushing back on the atheists with attacks on their morals and ethics. This is not an environment that will nurture togetherness between the faithful and secular.

It’s interesting to me that such an old sitcom is making a point about co-existence and acceptance that would be pretty advanced today.

Just thought I’d share.

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