I don’t mind Christians on TV shows. They do make up the majority of the country so I expect most of the characters I enjoy watching to be Christian, it only makes sense. But I do love it when I find an atheist as the lead character in an American series. It makes me feel vindicated in some small way.
Which brings me to the point of this little missive, a new medical drama on Fox entitled “House”. If you haven’t discovered it for yourself yet, please, give it a try. The lead character, Dr. Gregory House, is a cantankerous, unpleasant, misanthrope with the brain of Sherlock Holmes. Each week is a medical mystery, a patient with a strange sickness, and it’s up to House and his team of elite doctors to diagnose and treat the real problem. Did I mention that he is an atheist? Witness the following exchange between House and a patient, a nun who has decided to check herself out of the hospital and return to the rectory where God can take care of her.
House: Room’s paid up for the rest of the week. Might as well stick around.
Augustine: This illness is a test of my faith. If it’s His will to take me, it doesn’t matter where I am. I can accept that.
House: Does anybody believe anything you say? You’re not accepting, you’re running away. Just like you always do. You ran away from the Monastery to get laid, you ran away from the real world when getting laid didn’t work out so good, now things aren’t working out again so off you go.
Augustine: Why is it so difficult for you to believe in God?
House: What I have difficulty with is the whole concept of belief. Faith isn’t based on logic and experience.
Augustine: I experience God on a daily basis. And the miracle of life all around. The miracle of birth. The miracle of love. He’s always with me.
House: Where is the miracle in delivering a crack-addicted baby? And watching her mother abandon her because she needs another score? The miracle of love? You are twice as likely to be killed by the person you love than by a stranger.
Augustine: Are you trying to talk me out of my faith?
House: You can have all the faith you want in spirits and the afterlife, in heaven and hell, but when it comes to this world, don’t be an idiot. Cause you can tell me that you put your faith in God to get you through the day but when it comes time to cross the road, I know you look both ways.
Augustine: I don’t believe He is inside me and is going to save me. I believe he is inside me weather I live or die.
House: Then you might as well live. You got a better shot betting on me than on Him.
Egotistical, arrogant and surly, House is perfectly played by Hugh Laurie, a British comedian who does the job here in a perfect American accent.
You can find House on your TV on Tuesday nights at 9pm, on Fox.