This past Friday TV One, an African American cable network, aired an episode on its show ‘Belle’s’ that highlighted one of the main characters, Jill, meeting a man named Jack. Cute right? Anyhoo, Jack and Jill proceed to date for two months without incident. After two months of dating Jill decides it’s time Jack meet her family over dinner at the family restaurant, Belle’s.
The dinner starts off well enough-after the family prays over their dinner, Jill’s father Big Bill compliments Jack on his accomplishments as a War Correspondent for Associated Press and adds his parents must be proud. And the conversation takes a nosedive after that:
Jack: I wouldn’t know.
Big Bill: (looks confused) What do you mean you wouldn’t know?
Jack: We haven’t talked in 10 years.
Aunt Gladys: Are they in some kind of a coma?
Jack: We had a falling out.
Big Bill: What kind of falling out?
Jack: Over religion.
Big Bill: Yours or theirs?
Jack: Both in fact.
Big Bill: What are they?
Jack: They’re baptist.
Aunt Gladys: (nodding in agreement) Alright.
Big Bill: And what are you?
Jack: I’m an Atheist.
**cue typical reaction from church community**
Everyone stops eating and all heads turn towards Jack. Jill is very surprised to learn of this fact for the first time, especially in front of family during dinner.
Check out the video below, coversation picks up at 11:58
While I give credit to TV One for featuring an Atheist character, I take issue with how the character played out. Jack a seemingly good guy- professionally employed, monogamous (a plus for most heterosexual women), Jill’s daughter accepted him etc. , the character was made out to seem disingenuous because he kept his Atheism under wraps for two months.
Being an out of the closet Atheist myself and thinking of others who are out of the closet as Atheists…who’d keep their Atheist position under wraps for two months? It’s agreed by myself and others when you’re an out Atheist, that information is brought to the forefront from the outset as being an Atheist can be a deal breaker.
It was also a disappointment that the family didn’t attempt to learn why he became an Atheist but instead condescended to Jack. What happened to Jill’s love?
What are your thoughts? Do you believe Belle’s accurately portrayed an Atheist?