Beliefnet
Idol Chatter

Well, we borrowed “American Idol” from Britain, and I say it’s time to borrow another TV show.
This one’s from, of all places, Turkey!
It’s designed to do something you’d never think is possible in a country like that–nor ours for that matter. The goal: religious conversion! How’s that for reality TV?
Reuters is reporting that the show will be called “Penitents Compete.” I’m sure something is getting lost in the translation!
There seem to be two views emerging on the idea. “Doing something like this for the sake of ratings is disrespectful to all religions,” said the High Board of Religious Affairs Chairman Hamza Aktan. “Religion should not be a subject for entertainment programs,” he continued, as he spoke to the state news agency Anatolian after news of the planned program emerged.


But Kanal T chief executive Seyhan Soylu gave Reuters a different perspective. “We are giving the biggest prize in the world,” he said, “the gift of belief in God.”
In the foreign show they will put a Catholic priest, a Muslim imam, a rabbi and a Buddhist monk in a room with 10 atheists. Can you imagine the American version: perhaps an Evangelical minister, a Catholic Archbishop, an Eastern religious leader, a Jewish scholar, and a televangelist?
I’d of course recommend that Beliefnet co-sponsor the show. It is, after all, the most astounding piece of reality TV anyone could be a part of.

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