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“When I began this blog,” writes longtime Associated Press staffer Robert Mims, “one thing Beliefnet wanted me to explore was what inspiration or faith lessons could be gleaned from so-called ‘reality television'” shows.

“Hmm. Well, there’s no doubt there is a plethora of them. ‘Survivor’ and ‘Big Brother’ began the craze more than a decade ago. The shows’ terminology caught on as quickly as their purported morality-in-microcosm appeal (or, as the seasons progress, the lack of morality and/or ethics, some might argue).

“Voted Off the Island. Immunity Idol. The Tribe Has Spoken – all Survivor terms that have become part of our cultural language,” writes Mims. “And don’t forget Big Brother, where the HOH (Head of Household) may nominate you for Eviction, and then only by winning the Power of Veto can you save yourself or an ally.

“But reality TV shows propagated like proverbial rabbits, and while they never were true representations of ‘real’ life, they have stretched the believability of even the most ardent, intentionally naive of their viewers.”

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