God Friended Me


(Randy) #1

Did anyone watch the first episode of God Friended Me? https://www.cbs.com/shows/god-friended-me/

I found this surprisingly funny and insightful, with good observations about God, doubt, and social media. To me, there are parallels between the way characters use social media to protect and isolate themselves from the world and family, and their use of doubt. I’d be interested in your thoughts.

From the website:

"God Friended Me is a humorous, uplifting drama about an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he receives a friend request on social media from God and unwittingly becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him. Miles Finer is intelligent, hopeful and optimistic, but he doesn’t believe in God. This puts him at odds with his father, Reverend Arthur Finer, a beloved preacher at Harlem’s Trinity Church for 25 years who is stung by his son’s strong rejection of his faith. Miles feels he’s found his purpose in life hosting a podcast where he’s free to speak his mind, but that changes when he receives the ultimate friend request. After repeated pokes by God, Miles’ curiosity takes over, and he accepts the request and follows the signs to Cara Bloom, an online journalist suffering from writer’s block. Brought together by the “God Account,” the two find themselves investigating God’s friend suggestions and inadvertently helping others in need. Joining them on their journey are Miles’s supportive sister, Ali, a doctoral psych student by day and bartender by night, and his best friend, Rakesh, a sometime hacker who helps Miles and Cara research the enigmatic account. Miles is set on getting to the bottom of what he believes is an elaborate hoax, but in the meantime he’ll play along and, in the process, change his life forever. "


(Mark D.) #2

Miles doesn’t have any history of paranoid delusion I hope? :wink:


(Randy) #3

he did get quite paranoid when he kept getting these “friend” requests. Can’t blame him.


(Laura) #4

Well… that does at least sound more interesting than “God’s not Dead.” :grin:


(Phil) #5

We saw it and I found it very entertaining, and respectful of belief, which is an unusual thing in these sort of shows. Will watch again. It presented the main characters fall from belief as being when his mom died in a MVA, so was realistic in that regard as it seems many have similar experiences in time of pain.


(Randy) #6

Yes, and I resonated with the questions he posed–“I’m just trying to help people–to make a difference” by taking away their belief, so they don’t suffer like he did (his mom beat cancer against overwhelming odds, but died in a car accident immediately after; so he felt like his prayers were answered, and then trashed). In some ways, with my being a “progressive” EC, I want people not to struggle like I did; but then, I think many atheists feel exactly the same way he did.

The girl believes in some sort of spirituality, but can’t find a home because her own mother left her as a child. It seems all 3 young people hide behind social media–faceless–but when “God” program “friends” them, even though none of them can face their parents in person, they chase the program to an empty house in New Jersey, where they find a tacky mural of Jesus. Rajesh, their computer hacker friend, tries to flee his parents’ expectations to find a good Indian girl; but all 3 characters by the end of the first episode do find some relief by facing up to their fears. For example, Miles talks to his father about his disappointment, and his father admits that he, too, questioned God in his mother’s death; Cara confronts her mom and meets her new sister after her mom’s apology; and Rajesh finds friendship with his set-up date. Miles still doesn’t believe in God at the end of the episode, but he has thinking to do about the way to live his life.

I was afraid it was going to be “Touched By an Angel,” but while a couple of spots made me think of that, it really is much deeper–does not give the answers, and doesn’t presume God is present at all (you still are guessing; I’m not sure that God is in this show).


(system) #7

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(Phil) #8

(Phil) #9

Watched the next episode last night, and still seems to be respectful and thoughtful. It sort of made the militant atheist look mean, and seems to be encouraging communication. Any thoughts?


(Randy) #10

Oh, rats–I forgot! --I’m going to try to live stream it. Thanks for the reminder. My wife and I did enjoy it. Any deep insights?


(Phil) #11

Don’t know how deep, but one thing it seems to have as a goal is humanizing the atheist character and making him lovable and positive. I think that is a good thing as we need to see each other with understanding, and I really appreciate the input and attitudes of the contributing atheists around here. However, I wonder how the more rigid fundamentalist folk will take it. I will try to google around and see if there are many negative reactions, as I suspect there will be.


(Mark D.) #12

I was curious so I went to youtube and found a six minute preview. It looks well done but I was a little perplexed. There seems to be a conflict between free will and some pretty active coaching. Do people imagine God as plugged in and involved empathetically in every decision anyone ever makes? Do people defer acting on their own judgement in the hope of getting a clue or some divine coaching? Makes me wonder just what people expect from God in their own life.