Bachelorette Emily Maynard chose her man in last night's finale of the popular reality television show. Millions of viewers wanting a beautiful love story watched the season in which 25 eligible men wined, dined, and romanced Maynard who, interestingly, seemed religious.
Though she never referred to herself as a Christian on the show, she wore a cross bracelet, bought a crucifix off the street on a date, frequently claimed to be "blessed," and is planning a missions trip to Africa. Though she was not married when she conceived her daughter, she has said she won't live with anyone before getting married, won't have steamy hot tub scenes, and prayed before agreeing to be The Bachelorette.
Maynard is not the first Christian to appear on the show. In 2010, Methodist Jake Pavelka was nominated by his fellow church members sick of the drinking and sex of previous seasons.
On the first night, contestants were asked, "Do you believe in premarital sex?" and, "What is the most important thing in your life?" Jake answered, "God," and when asked for his definition of love, he quoted Scripture.
But even if contestants indicate faith on the show, it seems to get lost amid all the hair extensions, plastic surgery, and candlelight. Or, perhaps the show itself subtly reveals an alternative faith altogether.
[spoiler alert after the jump]
In 2005, sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton coined the term "moralistic therapeutic deism" to describe the faith of many young people—including professing Christians—in the 21st-century West. MTD adherents believe God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, that the central goals of life are to be happy and feel good about oneself, that God doesn't need to be involved ...1
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