In this article from Huffington Post, the author, Antonia Blumberg, talks about a popular TV show on National Geographic, hosted by Morgan Freeman. As the most watched TV show on National Geographic, it has a large audience and is widely popular. Freeman travels around the world, meeting with people of all faiths, and tries to understand the religious concepts unique to various religions. What makes this show so successfull, however, is not because it pits two religions against eachother, or even that it discriminates against certain religions or condemns certain aspects of faith. It is so successful because it brings a multitude of different religions together, and shows the similarities instead of the differences. Each person Freeman interviews talks about how important religion is to the structure of his or her life. He explores how each religion promotes community and good deeds, and how each person feels a sense of belonging thanks to his or her respective religion.
This relates to last class’s topic of “religion as meaning and belonging” because Freeman focuses on the similarities of each person he interviews, and one thing they all have in common is a sense of belonging within their religious community. In the movie we watched last class, the two people being interviewed practiced different religions, but they both talked about the importance of religion in their life and how their religious community gives them a sense of belonging. Although religions may differ from one another, the aspect of providing a community and sense of belonging does not.