“Survivor” has been one of my favorite TV shows since its inception in 2000. Much of the human behavior is outrageous and disgusting. Rarely does the best man or woman win. Yet I continue to watch each season.

I have an idea – a new twist for the show. Each team would be populated by followers of a major world religion pitted against one another. I realize this could be risky – the first murder on a reality TV show might occur.

Based on world statistics the Christians should win, and the Muslims come in second. Non-religious, atheists or agnostics, are currently about 15% of the world population, so we will have a team for this group. The Buddhists and Hindus, won’t care if they win. They will simply enjoy, or maybe endure, the experience.



To give each religion a fair chance, each team will have six players, rather than a percentage based on the current world population. The Muslim team may need to be all males unless they agree that the females on their team will live in separate housing. These women may only leave the tent in burkas. No bikinis will be allowed on the Christian team. The Christians also will have a rule that the final decisions will be made by the males after debate with the women.

No one on any team gets voted off. Winning will be determined by which team succeeds in drawing in the most followers from other teams.

The atheists’ main method of winning folks over will be the two Rs, Reason and Ridicule. http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0815241/This may be effective in gaining some from the Christian camp, as the Christians expect evidence for their faith. One contest between these two camps might a debate over evidence for the resurrection of Christ and evidence for evolution. Some of the Christians might compromise saying God used evolution to create life. Some of the atheists, like C.S. Lewis in real life, might be convinced by historical evidence to join the Christian team.

The Muslims might try to force other teams to move into their camp. They might also bury women who break the rules up to their necks in the sand and throw rocks at them. This could work against the Muslims when these women try to escape to another religion. Those forced to join the Muslim camp will have a chance to escape five times a day when the Muslims pray toward Mecca.

Christians might share their food and housing with other teams, at least 10% of it. They would be kind and forgiving, but sometimes this would lead to their being laughed at or hurt. Christian meditation would involve praise to God and prayer for others. They might hum a tune but not an ooommm. A prayer of thanks would always be expressed before eating. The meals would be big festivals, and some of the Christians would be obese.

The Hindus would have representatives from each of the five castes, with the Brahman representative in charge. http://www.csuchico.edu/~cheinz/syllabi/asst001/spring98/india.htm Two of their six members would be shudra or farmers. The Harijan or “untouchable” would have to sleep outside the hut. This untouchable Hindu might be most likely to join the Christians. Relationships in this team would run smoothly, because they all know their role. The Hindus would get in the water every day for healing. If there were monkeys around this would encourage the Hindus faith that they would win. Hopefully, the atheists would share information on contaminated water and the risk of monkey bites.

Ah, then there is the Buddhist team. They would be calm and cheerful, no matter what. Meditation would be a big part of their day. A humming sound might be heard if you walked by their hut. Since they would sit and meditate for many hours a day – some even the entire time of the contest – they would not need much food and none would be overweight. The two or three from this team who did not meditate constantly would be expected to make crafts which could be traded with other teams for food.

But mainly the Christians would be the entrepreneurs. Their ancestors were told plainly “…if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10 The Christian team would have two exceptions to this rule – no work on Sunday, and the sick team members would get a break.

Some of the atheists would be socialists. They might complain about how they need to form a union because they are expected to work all the time. These socialists might consider joining the Christians in order to get a day off. But then they’d figure they would have to work too much with no guarantees of a fair return until they were dead. This would be disturbing, because they are pretty sure there is no life after death. Their favorite philosophy is rather depressing. “Life is not fair, and then you die.”

The Christians keep ranting at their neighbors, “Life is not fair, but when you die everything is made fair.”

The Buddhists keep humming, “Life is not fair. Oooooooommmmmm…. We are zoned out and don’t care what is fair.”

The Hindus keep ranting, “Life is not fair, but we keep movin’ on up. Next step, Brahmin. Last step the ocean of Nirvana where we are no longer feeling any pain, just floatin’ in that giant ocean of the universe.”

The Muslims say, “We are good enough, and we have fought for Allah. A couple of us have poisonous snakes in our bags ready to unleash them on another team. If the snakes bite us and we die, we will go directly to Paradise and have 72 virgin wives, not just the 4 we get here on earth.” http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2329/does-the-koran-really-promise-islamic-martyrs-72-virgins The women on this team say nothing.

Let me know which team you think will gain the most converts. Remember, no betting allowed. This is the Church Lady blog after all.

If you want to read of a real life “Survivor” listen to the story behind the song, “I have decided to follow Jesus.” This was a much tougher contest than any TV reality show.


5 thoughts on “Soul Survivor

  1. Hi Paula,

    I think there are so many different sects within each of these religions that it’s impossible to make accurate generalizations.


  2. I hear you, Anthony. But we must look at the broad effect on a culture from the various religions. I think it would be fascinating if “Survivor” had a series where each group had six members from the same religion. These members could be from differing sects in that particular religion IF they could even get the sects to work together at all. You know the producer of “Survivor” is a Christian, so he might latch onto this notion.

  3. I don’t think six people per religion are a large enough sample size. There are more than six sects within each of these religions.

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