The premiere episode of the new season of HBO’s Crashing took a hard turn from its original, pro-Christian season. Sunday’s second season premiere, “The Atheist,” had formerly Christian Pete Holmes lose his faith after one conversation at a bar with famous magician and atheist Penn Jillette.
The conversation between the two begins humorously, but quickly turns into a harsh interrogation, with Penn asking, “You actually believe that there's a being that cares about, forgive me, but your masturbation?” As per usual with liberal TV, the Christian can only defend his faith by claiming that it provides him with a comfortable “certainty” and claiming, “This is all I have.”
Pete: But you're a-- you're a big atheist now, right?
Penn: I mean-- Yeah. I have been for a long time. I-- I guess my whole adult life.
Pete: I stuck with it, I guess.
Penn: Oh, did you?
Pete: Jesus is still my co-pilot. He's great. He doesn't drink either.
Penn: Oh, really?
Pete: Very-- Very smooth flight.
Penn: I thought there was the wine thing. Isn't there the wine?
Pete: Ahh-- You know-- it was one miracle...The rest of the time he was pretty dry.
Penn: You really do believe?
Penn: Christian god?
Pete: Chris-- Yeah. All three.
Penn: Now, I don't wanna be dismissive, but you actually believe that there's a being that cares about, forgive me, but your masturbation? Cares about everything you do?
Pete: Yeah, you-- you know, we make—
Penn: And you don't have any gnawing doubts about that? You don't think that maybe you're-- you're letting things slide by you that could be more beautiful?
Pete: Like what?
Penn: Like life?
Pete: So you don't-- you don't believe in something watching us, something keeping all of this going?
Penn: I'm not sure there's no God, but I don't know. The most important revolution in human history, more important than agriculture, more important than writing, is the scientific revolution. Came down to three words: I don't know. And no institution, no church, no king, no power structure had ever said in history, "I don't know."
Pete: I just-- What if you're wrong? I mean-- I-- I-- could never—
Penn: What if you're wrong?
Pete: What if I'm wrong? I-- I-- I mean, either way, I'm good. You're right—
Penn: No, no, that's not true. I mean, that's-- that's the problem with Pascal's Wager, is there's more than one choice. You could spend your whole life prayin' your ass off to Jesus, and then find out that it's actually Zeus, and he doesn't like you praying to Jesus.
Pete: I-- I-- I-- I'm enjoying the certainty I get from my faith.
Penn: You don't have certainty.
Pete: I do.
Penn: No, you don't.
Pete: I do.
Penn: You can't get certainty just by willpower. You can't force yourself to believe things that you don't have evidence for. You just can't do it. You can't force certainty.
Pete: Yeah, but this-- this is all I have. I mean, I-- I can't-- This is how I was raised, I can't just... put it aside because you make some sense. I mean, it's hard for me to admit that you're making some sense.
Penn: Yeah, I-- I-- I dig that. It's hard to change. It's really hard. It's hard for someone my age to admit that the-- the Beatles weren't that good.
Just when you thought you couldn’t dislike Penn any more, he disses the Beatles, losing all credibility. Penn also insinuates that by believing in God you’re somehow denying the beauty of life. He also misunderstands the definition of faith—the whole point is you believe in something you can’t see.
But after the conversation, the formerly Christian Pete proceeds to get drunk, join his friends at a Burlesque show, and have a one-night stand with a fellow comedienne he sees at a bar. The last shot is him in bed with the woman, smiling while exciting music plays.
I guess conservatives enjoying the show should’ve known that the pro-Christian message couldn’t last. It is HBO, after all.