Atheists 101: Seth MacFarlane

During our monthly meetings, we have a segment called Atheists 101. It’s a time when we highlight notable atheists from around the world and throughout history. People featured have contributed to society in ways that are not necessarily related to atheism but we feel it’s important to show how atheists have influenced the world.

Seth MacFarlane by Gage SkidmoreBorn October , 26th 1973 in Kent, Connecticut. Seth MacFarlane is an Emmy-winning animator, screenwriter, producer, director, and voice actor.

He is best known for his involvement in the popular animated shows Family Guy, The Cleveland Show and American Dad! Most recently he co-wrote, produced, directed and was the voice of Ted, his first feature film, which became a surprised hit at the box office this summer.

Why is he important in the Atheist community?
Seth has become a strong voice in the atheist community for his continued advocacy of atheist and secular views and critique of religion through his animated series.

To highlight one particular Family Guy episode, “ Not All Dogs Go To Heaven”, Brian, the talking family dog, comes out as an Atheist. The episode focuses on theextremes of the religious right, in this case , the “born-again” Christians, and intolerance and misconceptions about Atheists.

He was awarded the 2011 Harvard Humanist of the Year Award for his active and passionate commitment to Humanist values, and his fearless support of equal marriage rights and other social justice issues.

Seth has had a personal connection with 9/11 attacks. He was scheduled to board American Airlines Flight 11 that was one of the two planes that crashed into the Twin Towers. He missed it by 10 minutes due to a combination of a hangover and the wrong departure time from his travel agent. When asked about his close call and if it made an impact to his beliefs, he said “Were significance junkies, we want to attach significance to everything. We say ‘This must have happened for a reason.’ And that’s just not the case. Coincidences do happen. They do happen.”

One final tidbit, Seth is also currently involved in obtaining Carl Sagan’s collection of letters, notes and drawings for the Library of Congress and working on a remake of Cosmos.

Written by Rosa Navas.